Kids Activity Bags

Call it a busy bag, travel kit, or kids activity bags – these tips will help keep your kids entertained while en route. From day trip to road trip to international flight…I have filled my share of kids activity bags. Here are my kids activity bags suggestions…

Kids Activity Bags

Kids Activity Bags

Put all your kid travel activities in a resealable bag!  It helps to keep kid stuff organized (and if you travel for with multiple children like I do…it’s helpful for each child to have a dedicated activity bag). A resealable bag is easy to pack in a tote bag or backpack. Easy to store under a car seat or in the pocket in front of you in an airplane. It is a one-stop-shop for entertaining your kids.

Yes, I pack individual  kids activity bags (because my kids have a wide age range and thus their entertainment activities are wildly different).

Toddler activity bag ideas

  • Board books
  • Small toys (small enough to fit in your bag but age-appropriate-enough that they are not choking hazzards)
  • Headphones (for airplane or train movies)
  • Snacks (dried cereal, pretzels, dried fruit)
  • Spill proof water bottle or sippy cup
  • Crayons and paper (great for airplanes or trains)
  • Their favourite music on cd (for the car)
  • Paper cups and plastic spoons (role play stirring, drumming, digging)

The paper cup idea is one of the best (and most free) activities for kids on the go. Next time you stop for coffee, ask for a 2nd cup. Then, pass it back to your toddler and create role play games. Once I had my son repeating “Luke, I am your father” while speaking in a deep voice and talking into the bottom of the cup. It was hilarious for us…and our laughing…encouraged him to repeat it over and over.

Big kid activity bag ideas

  • Ipod & headphones
  • Magazines
  • Homemade Journal (my book Boredom Busters shares how to make this)
  • Snacks (dried cereal, pretzels, granola bars)
  • Water bottle
  • Word search, sodoku, crosswords & pencil
  • Gum (for airplane take-off)

I have even gone so far, as to create a word search for my kids based on our trip. Use a word search generator (there are tons of free ones on the internet) and plug in hints and answers based on where you are going and what you will see (i.e. Ocean, Airport, Table, Window, Dock, Hill, Highway).

And as an aside: My Family Travel Packing List might come in handy for your next family trip.

Family Outing Tips – 5 Items To Pack

Family Day, March Break, P.D. Days, and more…this is the post where I share my essential Family Outing Tips – 5 Items To Pack…they have saved my bacon a time or two…Family Outing Tips - 5 Items To Pack

Family Outing Tips – 5 Items To Pack

These 5 items are always in my diaper bag – and are my go-tos for when we are road tripping, standing in line, waiting our turn, or coming home from a family field trip. Seriously, they may sound simple but they could make the difference between having a great family day out or a horrible bad no-good unpleasant family day out.

  1. Snacks – the best fast food is food that is fast…like the snacks you already have in your bag! No line ups, no debit card, no french fries…food from home is great because it costs nothing (you’ve already paid for it) and you can control type and quantity of snack. Cut veggies (carrot sticks anyone?), fruit slices (yum apples), granola bars, homemade muffins, crackers, dry cereal, trail mix. I have quashed many a waiting-in-line meltdown by simply offering a snack to keep the kids busy and fill their hunger.
  2. Bubbles – sounds crazy right?! I stumbled on this idea watching a nanny blow bubbles at a playground (read 5 Things To Take To The Playground for the full story). Mini-bubbles can entertain kids for minutes upon minutes. Individually or in a group. Let them blow. You pop. You blow. They pop. Perfect boredom buster!
  3. SmartPhone – so useful! From a safety tool (always good to have a phone) to camera to map (always good to know where you are going) to public transit updates – from an adult perspective a SmartPhone is a must-pack item. Add in the kid-friendly benefits: music for an impromptu dance party in line (it has happened), games to keep them calm on the drive home, videos to entertain them while you are stuck in traffic…so many good uses for a SmartPhone.
  4. Water – hydrate! From a sip for a tired toddler to a gulp for a thirsty teen – water is a great thing to have on hand. I don’t always love carrying a full water bottle (it can make my diaper bag heavy) so I sometime carry a half full one (less weight) and then fill it up at drinking fountains when we are at our destination.
  5. Wipes – because messes happen. Yes, I love wipes. From wiping bums after a diaper change to wiping tables before we eat to wiping hands after our fun has been had…wipes clean the messes in life.

#WW w linky – Paris Airport Playground

For this week’s #WW w linky let’s go to Paris!

And look…someone very smart thought to create a playground right inside the Charles de Gaulle airport terminal. This was a happy surprise to keep my kids busy (right in front of our gate!) before our long Paris-Toronto flight. Let’s have a little cheer for smart people who think of little travellers shall we?! Yay for smart people!

