Gift ideas for traveling kids

Yes, it's that time of year when many of us are trying to come up with gift ideas for everyone on our lists. Here are some ideas for gifts for the traveling children and the traveling babies (or rather: the traveling new parents) on your list:

Child-sized luggage from One Step Ahead
Luggage sets for kids are sometimes rather junky-looking in my experience, but this child-sized luggage from One Step Ahead looks fantastic. A pullman and a backpack is included in the set, and they can even be personalized with your child's name, or initials.

Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote
Even with all the great handheld games and electronic devices out there, one of the best ways to entertain a child while you're traveling is to bring some paper, or a coloring book, and some crayons or markers. Crayola has a nice travel-set for color-happy children!

Magnetic Fun with Shapes - Picture Making Set

Bringing toys and activities along on a plane, or when you're traveling by car or train, can be challenging since you don't want to bring something that is difficult to pack, and has pieces that might get lost. Activities and games that use magnets can be very handy for this purpose, and I really love this set: it looks like creative fun and it packs up nicely.

Bears Dress Up Magnetic Fun Tin
This is another activity set involving magnets, and it looks like a lot of fun, and like it would be easy to bring along in a bag on a plane, in a car, on a train, or wherever else you're headed.

Magnetic Classic Games Tin - 12 Travel Games
And yes, a third gift-idea involving magnets! (They are so great if you're traveling, and really help make it easy to keep the game all together: losing game-pieces is a real drag.) This tin includes twelve different classic games that you can bring along on flights, car trips or elsewhere. I know people use apps and electronic games a lot these days, but there's something pretty great about old-school toys and games as well.

On-the-Go Bottle Warmer
If you have new parents on your gift-giving list, this might be a great present for them. To quote the manufacturer: "Reusable On-the-Go Bottle Warmer is an instant heat source anywhere, warming Baby bottles and Baby food jars while on the go, no power source needed!" Sounds absolutely awesome, and I wish I'd had one with me when I went on long flights with the kids when they were babies.

A portable travel-bed for baby
This is another gift-idea for babies and their parents: a soft, comfy, portable place for an infant to sleep when you're out and about. There are many different versions out there, including the Summer Infant Deluxe Infant Travel Bed and the Eddie Bauer Infant Travel Bed.

Mixie Formula Mixing Baby Bottle
This would make a great travel-item for new parents with a baby: a baby bottle that holds formula powder and water in separate compartments and then allows for easy mixing when you want to do that.

Rash Guard Sun Shirt - UV 50+ Protection by SwimZip
Rash guards are the best thing ever for kids who are outside in the sun. You don't need to worry about applying sunscreen on easily burned backs and shoulders, and it just makes it so much easier when you're at an outdoor pool or at the beach. These shirts by SwimZip have zippers, making them even easier to put on and take off.

Flexibath Foldable Bathtub
This is such a great idea: a foldable tub for your baby. Perfect for camping, and all other kinds of travel. Even if you're in a hotel or staying at someone's house, this would make giving your baby a bath a lot easier.

A Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is a big help if you're flying with a baby, and really helps free up your hands and hold your baby comfortably. The Boba 3G carrier was just picked by BabyCenter as the top baby-carrier of 2012.

A world-map puzzle
My kids, especially my 5-year old daughter, are jigsaw-puzzle lovers, and a puzzle with a map of the world can really get them into some geography as well. Two examples of these kinds of puzzles are the World Map 100 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle and Melissa & Doug World Map Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle. 

iPad apps
And if you or your child are lucky enough to receive an iPad as a Christmas gift, it would of course be really nice to have some good, child-friendly apps on it. There are lots of recommendations out there, including this one from Time: Top 25 iPad apps for kids.

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