Let me help you make travelling with your child easier by thinking and planning ahead. Here are some great ideas for what to pack for your children whether you are travelling in a plane, train or a car. These games and toys have been chosen for their portability, re-usability, compact packaging and play value. It’s so easy to let your children spend all their travel time on a screen, because they will be quiet and behave. However, if we allow them screen time all the time, we sacrifice the potential quality togetherness time that travelling can provide.
A quick game of something together creates a warm fuzzy memory. Play, especially with you, can distract your child from a screen, or their own discomfort – kids are not born to be restrained in seats with seat belts, they have to learn how to cope with it! Help them to get through another 15 minutes of the journey, and then another.
You can have fun on the run while you are travelling, sitting in a restaurant waiting for food, or anywhere at all. Be prepared. Be a source of fun and magic, engaging with them. If you are involved, your child will not have to behave badly to get your attention. Play is a healthy way of giving them the right kind of attention that fills their emotional cup.
READY, STEADY, TRAVEL!
PAW PATROL PUPS TO THE RESCUE DRIVER
This is an interactive Paw Patrol-themed riding dashboard that provides a cause and effect play experience for your child in the back seat of your car. We often forget that our children are watching us and want to be just like us, doing what we do. So now they can drive too with their own Ryder’s Bike that switches into 3 modes: ATV, hovercraft and snowmobile, completing Paw Patrol rescue missions along the way. Play games, learn character facts, directions, colours, counting, road safety and more. Features Rubble, Chase, Skye, Marshall and Rocky following instructions from the real voice of Ryder. Encourages role play, imaginary play and develops an awareness of cause and effect.
AGE: 2 – 5 years
PRICE: R 565
MR PENCIL’S ALPHABET BAG
This is an interactive alphabet back pack! Unzip the bag and you have all the letters of the alphabet on one side slotting into puzzle spots to make the alphabet come alive. On the other side there is a magnetic writing tablet for learning to write and learning to draw. Learn with the magical Mr Pencil as he teaches writing and drawing step by step. There are seven activities that teach letter names, letter sounds, letter writing, reading and even drawing animals! Makes letter writing and learning to draw so much fun. Will need 2 x AA batteries.
AGE: 4 – 7 years
PRICE: R 805
We have long been fans of Trunki which is a piece of carry-on luggage for kids that doubles as a ride on to beat the boredom in airports and train stations. By attaching the multi-functional carry-tow strap you can stay connected to your child while they ride and get rid of all their excess energy. Trunki weighs 1.7kg and can hold up to 34kg with an 18 litre capacity. It’s perfect for packing all the travel toys and games to keep them busy. Has locking catches, a bits pouch, two carry handles and secret compartments and comes in a variety of themes – choose one that your child will love.
AGE: 3 – 6 years
PRICE: R 895 – R 1185
THEMES: Gerry the Giraffe, Zimba the Zebra,
Trixie Pink, Terence Blue
Bubbleezz™ form part of ORB’s tactile collectibles and are also fabulous sensory toys loved by both kids and therapists alike. Bubbleezz™ come in a series of adorable semi-translucent characters filled with wiggly, wobbly Bubbleezz Beadz™ that create a silly satisfying feel when squeezed, transforming as they flow and grow in your hands. Great for relaxation and fascination while travelling.
Available in super and jumbo sizes and loads of Bubbleezz characters!
AGE: 6 years to adult
PRICE: From R89
BATTLESHIPS BOARD GAME
Do you have what it takes to command your own fleet of 5 ships? Can you survive thrilling, ruthless combat on the high seas? Find out with this compact version of the classic, two-player Battleships game – a test of strategy, determination, visual memory, problem solving and luck! Keep track of your hits and misses with this brilliantly packaged game of Battleships that comes in a self-contained case with sealed storage compartments. This ensures the pegs and battleships don’t get mixed up when you shut the case, as happens with many other versions we have seen. Try to sink all 5 of your opponent’s ships before your own are found and sunk. Learn how to grid reference in a fun way – it will stand your child in good stead for mapwork later on.
