As a kids travel store, it is always exciting to discover a new product which fills a gap in our offering. Mudpuppy bring us some of our favourite kids travel journals, but we have recently expanded our range to include the ‘Puzzle to go – airplane’.
Such a cute puzzle, it would be perfect if the only travel it did was from the bedroom to the family room…however, it comes complete with its own drawstring bag and is destined for travel further afield!
It depicts a happy animals travel scene. The red aeroplane is piloted by a bird, with other furry passengers enjoying the view. Don’t forget to send the included postcard to a friend or maybe even post it home to greet you when you get back from your trip!
I love how simple life is as a kid. When the latest craze takes hold it is all encompassing and exciting.
I started writing this post earlier in the year, when at our school the craze was all about Loom Bands and Bananas. I decided to complete the post now, because if you haven’t tried either of these activities yet, consider them – for kids travel, both are fun and easy to do.
Though the craze has waned, Loom Bands are still a great activity. You take some coloured elastic or silicone bands and 2 pencils and its fairly simple from there. I had to help my 5 year old with some of the looping, but our (then) 6 and 7 year old were fine to make them themselves. We’ve had them made in footy colours, favourite colours, crazy colours etc and have given them as gifts and even swapped them at school. (Looms are available from craft stores if you are wanting to try a trickier style bracelet). To make a basic ‘fishtale’ style, watch the video below (or google – there are heaps on You Tube).
Now, the banana thing is even better. I had vaguely read about arty folk drawing on bananas over the years but had never thought much of it – until the kids started asking me to draw on theirs. I do admire people who can draw and after I made a few attempts, the interest in mums banana creations has waned. That’s Ok, I’ll get over it.
Here’s some ideas in the Daily Mail to get you started, (although my creations are normally a ‘Princess’ or an inspirational message for the school banana, such as “don’t forget to bring your drink bottle home).” These use tooth picks, but again, there are less creative and easier ways (pen anyone)?
So, if your kids haven’t discovered either of these activities yet, try it out. Both can be lots of fun for your next long weekend and are fun activities for travel with kids too.
Just when it seemed the cold days in Melbourne were just getting colder, here we are with some warm(er) sunny days. Its really Spring! School holidays are back again and our family are excited to be going “real” camping, that is pitching a tent. I love how the kids are excited about the things I am dreading, like sleeping bags and fishing! But I do appreciate that it is a lovely way to spend some quality time together and make some special memories. Really I do! And bring on that spaghetti on toast I say, hmmm?
Recently we headed off to Anaconda (“Australia’s largest camping and adventure superstore”) to get the kids in the mood. Wow, they loved it. They checked out some tents, discussed which would be their “bedroom” and rated some air mattresses. They also loved the accessories, mini kitchen set-ups, tables, cupboards – the works. Solar powered fridges? Did you know there are washing machines FOR CAMPING? How do people carry this stuff around? We can barely fit the kids and a suitcase in the car!
Have you heard the term glamping? That is, glamorous camping? Its a good way to start if you’re a novice or a bit iffy about taking the kids offroad. For our first effort (when the kids were younger) we chose a “wilderness retreat”, so it was kind of camping, but with toilets, showers and a kitchen! We only needed to take sleeping bags and food. It was an easy trip and very relaxing. Everyone in the family often refer to it with that wistful “we should go back there one day…” It has certainly been our favourite family trip to date.
So, although that experience will be hard to top, we’re off to spend some time with a family of other “experienced” campers. As a friend said to me (at school pick up yesterday) “camping is fun when you go with someone who has all the gear”. So that’s a good thought! Also, our youngest is 3.5 now, so night-time should be toilet-accident free and trips to the shower block a lot more bearable.
Here at Little Gulliver we’ve been busy adding some new kids travel gear, while restocking some old favourites. All of them are perfect for that camping trip or would equally at home on a First Class flight to Paris! If you love Trunki, you’ll be happy to see Tipu the Tiger is back in stock! And we’re happy to welcome his brand new friends from the Trunki Snooihead range; Dudley the Dinosaur, Pippin the Penguin, Milo the Monkey and Leeroy the Lion. In our Play category, you’ll love the latest Finding Nemo Invisible Ink, the crafty additions we’ve made with Alex Toys, some new Usborne books and zooming around with Tonkas Chuck & Friends. Mum and Dad will love the new Moshi noise isolating headphones.
