I'm always looking for lightweight, portable, 'no batteries required' activities to keep our 5 & 7 year old busy when we're on the go, whether we're in a car, in a restaurant, or on a plane. I like to be prepared for anything & everything (my husband might say slightly over-prepared...) - you never know when a long wait, delay, or boredom may strike! And I don't mind a little educational value snuck in here or there, either...Here are just some of our family's favorites!
- Doodle Books: A cross between a traditional coloring book and a blank piece of paper, doodle books give kids suggestions on how they might 'complete' each picture. It might be creating or finishing a pattern or drawing something freehand to complete a scene. Great for a little light reading practice too! There are quite a variety of doodle books and themes available, with most priced in the $10-$12 range, such as: Designer Doodles, Yummy Doodles Placemats, Doodle Chicago (I've gotta get this one!), and Doodle Bugs.
- Rory's Story Cubes: These are about as small and portable as you can possibly get: 9 small cubes, 54 images, and limitless combinations for some incredible create-your-own stories! There are a few ways to play, but our favorite is to divide the cubes up among the players. Then, take turns rolling your dice and adding to the story, based on whatever images are face up. You might start with 'Once upon a time...' or pick an overall theme (e.g. vacation, school, the beach, etc.). You can also combine the Story Cubes with Rory's Action Cubes-ACTIONS (we haven't done this yet, but it's on my list!).
- Wikki Stix: Wikki Stix stick to just about any hard surface (BUT also come off easily, without leaving marks/residue!) and can be turned into words, pictures, jewelry (bracelets, necklaces, rings), and much more. They are very reusable and last a long time without much effort. We have the activity set ($12.95), which comes with a small, lightweight whiteboard, which acts as a blank piece of paper for the Wikki Stix. The whiteboard & Wikki Stix fit easily into a gallon-size plastic bag for travel & storage.
So: what are YOUR family's favorite 'no batteries requried' games & activities when you're on the go?
For more of our favorites, please visit my No Batteries Required board on Pinterest!