5 fun (and distracting!) things to pack when traveling with a toddler

5 fun (and distracting!) things to pack when traveling with a toddler

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Holiday travel is stressful. Holiday travel with a restless toddler? That's a whole new level. Make your trip a little easier by adding these five things to your bag:

Painters' tape

Look no further than your cabinets to find things your child will love to play with. Painters' tape can be ripped off and given to your child to stick all over his seat. You'll be amazed at how much fun your child can have taping the materials (and people!) around him. The best part is that you can easily remove it when he's done. Then consider challenging your child to create a tape ball to recycle his creations.


Tinfoil is another easy household material to pop in your bag. Wrap small toys (even ones your child owns) in tinfoil and have your child unwrap them. Then challenge your child to use tinfoil to make his own creations! You can smush the foil into animal shapes, make a big tinfoil ball, or even try to make foil glasses. Just watch your child and make sure she doesn't put the foil in her mouth. If you'd rather not use foil, try wrapping up toys and "presents" in cloth or wrapping paper for your child to open. Unwrapping is half the fun!

Invisible ink coloring books

A few special toys can go a long way on a trip. Try getting an invisible ink coloring book and showing your child how to use the marker to reveal colorful pictures. These are great for toddlers because they require very few coloring skills – even the most manic scribbling will reveal the hidden pictures.

Finger puppets

Toddlers love pretend play! Finger puppets are a versatile and space-saving toy to add to your supplies. Put on a performance for your child, then let her play with the puppets. You can each take a puppet and have them interact with each other, or take turns putting on plays.


Above all, don't forget the snacks! Try to pack snacks that will take a long time to eat and can be doled out over time, such as cereal and raisins. Consider storing the snacks in small containers that can be stacked and played with when snack time is over.

Get BabyCenter’s packing list for traveling with toddlers and share your story and tips in our Traveling with Children community group.

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