Here’s a look at some of our new kids travel gear;
As always, let us know any feedback. We’d love to hear what you think of our range or anything you would like to see us stocking.
Make the most of your trips with the kids when they are small. And if you’re going camping in particular – enjoy!
Donna, Ben and the team at Little Gulliver.
It may be genetic as my Grandma travelled with a journal everywhere she went and recorded every detail. As a child, she also gave me my very own travel journal for our first big family trip. I was quite little and the family went on a wonderful camping trip to Uluru. Its lovely to read back on, apparently I was quite impressed with a box of Smarties given to me in Alice Springs (the little things)!
If you like to be a bit crafty, there are some great printable and free options online to make your own kids travel journal. Its a lovely activity to get the little ones excited about the trip and help them understand there will be times when you’re away for “quiet play time.” And that this quiet time may be during a long plane or car trip when they really don’t feel like sitting still! Voilà – time for the travel journal.
One thing about making your own journal is that you can tailor them to individual personalities and locations; post questions for them to answer or pictures for them to colour throughout. Its a great way to encourage a little creative writing or drawing practice, which can be tailor made for your trip.
The gorgeous TrayKits can now be complimented with a matching Travel Journal. Great even on its own, the Travel Journal comes with a fold out wallet, activity Book, 40 stickers, 6 coloured pencils, a rubber, pencil sharpener and ink stamp. And don’t forget to trace your footsteps on the fold-out world map!
What could be better than a handheld activity, which is mess free, can be personalised to your child’s interests and keeps them busy for hours? Welcome to our Play category and sub-categories of Draw and Colour or Stickers and Magnets. Here you will find a number of different ‘magic pen’ style books, you’re sure to find one to suit your holiday.
We’re very proud of our extensive range of mess free activities, here’s a closer look;
Mess free colouring on the special colour wonder paper. The markers only work on the color wonder paper provided; it cannot mark other paper, walls or clothes! Colour in the pictures and don’t forget to make your own masterpieces on the back too.
They kind of remind me of how highlighter pens work on normal paper, it has a bright florescent feel. My tip for younger kids or if travelling with a few kids would be to buy a pack of the individual sheets (some are in a bound book), that way you can take a few on board. Put the rest in your luggage for the return trip or hotel room. I generally only take a selection of the pens also, and leave some in the pack in case they get lost. A pencil case is great here, to keep kiddy things together and maybe a zip lock bag.
Colour Wonder is more unique, as it comes with a selection of different coloured markers, each revealing their own colour (kind of like normal textas). Whereas all of the other varieties of “magic pen” books (described below) come with one marker only which reveals a surprise colour or activity.
Magic Pen Painting
Use the Magic Pen to produce a rainbow of colours. Just choose a theme the child likes, and they’ll be able to colour in the beautiful scenes outlined on the pages. The booklets have tear out pages, which can be coloured separately or in the book.
When travelling, I generally let them choose a scene or two at a time and save the rest for later. Depending on the child or the age, I generally also hold onto the lid of the pen (though they do last well uncovered if they do go astray)! They are a great little travel size too.
Check individual descriptions, but they are generally 3+
Reveal bright colours, patterns, and hidden surprises with just WATER! Just fill the enclosed water pen dispenser with water, and “paint” with the water…It is the ultimate in clean colouring and both the pen and paper is re-usable. It is a book of 4 doodle boards to colour and 4 play and learn game pages, with seek and find activities. The papers special coating dries in 90 seconds, so you can colour it again and again.
There is a wide variety of characters available to suit boys and girls of different ages…Dora the Explorer, Disney Princess, Spiderman…hours of fun to keep kids occupied on planes, trains and rainy days. They also make a great gift! It is a great alternative to the popular Aquadoodle Travel n Doodle, which, sadly is no longer being manufactured.
These sell out quickly (we try and keep a variety in stock), so check back regularly for your favourites. Also, check individual descriptions for details and age ranges. The Spiderman pictured is recommended for 3+
Invisible Ink and Sticker Book
The Invisible Ink with stickers is fun, as you can match up pictures with stickers as part of a puzzle. For instance in ‘Bugs’, we can colour in the picnic basket and then colour the ants, while filling in the “I am an ….” (ant is the answer)!
