When we first started traveling full-time as a family the younger Fives were pretty upset about not being able to pack all of their toys. We did our best to convince them that they would stay plenty entertained without a closet full of toys (most of which never saw the light of day). In most respects they were troopers as we paired down their toys and drove away with only what they could fit in their backpacks. As it turned out the kids didn’t miss their toys much at all, especially when we were camping, or busy hiking or beaching everyday.
However, when we stayed in Prince Edward Island for two months this past summer we decided to experiment with adding a set of LEGO bricks to our pile of belongings. We had been wanting to use LEGO building bricks as a home school tool and we liked that LEGO products are an appropriate toy for all three of our kids. At first we started off small with just one set for each kid. Then Nana Five visited and brought with her a tub of LEGO bricks that she had received from a friend. Finally before leaving the kids found one more set at thrift store that they bought with their savings.
At this point we were a little worried about how we would pack this growing pile of toys into the Mazda5. As it turns out most LEGO bricks are actually super portable and fit nicely into a waterproof dry bag that we strap to the hitch platform. The next concern was how to use and store all these bricks and mini figures without investing in a LEGO table or storage drawer system. We were also getting pretty sick of stepping on random figures and asking the kids to clean their half built designs off of the kitchen table.
With a little online research we discovered one of those truly remarkable products. It is called the Lay-n-Go Activity Mat and it makes storing and playing with LEGO bricks a breeze. Lay-N-Go was developed by a family with three kids that needed a better solution to managing their LEGO collection. The activity mat that they designed can be used for any toys or games and is durable, easy to store, and most importantly it is super easy for kids to take out and put away.
We own the large activity mat which gives the younger Fives 5 ft. of space to house all of their LEGO creations. They all easily fit around the mat and when they are done playing they simply pull the drawstring cord and pick-up is complete. No more hunting around for lost pieces and no more nagging the kids to get a handle on the mess. We love that the Lay-n-Go mat is made out of Poly ripstop making it travel tough. We also love the carrying strap, and the inside storage pockets where the kids can store their special LEGO figures or pieces that they want easily accessible.
When we start traveling by air in a few years we obviously won’t be able to take our large activity mat with us. However, Lay-n-Go also offers a Lite version that is the perfect size for backpacks or carry on luggage. These bags are really great for setting down anywhere to play without the fear of losing pieces or dealing with a tedious pick-up. If you have a LEGO fan in your house we definitely recommend taking a look at the Lay-n-Go product line. Five Spice has already been dropping hints about their ingenious cosmetics bags and we just noticed their new Lifestyle bag. We might just have to outfit the whole family with Lay-n-Go bags before our next big adventure.