My family and I have dropped into an open-ended travel mode with long stops with some of our family and friends here and there. After spending the last six months with my mom in my home town (after 17 years of out-of-state and expat living), we’ll be heading to India for a couple of months, then back to Chile for a few. All this continent and climate-hopping requires a creative gift-giving mindset.
When my stumped mom asked about gifts for my three-year-old daughter the other day (she also knows we keep things low-tech), the best I could muster was “summer clothes… and… umm… an Etch a Sketch?” So, I’ve set about putting together a list of gifts for small children (toddlers through preschool ages, especially) who are traveling or just have an adventurous creative spirit (who among them doesn’t?).
The Creative Traveling Child Holiday Gift List
1. Sketching On The Go
Hey, first thought, best thought, right? While verifying that these do, in fact, still exist I discovered the very modern world of Etch A Sketch, from pocket to travel to full on decked-out Disney-themed versions. For our three-year-old, I’ll probably amend the request to be the magnetic pen version called a Doodle Sketch.
2. Puzzling Attraction
From car rides to plane rides, I like the quiet book-gone-magnetic in Magnetibooks. While I didn’t see any specific travel themes for these on Amazon, I think the Four Seasons option would be relative to our life right now, but then what kid wouldn’t love the Crazy Faces one? There are lots to choose from all under $20. I like the idea of picking up a natural fiber book as well and think this option from Popeline Co. on Etsy is sweet.
3. Evolving Story Play
Story stones, like these, are a lovely way to engage in imaginative exploration. These little stones act as prompts for telling stories. Why not start with a set and add to it as you travel? Children and parents can paint (even Sharpie) a new story stone for each special place or experience on the road.
4. Inspired Records
My daughter loves stealing my iPhone to take pictures. So, we’ve got a child’s digital camera on her Christmas shopping list. It will be fun to work with her to view, upload, print and display her own photos.
5. Toting in Style
If you’re new to traveling with children, or like us, your child has just reached the age where she can tote her own rollerbag, a fun piece of luggage could be an awesome gift. Here is a review post that covers most of the best reasonably-priced kids’ luggage available.
6. Treasuring The Voyage
Don’t we all love small found treasures? Children big and small find keepsakes in the darndest places. I like this deer leather coin purse as a child’s treasure bag, but there are a plethora of options on Esty, too.
7. Grab Bag
If you’re into DIY, why not put together a fun grab bag for the trips ahead? Consider blue painter’s tape, pipe cleaners or Wikki Stix, a deck of cards, colored modeling clay and a smattering of small rubber animals. Anything a small child likes to “get into” at home is a great choice to include.