The Lets look at Bugs pictured is 5+. We also stock a range of Disney-themed Invisible Ink Sticker books which are generally for ages 3+.
If you love Super Hero’s, then you’ll be happy with the Spiderman Suprize Ink currently in stock. This 5+ book comes with magic marker and a variety of games, pictures and activities. Watch images magically appear as you colour and keep busy with activities such as “help Spiderman get through the maze” and games such as “Venom Vengeance.” Great for older kids (or younger may suit if an adult is happy to assist in explaining the object of the game).
The color blast comes with its own mess free rainbow marker and 24 page picture games book.
Currently, we have the ever popular ‘Littlest Pet Shop, Magic Picture Search’ in stock. Fun activities such as “colour the squares in this order” and look for a hidden picture on every page. The Littlest Pet Shop pictured is recommended for ages 4+
** I have done my best to describe all the items we currently have in stock. We are selling out and adding more items regularly – so check individual items on our website for general descriptions and recommended ages, as they may vary to the above. And, as always – please do not hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We are always happy to help!**
I put a lot of thought into taking our first flight with our first child. I was concerned about safety…if we have car seats in cars then what do we do in planes? I found the CARES Harness and our business Little Gulliver, was born.
Very soon afterwards, our baby grew into a toddler and siblings came along. The next travelling dilemma developed – how do we keep someone who never sits down (or stops talking) occupied during long trips? How will I manage? The result – Little Gulliver now has a well stocked ‘Play’ range with products from Magic Pen, magnets, sticker books and even kids headphones! All tested and popular with our 3 children now aged 3, 4 & 5.
A great, all round favourite travel toy that works across different personalities and age groups is the Doodle Pro. We stock a ‘travel’ size and carabiner ‘clip on’ size Doodle Pro. Being Fisher-Price, its built tough and has top quality drawing capacity. If you’ve ever used a different brand you will notice the difference immediately – tough casing, sturdy pen and clear writing surface. Its built to last!
Kids love the Doodle Pro for independent play, but parents can become involved when you want (or need!) to occupy the child with some fun games together. You can find them here in our Play/Draw and Colour Category.
Favourite games for families to play on your Doodle Pro Clip On are things like;
ages 2-3; draw a car and add the wheels, draw heads and fill in the faces and scribbling (fill in the whole cover and wipe clean)
ages 3-4; draw planes, houses and trees, letters and numbers
4+; practise your name, Dots and Boxes (how to play here). And you can’t go past Noughts and Crosses. The possibilities are endless!
Here’s some feedback;
“Little kids love this! It’s just like drawing without the mess of the paper and pencils. It’s easy to wipe out and start all over again. It’s Fisher Price so you know it’s good quality.”
“great idea no paper no mess …this toy is a good investment”
“Less messy than crayons or paint but allows same type of creative ideas.”
And when you get home? You could keep the doodle pro clip on in your luggage so its ready to head off next time OR keep it in the pocket in your car. Doodle Pros love driving too!
So, you’ve packed the bags, cancelled the papers and are really looking forward to being away for a couple of weeks free from the usual routine but you’re really anxious about keeping your young kids occupied on that long plane flight.
So, you’ve packed the bags, cancelled the papers and are really looking forward to being away for a couple of weeks free from the usual routine but you’re really anxious about keeping your young kids occupied on that long plane flight.
Besides packing a few great new travel toys that your toddler hasn’t seen before, you’ll want to have some airplane activities that won’t break, get lost or cost the earth.
So here are some practical tips for travelling with toddlers and preschoolers that will help you to relax, enjoy the journey and help you all arrive with your sense of humour!
Make sure that your toddler has used the toilet before boarding the aircraft as they are spacious and much cleaner compared to the aircraft ones! It’s also a good idea to carry a supply of baby wipes and be sure to put them in a place where you can easily reach them throughout the flight.
2. Seat choice
Only choose bulkhead seats if your baby needs a baby bed as the armrests can’t be moved. Normal seats are far better if your baby or toddler wants to lie down on the seat with their head on your lap as the armrests can be moved up which is far more comfortable.