Paris airport playground

As always links to your own #WW most welcome!

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What’s in your diaper bag?

Monday morning: I make school lunch, I check e-mail, and I re-stock our diaper bag. The contents of a diaper bag are personal yet practical. This is the post where I share all that…and I ask…What’s in your diaper bag?What's In Your Diaper Bag

  1. Black Skip Hop diaper bag (mine is a 2nd-hand-older-version – and I envy the drink pocket on the model pictured above).
  2. Toddler boys pjs – (this is the “in case of emergency” change of clothes. Pjs are lighter to pack and always comfy!).
  3. My Nokia Lumia 920 (read my review of this windows phone – it makes my life easier!)
  4. CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolour (I use #528)
  5. Boys’ socks – joe fresh (I use heavy socks as mittens in the winter – they stay on and keep lil’ fingers warm)
  6. Hand sanitizer and holder – bath & body works (used every time I put the grocery cart away – germs be gone!)
  7. Tim Horton’s gift card (in case I don’t have cash – we can still have lunch on the go!)
  8. Aveeno lotion travel size (my dry hands love this)
  9. Wet bag (this one is itzy ritzy – mine is not – but both keep wet clothes compartmentalized)
  10. Kirkland wipes (for hands, cheeks, and other sundry body parts)
  11. Infinity scarf – ardene (I hate having a chilly neck – plus it doubles as a kid’s scarf)

It might be of interest to have a look at my suggestions for Family Travel Packing List as the baby items on there kind of marry with what’s in my diaper bag. I also created a FREE printable of that list.

So share…what’s in your diaper bag?

Family Getaways

Now is the time we all start thinking about some winter family getaways (well, I am!). From Disney to Great Wolf Lodge to a family cruise…this is the post where I round up my most favourite family field trips (near and far, small and big budget, a weekend or a few weeks).

Family Getaways

Bigger budget (and a week or two please)

My review of Disney Parks with some Disney Tips is not to be missed! (Most magical staff on earth!)


 Dream family vacation – a cruise on Allure of the Seas. (You will love the pics of the state rooms!).

Allure of the seas

Universal Studios Review (note: get there early!).

Universal Studios

Family Getaways

Smaller budget – (and it’s a weekend staycation in Ontario!)

Family Getaway at Blue Mountain (The mountain coaster is a must)

Blue Mountain

Tips For Great Wolf Lodge (with a review too!).

great wolf lodge niagara


Family Getaways

A day in Toronto

Toronto Fun Family Things To Do (indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family!)


And bonus post (to make travel with kids easier!)…

How to make a kids’ travel activity bag

Kids Travel Activity Bag


Malvarosa Beach #WW w linky

This week’s #WW w linky takes us to Malva…the local term used to describe the Malvarosa beach in Valencia, Spain. This was the view from our rented apartment…

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Malvarosa Beach, Valencia, Spain

And this was the huge cockroach (cucaracha in Spanish…and OH MY GOSH in any language!) found in said rented apartment…


These cockroaches were always outside on the sidewalks at night (and darn they move fast!). The kids were both attracted to and repulsed by the cockroaches. Ewww.

As always links to your own #Wordless Wednesday posts most welcome and comments appreciated!
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Castle of Xàtiva #WW w linky

This week’s #WW w linky takes us to the Spanish town of Xàtiva (near Valencia, Spain) to see the impressive Castle of Xàtiva.

Castle of Xàtiva

Don’t take a stroller because the site is perfectly preserved (down to the cobble pathways which are not stroller friendly at all!). However, it is a must-see with kids (put the baby in a carrier and you are good!).

Tip: we paid 10 euros for the taxi ride up to the castle (5 minute ride) well worth not having to do that upward walk with kids.

Castles, towers, and even a dungeon! A great family field trip!

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Valencia, Spain #WW w linky

This week’s #WW w linky takes us to the main square in Valencia, Spain.

Valencia, Spain

Let’s stop at The Metropolitan Cathedral–Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia also known as the Valencia Cathedral. You have to pay to tour it – but well worth it. The art is magnificent. The architecture fantastic. And you might just find the severed arm of St. Vincent (yep, it’s in a ornate glass case at the back of the cathedral…kids might groan about going into an old church…but the moment they see a mummified severed arm in a glass case…well, the tour becomes very interesting to kids at that point…trust me…been there…done that…saw the arm with kids).

As always links to your own #Wordless Wednesday most welcome and comments appreciated!

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#WW w Linky: Street In Spain

A street in Europe just looks like a street in Europe doesn’t it? No mistake-en-ing it really? It looks, feels, and sounds different than North America. Narrower. Busier. Older. Yet so much charm.

