Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Calling for your ideas

I'm starting to put together a travel bag for Axel.

This bag will serve three purposes. First it will hold some small toys or fun surprises that are bound to hold his interest for 10 seconds or more. These will be used to win his trust and make him like us those first few times we get to meet him before we rip him out of the home he's known for the last 2 1/2 years. I'm not trying to make light of the situation, I'm just trying to explain just how absurd it all seems.

The second purpose of said bag is to keep Axel busy while he is trapped alone with me in an apartment in the dead of Eastern Europe's very cold winter for a week or more. These will be bonding activities, and our future depends on them.

The final purpose of this back, even though he will now have had these same toys and trinkets for many days already, is to keep him busy, and most importantly quiet for 22+ hours of time on the airplanes, not to mention the time hanging around in airports, making mad dashes through customs, and hopefully not missing any connecting flights.

We will try to keep some toys set aside so they're new and unexplored, and send the "old boring ones" home with Dean who is only staying for the first week of the trip.

So, Axel is 10, but developmentally very much 4-ish, maybe 5. So far I have a couple of matchbox cars, some paint with water books, wiki stix, a couple coloring books with chunky crayons, a travel size magna doodle, my iTouch with a ton of kid apps, (including signing time apps!) and bubbles. What other ideas do you have? I've just been grabbing things as I see them. I'm thinking maybe a blow up beach ball might be a good idea. What other ideas do you have?


  1. Maybe some Lego? Some chunky beads and string? A spinning top?

  2. Trains that attach with magnets. Thomas the TAnk Engine are like that but you can buy a cheaper version. We spent HOURS with these. Punch balls. You can blow them up and then let the air out and do them again. We also spent hours doing this. They serve as balls, balloons etc. Very easy to pack. Tiny little pull back and go cars. They were another 'hours of fun' toy. Aaron's dump truck was the star of our show though. We bought it there - paid 2 dollars for it. Played with it for about 100 hours... Can't beat that!!

  3. Just an FYI - lots of recent travelers have not been able to bring thera-putty, silly putty or playdough on the airplane. Some people have had luck getting it on the plane in a checked bag but even that is hit or miss - it's too close in consistency with the stuff to make a bomb with.

    But other ideas that people have had - stickers, band-aids and scotch tape (very fun to decorate the plane seat in front of you and it keeps them occupied peeling them all off again :-))
    Beach Ball
    Cotton balls and straws - lots of eye contact happening while you blow the cotton ball across the table at each other.
    Stacking cups
    Paper for making paper airplanes (you fold, he throws/chases them)
    Tonka makes matchbox size cars, I think the are called Chunkies or something like that - you can get them at Target, they are made of a softer plastic and have cute little faces on them. I prefer them to matchbox because when thrown across the room in a temper tantrum they don't hurt as much or break things.
    Curling ribbon and blunt scissors - very fun to snip the ribbon to pieces.
    A whoopie-cushion (the plbbbt noise is universally funny)
    A See & Say (you know that thing you spin the lever and it stops on an animal sound - i think they have travel size)
    some extra clothes for "dress-up"


  4. travel size aqua doodle
    chunky Melissa and Doug puzzles
    color wonder
    pattern blocks
    Mega Blocks Tiny'N'Tuff Vehicles
    Playskool Wheel Pals Chuck the Dump Truck
    Little People Wheelies
    Fisher Price Trio Super Friends Figure
    Fisher Price Imaginext
    Kung Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster
    Model Magic
    Play Doh
    Trio Crazy Creatures
    small chalkboard or dry erase board
    wind up toys
    pop beads
    stickers, foam stickies
    pipe cleaners
    brain noodles (larger pipe cleaners)
    wikki stix
    toy dinosaurs and other toy animal figures
    a puppet

    check out your local once upon a child store.

  5. We have those plastic viewmasters I bring out for the little girls when we travel somewhere far...they never get to play them at home and I buy new slides when we go. I'm hoping that might help us for the boys- 1st trip, 2nd trip staying in the hotel, 2nd trip on the plane ride home....same toy, just different slides. Maybe Axel might like that????

  6. I will have to think about the viewmasters. Angela has never understood how they work. When she looks into them she insists on closing her eyes. ROFL

  7. File FLoder Games are a BRILLIANT invention. They're easy to make, light for traveling (makes for lots to do without a lot of weight in carry-ons), and they can be geared for almost ANY age or developmental ability. Google them or you can email me for some ideas. We've got hundreds stored on our computer!!!! kkh1986(at)cableone(dot)net is the best way to get a hold of me!

    There's my brilliant input of the day!!! ;)


  8. colorforms reusable stickers
    You can make a mini homade feltboard by taking a small piece of cardboard and putting felt on it.
    You can make felt pieces to put on it or put velcro on the back of them to make the pieces stick.

    weebles by playskool
    clippos by palyskool
    Mr.Potato head
    travel size lite bright
    mini transformer car
    hungry hungry hippo travel size

    You may want to download the 30 day free trial of boardmaker from mayor johnson's website so that you can make some visuals just in case you need them. Also you may want to included a schedule board with icons such as breakfast, lunch, snack, get dressed, brush teeth, go to bed, eat dinner, airplane, and then a picture of your family icon along with a play, toys and all of the toy choices you have with you so he can choose. Also if you think you may need behavior visual cards that may be a good idea, such as stop, quiet, wait, walk, sit, stand, hands down etc. You can also print activities from using the boardmaker free trial.