We have compiled a list of our absolute must-haves when it comes to kids. Whether it is something to use or enjoy when traveling or something that entertains kids when we are at home, this is our ultimate list of kid-friendly finds.
This list ranges from apps to books to stone carving kits and is continually updated as we find more items that are worthy of making it onto our ultimate list. Check back often and see what new things we have come across in our travels.
Our Ultimate List of Kid-Friendly Finds:
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Our family is obsessed with Sequence!
It’s a mind-stimulating, creative and fun way to spend time. Sequence is the best game for when you want an activity that can be played with friends or family members of all ages! This board game has been around since 1959, so it knows how to do things right by being timeless in design while also remaining modern enough not to have any outdated elements like some other old fashions might wear out over time.
The game of Sequence is a lot like poker. You get five cards into a sequence, and whoever gets two sequences first wins! Watch out for the Jacks – they’re wild, which means that any card can be used as your tiebreaker if needed (although this also makes them extra dangerous).
It’s not easy, though: remove other players’ chips by blocking their sequences with yours while trying not to let too many jacks sneak up on you, or else it could give away all your points in one go…but don’t forget about those special powers available just when we need them most 🙂
And best of all, it now comes in a travel tin so we can travel with it!
Travel Activity Books
Travel-sized portable activity books that fit in any backpack or in the back pocket of the car seat, yet filled with 100+ games for HOURS of entertainment.
The Travel Games For Kids activity book is filled with interactive travel games and fun activities for kids ages 5-12+. This book keeps my 8-year-old son occupied for hours in the car and on flights, and we take it with us whenever we travel.
The Big Brain Teasers activity book is filled with 350+ boredom-busting brain games, mind twisters, and more to entertain your child for hours! My ten-year-old son loves doing the brain teaser puzzle games.
My sons trade these books back and forth throughout our trips, so it is handy to have both of them on hand.
One of our favorite recent finds for a quiet and mess-free activity! Kids will love painting with water and then watching their masterpiece slowly fade away as it evaporates.
It is quick to set up, and “Painting” with water is truly mess-free. There are no ink, paint, or chemicals, and it’s fun for all ages. The Buddha Board helps kids explore the creative process, and it is ideal for travel when you want your kids to have some downtime that doesn’t involve a screen.
Mathgames.com is one of the few online learning games out there that makes learning fun for kids and is totally free. I am a big advocate of keeping kids entertained in various educational ways, so when I found out about mathgames.com, my kids were excited.
The best part of mathgames.com in my opinion is the option to choose which skill to work on. There is the choice of time, subtraction, addition, counting and number properties, and many more depending on which grade you choose. It is a great way for kids to learn and repetition helps them retain the learned information.
There are so many games available to play on mathgames.com but here are a few that my kids find really fun:
- Math Slither: When children play free online games like Math Slither, they won’t even realize they’re learning at the same time! With this game, children can sharpen their skills in pattern recognition, addition, division, or other math skills.
- Candy Stacker: Everyone loves candy, especially children! In Candy Stacker, with each math question answered correctly, you can stack the candy as high as you like. Get an answer wrong and the candy will come tumbling down.
- Snowbowl: In this game, children won’t even realize they’re doing math. In Snowbowl, you will use your math skills to help the snowball survive its trip down the mountain. For each question answered correctly, you pass through a snow mound, but if answered incorrectly, you smash into an obstacle.
- Math Leaper: Use math skills to leap as high as you can go! In Math Leaper, you can grab candy as you ascend to make you leap even higher. As you jump, slime is falling and if you get an answer wrong you’ll sink closer to the slime. Don’t let the slime get you!
Intelliglobe II Deluxe Interactive Globe
I’m not sure who likes this globe more, me or my kids! It is such an incredible learning device and even I have learned so many new facts about the world. We take this with us on road trips where we have the extra room to pack it and it is in constant use at home.
The Intelliglobe II Deluxe Interactive Globe for Kids is an educational and entertaining globe that contains 1,000’s of fun facts, geography, and general information that is truly interesting, useful, and thought-provoking. Touch the wireless Intellipen to the globe to play games and explore amazing facts about the world.
