These handy (pun intended) finger toys are great for babies and toddlers. You can use them on your own fingers or on theirs to distract and entertain. They’re available in lots of choices- farm animals, princesses, sea animals, dinosaurs, to name a few. There are choices of materials too! You can also grab some BPA-free plastic finger puppets. Throw them in as tub toys on a trip. Plastic puppets can easily be wiped down after they’ve been dropped on the floor again and again.
First, find a few small board books your kids love. Next, stock the back seat of the car or the front pouch of the diaper bag. Books are sure to come in handy for those long waits in the doctor’s office or lagging lines at school pick-up. Then kids can search for bright colours, ID letters they know, recognize shapes and count to keep them happy and even learning a little something in those ‘lost’ moments. Research shows that early exposure to reading helps with concentration, speech development and improved logical thinking skills, so this one’s a win-win. The Pout-Pout Fish series is a sure win!
Ever try handing a toddler a sticker pad in the car? You may find your back window in need of Windex and a scraper. Instead, these reusable sticker pads allow kids to post and peel to their heart’s content! They’re great for travel because they’re easy to pack and carry. As well, these reusable pads are ideal for kids as they grow older! Kids can let their imagination run wild! They can lay out various and increasingly complex stories with ever-changing scenery.
This handy toy is a lifesaver! There’s nothing worse than searching on your hands and knees for lost crayons under a restaurant booth. Who has the time to make sure they have enough pristine paper in your purse. Kids can draw, practice letters, play games, erase and start all over again with the Doodle Pro Trip. In fact, it can help with working on writing skills and noticing cause and effect. All that with no cleanup required! And finally, it’s super easy to transport with a kid-friendly handle.
You don’t want to carry the bin full of blocks and people in the car, as much as kids would love to build a towering castle in the back seat. These Little People tubes come with 2 figurines and an accessory to match. You can choose different themes such as snowboarding, soccer, science, astronauts and more. Take along just a few things and let their imagination build the rest!
Here’s another easy-peasy way to do some arts and crafts on the go! The pages can be dried out and used again and again. You don’t even have to worry about a giant puddle, as the refillable pen keeps the water contained and makes this painless to use. A plethora of pad choices makes this a great way for your little one to work on colours, matching and improve fine motor skills.
Find a 10-12 block pack and your little one will enjoy building, toppling and re-building over and over again. Large and durable enough to survive toddler play, you can easily store these in a zip-up pencil case and throw them in your bag for a quick tantrum distraction or backseat project. And they work with all other Mega Bloks packs so you can keep building and building and building!
A (quiet) malleable ball that can be rolled down a hall, tossed back and forth in a park, thrown in the yard and then wiped off for your next outing? Yes, please! This works for any age as the littlest kids love grasping the holes and the (bigger) little ones will like playing catch or “lite” soccer in a hallway. It also comes in either football-shaped or little car formats to add to your collection.
Let kids work on their fine motor skills as they trace and lace. These lacing cards range from animals to alphabets, vehicles to Disney characters. Find their favorites and, depending on the chosen picture, kids can learn a lot- from practicing word recognition, improving hand-eye coordination, matching colours, distinguishing patterns to problem solving.
Much like the reusable stickers, this option (1) lets you lay out stories in a myriad of ways and lay out a new scene each time. While other magnetic sets (image #2) encourage building shapes and patterns matched to a card, which is a great way to hone pattern recognition and predictive ability, both important tools for children to develop. Entertaining, creative and skill-building – what more could mama ask for?
Portability and simplicity- the Go Gears car hits the mark without being boring. It was actually designed for ease of transport and keeps kids busy when open or closed. The gears can be manipulated or tucked away and the car can then be worked on or driven around- so it’s perfect for future engineers, mechanics and drivers!