We’ve been sticking close to home lately while I’ve been under the weather, but there’s no such thing as a sick day when a toddler is involved. I recently read a blog post on A Beautiful Mess about tips for eating out with toddlers, and the idea of a toddler-sized backpack with a few activities was right up our alley.
I usually bring a couple books in my diaper bag (which is also a backpack) but they’re smushed in with the snacks, bibs, diaper changing supplies, etc. And to be honest, we usually resort to screens to prolong our time at restaurants… but even that doesn’t always last. Amelia loves feeling independent, like all toddlers, so I knew she would love a backpack of her very own!
She is so, so proud wearing this little backpack (yellow, of course!) and I packed it with a few essentials for outings:
- book – Babybug magazines are a great size for little hands and packed with colorful, engaging short stories/poems!
- playing cards – Amelia loves Sesame Street so these number flashcards are a hit. She can find matches, count each number, or just point out her favorite characters (Elmo, always).
- zipper pouch to hold a couple matchbox cars – honestly, opening and closing the zipper is the main attraction
To keep the crayons contained, I couldn’t resist making a roll-up crayon caddy. The idea is nothing new, but after a quick Google search I found this free tutorial by Made for Mermaids which was super easy to follow. I cut into the Heather Ross fabric that I bought at Quiltcon and let Amelia pick out the button. My little helper is fascinated by the sewing machine and this project was so quick and easy that she could sit in my lap from (almost) start to finish.
Next time I might make a few tweaks… I want an extra pocket to hold a little notepad or sticker sheets, I’d like it to be a bit smaller to fit regular crayons, and I’d probably use a smaller hair band for the closure. But this was a great starting point and can hold all kinds of paintbrushes/markers/etc. It’s perfect to throw in the backpack: for toddlers, half the fun is in the process of rolling it up, pulling the crayons out and tucking them back in, and fitting the elastic over the button.
Amelia is super pleased with her new backpack and everything in it, and so am I!
Over the weekend I finally felt well enough to attempt an outing, so we took it out for a test run. It came in handy when the check took longer than expected and we needed a distraction pronto!