Activities for Long Haul (Part 1)

The first time I know this term of ‘Busy bag’ was when I was in quest of finding creative cheap games for Miss N (our daughter).I like to be creative myself, and it’s awesome when I can make some cheap creative games for her.

Speaking of the busy bag for toddler for a long haul, I have been a bit occupied with searching some creative ideas for our very alert toddler. The games that she will be playing on board on a long haul when we go back to Indonesia later this year. Tickets have been booked! We went back to Indonesia already in 2013 when she was 12 months. It was pretty easy as she was still breastfed. Yes, I breastfed her to sleep at that time. She refused to sleep in the bassinet the Singapore Airlines provided us for her. If she had not been breastfed, she would have been awake most of the time. Our daughter, believe me, is a very alert active toddler. A friend said that she was like a ‘Duracell’ or ‘Energizer’! she is always in a good stamina. While some other babies or toddlers sleep in the pram easily sometimes instantly while taking a walk, our daughter who has begun talking clearly when she was 11 or 12 months, is often wide awake in the pram. While some other babies or toddlers are tired because the parents let them be tired before the departure of such a long haul, our daughter stays cheerful, and talkative. In short, she is a very alert toddler. She is pretty good at hiding her ‘sleepiness’. I especially feel rather nervous when it comes to entertaining her on such long trip. Unlike the last time we travelled when she was still 12 months, this time she will have been 2 years, and 8 months, old enough to play more challenging and interactive games. Many friends of mine said that I did not need to bring ‘many’ games than necessary because even the airline itself provides some toys for toddlers, plus there is what it’s called as inflight entertainment. But, on the other hand,as I have said before that I do like being creative myself. I used to make some games for my students to learn English back then when I was teaching in Indonesia, and why not make some for my own daughter, plus we (my husband and I) do not really depend on electronic gadgets like iPad to entertain her. I will not deny that such inflight entertaintment will be a great help of distraction, so that we can have sometime to rest too just to recharge energy. But, I will not let my daughter be focused on the screen for, say, 5 or more hours straight on the plane. I have a trick that does work when it comes to telling my daughter to stop watching TV for example. I often say that the screen will be automatically off by itself, because even a machine needs  to sleep for a while. She doesn’t seem to mind the idea.

I have bumped into many great sites of parenting that blog ‘BUSY BAG’ and ‘QUIET BOOK’.
What is actually a “BUSY BAG”? A busy bag is a kind of bag that is full of relatively cheap creative homemade games for toddlers. These games are suitable for such a long haul too. I have come up with some ideas about games I would like to make for my toddler. I do not intend to make  games that are so difficult for her that she needs our help all the time.

And what is ‘QUIET BOOK’? It’s basically a homemade book that enables toddler to make herself or himself occupied. The pages are usually made of felt either sewn or glued.
I have got carried away a bit much and I ended up making both quiet book and busy bag. Soooo without further ado, here are those of what I have prepared for her.

1. Trace lines pages
2. Car travel
3. Ladybugs and the leaves
4.Weather BearDSC02434
5. Lego Match
6. Easy Beach Puzzle
7. Draw Faces
8.Human Countenance
9.Magnetic Alphabets
10.Holiday on the Beach
11.Ice Cream Cones
12.Pompoms Play
13. Mini Rätsel book
14. Some Playdough Mats

The QUIET BOOK pages
1. Shapes
2. Xylofon
3. Pick up some Apples
4. Birds Flying High
5. Have Fun with Numbers
6. Ladybug’s Travel
7.Pick up Some Flowers
8.Laundry Time
9. Indonesia-Germany
10+11. Set the Table
12. Let’s Buckle up


  •   Sticker books. I have done some experiments with these books on our short trip within Germany, and she seemed to be very involved in peeling off the stickers and sticked them onto whatever parts of the pages in the book she liked. It was interesting how she created a story with all these stickers.The stories were illogical sometimes, but that’s not a big problem. We as parents can initiate conversations asking about the story she makes. At the beginning, she would need our help in peeling off the stickers, but when I showed her the easy way to do that, she refused our help. OK, that’s a good point as she can be focused on doing it by herself. In the end, when all the stickers were peeled off she liked to take them off and on as she pleased.
  • Books. Since our daughter likes to read books, bringing some books is just a perfect idea. I have yet to know how many books we will bring. We have to think of the space in her small carry-on suitcase too, but I guess the suitcase holds quite many stuff.
  • Portraits. I plan on bringing some family portraits for her to look at. She likes looking at our holiday albums, and asking many questions about the pictures. I am going to print out some holidays pictures we took and put them in a small album for her.
  • ABC Eggs
  • Pompom multifuncions: Matching color games, digging in and out, tracing games.
  • Duplo patterns
  • Play Dough
  • Stamps. Pieces of paper, and stamps.

So, I guess there was an accident that I posted the blog before I finished writing it. Anyway, we are back to Deutschland now, and more blogs about the travel soon.

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