Monday, April 14, 2014

What are some good games and toys to bring with us when we travel for adoption?

If you are adopting from Poland, as of 2014, you will have a 3 week bonding period with your child before court and then a 2 week appeal period after that. You will have a total of 5 weeks of just “hanging out” and being with your new family member.
Here is a list of some great toys or games to bring with you on your adoption trip. We brought some of these and it was very helpful for us during the bonding period. Some days we would just stay in our pajamas watch movies and play games. It was a great time for us to show our daughter how to play some basics games-that every child should know how to play.

Matching Games or Memory Cards
Barrel of Monkeys
Hungry Hippos
Go Fish
Old Maid

Browse the game section in Target or Walmart, look for games that can easily be taken out of the boxes, put in ziplock bags, and/or can lay flat in your suitcase. Remember: You will have to explain the directions to your child, who will not speak English, so pick some games that are easy to explain or demonstrate-not games like Monopoly or Risk). I would get simple games for ages 3 to 5.

Hidden Pictures activity book
Dot to Dot (with numbers, not alphabet) activity book
Coloring Books
Easy Picture activity books
Children’s Books for reading (Dr. Seuss books, simple, short books with lots of color)

Other Ideas for Activities
Paper Airplane book with construction paper
Friendship Bracelet Kits
Jewelry making kit (could be for boys and girls)
Water colors, Crayons, and Markers
Bubbles (Might be a suitcase risk. You can buy bubbles in Poland if you don’t want to chance it.)
Cookie Mixes (bring sprinkles or other cookie decorations to decorate)

Baby Dolls
Stuffed Animals
Lincoln Logs

Now, I am not advocating that you bring everything on this list, and who has the suitcase room for all of that. Just bring a couple from each category. You could almost always buy little toys or knick knacks while you are in Poland. They do have a Legos store and a Toy Rus in Warsaw, most every town we visited had a little toy store shop with lots of toys.

If you are looking for free ideas to do with your family, click here.

If you want to know what we packed in our suitcases, click here.

Do you have any other good ideas for toys or games to bring for adoption travel? What did you bring for your child that you are so glad that you brought?


  1. I love reading all of your great advise. I often wonder what made Poland the right country for you to adopt from. Was there anything specific? Also, I often worry about attachmeny issues with an older
    child. Has it been easier or more difficult than you imagined?

    1. Thanks for following! We chose Poland for lots of reasons. It's not a popular country to adopt from, so we didn't have to be put on a wait list. We wanted to adopt originally from Ukraine, but it was temporarily closed at the time we started the paper process. Poland was a new program at Lifeline Child and we were able to get a small scholarship for being the pilot family. And after much research on Poland and it's history, we fell in love with the country. So, nothing specific led us to Poland, just lots of little things.

      As far as the attachment issues go, it has been very difficult than I could have ever imagine. Our daughter was not properly informed of the adoption or that she even needed to be adopted, so adjustment for us, is harder than most adoptions. I would love to share more with you. Feel free to email me (sarai dot barnett at gmail dot com).