This week’s #WW inspiration: A street In Spain

Street in Spain

Links to your own #WW w linky most welcome… [Read more...]

#WW: Charge Your Phone in Paris

This week’s #WW: Paris Charles de Gaulle Train Station – phone charging station

I just had to take a picture of this battery charging station in the Paris Charles de Gaulle Train Station…totally free…sit down…bike pedal…and charge your phone. What a perfect way to kill time while you wait for your train. The things you find when you travel!

Paris Charles de Gaulle Train Station charging station

Links to your own #WW posts most welcome!

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Mom On The Move

I am a…Mom On The Move. Going to get groceries, headed to a park, driving to karate class, swinging by the library –always moving and always with a toddler (and add a couple of kids to that equation during the summer). Always on the go means I have to be organized and have my diaper bag stocked for everything from everyday needs to emergency items. Here is my diaper bag checklist for a Mom on the Move.

Mom On The Move

1. Bath & Body Works: PocketBac Holder 2. Foogo by Thermos: Stainless Steel Leak-Proof Straw Bottle, 3. Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers, 4. Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone, 5.  The Children’s Place: Pull-On Shorts, Ape Graphic Tee, Ankle Socks.

Hand sanitizer and wipes are always easily accessible in my diaper bag (going directly from playground to snack, we always need a hand clean-up). A bottle of water for the whole family is now an on-the-go staple and you never know who is going to get thirsty when you are out and about (and the best fast food is food you already have!).  Dependable diapers are a must because a diaper fail is never a good thing, no matter how kid-friendly your destination may be. My phone is my favourite portable kids’ activity (my kids’ fave too). I load it with age appropriate games and videos and offer it as a really-special-treat for when we are waiting in doctor’s offices.  A change of clothes is a must (not only for spills, but also for spontaneous outings to indoor playgrounds where socks are obligatory or as a change after a surprise splash pad find).

Are you a Mom On The Move too (or Dad or other caregiver)? I created a FREE printable Diaper Bag Checklist to help make going out with baby a little easier.

Diaper Bag Checklist

Click here to print out the pdf of Diaper Bag Checklist

Here’s a snapshot of where my Mom on the Moves took me this week: Grocery store (2x), library, park (4x), farmer’s market, shopping mall, home building store, playdate (2x), walk in the ‘hood (3x), ortho appnt (2x). My diaper bag essentials are my go-to for keeping toddler clean, dry, fed, and happy (and myself as well!).

The ultimate test for Huggies diapers & wipes is in real life – from messy first birthday parties to playground playdates. Put the new and improved products, including Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with NEW SureFit Design and Huggies Natural Care Wipes with Triple Clean Layers, to the test in and out of the nursery. Become an Official Huggies Testers at

 Huggies Logo

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Huggies via Glam Media. The opinons expressed herein are those of hte author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Huggies.

Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Play n’ Go Construction Set

Going to the cottage, I knew my son would have tons of fun in the water (no need to pre-plan activities with swimming, splashing, boating, and rock throwing right at your door step). However, I knew land time activity was essential to helping him wind down post-water-fun. One toy but with many different variations of play – Travel Toy: Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Play n’ Go Construction Set.

Fisher-Price Play N' Go Construction Site

My son first played with the Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Play n’ Go Construction Set when we adventured on the Allure of the Seas cruise (go on…read about our amazing family cruise experience - the pics of the Fisher-Price Royal Babies – Royal Tots Play Class has some of the best travel toy ideas). So my son loved this construction site so much on our trip…I bought one when we got home. And it has been the best toy investment (and actually a very frugal price).

Whether we are going out to dinner to a friend’s house, an overnight, or on vacation at the cottage – I pack up his Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Play n’ Go Construction Set and I know he’s got entertainment on hand. What’s so cool about this toy? You can change the set up of the tracks thus you can switch up the play. Yellow and red track at the bottom and orange in the middle. Yellow at bottom, orange in middle, red on top. Whatever you like! And lil’ hands can move the Wheelies (you know they are the favourite toy here) over the ramps, under the ramps and through the caves.

And it travels so well. The ramps and Wheelies (I can fit 3 ramps and 4 wheelies) store in the green play area and the brown play area snaps on top.

Fisher-Price Play n' Go

I easily fit this under a seat in the minivan.

Fisher-Price Play N' Go Construction Site

Whether you are at a beach, cottage, or just hanging out on vacation – the outdoor activities are plentiful – however it’s great to have a plan B activity for down time, rainy days, or lazy mornings. This Play N’ Go toy is our go-to travel toy.

Disclosure: I receive special perks as a part of my affiliation with the Fisher-Price Play Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada. The opinions in this blog are my own.