Travelling long distances can be difficult with young children and it pays to be prepared. I regularly visit my sister in the Highlands of Scotland – this involves a 7 hour train journey (including time waiting for connections). To cope with this, I started to develop a train bag, but we’ve used it on aeroplanes and taken it with us on shorter journeys when we want to travel light, but want access to some toys and activities.
The train bag is basically a Bookstart book bag (the ones like school book bags) that I’ve filled with a range of items culled from magazines, spotted in gift shops and donated by friends. I started with paper, pencils/crayons and some stickers for art work on the go. We’ve collected quite a few items from Virgin Trains goody bags including a mini blackboard with chalk and a ticket collector’s kit complete with coins, tickets and conductor’s visor. Aeroflot contributed a aeroplane jigsaw and Thistle hotels a mini connect 4 style game.
Toys from magazines can be good (as long as they don’t break within minutes). We have some Peppa Pig dominoes which can be used as dominoes, as part of a memory game or for imaginative play adventures with Peppa and the gang. A set of Bob the Builder foam tools has been remarkably robust despite a lot of use.
I’ve also bought a couple of items specially: small tubs of playdough; a finger puppet story satchel set like this one from Zuza Books and some Pop & Slot animals from Petit la Borde.