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16 Must-Have Items for Busy Parents On the Go

By: Mina Hochberg

Getting kids from point A to point B is an under-appreciated feat, whether you’re taking the tykes to the playground or on a cross-country flight. We asked parenting bloggers what they always have on hand or in the car to make traveling with kids easier.

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Photo: Ashley Muir Bruhn

DIY Audio Books

Turn car rides into story time by making your own audio book. Hither and Thither’s Ashley Muir Bruhn uses the Voice Memo function on her iPhone to record her kids’ favorite books. This allows her to incorporate the voices, sound effects and pauses that they’ve come to expect at story time.

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Photo: Ashley Muir Bruhn

Grab-and-Go Snacks

Preparing snacks can be a time suck when you’re in a rush to get somewhere, so Ashley Muir Bruhn preps “grab-and-go” snacks the night before. She sometimes bakes mini berry muffins and tosses them in a zip-top plastic bag. Another tip: Freeze yogurt sticks overnight to make for a sweet little treat the next day.

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Photo: Ashley Muir Bruhn

Makeshift Game Pieces

Cheerios make great game pieces when you’re on the go with your kids. Ashley Muir Bruhn likes to thread Cheerios on pipe cleaners, “fish” for Cheerios from a raisin box using tweezers, or play Tic-Tac-Toe with Cheerios (just bite an O in half to differentiate your piece from your kid’s).

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Crayons and Paper

There’s a reason family-friendly restaurants hand out paper and crayons for free: They’re invaluable tools for keeping antsiness at bay. “I always carry crayons and paper in my bag,” says Ilana Wiles, creator of Mommy Shorts. “If you want to be the kind of family that goes out to restaurants, you need to have stuff on hand to keep the kids occupied while they wait for their food.”

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