Sunday, 15 June 2014

10 great travel games for stress-free holidays

This travel tips post is written by June who blogs at mamawearpapashirt. She has 3 petite travellers under her wings - V (5 years) and JJ (3 years) and Josh (0.5 years).

These travel games have been carefully selected and curated to cater to petite travellers between the ages of 2 and 8. Enjoy!

1. Fuzzy Face Magnet Game ($12.80) - The Children's Showcase

This game is silly, creative, and even trains little hands in fine motor skills. The only hitch is you need a flat table to play it, as the "hair" slides off when slanted.

It's also bound to generate giggles and shrieks of laughter, so you wouldn't want your kids to play it at a fine dining restaurant or an art museum.

Suitable for 3 to 6 years.

2. Pocket puzzles ($4.80) - The Children's Showcase

These pocket puzzles come in a handy size, are affordable and easy to carry around. The quality of the cardboard isn't too shabby either.

There are 6 different designs to choose from. Ideal for airplane/train/bus rides (you just need to find a solid flat backing), or while waiting for your food at a restaurant.

Suitable for 3 to 6 years.

3. 3D puzzles  

Tackling these animal puzzles are a great way to keep your little hands busy. My 3 year old managed to do some of the simpler pieces by himself, but needed some help with the harder ones. 

As we actually received this as a gift, I'm unable to say where you can find these. But here are some options you can check out: 
- 3D Wild Animals puzzle from Educa - suitable for 2 to 4 years.

- 3D Dinosaur puzzles - suitable for 4 to 8 years.
4. Super Circles card game ($19.90) - My First Games

The aim of the game is to get rid of your cards by matching the coloured rings of the last-played card. The quickest one wins. This trains up your little ones' observation skills too.  

Suitable for 5 years and up. (Based on personal experience, a 3 year old can also play the game with some guidance.)

5. Spot It! ($24.90) - My First Games

This is a really interesting card game. Each card is unique, and only has one picture in common with another card in the deck. Players race to find the picture or symbol that matches the card at the top of their individual deck, and the centre deck. The tricky part is that the symbols can be different sizes.

Suitable for 5 years and above. For younger ones, you can check out Spot It! Junior.

6. Magnetic doodle board ($11.90) - The Children's Showcase

Plastic doodle boards are quite commonly used as travel entertainment, but what makes this one a winning design is its thin-ness. Almost like carrying a sheet of paper around, yet sturdy enough to be used as a backing.

But wait, no slider? How do you erase your doodles then? The magic trick is to tap your hands on the back of the board. Pretty nifty? You bet!

Suitable for 2 years and up.

 7. Animals by Night (Torchlight series of books) $11.45 - The Book Depository

The Torchlight series of books comes with a paper "torch" that kids can tear out and use to explore the transparent pages within the books, to try to spot and identify various animals or objects. A very simple idea, but it never fails to get kids hooked and keep them busy for a good 20-30 minutes!

There are other titles in the series, such as Let's Look At Life Below The City, Let's Look At The Sky, and Let's Look At The Zoo.

Suitable for 3 years and up.

8. Fishing game ($2) - Daiso 

This is an old school game with a magnetic twist. Wind it up, get your rods ready, and start attracting 'em fishies! 

Tip: For kids less than 3 years old, don't bother with the winding so that it's easier for them to get their catch.

Suitable for 2.5 - 5 years.

9. Nanoblock (from $13.90) - My Toy Shop 

Nanoblocks are just like mini-Lego. You need pretty developed fine motor skills to navigate these mini blocks, so they are more suitable for older kids. This particular one I have is from the holiday collection, which is currently out of stock. You can also get the Pokemon edition from Qoo10.

Suitable for 5 years and up.

10. The Very Lonely Firefly sticker book ($7.33) - Book Depository

Activity and sticker books never go out of style. This particular one features shiny stickers that are reusable.

Suitable for 2.5 years and up. 

I hope you enjoyed these 10 travel companions for kids. If you have a favourite game that always ends up in your suitcase, please share it with us and our readers by leaving a comment below! Thanks and merry travels! 

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