This is my answer to the question: What is the weirdest, but the most necessary thing you carry when you travel? It's posted on Quora and has gotten 9,400 views and 752 upvotes!
I always carry small toys to entertain my kids, because so much of travel involves waiting around — and I save screen time for when we’re in the air. These days, I always have playing cards and a pen and paper. When they were younger, it was Hot Wheels cars, sticker books and Lego guys.
When my son was 2, he was obsessed with light switches. On, off, on, off, on, off. It never got old. So I bought a few from a hardware store and carried them in my purse.
So that’s my weirdest travel accessory: light switches. They stopped or prevented several toddler tantrums, so I’d say they were quite worth it!