AGE: 7 – 12 years
PRICE: R 325
Catch the ghosts in the light in the haunted mansion. This is a brain game of logic. The goal is to light up all the ghosts in each challenge by positioning all the flashlight puzzle pieces correctly. Comes with 60 challenges graded in difficulty. This game is perfect for travel because the six transparent puzzle pieces and all the challenge cards are stored inside the plastic game board which doubles as a case. Solutions to each challenge are provided. They provide a great way for younger players to get into the game – by copying the solution to work out how the game is played. Ghost Hunters is great for developing concentration, logic, problem solving, spatial planning and visual perception.
AGE: 7 – 12 years
PRICE: R 199
BRAND: Smart Games
TOP TRUMPS PAW PATROL
Compare attributes of Paw Patrol characters on the cards such as leadership, teamwork, bravery and speed. Top Trumps is a game of strategy because you are trying to identify what your character’s best strength is on the card in play. Your aim is to win all the cards from other players until there are none left to win. As players lose their last card they are eliminated from the game. This game is for the beginner reader as the categories on the cards are all the same – they will quickly learn to recognise the words through repetition. Also great for number recognition skills through to the hundreds. Comes in a sturdy plastic case for travel. 2 – 6 players.
AGE: 3 – 6 years
PRICE: R 91
BRAND: Top Trumps
SPOT IT JR ANIMALS
A brilliantly packaged matching game in a round tin – perfect for travel. There are 31 animal cards and there is always a match between a pair of cards. Be the first player to spot the matching animal and, depending on which of the game variations you are playing (there are 5 different games), you will either be trying to win or lose as many cards as you can, as fast as possible. Six adorable animals appear on each card which means your child has to exercise observation skills at speed to spot the match. This game sharpens visual perception, focus and speed of thought.
AGE: 5 – 8 years
PRICE: R 199
BRAND: Blue Orange Games
SHUFFLE TRIVIAL PURSUIT
This travel version of Trivial Pursuit is full of new questions in the six classic Trivial categories: Arts and Literature, Science and Nature, History, Sports and Leisure, Geography and Entertainment. Collect one card from all six categories to win. You can also steal answers from your opponents if they are stuck, block or buzz them. Comes in a sturdy plastic case with great instructions and a free app to download. Expand your family’s general knowledge and what better way to do this than in the confines of a vehicle on a long trip. A great conversation starter.
AGE: 10 years to adult
PRICE: R 109
Shuffle Trivial Pursuit play instructions – WATCH VIDEO
OR to download instructions CLICK HERE
30 SECONDS BOOSTER GAME
While this is actually a Booster pack consisting of 240 cards to be played with your traditional 30 Seconds General Knowledge board game, we recommend you pack this box of fun for travelling – without a board. 30 Seconds is a fast-talking game in which you must describe the item on your card, and everyone else has to guess what you are describing. Here’s how we recommend you play freestyle 30 Seconds in the car: Each player plays for him/herself, not in a team. Play moves from player to player. In your turn you are the describer. Score a point for every correct word guessed by the rest of the players when you are describing. Tailor-make your game to be as long or as short as you wish. Words to describe include famous people, places, well-known objects and more.
AGE: 10 years to adult
PRICE: R 179
BRAND: Calco Games
Here is a ‘Making FUN out of NOTHING’ word game to play on your trip!
I WENT TO THE SHOPS AND BOUGHT…..a word game, it’s FREE!
Traditionally, this listening game, which is good for auditory memory, sequencing, vocabulary and turn-taking is about what you buy in the shops. BUT, during the holiday season, when travelling with your kids, here is a great way to change it up, making it relevant and personal which makes kids much more eager to play it. If you are going on holiday, play, WE ARE GOING ON HOLIDAY SO WE PACK…… What you would pack for a beach holiday vs going to the game reserve or going on a skiing trip, would be completely different, wouldn’t it? And when you have been on holiday and you are on your way back, WE WENT ON HOLIDAY AND WE DID/SAW/VISITED…… is a fantastic way of reliving memories you created as a family.
How to play:
- First person says, “We went on holiday and we visited the aquarium.”
- Next person says, “We went on holiday and we visited the aquarium, and we built sandcastles on the beach.”
- Next person says, “We went on holiday and we visited the aquarium, we built sandcastles on the beach, and we had the best milk shakes ever at the roadhouse, etc.
This game is suitable from the time your child is six years of age and you can continue playing it into the early teens. Happiness!
Wishing you and your family safe and happy travels!