6 No Tech, Low Cost Ways to Entertain Children While Traveling

I don’t worry about screen time, but sometimes a parent needs to have other options available to entertain the kids, especially while traveling! So, I have compiled a list of some no tech, low cost, low mess ways to entertain children while traveling. All items in this list will go through airport security.

6 no tech, Low Cost, low mess ways to entertain children while traveling

1. Inflatable beach ball. This is great for layovers in airports. Blow up the ball, find an empty area (which I know is challenging sometimes), let your kids run and play as long as they want! When it is time to board, deflate and pack it in your carry on. It will also be a nice toy for a hotel pool, the beach, and even possibly the hotel room (use your best judgement on that!) An alternative would be to bring balloons instead.

2. Clothespins. You can paint each pin and have a corresponding color chart, write a word (like their name) with a corresponding chart or simply leave them plain and let your kids invent games. The best part? If they get lost, it isn’t a big deal! They also store easily in a simple ziploc bag.

A great game for toddlers!

3. Paint with water books. They still exist! This is definitely a hotel activity and not a car or airport one. It’s a little bit messy and older kids may not love it as much. Pro-tip: take the pages out before painting with water.

There are reusable ones now, too! I decided on the reusable ones by Melissa and Doug for our next trip, even though they cost a bit more than the paper books. The reusable ones may work better on an airplane or in the airport, too

4. Post-it Notes. This is a messy one, with fairly easy clean up. Light weight and small, so will fit well in luggage! It is also unlikely they will be traveling home with you. My children made buildings on a hotel room wall with some post-it notes that my mom gave me before  trip. There is no wrong way to play!

5. Paper cups. Okay, no one really wants to travel with paper cups, but for kids, the possibilities are endless! Combine this with the clothespins and see what games your kids invent. They are also lightweight, can be reused, and ditched, if room is needed in your suitcase.

Three pictures of a beach ball. It's shown flat and inflated.

Beach. A great, reusable, and entertaining item!

6. Popsicle sticks. You could create a game out of these, if you love to DIY. You can paint the sticks different colors and sew color coordinating pouches so your kids can sort them. Another fun idea would be to add velcro dots to each end and let your kids have fun building. Also, they are light weight and won’t take up much room.

more ideas to entertain children

Here are 10 gift ideas for the traveling child and also my tips for 6 ways I survived going to a family wedding with kids.

What are your go-to ways to entertain your kids while traveling?


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