Travel Backpacks for Kids
One big part of a family vacation is being prepared for the travel, which is sometimes the hardest part. Whether by car or plane, travel time can be hard on kids mostly because they can’t be as active as they want to be. It is hard on everyone to sit for long periods of time, so it is important to have lots of great things for them to do.
We have a travel backpack for each of our kids – this is a backpack filled with fun activities and goodies to use on their travels. Since most of our travels are Disney trips, our backpacks are Disney themed. Each child has their own backpack and they are responsible for carrying their own (except maybe our toddler). We also pack their backpacks as a surprise, so please excuse my dark pictures as I had to take them once they went to bed.
Here are the things we packed as well as other ideas for things to pack for your kiddos on a family vacation.
- Clipboard. This year, I got each child an inexpensive clipboard and wrote their name on it. The clipboard is for coloring and writing on when there isn’t a flat surface. Even the trays on the plane aren’t great for coloring on because you have to lean far forward to color. Having a clipboard means they can write and color anywhere.
- Zipper pouches – Each child has a zipper pouch with their name on it and colored pencils, pencils or mechanical pencils and erasers inside. We reuse these on all our trips.
- Coloring sheets – I print tons of free coloring sheets online for each child, according to what they like. This year, we found some cute Disney World coloring sheets as well as Wreck It Ralph, Brave and Stitch. We staple them together into a packet for each child.
- Crayons – Crayons always get dropped, lost and broken on trips. This year I purchased a Crayola tin for each child and put new crayons in each. I wrote their names on the bottom of each. We will see if the tins keep the crayons better than just the pouch.
- Crayola Coloring rolls – I found these rolls of coloring in the $1 bins at Target. Could be more endless fun and creativity on our long plane ride.
- Coloring books – I found these books throughout the year and saved them for the trip. When they are tired with other coloring, these might offer something new to do.
- Mini Lego kits – I found small pouches of Lego Friends for the girls and a small Lego Creator kit for my son. This will be something simple to put together on the plane.
- Small plastic plates – Wondering what these are for? I found these in the $1 bins at Target and they are for the Legos so the small pieces don’t fall on the floor. They can also be used for crayons so they won’t roll off the tray, and any snacks you might have for them. They could be used for many things!
- Sticker Activity Books – I got these on clearance for under $1 at Target, and they are small and light which is perfect for a backpack.
- Books – we have a few new books in each backpack for them to read
- Travel Tangoes – My kids love this game and it is so great for their brains! The pieces can be small but the small plate can hold the pieces while they make the pictures. If you haven’t played Tangoes, there are 7 shape pieces (or more with the full game) and there is a picture you have to recreate using the shape pieces. Sounds simple but it is really fun.
- Tic Tac Toe paper pads – Found them at Target and they will be a fun game to play with each other.
- Uno – whether this dice game (remember the plastic plate? Great for dice games) or the original cards, this is a great travel game
- Cards games – besides Uno, we also have Phase 10, I Spy, Phase 10 for kids (for younger kids)
- Magnetic Games – The airport magnetic board I found is for our toddler to play with and the pieces stay on the board, Colorforms work great as well since they stick to the board.
Movies & Electronics
- Movies – we bring a couple portable DVD players as well as some new movies that are a surprise. We don’t bring the movies in their cases, but put the disc in a CD case to save space. Here are some of the new movies we are bringing this year. Each child has their own headphones to listen to the movie.
- iPad – we have an iPad and an iPad mini for the kids to play on
- iPod Shuffles – we have iPod shuffles for the kids to listen to music along with the headphones
- Nook (or Kindle) – my older kids like to read on Nooks which we load with a couple new books
Snacks & Treats
Something that isn’t pictured but that is very important is having snacks. We bring an empty sippy for our toddler and we fill it up once we pass security. Keep in mind you will need to purchase water once you pass through security at the airport, but food snacks are allowed in your bag as long as it isn’t liquid. Here are some ideas of snacks and treats:
- Graham crackers
- Yogurt Raisins
- Gum (for takeoff and landing)
- Lollipops (for takeoff and landing for little ones)
- Nilla wafers
- Granola bars
- Fruit sticks or fruit snacks
- Sliced fruit (apples, oranges)
- Mini muffins or quick breads
- Pirate Booty
- Chips (these may get crushed so it would depend on the bag)
- Simple candy like Smarties, Gummy bears, lifesavers (if older kids)
Those are just some ideas of snacks to have on hand, but I’m sure there are lots more great things to take for kids to munch on during your travels. We keep most snacks and treats packed in our main travel bag as opposed to each child’s backpack, just so they don’t eat everything all at once.
I hope these lists and pictures give you some ideas of what to pack on your family’s next vacation traveling. Sometimes just getting there is the hard part, but good planning and packing can make it a little easier on everyone!
If you have other ideas of things to pack for kids, leave me a comment! I would love to hear more ideas and suggestions!
Other posts in our Disney Travel Planning for Families Series:
Part 1: Countdown To Do
Part 2: These Feet Were Made For Walking
Part 3: Preparing for Medical Issues & Emergencies
Part 5: Diaper Changing Prep 101