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Let's talk about the MOST IMPORTANT bag: the fun bag

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    Let's talk about the MOST IMPORTANT bag: the fun bag

    I have travelled a LOT with my kids. A thing that they really love is that before we travel, I generally assemble for them something I call a "fun bag." They are not allowed to see the "fun bag" until we start the trip, and sometimes the "fun bag" is delivered in stages (i.e. part of it comes out on the second leg of the trip). The fun bag usually includes:

    -- colouring, sticker, or puzzle book (depending on age) and colours
    -- blank paper or a pad
    -- comic book or book to read together (or alone, depending on age)
    -- physical toy (small ball, elastic jump rope -- *so* useful when burning off energy at the train station or in the airport)
    -- concentration toy (lego, get the little silver ball in the depression, etc)
    -- a new game loaded on the iPad or tablet (to represent this, you can give "tickets" for iPad time); similarly, a new audiobook for the tablet.
    -- portable game (cards, dice)
    -- small stuffed toy (depending on age) (my son still has the first one I gave him, a finger puppet named "Kingy" -- he's a king -- he goes on all our trips looking for his kingdom)
    -- small candies, like pastilles or lemon drops
    -- a little map of where we are going

    I also include supplies for small crafts sometimes. I often sew small books for them to write or draw in from the big paper that we bring.

    Is there an ideal Tom Bihnish way to present this? Do YOU pack a fun bag, and if so what's in yours?


    just cards + dices (art supplies/tools go now to their dedicaced little bag, as well as the camera)
    If needed, I could draw lazy board games on the road
    Last edited by Rei; 03-18-2019, 05:05 AM.
    just a Bihnion here


      I love this topic!

      My kids are 3 and 6, and I often have some fun things in my Parental Unit, like these A5 sketchbooks and Mini GW with mini markers and mini 4-color pens:

      When I suspect I might be out with the kids and I need some more distraction, like we might be waiting for our lunch at a restaurant for a while, I pack this Travel Cubelet (sometimes my 6yo carries it):

      It contains a full 5-piece set of mini construction vehicles, Paw Patrol figures, notepads and 4-color pens that clip to the o-ring.

      One fun thing I like to get while traveling is a kids magazine. The BBC channel for under 7s, CBeebies, has a good craft magazine and that or something like it is usually sold in WH Smith, which is found in pretty much every big train station and every airport in the UK.

      I have had past success on 4-hour journeys with mini pots of play dough. For a future journey I have a mini craft tin ready to make little stick people with mini popsicle sticks, washi tape, and foam stickers for heads.

      Another thing I like to pack away (currently in the emergency bag for emergency fun) is the random trinkets from birthday party bags. They are too fragile to stay with the regular toys but they're great for being stuck in a waiting room, and the kids are happy to see them again.

      As for packing all this fun, I have the everyday stuff in my TC&PU but on past journeys I have used Snake Charmers for toys. I think an A5 GW would be fun size for a small craft project.


        My kids are old enough now (8 &9) that they each pack (with supervision) their own 'go' bags. They've got a variety of (non-TB) backpacks that will get packed with their stuffies, books, a change of clothes, their 3DOC with their toiletries, etc... I try to size their backpacks down according to the trip. The less I think they need, the smaller the bag I have them pack in. But once the bag's chosen, Aside from the essentials (toiletries, change(s) of clothes) they get free reign to pick what fun items they bring. My DD might choose more stuffies, my DS more books, They may or may not pack cards, or dice, it's all up to them.

        Aside from that, I'll usually use my Pilot as an 'Electronics' bag, to hold all the family tablets, e-readers, the kid's Nintendo switch, case of movies for the DVD in the minivan, all the charging cords for everybody, etc... This let me keep a better eye on anything that's 'breakable' as we travel.


          Not just for trips but anytime
          we go somewhere that I think my daughter might need extra entertainment, I bring things for her in either a Packing Cube Shoulder Bag (transitioned from holding diapering stuff) or a Side Effect that goes inside my larger bag. I’ve managed to keep her from knowing it’s a bag filled with fun stuff for her.

