Handbag Of Tricks

If you have to take your children out to a place where they need to sit still and be quiet, a bag of tricks is a prerequisite!  I’ve often been amazed at the small items mums have tucked into the pockets of their handbags and nappy bags to entertain their littlies.  I have seen some mums with mini crayon packets and notebooks, and others with a stash of small cars.  One creative mum I know has a transparent scarf which is lots of fun for older bubs and young toddlers.

A friend gave my daughter this sweet wooden game which is just perfect for such occasions.

It’s basically a balancing game, and I love that it can be single or multiplayer.  You roll the coloured die and place the corresponding piece onto the wobbly base.  If you knock the tower down you lose!

There are only six or seven pieces in the game, and as they are all made of soft wood they don’t make too much noise on a coffee table when they crash down (yes, we’ve tried it in a few cafes…)  I’d love to find where to buy this game as it would make a great little gift.

I’m curious.  How do you keep your little ones quiet but still busy when you’re out in public?  What’s in your bag of tricks??

18 thoughts on “Handbag Of Tricks

  1. a packet of balloons for my toddler to play with when I was feeding the baby in the shops,
    Now they are bigger I have gone as far as taking a mini suitcase to a meeting that went for an hour. The mini DVD player, colouring in books, crayons, story books, some little people and a mini little people bus, baboushka dolls (big doll to tiny one about 7 in the set) keeps both my kids entertained for ages. I just take that at times on its own. Im sure Miss 3 and Mr 1 would love it too. I have a huge train track table at home that is all glued down but I did keep a few bits seperate to take, 10 little bits of train track and 2 trains are lots of fun. I also take a small mat that they have to sit on, toys stay on the mat and kids stay on the mat if they hop off its into the pram. Needless to say they stay on the mat. When you do it alone for as long as I have you need these tricks. If you find out where your friend got the dice game please let me know, I would not mind getting one. Oh and little containers of food are a great time fillers, plan meetings for feeding time and they sit and eat for half of it.

    Will be sure to visit this post a couple of times to get all the great ideas.
    .-= Rizoleey´s last blog ..Busy Busy Busy =-.

  2. Oh that game looks fab – please let us know if you find a source!

    I have a pocket in my bag that is full of little animals, matchbox cars, the odd dinosaurs and other little things. M loves to play with these while we watch the girls at ballet.

    We also have lovely fabric pencil rolls that come to appointments or out to dinner etc with a exercise books and some stickers.
    .-= katef´s last blog ..Trading Insults. =-.

  3. Admittedly, I don’t really carry anything for my 3yo. With my two eldest boys, I always had something! If I have anything, it’s a notepad and texta zooms so he can draw. Failing that, he’ll play with something of mine (I had a little measuring tape I bought at Freedom, that to retract, you had to squeeze it, and that would keep him amused for ages)!

    The balancing blocks is a great idea! I used to take small cars for my other boys and a small felt board and felt shapes if we went out to dinner. Sticker books or just stickers and paper also works well!
    .-= Jodie at Mummy Mayhem´s last blog ..The Curse of the Chermoula Paste? =-.

  4. I would love that balancing game too! Please let us know if you find where we can get one. I also like the idea of the babushka dolls. I will have to look around for some. My kids (aged 1 and 2.5) seem to prefer playing with everything BUT the toys I bring along for them. I have had some success with Little People. My toddler can create a scenario for them anywhere we go and is starting to get really imaginative. My baby has just started to walk, and is more interested in exploring her environment.

  5. I have a couple of matchbox cars and mini dolls in my handbag or car. The technological entertainment are the ‘colour bubbles’ game on my phone and nDS Nintendog. The traditional tic-tac-toe is good if I am up to it.(my kids can play from about 4 yo).
    My boy was very good with a couple of matchbox cars except for some roaming engine sound he made when I had to take him to a meeting at work.

  6. You know, I remember trying many things…
    But now I quickly look for something that is there – that will improvise as a toy/book.
    My kids have always rejected the things I’ve taken with me. But we always seem to find something and if there isn’t anything interesting to improvise with I always have pens and a note pad in my hand bag – a little scribble goes a long way. :)
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Free Book =-.

