We are in a stage of parenting where there’s an urgency experience as much as we can in this small window family time; the kids are still young enough to do everything with us, but old enough that it’s easy for us to drop everything and go places. It’s the memory-making season! Later on, when my kids are adults, I believe these times will serve as memory anchors of a wonderful childhood and there’s something beautifully grounding about that.
We are off to Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast in Queensland for a long weekend…hoping to see the whales! It’s about a 3 hour drive from Brisbane and I have organised travel packs for the kids, to both keep them entertained and to enhance this experience. I make up travel packs for the kids for most holidays/road trips and I’m sharing the sorts of things I put in them and how just a little forward planning can facilitate spontaneous fun and natural learning experiences.
I recently discovered audio books and they are fabulous for road trips! I just finished downloading another story after desperate pleas from my kids: How to Be a Pirate (one of the How the Train Your Dragon series) by Cressida Cowell. Done.
Travel Pack for Kids
The travel packs I make up for road trips are similar but different. This time, I put together these things:
- Trial Mix Snack: Ingredients for our favourite travel trail mix here
- Pipe Cleaners: These are great for the car for older kids. They are mess free and you can make all sorts of fun designs and create people, animals and figures. Have a competition even!
- Note Pad: For drawing or journalling
- Drawing Pens
- Colouring in pages: Many regions/travel destinations will have related colouring in pages you can download for free. You will find a link to where I found these pages relating to the Fraser Coast below.
- Toys: A few themed toys are fun.
- Clipboard box: These are one of the BEST parenting discoveries. We’ve had them for 3 years now and are fabulous for travelling. They are a clipboard that have a small storage box attached to it. I purchased mine at Officeworks (Storage Clipboard).
On this particular trip, we are focusing on the wonder of the wildlife in the Hervey Bay region. Enjoying nature is one of my favourite things to experience with my kids. I don’t usually pack toys when we go on a getaway (I keep everything minimal) because we keep so busy. However, I tend to have a theme and then perhaps buy one thing to add to the experience (e.g. a new board game/book).
I’ve been a parent a while now, and I’ve discovered there are certain toys/items that bring much value to the kids play and imagination. Plastic figurines are one of them (you can’t have to many – ha!) and they are easy to travel with. It took me about 20 minutes to Google the wildlife we may discover in the Fraser region, and then I found as many as I could from our collection at home and purchased extra themed figures from Mini Zoo. Mini Zoo has a HUMONGOUS range of all kinds of plastic figurine brands.
According to my research, all these animals featured below are in the Fraser Coast region — how cool is that!? So the kids will both look out for them, and be inspired along the way. Plus, when we are home again, I’ll create some sort of play scene for the kids as an activity to reinforce it all. I just know how much the kids will enjoy playing with these in the car, on the beach, at parks and quietly in bed at rest time.
I packed the toys in a little box ready to go.
All set with the storage clipboards with snacks and drawing activities inside and Contigo Drink Bottles (which don’t spill).
Prepare for spontaneous fun. See what I did there?
Fraser Coast, Queensland
The colouring sheets I printed for my kids were found here: