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Preschool Play on Holiday

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As a family we regularly travel. Overtime, I have learnt what works really well on holiday and what can be left at home. The short story is: you don’t need to pack bags and bags of toys!

Age Recommendations and Safety

The objects in the IKEA GLIS box this time are intended for both my 18 month old and 3.8 year old. It should be said upfront that due to the small objects featured, that strict supervision is required, especially for any children under 3 years old.

I’m often asked about distraction activities for the under twos – meaning those activities you can do whilst you get on with other jobs. Unfortunately, in my opinion, you do really need to supervise toddlers at all times.

So why share these at all? You might be wondering! Well, these activities are all designed to help your child developmentally. They will also be super helpful when your child is required to sit for long periods of time – whilst waiting for food at a restaurant for example or on days when the weather is bad and you can’t go out adventuring as much as possible.

What’s in the box?

  • Chenille sticks (snip the sharp ends first)
  • Craft sticks
  • Pompoms (not pictured above)
  • Buttons
  • Elastic bands
  • Homemade playdough
  • Stamper
  • Mini roller
  • Washi tape
  • Small snack box (not pictured above)
  • Plastic animals
  • small bag

Activity Ideas:

Here’s a rundown of activities that you can use for toddlers whilst on holiday. You can also check out the previously posted feature ‘Baby Play on Holiday’ for more details of activities.

The beauty of all of these activities is that they won’t take up much space so whether you are flying or doing a road trip, you should be able to keep play compact. You really don’t want to take many toys with you whilst travelling because hopefully you’ll be spending the vast majority of your time outdoors having fun and exploring new places!

We like to borrow a fair amount from the holiday rental cottages for indoor activities. Check out the handy graphic below to get an idea of what to take, what to keep and what to reuse whilst travelling:

Key Benefits

  • Fine motor skills – pincer grip is required for all of the activities featured
  • Problem solving – rescue activities and threading
  • Hand strength – playdough activities
  • Hand-eye coordination – threading and rescue activities
  • Language development – all. Talk colours and shapes or animal sounds for example
  • Early numeracy – use the buttons/ craft sticks for counting
  • Creative expression – homemade musical instruments, creating sculpture from playdough

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Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is the founder of Teach Investigate Play. She helps parents navigate the early years by providing meaningful and simple activities. She also owns 'Get Set Social Media' - a social media consultancy for small businesses. From the UK, now living in Vienna (via Australia). About page has more!

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