  7. I’m getting some great ideas from this post and the other replies. My children are only 6 months and 21 months, so I haven’t done a lot of this yet. Usually my 21 month old is happy with a couple of books, then food. 30 minutes is still about all I can get out of her without her wanting to walk/ run around. This is okay in some contexts (our local library, our doctor’s surgery – they have a play area), but the days of enjoying a cafe or restaurant have been put on hold since my 21 month old has been walking.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..The “Good” Wife =-.

  8. A friend gave me 2 small packets of Wikisticks – sort of coloured strings of playdough that sort of stick to eachother but can be separated again – can’t buy them here, I think she got hers in Canada. Great fun – even the older kids love them, and also silent, so useful for church too. Can be educational – spell names, make numbers etc.

    Small sticker books always handy. Also those peel and cling stickers – handy for airplane windows, cafe menus etc

    And of course the ultimate toddler activity ….playing on Mum’s iphone!
    .-= janmary, n ireland´s last blog ..Signs of the times =-.

  9. My 3 year old daughter and nearly 2 year old son each have a little back pack with little toys. I change the toys around after every time we are out so just having a look at what has been packed each time keeps then entertained. I always have a scribble pad and pencils for drawing in my hand bag as a last resort ; once they are bored of that it’s time to go. My 5 year old brings her own notebook and pencils “just like mums”.

  10. Yes the bag of tricks is essential Catherine. Lately we’ve had to take ours to all sorts of places. I usually put stickers and paper in there for sticker collage, some little books (like the little Charlie n Lola books), some sort of quiet game or the Maisy/Playschool/Bananas magnetic boards and colouring in. By far the best thing that goes into the bag is the pencil wallet that Aunty Mel (my lovely sister-in-law) made for the girls for Christmas this year. It’s a fabric roll which has felt sewn onto it in a way that allows the pencils to be neatly stored. It fits easily into the bag or the girls backpacks. I thought this was a great homemade present. We have used them over and over and over again.
    .-= Busy Brissy Mum´s last blog ..The Button Bug =-.

  11. that game does look fab! when my hubs goes to Oz in march, he’s going to have to find me one (or two!) my kids have always been excellent in restaurants–granted here in the states, restaurants cater to kids with free crayons, kids menus with activities, bread before dinner, etc. honestly can’t remember what i did when they were younger, now they’re older and we’re adamant that they won’t plug into dvds or ipods–we want them to learn to sit nicely at a restaurant. ispy is a big favorite at the moment or super tic tac toe if we’re getting antsy!
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Japanese Snow Cottage =-.

  12. We’ve had some success using an old baby wipes container and some paddle pop sticks – my 18 month old would spend ages posting the sticks through the hole in the top of the container. And stickers will keep him going for a while there too!

  13. I take pencils & colouring book out with us or small toys.A handbag or backpack of
    tricks is essential for my twinsanity.

    That game looks amazing – please let us all know if you find a source!

    I have a wooden toy of 6 coloured rectangular blocks connected by elastic it was $4.95 and it is the best travel toy ever no pieces to lose and it makes so many different things.Called a What’z it fidget block.It can create a tower, a bed, a letter of the alphabet or just fidget with the blocks. Such Fun!

    Adults love it too.It clicks & clacks …I really wanted a wooden ‘Jacob’s ladder’ click clack toy which is similar but flatter blocks.

    I got it from special needs toys australia they have hundreds of toys under $10 perfect for ahandbag of tricks.Must stay away from it ;).
    .-= trish´s last blog ..Monday =-.

  14. I kept my twins pretty entertained for most of 45 minutes the other day just by doling out cheerios four and five at a time. Only works when food is allowed and wanted, though.

    I recently took some long walks with friends and when the twins started getting bored they were messing with each other in the stroller. I picked a couple of ivy leaves nearby the walking trail and gave one to each twin. They LOVED it and it kept their hands busy so they couldn’t mess with each other.
    .-= KDL´s last blog ..Sunday Digest 14 =-.

  15. I have a mini tub of playdoh. They can play with it or I make it into shapes and they guess what it is or I break the pieces up and we do counting. Endless fun. I also have some plastic beads and a shoe string for threading and I carry some reins – the kids sit and love clipping and unclipping all the clips on it!

  16. Cath, I got the game in Samford in Brizzy!! there is a little gift shop next to the pub has quite a few great toys. Just can’t remember the name…

Comments are closed.