Because my daughter is so active and inquisitive, outings out of the house can sometimes be a hassle. In fact, she is so busy that we typically take shifts eating while at restaurants because one of us has to entertain our daughter. That being said, I am constantly trying to come up with great ways to entertain and teach her both inside and outside of the home. We have traveled to Maui and back with her using these travel folders, but I was thinking that I needed more easy to transport travel games for kids and busy toddlers like mine. And I have found a few more ideas that have captured by busy toddler’s attention long enough for us to eat as a family!
Our family is a breastfeeding family, but we do still have bottles. Some came with a pump we purchased and others were given to us in the hospital. They have sat around, unused for long enough! I have found that bottles are a great way to transport games. Most bags (especially diaper bags) have a place for water and/or baby bottle making this idea ideal for travel. Most bottles come with a cap and or an insert that goes in place of the nipple, which makes traveling easier with small pieces inside.
Use extra bottles, or ones that you find used with different objects from around the house. I have both wide-mouth bottles and regular bottles and I use them all for fine motor skills games. Typically, if we are on the go I want to make sure that I don’t bring something along that I am afraid of losing. So while puzzles are great, pieces are easily lost even if they never leave a particular room.
Ideas of what to collect to use in each bottle
- Lids (The squeeze pouch lids are awesome for this)
- Spare craft supplies like pom poms, foam cubes, and beads.
- Stray toys (for me, I found a “pound bench” at a garage sale for a quarter that was missing some pegs and I use the pegs that were there).
- Dry beans
- Bottle caps
- And anything little (That you deem safe for your child of course).
To mix things up (especially if it eventually gets old), label each item to add another element to the game. For instance, label them with number or letters and have them put each one in the bottle in order. Or maybe if you are working on colors, make little cards with patterns on them and have them replicate the patterns. Lots of ideas to explore, so be creative!
So the next time you are on a airplane, sitting in a doctor’s office, or anywhere that your child just has to be playing with something, whip out one of these bottles for them to explore! In fact, if you bring along an empty one, they can transfer items between the two.
For more Travel Games and Motor Skills ideas, check out some of my other posts below.
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!