Friday, May 23, 2014

10 ways to entertain a toddler while travelling

Travelling with a toddler is not easy. It can turn into a nightmare if you are travelling alone with the said toddler. Having one favorite toy might not really help to get you through the hours of waiting time in airports, railway stations, tedious road trips. Giving your smartphone to your toddler seems to be the easy way out these days. During our last trip to the pediatricians, we met a family. The father, mother and the kid all of them were glued to their individual phones. They are detached from whatever was going on around them, they were detached from each other, they were mighty bored. Getting glued to the smartphone is the last thing I want to do to myself or to my family. Here are some travel friendly tips to keep the toddler entertained.

1. Fake Wallet 

I don't know about all toddlers, but as a general rule, toddlers love to open a wallet, examine the contents, take things out, put things back etc. Save up all the random visiting cards and bills, stuff them into your old wallet, carry it along. Do not hand it over to the kid immediately. This is the golden rule. Pretend that it is your real wallet, let the toddler snatch it away from you. You will have him or her engaged for a minimum of seven minutes. Seven minutes is so long in the toddler and mommy world.

2. Bindis 

I always keep a bunch of colourful sticker bindi packets handy in my bag. When the kid starts to show signs of boredom, I take one bindi out. Point to be noted, a bored toddler can graduate to a troublesome trantrum toddler in a matter of nanoseconds. I stick a bindi to the boy's hands or feet. He usually tries to remove it, put it somewhere else in his body, on my face, on my bag, clothes etc. Bindi's always give him atleast ten minutes of fun and give me ten minutes of peace. They are not messy, they are easy to carry around, they are pure gold.

3. Bangles 

You cannot carry million little toddler toys when you are travelling. One entertaining toy for a toddler is an abacus which will let them count or just fool around with. There is no space in a travel bag for a toy like that. But there is always the possibility of wearing a lot of bangles on your hand. It will work as a rattle, it will work as an abacus. You can let the toddler count it, play with it while wearing it. You can remove a couple and just let them wear it on their hands, remove it, wear it again. Again, a minimum of seven minutes.

4. Lollipop 

Make sure you have a food item that will last for a long time. The time is the most important factor here. Do not give the kid a chocolate or something else that can be wolfed down quickly. A lollipop is my perfect travel companion. It has a handle, it is a chore to finish it. It will take atleast ten minutes to finish one. There will be a considerable amount of drooling, but you can always wipe the sugary drool.

5. Fellow travellers 

It is really ok to talk to strangers. Sometimes they might turn out to be the best travel companions. Like this old woman we travelled with this time, she was happy to take the boy out on a stroll inside the plane introducing him to other passengers on board. The kid had fun and I had a five minute break from holding a wiggly toddler in my lap while sitting in the really tiny airplane seat.

6. New book 

Carry one new book with a lot of pictures to look at. Seven minutes. Ten minutes guaranteed if it has a goofy rhyme.

7. Activity Toy 

Carry one toy which has an interesting for the toddler irritating for you kind of activity. Something that can open and close a million times with a clicking noise would be perfect. May be a box with a lid, a car with a door, a ball point pen with the spring action. It will give you atleast five minutes.

8. Play dead 

This is an extremely ridiculous and hugely entertaining game we play. I play dead and he will try to wake me to life, often by poking to my eyes. This game is a never ending fun game for us. Most often I get bored with the game and I distract him to some other activity. He never gets tired of this one.

9. Count random things 

The kid can count two and three. So where ever we go, we count the twos and threes, be it chairs, buses, stairs, people, trash cans, anything.

10. Luggage Stroller  

Another entertaining item in an airport is the luggage stroller. I put him in the top most space in the stroller and I keep the luggage bags under. He enjoys the ride for sometime. Soon he will realize that this is somewhere you can't run away from and then he would want to run away.

I hope at least one or two of these tips will make someone's life easier someday.

PS: Always always wear a backpack. You need both your hands while travelling with the toddler.

PPS: Carry  hand towels and  a change of clothes at all times.


  1. Prabhe..i liked all these tips.wil try wen i travel with my grandchildren...i miss my youngmotherhood ..Actually Aadu was a very good companion..i now remember my travels with both kids in train and bus mainly to shornur my mother town.Achu also always helped me to travel peacefully n happily.Aadu talked with fellow travellers {as much as now she is} incessasantly.when she grew up a bit,she even found a seat for me somehow......Miss those days......eventhough then i might hav had differnt thoughts....lov

  2. Prabha I'm sure I n wife Deepti will b trying out many of these tips when we travel with our kiddo d next time. tnx :-)


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