Are you traveling during the holidays this year? Or your traveling just after the holiday, and you know your child will want to take new gifts along with you? Wondering how you'll get your child's gifts to your destination and back again when your bags are already stuffed to the brink of bursting with clothing and kid-gear? Here are my suggestions for portable holiday gifts that travel well.
- Mini Microscope (age 3+) This SE Mini 45X Brass Microscope w/ Illuminator is small enough to fit in a four-year-old's pocket, and it's the perfect thing to explore any environment in more detail. It's especially great if you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors, in lines, or anywhere that your kid might need an easy activity. Plus it's under $4! These were a favorite of my kids last year.
- Kindle or Kindle Fire (age 8+ for kindle 3+ for Kindle Fire) When we bought my mini-van last year, I opted out of the built-in video system. It would be cheaper, I rationalized, to buy each kid their own movie device and headphones. This year we might make that splurge. The Kindle Paperwhite
is the way to go if you want your kids reading in the car with a minimum of distractions. The Kindle Fire is great for kids who aren't yet reading independently or if you'd like your kids to have the option of watching a video.
- Kid-Sized Headphones (age 2+)
For air travel, where size is a consideration, and I'm sitting nearby to help out, I find that earbuds work well enough. On a roadtrip, though, my main concern is to minimize hassle and noise. These Kidz Gear Wired Headphones are a DeliciousBaby reader favorite.
- Klutz Activity Kits (age 3+)
There's a huge collection of Klutz Activity Kits to choose from, one for every interest. Whether your child likes fairies, writing, building, or science you'll find an engaging and age appropriate Klutz activity kit for them.
We have bought so many of these over the years, that it seems like we should have run out of possibilities by now, but everytime I look for something new I find something I haven't seen before. I love that these kits are self contained and packaged in a travel-friendly-sized spiral-bound book.
- Finger Puppets (Age 1-7) Finger puppets are a great toy on an airplane or roadtrip and can easily be tucked away in a diaper bag for restaurant entertainment. These Family Finger Puppets would be great for a trip to Grandma's house, or for fantasy play, these manhattan toy finger puppets are my favorite.
- Nanoblocks (Age 8+)These Nanoblocks might just have Lego beat when it comes to travel. The micro sized blocks are small enough to squirrel away in a ziplock bag, and I just love the travel themed building sets. It's worth noting that Nanoblocks are not compatible with Lego.
- Haba Mini Tin Games (age 2+)
If you have fallen in love with Haba's high-quality toys and games, you'll just love these cute mini-sized games that are perfect for travel. The (pictured) memory game was a favorite of my kids even as they were learning their first words. They loved holding the little cards and saying the words long before they could play the game.
- 3D Drawing Pad (ages 5+) Here's something out of the ordinary that makes a great airplane toy for older kids. Draw your picture on this 3D Drawing Pad, and then put on the 3D glasses to see your image hover over the drawing surface.
- Sleeping Queens (age 6+)
It's the rare game that both travels well and keeps all three of my kids entertained. Add to that the fact that this game manages to sneak in some math and strategy skills, and you've got me sold! On the other hand, Sleeping Queens
might actually work a little too well... on our trip to Hawaii, I had trouble dragging my kids away from the game and onto the beach.
- Micro CubeBot
What could be better than a toy that folds into a 1 1/2 inch cube? One that unfolds into a Micro Robot
- Faber Castell Glitter DoughArt supplies are always a popular gift in my family, and travel well. I just love this
, Faber-Castell Air Dry Glitter Dough Note that it needs to go in your checked baggage though - playdough and airport security don't mix!
- Watercolor Set We've been taking watercolor sets with us when we travel lately, and they're a great way to set the kids up for success when we're out and about. They can sketch in a museum or park and then paint when we return to the hotel room.These Watercolor Pencils are great because your kids can draw with them dry in the car or on a plane, and then paint over them with water in the hotel room. When you see the results your kids get using a quality Watercolor Paper Pad, I think you'll agree that it's worth the investment. Just encourage them to fill the paper before moving on. Partial to watercolor cakes? I like this 16 Color Prang Watercolor Set
which strikes a good balance between quality and price for young kids. Don't forget to throw in an extra brush!
- Kid-Sized Suitcase I just ordered this adorable Skip Hop Owl Suitcase for Eilan. (Other animals are available too) It's good quality for the price, folds down somewhat for storage, and has an adult shoulder strap for when Eilan gets tired of pulling it. It remains to be seen whether this will speed or slow down our trip through the airport, but you know I'll share that info here!
- Give Experiences We're making more of an effort to give experiences instead of stuff, and if you know you'll be traveling, consider whether there's a special experience at your destination that would make a great gift!
My Favorite Travel Toys