3. Ear pressure
If your baby is breastfeeding or on a bottle, give them the breast or bottle during take-off & landing as it is the best thing for their sensitive ears. They will be more relaxed and far less distressed and you will feel more at ease too.
If your child is older, then carry cotton wool or ask for earplugs as soon as you board the aircraft. Make use of them for take-off then save them for landing as the crew may not have any fresh ones left by then. Or play a yawning game with them to see how many times they can yawn on take off or landing as this helps pop their ears so the pressure doesn’t cause them discomfort.
Carry a supply of biscuits, water, juice & healthy snacks for your toddler. Raisins are great for keeping little hands and minds occupied for quite awhile and also carry milk packets (the UHT small packets) yourself. Airline snacks run out in flight and milk is a shortage very often too so bring your own so you won’t panic if they run out.
5. Bottle heating
If you ask the crew to heat up your baby bottle check the temperature of the liquid yourself periodically and don’t depend on the crew as they are extremely busy. Most crew in Economy Class are not mothers themselves (as they are very young) so they don’t necessarily know the right temperature for your child’s feed. Airline crew are most willing to help but it’s always best to take responsibility for your own child’s bottle.
If your child has a cold it’s a good idea to see a doctor before the flight to check if your child is fit to fly. Toddlers flying with a cold can experience terrible pain during take-off & landing and it’s also dangerous to their eardrums too!
Always carry a change of clothes for your child and it is a good idea to carry a change of top / t-shirt for yourself too. You never know when you will need it…
Get a carrier or plastic bag from the crew, to put your rubbish in as you go along. It helps to keep your area clean and more organised. Also take fragranced bags with you to dispose of your nappies before putting them in the toilet bins provided.
It’s always a great idea to carry reading books (new ones as well as old favourites), colouring books and crayons, as well as an ipod with their favourite songs and stories to listen to.
If you can carry a portable DVD player they are usually a big hit with toddlers. If you bring your own DVD player and your child’s favourite DVDs then you will have full control over the content and also the timing of their video entertainment which is good for maintaining a healthy balance about how much they watch. Another alternative might be to play their DVDs on your laptop.
10. Games to play
Toddlers often get naughty when they experience long delays to their journey, so being prepared is half the battle.
* Pack a goody bag filled with activities to keep them occupied and busy and include things like play dough, a few blocks, some small board books, a little car or your toddler’s favourite teddy. You could also wrap each item in wrapping paper a few times too and play pass the parcel with them, to add to the fun and excitement.
These ideas are best and most effective for keeping your child occupied during the normal waking hours on a flight as they encourage your child’s imagination and creativity.
* Put some fun pictures onto your digital camera of the people and places you are going to visit or pictures of a recent trip you’ve been on, like to the zoo, for your child to look at. During the flight, you can relive the fun and tell stories about where/who you’re visiting. It will keep your little one busy and relaxed which will make the flight a pleasurable one for all of you.
* When the flight attendant delivers drinks, ask for a cup, a couple ice cubes, and a straw. There are endless games you can make up with this combination as ice is fascinating to toddlers. Make sure that the ice doesn’t end up in their mouth though as it is a choking hazard.
* Bring a book of Finger Rhymes to teach your toddler. Great ones are “Finger Rhymes” by Marc Brown and “Little Hands, Finger Plays & Action Songs: Seasonal Activities” by Emily Stetson and “365 Games Smart Toddlers Play” by Sheila Ellison
* Learning how to fasten and unfasten an “old fashioned” seatbelt, jacket zipper and poppers or buttons on their clothing (or a carry on bags) can keep them occupied for a long time too.
* And don’t forget the old favourite of peek- a- boo if you’ve got friendly neighbours and “I spy”!
It’s all about relaxing, imagining the journey going really well a couple of nights before you fall asleep, so your unconscious gets ready for the journey positively, and planning ahead. It’s also about being flexible and relaxed when unexpected things happen that you have no control over. Toddlers will pick up on your vibes so lighten up, chill out and have a brilliant holiday!
