Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Travel Part 3: Kids

While sitting on a train staring out the window for me is meditative bliss, my six year old gets a bit restless.  A few strategically packed activities make all the difference in the world.  Beyond electronics, like my beloved iPad and iPod which help make waiting times roll by with ease, I think it's important to have non-electronic things to do.  Good old fashioned writing activities are still fun and stealthily help prepare your child for school.  Peaceable Kingdom makes fabulous Write and Wipe Books perfect for the car or plane.  They can be used over and over and traded amongst kids.  They come in different themes, the Silly and the Spy are my favorites.  They also have various card games, like the piratey Crazy Mates which is great for interaction and making new friends.  I love the Peaceable Kingdom graphics so much, I wish they would come out with prints, really fun modern stuff.

For plane travel, I love these die cast Airport Play Sets by Daron.  You can find pretty much any airline you want and how fun for kids to be able to play with a miniature version?  This gets them acquainted with airport functions and eases anxiety.  They're made well, and hold up to tough six year old play.  I think they're great for boys or girls.  If you have more than one child, they can each have their own favorite airline.

 To get those imaginations going, Story Cubes do the job in a very fun game-like way.  You roll the dice which have several unique graphics, and then make up a story based on the pictures you come up with.  My son loves these and so do I.  This sort of open ended play is versatile and lends itself to many different situations and players.  They're great at restaurants too.

 All of the above are very inexpensive and worth their weight in gold when they are needed.  I like to gift-wrap stuff like this and pull it out at the  right moment just as things start to go South, parents, you know exactly what I mean.  A healthy snack and a fun activity can get you a lot of mileage.  Happy travels!