There are endless ways to use the Intelliglobe including:
- Explore Features: Geography – Continents – Cities – Countries & Territories – States & Provinces – Population – Music – Language Spoken – History – Life Expectancy – Economics, Currency, Main Industry – Ecology – Climate – Area in Square Miles – Current Time – Tourism – Animals – Food – Geology/Natural Resource – Distance & Flying Time
- Compare Features: Population – Land Area – Life Expectancy
- Find games: Find Continents, Countries, Capitals, Waterways, Cities. Locations and Landmarks
- Trivia Challenge: The Intellipen will ask you random trivia questions. Touch the proper place on the globe for each item.
- Multiple Choice: Test your knowledge. To answer the question, touch the A, B, C, or D button or a place on the globe. Try to achieve a perfect score of 10 correct answers.
- Facts & World Records: Learn exciting & surprising facts about the world in which we live.
- World Discovery Book: The included World Discovery book contains a tremendous amount of fun information, maps, and more.
Studiostone Creative – Soapstone Carving Kits
These soapstone carving kits are the best hands-on learning activities for kids ages 6+. The box says it is for kids 9+, but my six-year-old son was able to do this with assistance from us to read the instructions.
Designed for hands-on learning with easy-to-follow instructions, everything you’ll need is included, from file to finishing wax. There is a lot of dust that comes from filing down the soapstone, so make sure the workstation is prepped for easy disposal when finished. We like to take these kits on camping trips where the kids can carve outside.
Studiostone Creative offers single and double carving kits. The options include bear, cat, eagle, elephant, lion, orca, rhinoceros, seal, turtle and wolf.
There are over 60 books in the Warriors series! This includes the original six-book Warriors series, and four other spinoffs: Power of Three, The New Prophecy, Omen of the Stars, and Dawn of the Clans, as well as stand-alone guides, special editions, and manga.
Letters From Afar
I bought a subscription to Letters from Afar for my kids at Christmas and since then we have been receiving handwritten letters once a month. They are personally addressed to my children and come with two stamps from countries around the world.
It has been such a delightful way for all of us to learn about other countries in a fun, organic way. In this digital age, receiving a handwritten letter has been a refreshing, old fashioned way of learning.
So far we have received letters from Indonesia, Kauai and Kyoto. A portion of all proceeds goes directly to a fantastic nonprofit called Pencils of Promise.
Our Favourite Books for Kids:
Warriors Book Series by Erin Hunter
My nine year old has become an avid reader and has been devouring the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. If you are a parent and worry about the content your children are reading, this series is age-appropriate and is not at all graphic beyond catfights.
Warriors is a series of novels based on the adventures and drama of multiple Clans of feral cats. The series is primarily set in the fictional location of White Hart Woods, and, later, Sanctuary Lake.
Zoey Has an Allergy by Anisha Angella
I am always on the lookout for kids books on how to deal with allergies. I find my kids are more likely to respond to the information presented from a child’s point of view and this book makes it fun and entertaining to read. My oldest son has a severe anaphylactic allergy to peanuts, cashews and pistachios and I carry two epi-pens with me at all times. It can be quite stressful when we are traveling as we have to be very careful about the food we are eating and be constantly aware of the distance to medical care.
There are not many books about allergies that make it easy to understand for kids AND talk about things like epi-pens. This is a book I will be giving to all of my friends as they become parents because it is so important to be aware of allergies, regardless of whether or not their own child has allergies themselves.
Join Zoey on her jaunt through the allergy world! She’ll share how she’s managed to stay safe, while also inspiring you with some tips for keeping your friends and family members safe in theirs. A great resource if you’re a new parent or teacher looking for ideas about teaching allergen awareness – this book has it covered.
Zoey has an Allergy is close to home for its author, Anisha Angella. At age 12, she discovered she had a peanut allergy in a situation like Zoey. She remembered how she and her family didn’t have the tools at the time to manage it. She wanted to share her personal experience to help children and parents talk about it. She also wanted to fill the void of diversity in children’s books. Anisha has over 15 years of experience in early childhood education and is currently a professor at Seneca College, in addition to being a consultant to early childhood educators.