All the Toys I Brought On Our Cross-Country Trip Fit Into One Little Baby Backpack

Ivy and I just got back home from a month long trip across the country to visit her Nana (Grandma on daddy’s side) in Virginia. I had never been to the East Coast, and it really was breathtaking to be in a completely different part of the country. Nana treated us like princesses, and I miss the lush Virginian forests and dramatic Blue Ridge Mountains already.

This experience came at the price of thousands of miles by plane and hundreds of miles by car, as we toured the countryside. Ivy is an excellent little traveler, but she gets bored like any toddler sitting in one spot for hours.


I brought along a single little baby backpack full of small toys, all very light and compact. I learned from our last big trip that you don’t need to take lots of bulky, heavy toys to keep your child amused. (They usually end up tossing them aside anyway! So why struggle?!!) A handful of small figurines, cars, little activities, and miniature books will keep them just as occupied. I kept everything organized with little plastic baggies. It was easy as pie.



  • A bag of finger puppets
  • 4 toy cars
  • a few colorfully shaped rubber erasers
  • An assortment of plastic animals that fit into a sandwich bag
  • One larger plastic horse and red rubber alligator
  • A toy police bike
  • 3 mini books
  • A pack of easy-peel stickers (not pictured)
  • One stuffed horse (pictured below)

Were these the only toys I packed? Well, for the most part, yes. To be on the safe side I did keep a few other tricks up my sleeve, such as some larger books tucked into her diaper bag, some paper and crayons, and one or two smaller gadgets to keep her amused. (Nana’s pocket tape measure is a good example of one of these extra “toys”–thanks Nana!)

Honestly, the biggest toy you can pack is yourself really. This humble collection of playthings was more than enough to keep Ivy smiling, especially with mom there to play them with her. If I were to simply toss her these toys, she was done with them in about ten seconds…but if I were to play with her (either with or without the toys), she was engaged for a great deal longer.

ivydecorsmallerAll in all, traveling with a baby was actually fun. When the toys ran out, I pointed the sights out to her as I saw them and we enjoyed seeing and doing new things together. The neat thing about traveling with young children is that it makes you see things from their point of view a little bit more because, in unfamiliar territory, it’s a new world to you too.

Happy Trails!



One thought on “All the Toys I Brought On Our Cross-Country Trip Fit Into One Little Baby Backpack

  1. Jyoti,

    Thanks for providing such a down-to-earth example of how to entertain a toddler with the “less is more” style of parenting. As you stated, “the biggest toy you can pack is yourself.” Wise words, Mama! So refreshing to see in an age of too much stuff and too little time spent with our precious little ones. Hugs, Nana Karen

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