As most know, traveling with children is no easy task. Every parent knows a quick and ready supply of entertainment is essential to a successful and happy travel experience. And without it, it could mean disaster.
At the Toy Industry Association's 109th International Toy Fair in New York City, thousands of toy manufacturers and game publishers came together last week to show off their new and upcoming products. We decided to check out which games would act as a perfect travel companion for kids of all ages. Some are high-tech, and others are amazing low-tech toys that harken back to the good old days before computers.
But with so many toys to choose from, it was a tough choice.
Spot It! is a matching symbol game where kids use their sharp eye and quick reflexes to be the first to get rid of all their playing cards. In a deck of 55 cards there is only one matching symbol between any two cards- the player that “spots” the match and slaps their cards down first wins the hand.
The newest version of the popular game, Spot it On the Road uses symbols you would see on everyday road trips (stop signs, bridges etc). The idea is to have players match the travel symbols on their cards to the actual objects they see outside their window, instantly turning boring hours on the road into a fun and stimulating car ride.
Price: $12.99 – available May 2012
iPieces for iPad
It seems as if it was just yesterday when kids were sprawled out in the middle of the family room floor playing traditional board games like Snakes and Ladders or Gone Fishing.
But now, for the first time, kids will be able to travel and play their favorite board games on their iPad. Pressman iPieces introduces a new generation of board games where your iPad serves as the game board, and special game pieces activate fun animations and special effects.
iPieces offers such family favorites like Air Hockey, Snakes & Ladders, Fishing Game (replica of Gone Fishing) and the popular U.K. game Game of Goose.
“Board games are all about bringing your friends and family together for social interaction and light-hearted competition. With iPieces Air Hockey, you can turn your iPad into an air hockey table for on-the-go play that the whole family can enjoy,” Jim Pressman, president of Pressman Toy Corporation told FoxNews.com.
The physical game pieces, like the mini hockey strikers for the Air Hockey game or the fishing rods for Fishing Game, provides a whole new type of interactivity, plus the added sound effects of slithering snakes or splashing fish literally brings the game to life right in front of you.
Price: $9.99 – available June 2012
“Board games are all about bringing your friends and family together for social interaction and light-hearted competition."
- Jim Pressman, President of Pressman Toy Corporation
Whether your child has a knack for designing chic outfits, trendy footwear or purses, Style Me Up! offers a number of different themed sketchbooks that give young fashionistas a chance to reveal their creative ideas and innovations.
Each Style Me Up! Designer Sketchbook comes with about 30-40 sketch pages, stencil sheets, illustrated inspiration sheets and loads of accessory stickers.
“The new collection lets girls tap into the latest red-hot fashion trends in an affordable- and conveniently portable way that lets them showcase their personal style wherever they go,” Kevin Richer President of Wooky Entertainment , home of Style Me up!
And they didn’t forget their male audience. They also have a designer sketch book collection coming out that lets you design cars and superhero costumes.
Price: $7-$10 – available now
Solvej Biddle, a busy mother of two, knows all too well about the pit falls of traveling with little ones. Keeping games and all their accessories together was a constant challenge for her until she created the TrayKit.
The TrayKit is an all-in-one carry-on and play surface that comes in the form of a backpack that kids can zip up and bring along on any trip. Designed with a special strap that can be hung from the back of a seat or strapped to a tray table, the backpack zips open to unveil an extendable play surface with extra raised sides to keep everyone’s favorite toys safely secured within its play-space.
“TrayKit makes traveling with children more fun for them and more relaxing for you- no more toys on the floor, no bag to stow, simply close it when you are ready to go,” Biddle told FoxNews.com.
Biddle who appeared on BBC’s television show “Dragon’s Den” (similar to the U.S. version “Shark Tank”) says she sold TrayKit with her winning pitch, ‘Tray Kit is a practical solution to a common problem at a reasonable price’.
Price: $29.99 - available in May 2012
SeatPets are a great and practical travel accessory for kids on-the go. Designed to look like friendly stuffed-animal creatures, they attach to the shoulder restraint part of a seatbelt instantly turning uncomfortable stiff seatbelts into a cozy cushion. They come with 3 front pockets and two zippered compartments that kids can use to store their favorite toys, ipods or travel games in.
With their toys stored away in the pockets, kids will stay safely secured in their seats and won’t have to unbuckle their seatbelt just to reach a toy that may be packed away out of arms reach. The head of the friendly creature also acts as a perfect-sized pillow for kids to rest their heads on when drifting off to sleep on those longer road trips or flights.
Price: $19.99 – available March 2012