5 Ideas for Toddler Busy Bags + Free Busy Bag List!

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Over the past five years, we’ve travelled with our kids a fair bit. From road trips to long haul flights back to the UK, we’ve done them all. The journeys have taken some planning to get right and over the years we’ve found some ways to make our trips easier – including taking along toddler busy bags!

You know how much I love to find ways to save money – and to earn some extra dollars where I can.

I have some info further down for you on how you can collect flybuys points by booking your next trip through flybuys travel!

What is a Toddler Busy Bag?

Well, we wanted to find a way to make the journey easier so that when we arrived at our destination, we all felt more relaxed. This was after many trips with howling kids that left us feeling just a bit stressed on arrival.

A toddler busy bag can contain activities and fun things to do on a long flight with kids as well as things to do on a long car ride.

Camper Van - Love from Mim

TIP: We like to keep a busy bag in the boot of our car as a ‘just in case’ measure. If we’re out and about and need to keep the kids occupied, then we can reach for something out of the bag.

Holidays with children can be the most wonderful time to bond and create memories but if the journey has been tough, the first few days can be more stressful than you’ve planned.

How to make Travel with Toddlers more Relaxing with a Toddlers Busy Bag

You’ll want to consider how long your journey is and how much room your child will have.

For example, if you’re flying with a baby then you’ll need to consider plane-appropriate games for kids that won’t be too disruptive to other passengers.

If you’re traveling by car, you’ll need to plan car activities for toddlers that they can do in their seat, or when you make stops along the way.

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler by Plane

When your baby is on the move, traveling with a toddler on a plane can be a little more challenging. Whilst they’re now sat in their own seat, they’re also mobile and want to explore their new surroundings.

A bag full of toddler plane activities will keep them busy, engaged and quiet. Travel games for toddlers don’t have to be boring – but you don’t want to take anything too big, noisy or with lots of parts in your toddler travel bag as it might make your trip more stressful than not.

Plane Mobile - Love from Mim

When they’re bigger, activities for kids on a plane don’t always need to involve screen time – although I’m not opposed to a bit of that.

I remember witnessing so many kids on planes being noisy or what I thought was ‘naughty’. I know better now – they’re just bored and uncomfortable and sometimes there’s just nothing a parent can do about it apart from survive the journey. Having some ‘go-to’ toddler travel activities can help a bit.

I don’t think we need to spend a fortune on these either.

Coles and Kmart have a great range of kid’s stationery, activities and toys. If you’re a flybuys member, you can redeem your points for any product at these stores as well as a wide range of flybuys other partners.

Tips for great value when travelling

As we’ve been flybuys members for years, I was so excited to recently discover more about flybuys travel – and how we can actually collect a heap of flybuys points just by booking with them.

flybuys travel is an online travel agency with really good prices on flights, hotels and cruises. They also have a fantastic new “Escapes” product that packages up airfares and hotels with really enticing discounts.

As well as the huge choice of flights and hotels, and the extra rewards and lack of booking fees, they were also recently crowned the ‘Best Online Travel Agency 2018’ at the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards!

You can visit the flybuys travel website here to find out how you can collect more points too.

Tips for Car Travel with Kids

Our babies were a bit ‘hit and miss’ when it came to car travel in the early days. They would love or loathe sitting in their car seat equally.

Now they’re older, there’s less crying but a lot more boredom (apparently!). Taking along a travel activity bag for kids gives us a backup plan for those times when we need to distract them.

We often travel for weekends away and know how useful having a few road trip activities up our sleeve can be. Finding things to do in the car on a road trip with kids can also include talking about your surroundings (think the number plate game you used to play on your own road trips growing up), saying goodbye to your house and saying hello to the exciting things you pass on the way.

Plus, who doesn’t love a game of “I Spy” in the car! My kids certainly love it, especially my daughter who is learning to read at school. We play this with sounds as well as letters and it keeps them both occupied and entertained for ages.

Here are some ways to make the travel with kids part a little easier, by putting together a bag full of travel activities for kids that will keep them entertained and happy.

5 Best Toddler Busy Bag Ideas

1. Entertaining Books

If you’re travelling by car, audiobooks are a great idea to keep your little one relaxed and entertained.

But for stops along the way, or other forms of travel, it’s a great idea to take a couple of books to read to your toddler. This is an especially great idea if they are used to reading a book at nap time or bed time – to keep their routine as familiar as possible.

My Quiet Book - Love from Mim

Some of our best busy books for toddlers have lots of colourful and interesting details – like Velcro, buttons and shapes. Etsy has lots of different options for handmade ones.

2. Crayons and a Colouring Book

Whether your mini likes to scribble, doodle or draw, colouring in can keep them busy for ages. I would suggest washable crayons – to prevent them from ‘decorating’ your car or the plane permanently.

Even some plain paper and pencil will give them a chance to be creative and occupied – which makes for a much more relaxed journey.

Colouring Book - Love from Mim

3. A New Toy

For long journeys, like long haul flights, we like to buy a new small toy for the kids.

We’ll save it for that part of the journey when they might be super bored, tired or just need distracting.

The best travel toys for toddlers on airplanes can be colourful and have lots of things for them to do which won’t be too noisy. Sticker books are great quiet activities for toddlers and have always been a firm favourite with our kids!

4. Kids Activity Packs

When we go out to eat with the kids, a lot of the cafes and restaurants provide kids activity packs – so save unused ones up to keep in the car or take on holiday as travel packs for kids too!

These can include mini colouring in books, stickers, pop out shapes and little games and saves you the job of having to put one together yourself.

Colouring Book - Love from Mim

5. Stuffed Toys

Discovering new stuffed toys can be a fun car activity for kids – from naming their new toy, to asking it questions, and talking about what it looks like and what it does – a new stuffed toy can give them some comfort for the journey while keeping them happy too.

I hope my kids busy bags for travel by car or plane have given you some ideas for your next trip. As my kids are now a little older, I’ll soon be sharing some ideas for busy bags for kids aged 3 and up.

Toddler Busy Bags Checklist

For even more ideas for toddler busy bags and further free resources for busy mums, access my Resource Library here:

Traveling with children is something that will always be a big part of our lifestyle as we have family and friends all over the world.

Do you have any tips for traveling with kids?

We’ve started planning a holiday for the whole family for next year! We’ll probably head back to the UK.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with flybuys travel.

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Do you have any ideas for toddler busy bags? 


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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.