Traveling with children is never easy! Especially if your child is sensitive to new environments or experiences sensory overload. A sensory travel kit, also known as a sensory survival kit, can help ease the stress of travel and provide a familiar and calming environment for your little one during an extended trip. Here are some essential items to include in your sensory travel kit that will ensure an enjoyable ride or flight for everyone.
Noise-canceling Headphones – Traveling can be overwhelming, especially for children with sensory sensitivities. Noise-canceling headphones can help reduce the impact of loud and unpredictable noises such as plane engines, traffic, and crowds. They can also help your child stay focused and engaged in their sensory play.
Weighted Blanket – A heavy weighted blanket is an underrated item that will provide a comforting and calming sensation for your child while traveling. The added pressure can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation – enough that it might lull them into sleep. Consider a compact and lightweight option that can be easily transported in your sensory travel kit.
Comfort Items – Your child’s favorite comfort items are essential for a sensory travel kit. It could be a special stuffed animal, blanket, or even a pillow – something that smells like and reminds them of home. These items will provide a sense of familiarity and comfort in an otherwise unfamiliar environment.
Sensory Bin – Sensory toys are perfect for entertaining your child while on the go, especially if you are trying to ditch a tablet or other technology. Meemzy Magic sensory kits include items such as play dough, figurines, and tools. Plus, they are packed into a box that is convenient for travel. A sensory bin will help your child regulate their emotions and provide a distraction during stressful situations.
Snacks – Traveling can disrupt regular meal times, which can be especially challenging for children who rely on a strict schedule. Pack some of your child’s favorite snacks, whether it be fruit or granola. The familiarity around mealtimes will make it so that other changes feel minimal and are less overwhelming.
Visual Aids – Picture cards or a visual schedule are a great tool that can help your child prepare for and understand the travel experience. Show them a visual schedule in the days leading up to the trip, that includes travel times and meals. This will help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of predictability and control. If they need additional cues to reduce anticipation, bring a timer to count down the time between each activity.
A Jump Rope – Stick with us on this one! Kids have a lot of energy, making it difficult for them to sit still for long places. A common request at places like an airport, or for the duration of a long plane or car ride. To help your child quickly exert their energy, a jump rope or similar toy is a convenient item for a sensory survival kit that will help tire them out relatively quickly.
Felt Activity Books – A compact, highly engaging, and quiet activity, felt books are perfect for a sensory travel kit. They often feature various activities such as zippers, buttons, and snaps. Requiring the child to manipulate and move small objects. It will help keep them entertained while also promoting sensory development.