Last week I did a post called "Travel with Toddlers." As requested on various social medias, this is the answer to "What Specific Toys should I buy for my long vacation with a three year old?" 

The Surprise System: One of the BEST things I did this trip was implement a "slow roll" or "surprise systems" for new toys on this trip. I borrowed from the office seal-able folders and put two or three different types of the below "surprises" in each folder. When we departed for our three week journey I had Four SEALED folders that I could pull out on long car rides, train rides or in the event of a disastrous meltdown.  The folders ENSURED my son did NOT see the items I purchased until I was ready to give them to him. On a three week journey SURPRISE is important.

First and foremost, you know your kid better than anyone else. You know his/her favorite characters, shows, animals and games. When looking to purchase new things, my first suggestion is Know YOUR kid, not someone else's. My kid for instance, is super into Paw Patrol, Bubble Guppies, all things Animals, and LOVES any type of puzzle. He isn't all that skilled in arts and crafts but still really likes stickers.

REUSABLE, REDOABLE! This trip I fell in love with Melissa & Doug's Water Wow collection that allows your kid to paint with water.  Each board set comes with a water pin, but you really only need to travel with one. The books dry and the paint goes away so my son spent HOURS doing these books whether it was in his stroller or on a road trip.  AND since the pens just use water we weren't having to help much or buy stuff.  I STRONGLY recommend this product for 3-4 year olds.  Look our for them on Zulily or on Amazon for deals.
Now, there books have gotten popular and rip offs are showing up, in the characters sections on Zulily I found off brand water wow books for Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol. These books work with the Melissa and Dough "brush" but throw out the ones they come with because they LEAK.
Also on Zulily but I am sure if you are in the US in any dollar bin, I picked up character CHEAP books and items. The "Play Pack: Grab and Go" packs are PERFECT for flights because it includes a coloring book and stickers.
I also included this trip some themed books on the locations we were visiting. It was a great idea to stick children's books on Ireland and Scotland into the mix because he knew what  Highland Cow was when we saw it.

In addition to the Water Wow books Melissa and Doug has introduced a WHOLE LINE of "On the Go" travel items for your toddler that are age appropriate and cheap. For this trip I bought:

Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Craft Set - Felt Friends Stickers: LJ liked these but this one requires  A LOT of parent involvement as the stickers backs are impossible for a little kid to get off. We did this project during our SECOND flat tire of the day.

Melissa & Doug On The Go Safari Animals Hidden-Picture Pad: This one went over great but my son struggled on this one  He loved scratching out the animals but struggled with the stick. But I think the average kid would REALLY like this one.

Finally, my mother added to the mix some great learning tools from Lakeshore learning. Their Opposites Ready-To-Go Learning Pack was good for both the plane and the car, though the little cards were hard to keep track of.

What are your favorites?? Suggestions?? Let us know in the comments!


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