How can Christmas only be 10 days away?
Is it time to panic? Probably – but fear not. Here with some last minute shopping solutions is the Our Globetrotters guide to stocking fillers for young globetrotters to help inspire and entertain your kids who are ready to start seeing the globe.
I will forever swear by stickers being one of the best toddler entertainers going around, and what better than toddler entertainment with an airport theme to get them engaged with your travelling. Reusable stickers get you loads of extra hours of fun (and you don’t then have the embarrassment of trying to pick wayward stickers off the back of plane seats and windows at the end of a journey).
My kids can’t get enough of things that go – this beautifully illustrated book from classic children’s author Richard Scarry is a must for every kids bookshelf, perfect for pulling out pre-journey to explain things in a simple picture book that the junior audience will love. Even when you’re not flying a day at the airport is fun right?
For the slightly older artist in your family, get them organised with their own portable studio. Great for the plane or car, the tote bag attaches to the back of a seat then you have a flat working surface. (NB comes without supplies inside so don’t forget to throw in a few arty things – while travelling triangular crayons are a great idea as they are less likely to roll away!)
Any of you who have started the wrapping the process for this year will know about children’s obsession with tape – made by Melissa & Doug this particular book comes with 20 different reusable scenes to decorate and inspire some create busy-play activity on the go (and you never know when some emergency tape might come in handy!! You can even multi-purpose the tape and use it for setting up roadways and games on hotel floors too).
Watercolour books have been our saviour time and time again – especially good for waiting times when you only want to pull out something small or have something slipped in your handbag for emergency entertainment. Even quite small toddler hands can get the hang of the magic watching the page change colour as they dab at it, and unlike sticker books or conventional colouring, you can use it again and again – just a few small drops of water will get them started. Lost the pen? Wet wipes also work a charm!
My kids simply love doodler / sketch pads – something that I can honestly say has kept them busy for hours on planes over the years (Emirates used to give them out in their kids packs!) We love this particular kid doodler because of its easy hold handles, but this can also make it quite bulky. If you are looking to minimise on size but not the quality, we have also found the Fisher-Price Slim Doodle Pro fits that little bit easier in a backpack.
What better way to start engaging your young globetrotters to start taking better responsibility for their luggage than with their own case (when they are ready!! – you might know my rant on this topic! Never assume a toddler will take their own items, no matter how cute the case). Ok, so not quite stocking filler size, but if you are ready to show them a little responsibility and ownership, what about starting them out with their own luggage tag? Great fun to get them started picking out there bags coming off the carousel.
Giving electronics to kids for the first time can be a challenging decision – it can be a lot to spend then there’s the constant fear that they’ll break it – but on long flights or car rides where there’s no in-seat entertainment, I simply can’t recommend investing in a small portable electronic device enough. The great thing I love about the Kindle Fire is Amazon’s “they break it, we’ll replace it” promise for 2 years. The kid’s edition comes with the padded case – but when buying electronics don’t forget some of the little add-ons that come in really handy and help preserve your product like headphones (see below), a screen protector kit and a spare power bank.
I will admit finding the perfect pair of kids headphones has been something that has somewhat alluded us over the years, but top tips I will give when shopping for kids headphones include; make sure they actually fit your kids head, too large they will get frustrated at them falling off, two small they complain they are tight; make sure the plug can fit on to your device, even with the case on (look for straight plugs rather than those that come out at a 90 degree angle – these don’t work with many cases); a good function to have is kids volume control (they will of course experiment with pushing this to the limit). As an add-on, I’d also recommend a multi-headphone splitter which allows more than one child to listen to the one device (yes even if they have their own devices you can be sure they’ll fight over the same one or want to share!!)
There’s no better way to help get your junior globetrotters involved in the travel experience than letting them help capture the memories. Sick of having my smartphone commandeered, we invested in a small camera for Miss Z; She was still too young to write and keep her own journal, but she was ever so proud of the images she captured on her camera – maybe not good enough to open her own Instagram account yet but she has her own unique collection of holiday memories – and being digital you can of course simply save, delete and start again on each trip.
Do you have any other great stocking-filler suggestions for the young travellers in your life?
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