If you are trying to decide which toys to take on the road with you or which camping toys to pack and you have limited space then this list if for you…
Just one disclaimer before we start… I have a 12V pump thingy that plugs into the car and blows up the camp mattress and also the assorted blow up toys mentioned below.
It has been worth it’s weight in gold! The space saved by getting toys that can be shrunk and stashed into small spaces is awesome.
Inflatable body board – The kids got two of these for Christmas and they have been the best thing ever.
Our kids who are two and three love them, as do my friends boys who are 7 and 9 so you are going to get years out of them.
Once deflated they roll up really small and can slide under or beside a seat in the car.
Balloons – Always a winner for me. Hand them one in the back seat, tie them to string, fill the tent up with them, put them in the bath, fill them with a bit of water…
The possibilities are endless. And they are cheap as chips. Winning.
Inflatable ball – I have a ball obsessed boy and have done so many road trips with soccer/footy/basketballs rolling around the boot.
They are just a bit of a pain to pack. This time we took and inflatable one, stashed it with the body boards.
For the older kids you can get better quality balls than the one in this pic and they are actually tough enough to play some proper ball games with.
Stackable plastic cups – I always struggle with whether I should take all the beach toys on our trips.
They love them, and they do use them but they take up soooooo much room.
Last time I took two sets of the Ikea stackable plastic cups. Sounds silly I know but, seriously, they were as engrossed in play with the cups as they are with the other stuff.
They were making sandcastles with them, carting water, using them for goals to kick the ball through, digging holes, collecting treasures. They hardly take up any space and can double as, well, cups 😉
Coloured pencils and a pad – The old staple. The only thing I changed recently was made sure I took pencils and not textas as they lose their lids and dry out.
Chuck a pencil sharpener and a pad of paper in there and you are set.
Sticker books – I get the massive ones with a 1000 stickers and they last forever!
Awesome in the car and great when you rock up at camp and need them to be quietly occupied for a bit.
Books – I stash some story books between the kids car seats and under the pillows I also stash there.
You can’t go wrong with books and they can be slid under or into almost any small space.
Chalk – Nothing like some pavement graffiti to keep the small humans occupied for a while.
It doesn’t take up space, it’s cheap and it washes off.
Glow Sticks – When you’re camping and its dark and there are no screens a glow stick is the most exciting thing since sliced bread apparently.
My sister brought a whole packet along recently and they went down a treat with the six kids of all different ages.
My only issue with these is the environmental impact which is pretty crappy, so I’m going to use them sparingly.
Here is a picture of all of these items packed up and on my dining table.
This was all we took on the last trip and I didn’t want for anything else, the kids were totally entertained.
In saying that, you gotta remember that they are going to add sticks and rocks and dirt and water and all manner of other stuff to beef out the toy stash so there’s always plenty of new bits and pieces that can be changed up at each stop.
What are your favourite camping toys? For some more ideas on how to keep the kids occupied on the drive, check out these posts…
10 ways to entertain your kids on a road trip,
Perfect podcasts for family road trips or
Apps for road tripping and camping with kids (that don’t involve screens.)
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