This great article comes from www. Parenting Australia.com.au
Sue Atkins is a Parent Coach and Author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the famous black and yellow series and mother of two children. She has written many books on self esteem and toddlers and her Positive Toddler Taming CD and ideas book is available from her website. To find out more about her work and to receive her free monthly newsletter bursting with practical tips and helpful advice for bringing up happy, confident, well-balanced children from toddler to teen go to => http:/www.positive-parents.com
Little Gulliver has launched a new ‘Travel Activities’ category. We have many of the above activities (and more still to come) for a flat rate $5 delivery, posting daily to your door.
What to take with us when travelling is a common question among parents. Having the right things with you can help keep everyone entertained and help pass the time with happy faces!
I try and think small, new and cheap. For babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers in particular, it is easy to excite them with something new and fresh. This is why I like to present them with some new goodies on the plane.
I have included some of my favourite things, for plane travel in particular, in a list below. Just keep your child’s age and interests in mind when reading.
Etch-a-sketch, Doodle pro – some sort of magnetic drawing system. They will have fun drawing, erasing, thinking about how it works and looking at the pen.
Colouring books – choose a new one which may hold some interest for your child. A nice pencil case can also be entertaining (that zip). When it comes to your child, consider whether pencils or crayons would suit. For instance I prefer the twistable pencils for older kids, but younger children may just entertain themselves twisting the lead up and breaking it off (crayons only)!
Aquadoodle – I fell in love with the Aquadoodle at a Toy Fair last year. Its fun for parents! The travel Aquadoodle is such a simple device. The child can pick it up, carry it, it is its own tray and comes with its own pen. Just add water to the pen and you’re set to go. The great thing about this is you don’t have to worry about the plane seat being marked and unlike some markers – faces and hands don’t need cleaning later.
Color Wonder – a great colouring activity where only the book can be drawn on with the special color wonder texta’s. These are another great travel tool. I only bring them out for trips, so they are a bit new an exciting each time. Choose a favourite character.
Sticker books – they are a classic for travelling as they have some activities (the stickering) and often stories and colouring too. We have stickers stuck all over the house though, so consider the child in question when choosing. I’ll include some of the magnetic travel books and games here, but our pieces have tended to get lost or chewed on.
Books – great for long haul, but these can be bulky so choose carefully – try and keep them small and light. This is where something familiar may be comforting, especially before a “nap”. Make sure the topic is especially popular with both you and your child or you may not be that keen to read it over and over. It should also have enough interest that your child may be happy to look at it on their own. Consider board books or lift the flap books for the smaller ones and bright pictures and a fun story for the older kids.
Something with wheels – if it is something they already own and a favourite, be prepared to loose it. The problem about wheels is that they have a tendency to roll under things. (I had a brilliant plan and took some cars to a beach wedding – of course they got buried almost immediately)! I like the ‘Chubbies’ range – colourful and exciting, soft wheels they can’t do too much damage and we have used them as bath toys. Choose something like a plane or bulldozer as the moveable parts can add interest. They also come in a great range of colours.
Don’t discount what you can find around you. We often read the supplied In Flight magazine during take off and landing (while you have to have all your belongings stowed away). My son enjoys any car ads, while my daughter looks at the “neckalaces” and clothes. You can also play “spot this or that” either in cabin or out the window. A plastic pen and paper cup (nothing that can be broken easily or eaten) can make for a impromptu pretend tea party. In one desperate stuck-on-the-tarmic time my daughter and I played “shoes on and off” – more entertaining than you’d think!
Zoobies – if you’re travelling with a comfort toy then it’s hard to look past a zoobie. They are a cute toy to cuddle or role play with,a pillow and have a blanket concealed in them!
A kids magazine – There are some of these on the market which you may find suits your child. Bringing out a Dora, Pets or Cars magazine can be exciting. There are plenty of things to look at, read or colour in.
Put it all in a bag, drawstring bag or a backpack and you have your own Travel Activity Pack – custom made for your child’s interests. You may want to put it away when you reach your destination (to keep it fresh) or save something in your suitcase to add in for the trip home.
Little Gulliver has launched a new ‘Travel Activities’ category called ‘Play’. We have many of the above activities (and more still to come) for a flat rate $5 delivery, posting daily to your door Little Gulliver Play.
Any other activities you love? Share your suggestions!