Whether you’re planning a staycation or jetting off for sunnier climes, one thing’s for certain, you’ll have to find a way of keeping the kids entertained on the journey. There’s no worse start to a holiday than trying to keep a fractious child happy and quiet for a few hours in a confined space.
Whatever age your children are, it is great fun for them to get involved in travel preparations and help with packing their own bags. Let them select some of their more lightweight toys and games, a much loved bedtime bear or comforter and a few of their favourite books. A new toy or two will make a nice surprise. If they like their new toy, it may keep them entertained for the whole journey. Choose something they’ll enjoy to explore (exploring a new thing takes time) and preferably something quiet, so it doesn’t drive you and your fellow passengers insane.
With any luck your tiny traveller will sleep for all or at least some of the journey. But don’t rely on that. Pack a small bag of finger puppets, soft books, and rattles to keep them stimulated and entertained when awake… Varied textures, exciting colours and little mirrors will do the trick if a trick is needed.
Manhattan Toys Whoozit’s and Tizoo’s are particularly popular with Giddy Goat customers.
A toddler, given the chance, will probably try to pack all their toys into a small bag which they then proudly carry. Be firm, for the journey they’ll only need a few quietly entertaining things – a selection of small board books, some little puppets, a puzzle.
My favourite from Giddy Goat is Galt Water Magic colouring book range. You can colour it in with a water pen, which then fades so it can be used again and again. If your child is into puzzles check simple but beautiful Orchard Toys.
3-5 year olds
Your pre-schooler is a busy little bee, interested in everything around them and easily distracted, so you’ll need plenty of varied things to keep them happy. Colouring books, activity books, comics, stickers and even more stickers… They also love card games.
Giddy Goat offers Snap, Happy Families and other simple matching games that are great for long journeys. The Mixed-Up Zoo Magnetic Playset is ideal for any travel, it’s compact, comes with its own tin and is perfect for sparking imaginations, kids could even learn about the animals they might see on their travels.
You’re now holidaying with a seasoned traveller who’ll have an idea about the highs and lows of getting to their vacation destination. Your journey will be frequently punctuated by that timeless question, “Are we nearly there yet?” If you want to reduce the frequency of that plaintive call keep them busy and distracted.
Giddy Goat Toys have a great range of magnetic play-sets which are ideal for travel. Small and compact they include build your own robots, spaceships and dress up dolls which will get their creative juices flowing. The shop stock a variety of Galt crafts which are made for little hands, are non-toxic and have been popular with kids and parents for decades.
If you’re lucky you might be able to get 90 minutes peace if the in-flight movie is suitable, but it’s worth packing some small, portable distractions to keep Junior entertained on the journey. Good old card games are always a winner, but in an age where there are ipad apps and games for all ages, there is nothing wrong with throwing the usual rules about screen time out of the window. Saying that, don’t forget the joy of immersing together with you child in a good book.
A good selection of Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton stories can be found in Giddy Goat and these books can make the hours fly by. The Zoo Wee Mama Wimpy Kid card game is very popular as is Top Trumps, which is available in a huge range of themes from Harry Potter to Dinosaurs to Moshi Monsters as well as the gross version, Plop Trumps which appeals to a particular type of boy! For creative types, the Djeco Mini Glitter Boards are minimal mess, maximum fun.
Happy children usually make for happy parents. So choose their toys carefully, get them involved, pack a variety of things, don’t forget your camera and do have a great time. Bon Voyage and good luck!
If you’d like to share your travel experience or suggest a good toy for kids on the go, please leave your comments below or send your story here. If you’d like to WIN one of Giddy Goat toys, please, send your entries here.