One of the most important qualities you need to be a successful parent is creativity. My definition of a successful parent is a parent that does their very best to teach their children how to be a well rounded individual that makes informed choices, while instilling them with the knowledge that they will love their children no matter what choices their children make. But I could write a whole separate post about that… back to creativity.
If you have small children, you know that on Christmas morning, as you anticipate them loving the cool new toy you purchased for them, that inevitably they will begin to play with the toy packaging (i.e. trash) instead of the actual toy. Boxes are cool. It is a fact that cannot be denied.
So let us use this well-known parenting fact to our advantage while we are traveling!! Here are my standard trash to toy rules I think about whenever I am about to let Timo play with something I would otherwise throw away:
-Would it be a choking hazard? (Timo puts EVERYTHING in his mouth, so paper, plastic bags, anything like that is an automatic big no-no)
-Does it have any sharp edges? For example an empty soda can… yes sharp edges, no on letting toddlers play with them.
You get the idea.
But what will Timo play with for half an hour? An empty or nearly empty water bottle. When he is starting to get cranky or tired, I pass him one (that I have stashed in the bottom of my stroller) and let him play away. I have also been known to let him play with my pack of wet wipes. It is big enough that it is not a choking hazard, and it crinkles when he touches it, which is a sound he is currently obsessed with. On long airplane rides I will let him play with a plastic spoon or empty cup (making sure to watch him so it doesn’t break).
So next time you get desperate and your baby or toddler isn’t remotely interested in that amazing $20 toy that was supposed to Oooh and Aaah them for forty minutes, look around for disposable items. They will probably find them fascinating.
Have fun traveling with your kids!!