          She’s almost 4, and the contents are things like:
          - Paper
          - Crayons, markers, pencil, and/or four-color pen
          - Book(s)
          - Stickers in a small organizer pouch
          - Little plastic figurines
          - Toy cars
          - Balloon (very portable way to have a “ball” to play with)
          - Playing cards
          - Mini dry-erase letter-writing cards
          - LCD drawing/writing tablet
          - Knitting in a non-TB project bag (currently a knitting spool, but I’m planning to buy her some kid needles soon)
          - Her phone (old sim-less phone for playing games, often further hidden in an small organizer pouch)
          - Other random surprises: For our upcoming trip I’ve planned finger puppets, a little keychain bear, and a tiny keychain flashlight.

          And now I want to get a GWOP to use for drawing/coloring supplies and try putting together a mini craft kit (kid scissors, glue stick, tape...).


            When my godson was little I'd pack an SSB-sized tote bag with destination entertainment. His parents covered transportation entertainment. I'd partially unpack it onto a coffee table. I brought things like you do... legos, coloring book, crayons, cards, story book, little trucks, fabric frisbee, etc.

            Growing up, I'd pack my school bag with similar things and my parents would bring one surprise. There was a new story book that my father read so many times on the plane that he's still got it memorized today. That was the only time we got something that required a parent's help. They bought an adapter for our tape deck and packed our favorite tapes for our first 12 hr trip. There was a rubiks cube one year, mad libs another. Come to think of it, after the mad lib success, we got a new one every summer. I still keep a book with my camping gear, and pack them whenever I travel with school-aged kids.


              Mad libs and rubik's cube are a great idea! My original fun bag was a messenger bag that fit inside the Trunki ride-along. That made it easy for my daughter to bring out with her.


                My kids are teenagers now but for years and years among other travel essentials fun stuff others have mentioned, I always took along a bunch of wikistix packs. I would but packs of 50 or 100 of them on amazon and also took along a few (one per kid) whenever we went out to a restaurant. I always brought enough for the kids of other families we were meeting up with too. They are waxed yarn pieces that you can sculpt into figures or designs or shapes. Hours of fun with a single pack per kid.

                Made of non-toxic, food-grade wax and hand-knitting yarn… Wikki Stix are totally unique! Perfect for crafts, teaching, learning, fine motor skills and so much more! Made in the USA!


                  That looks amazing, and my kids would *love* it. You can't buy them here but I found this page on making your own: https://craftingagreenworld.com/arti...l-ingredients/ and as it turns out, I already have all the ingredients: beeswax, lanolin, olive oil, and cotton yarn!


                    Thought you might like to know I'm still looking at things to take with me! My criteria are: multi-use ideally (or absorbing enough for three weeks train travel), lightweight. The aforementioned wikistix, small homemade playdough pots, and Rubik's cube (I found my solving book), balloons and fabric frisbee will be great additions to my stash. I'm also going to be a little more prepared and take with some art prompts and some rules for pen and pencil games (like Battleship, where I always forget the size of the grid and how many of each kind of ship), maybe I'll make some cards with rules... We'll also take a family D&D scenario of some type, my husband is a great GM and the kids enjoy the imaginative play.

                    Now I'm thinking about my son who is much more difficult for me to figure out than my daughter, who has similar interests to me (actually to please her I would just bring a huge pot of unorganised loom bands to sort, LOL). He's 6, likes making noise (like seriously he makes noise all the time), likes animals, hates reading and being read to, likes drawing and building things, likes hugging. I don't think he has the concentration span to make (say) a nature journal, but maybe? Any ideas? I'm thinking of giving him custodianship of an old camera maybe. Maybe a field guide or something?


                      I don’t have any experience with these (except for free playing with a significantly larger set of Keva planks once), but here are two items I saw in a science museum shop today that I noted for possible future trips:
                      KEVA Brain Builders Junior — KEVA planks


                        Oh! I have some of those Keva planks somewhere. Thank you very much!


                          ETA: I have had tangrams and bingo suggested on Twitter, both good ideas. Also drawing games of find a picture in a magazine, cut it out and cut in half, then draw the other half.

                          Also I usually carry a thumbtack (I use it as an "awl" when sewing little books) which means I have the makings already of a good spinner if I bring a paperclip (you make a paper arrow, stick to the paperclip, stick thumbtack through paperclip and voila. Spinner games could probably easily be drawn, I'm looking for some inspiration and will report back.


                            Left, Right, Center wouldn't be much good on a train/plane, but it's a fun travel size game, and easily played by all ages:


                              Wow, that game has the most hilarious review ever on BoardGameGeek: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread...d-control-plot