Loading up your diaper bag can seem overwhelming. As mothers, we always think of the practical needs: diapers, wipes, bottles, and all the snacks. Yet, having kid-approved toys to help pass the time in the car, stroller, or at brunch is a must-have! With so many options on the market these days, that task alone can be a daunting one. I have found, being a mother of two, you have to keep it simple. Focus on what you are trying to achieve with a “toy” and what will engage your little one. Children have different interests even at a very young age. Use those interests to your advantage in choosing diaper bag toys that will excite them and help their curiosity grow!
Helpful Tips for Your Diaper Bag Toys
Leave behind the large bulky toys at home and select small and entertaining items to keep your little one entertained. To keep these toys exciting and new, be sure to rotate your diaper bag toys, just as you rotate your playroom toys at home. This will help keep your on-the-go entertainment fresh and exciting!
It is easy in today’s world to use technology to entertain our kids when out and about. Although there are benefits to that kind of entertainment, the following simple “toys” and activities will help expand your little ones’ minds, all while allowing them to take in the world around them. This will help tremendously in socialization and emotional skills at a young age.
Are you a mom of multiple ages? That doesn’t have to mean that you are packing multiple different toys. Here are my favorite items to entertain multiple age groups in different ways!
Must-Have Toys For Your Diaper Bag
Keep it Stationary
When trying to enjoy brunch, there is nothing worse than constantly having to pick up toys being dropped on the floor. Choosing a stationary toy that will entertain your little one and stays on the table is key! It also will help promote the activity of sitting in our seat during mealtime. Here are some of my favorites in this category.
Capture baby’s attention with the spinning wheel, cascading beads, and bright colors of the Wonder Wheel! The spinning wheel encourages your baby to reach, tug, and bat, strengthening their hand-eye coordination. Trapped within the clear wheel structure are colorful beads, which help your little one connect the sound to sight. And the spinning center pieces provide a higher level of visual tracking and strengthen fine motor skills. The wonder wheel has multiple texture points making it a great toy for 6-month-old babies and older and encourages your baby’s tactile exploration!
Stop playing fetch with your baby’s toys! This product suctions to most smooth surfaces allowing your baby to enjoy their toys without dropping them out of reach. Your baby can throw their toys all they want, but they will always be within easy reach of them. Just secure your baby’s favorite toys onto the suction toy holder using the connected three tethers. This suction toy holder will buy you some time to enjoy your meal or have a coffee with a friend.
These silicone coloring placemats for toddlers have funny animals and plants designed on them. You can wipe the colors and stains with a damp cloth or wash them with warm soapy water. They are also dishwasher safe! You can roll these up and take these placemats anywhere. They are flexible but durable, thin as paper but thick enough to resist rips and tears, and they are 100% nontoxic and kid-safe.
Promoting developmental skills can be done at any age and in any environment. Encouraging fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination on the go is a great way to keep your little one active. The great part about toys focused on development is they grow with your child. One day, they might help foster fine motor skills, and then they might help promote problem-solving. These toys will keep your baby busy while promoting appropriate development all at the same time!
These lightweight, plastic keys offer a variety of shapes and textures for your little one to gnaw on. These are easy for little hands to grasp and hold on to. They are firm and great for teething babies who enjoy slobbering on hard surfaces.
This unique butterfly design toy with 100% food-grade silicone bubbles engages your little one’s senses and teaches them cause-and-effect. Push and pop them, poke and grab them! This sensory toy exercises baby’s hearing and sense of sight as well as their fine motor skills. Perfect for ages 6 months and older, keep your baby busy and having fun!
This Quiet Book is a set of fabric pages tied into 9 Montessori activities for your toddler. These Montessori activities improve their basic skills using real-world challenges like matching shapes and colors, getting dressed, and more. It’s a great book that helps kids’ natural learning through play with all of the pieces tethered inside to avoid losing anything.
Creating a Creative Space
The old-school crayons and placemats will suffice at times, but mess-free and easy creative toys allow for an endless time of open-ended play. Use these toys to expand upon once doodles are not exciting anymore. Practice writing, shape recognition, or word recognition. The possibilities are endless when you have the right tools. Here are more exciting ways to encourage creativity while on the go.
No-mess painting for kids! Each book in this exciting paint-with-water coloring book set includes four reusable pages and a refillable water pen. Simply use the pen to color in each scene–details and vibrant color appear with every stroke! Then let the page dry to erase the pictures and color them in again and again. The chunky-sized water pen is easy for kids to hold and stores neatly right on the front cover, making it an ideal travel activity book and travel toy for kids. They make for great diaper bag toys.
Combining visual art, light, and sound, My First Crayola Touch Lights engages your toddler’s imagination in a multisensory art experience that encourages open-ended creativity. The mess-free light-up tablet features a soft gel surface that simulates finger painting without the mess of real paint. With its 12 colored lights and 6 songs, this musical doodling board allows kids to discover sounds as they draw and doodle.
I Spy . . .
Sometimes all you need to entertain your little one is the new environment you are in. Whether you are driving in a car, strolling in the stroller, or at a coffee date, creating a game of “I Spy” is a fun way to encourage object and word recognition. Using this time as an opportunity to encourage the development of cognitive skills, such as number and letter recognition, is an added plus. Not to mention encouraging numbers, letters, and so many more cognitive skills. Even if your little one is a newborn, encouraging them to look at themselves, shapes and colors are skills that can’t be promoted soon enough. Here are my favorite go-to items to encourage this type of independent play.
Your little one will love to discover the incredible trucks and things that go inside this bright board book. There are 100 different truck photographs to look at and talk about and 100 truck names to read and learn, too. The pages are made from tough board for hours of fun reading, and the cover is softly padded for little hands to hold.
This I Spy book is filled with fun clipart to build reading and recognition skills. Inside there are beautifully crafted pages that will catch a kid’s attention while learning. It was created with preschoolers in mind and will allow them to develop their observational skills! In this book, you will find beautiful and cute hidden objects, which will help your kids learn the name of the objects, the color of that particular object, and other elements and remember the objects’ names.
This interactive book will mesmerize your baby with the super soft fabric, soothing rustling pages, bright and vibrant colors, various shapes and animals, a mesmerizing mirror, and easy-to-read text. The 3D soft crab claws and smiling sea animals and fish with tails literally jump from the soft, peach fabric pages.
Whether these diaper bag toys help keep your little one entertained in the car or at a table, they are small enough not to take up too much room and sure to engage them time and time again. Select one or two for now, and then rotate them out to keep the on-the-go entertainment fresh and exciting for everyone! Allowing you to feel good about what you are offering your little one, all while having your diaper bag weigh significantly less.
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