In the lead up to our recent overseas trip (Christmas 2013), I had toddler travel toys on my mind! Whilst the idea of sticking valcro bits to craft sticks is not necessarily original, I was curious to see how the open ended play tools would be used 'on the go' with our 2 1/2 year old! After all, they are really quick and easy to make, take up no space at all (perfect for day packs / handbags), and are super light!
Craft sticks - different sizes and colours for fun
Sticky backed valcro & scissors
and... nothing else!
Of course, with 'things that go' being the love of B's life at the moment, we saw lots of trains and aeroplanes! The most impressive aeroplanes were the ones that had more craft sticks joined in a line than the valcro could potentially handle, but "wow"- they were so much fun to fly around the living room!
Such a simple, versatile addition to the day's play tools! They can be used for practising counting, learning basic concepts - colours and shapes; and are perfect for visual motor integration practise - matching, joining/connecting, as well as fine motor - grasping and bilateral hand work. The valcro bits themselves are great sensory elements to wake up little fingers too!
This mama couldn't help herself - and joined in, making a colourful little house!
At times the valcro bits did fall off, but that just provided an opportunity for problem solving - sticking them back on - choosing a stick and a spare spot! I had taken a little spare valcro in case repair work might be needed - pretty unnecessary though as a little bit of missing valcro was not going to stop their imaginations!
B loved playing with them at different times during the trip, and the fact that I had kept them hidden until the trip perhaps added to their novelty factor! They were whipped out when visiting friends/family, at restaurants, on the plane, and at the airport lounges, this little pack was well worth the effort as a travel toy. Other kids can also join in, making it a good social activity too! When we came back home, they made a nice little farewell gift for B's cousin.
For similar construction craft stick sets with some great ideas for learning - check out some gorgeous Valcro Dot Craft Sticks at Powerful Mothering and an Easy and Fun DIY at Tot Treasures.
Thanks so much for visiting Kids Play Space!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to check out these travel play ideas:
3D Cereal Box City Construction Kit
Toddler Travel Activity Kit
Cereal Box City Dominoes