Simple Toys that Do Double Duty

Many of us will hit the highways this winter for family fun time, adventures and vacations.  While you may have thought to pack your roadside necessities like the ones shared in Mary Ann's post (Winter Travel is in the Bag), you may want to check out this short list of double duty must haves.  While the winter travel lists take care of the basic and essential needs of your family, don’t forget the items that can be used to pass the time or for play.  These items can be used for family fun in any weather, but can also do double duty in an emergency.

  • Sand toys – a bag of duel-purpose items for any season:  
    • Garden spades with strong handles for digging in the dirt or snow (Doubles as a shovel to help dig out a snow bank, or spread dirt for better traction.)
    • Buckets for shaping snow bricks for a fort or shelter (can also be used to haul water from a nearby creek when the engine overheats)
  • Drawstring Garbage bags – not just for gathering trash.
    • Easily made into a rain poncho to keep clothes and kids warm and dry in a rain or snow storm.
    • Punch your feet through the bottom and use the strings as suspenders and you have a dry place to sit or an instant sled in unexpected snow.
    • Put a damaged tire inside one after you have changed it, so the rest of your belongings don’t get dirty.
  • Deck of Cards – any game you like to help pass the time while you wait for a tow truck or while you are eating lunch during an outing.  Travel games that come in small packages also work well.
  • Small Cars or Animals – Dinosaurs, zoo animals or hot wheels can help little children during and emergency.  They are also helpful when they need to sit still at a doctor’s office or during an older sibling’s sporting event.  You can use them to play in the sand or the snow, too.  Build roads, a jungle or anything their little imaginations can muster.  The sky is the limit.
When it comes to winter travel, there's always room for the fun stuff.  These items take up less than 12 cubic inches of space all together.  These are items that don't require charging so when ipods and tablets go dead, you'll be glad you thought ahead.

Safe and Happy Travels to You and Yours!

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