I’m a technology mom. But the best vacation toys are the old fashioned ones that were around before pixels:
- crayons and paper.
- sand and water.
These “toys” do not require charging cables. They turn on that part of the brain that gets turned off too much these days. And they get the creative energy and body moving. Hours of fun, both in-the-sun and out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of iPads and tablets on vacation. They are invaluable in the car and save parents the world over from ever having to pretend they like singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” and all that malarkey. Load them up with movies and apps like these. But! I would never leave home without a pad of paper and a box of crayons. A great way for kids to document their travel adventures when you’ve spent too much time in the sun or it’s raining.
My daughter is 8 and she has the 53 Paper app and Pencil stylus. An amazing combo that turns us all into Picassos—”The Best Stylus Yet” says WIRED and The Verge. The Paper app is free, but the Pencil is $50 USD. And it needs a tablet. And sometimes you turn the tablets off and pretend you’re still human. You can buy a pack of 120 crayons with pastels, neons, and metallics for $6 at any Target store (like the one nearby on Irlo Bronson). And then your kids have a journal to show to their class when they get back.
And here it is. Good ol’ fashioned fun in the waves. Okay, we stopped at a Dollar Store on the A1A 5 minutes before we hit the sand and put down $10 each on 3 body boards…. and it was so worth it! The kids spent HOURS on them. And then…. they played in the sand.