Take it from me, a church going, backstage-ballet, long-road trip Mama, nothing can cause as much stress as a bored child. It's easy to entertain if you have a screen that you can shove in their faces (I'm not above doing this) or carrying a full suitcase full of dolls, toys and puzzles. But how do you keep child entertained when time and space is limited?Check-out my "Fun Box" that fits into your average pencil box. Pick and choose which of these items are perfect for your little one. Be sure to choose age appropriate items to keep your little one safe (so they don't get poked or choke) and busy.
- Pipe Cleaners - Believe it or not, this is my secret weapon. Pipe cleaners are small (fit anywhere), colorful, inexpensive and versatile. A pipe cleaner can be contorted into a cute little doll, a flower, an animal and then reused to make something totally different.
- Plastic Beads - Can be used with the pipe cleaners to create bracelets or key chains or other crafts.
- Play Dough - One or two small jars of dough will keep little (and even bigger) kids busy for quite awhile. They can mold it into foods for a pretend meal or use it with other toys to make molds and impressions.
- Small Notebook & Pen - Find a wide selection at an office supply or big box store or even at a dollar store. A notebook with a character or a colorful cover is perfect. Add a pretty or cool pen, even one with different colored ink, can be a good time killer.
- Crayons - Add a small box of crayons or even a few crayons in a small sandwich bag.
Crayons are always a good distraction.
- Coloring or Activity book - A small color or activity book can be purchased or created.
- Small Book - Early readers might enjoy a new or favorite book. Even those who are too little to read words can enjoy looking at the pictures of a colorful book or might like being read to.
- Stickers - Use the stickers with the notebook or coloring book or a child can put them all over their hands, shirts and siblings. You know that will happen.
- Small Toy -- Choose a favorite toy such as small dolls (think Polly Pockets) or small diecast cars, like hot wheels.
Put these items in a small backpack, pencil case or even a lunch box. You can even put a surprise candy item such as a lollipop in the case which could also help quiet a cranky child.