Children find simple joys along migrant trail

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NTP: Migrant children at play
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Children find simple joys along migrant trail
In this photo taken on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, a migrant girl play after crossing the border between Hungary and Austria in Nickelsdorf, Austria, 70 kilometers (43 miles) southeast of Vienna. Children are resourceful and find joy and distraction for hours in simple objects. Their parents often carry everything they still own in a backpack or two, making dolls and Lego blocks an impossible luxury. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
In this photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, migrant children play at Serbian Orthodox cemetery in no man's land near the border crossing between Serbia and Croatia near Sid, about 100 km west from Belgrade. Children are resourceful and find joy and distraction for hours in simple objects. Their parents often carry everything they still own in a backpack or two, making dolls and Lego blocks an impossible luxury. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, a migrant child looks at a unicorn painting during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in a shelter at a former shopping mall in Graz, about 190 kms (118 miles) south of Vienna, Austria. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Christian Bruna)
In this photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, young boy play, after a group of migrants crossed the border with Croatia arriving in Barcs, Hungary. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, an Afghan refugee child covers his face with a balloon while he and other migrants spent the night in a shelter near Graz, Austria. Children are resourceful and find joy and distraction for hours in simple objects. Their parents often carry everything they still own in a backpack or two, making dolls and Lego blocks an impossible luxury. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
In this picture taken on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, a Syrian boy holding a balloon runs after he arrived with his family from Turkey, to the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos, on an inflatable dinghy. Children are resourceful and find joy and distraction for hours in simple objects. Their parents often carry everything they still own in a backpack or two, making dolls and Lego blocks an impossible luxury. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, a Syrian refugee man plays with his daughter after spending the night near an abandoned military barrack in Beli Manastir, near Hungarian border, northeast Croatia. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, migrant children play at a fountain in Harmica near the Slovenian and Croatian border, in Croatia. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Christian Bruna)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, a boy sits on a toy car and plays with stuffed animals as he waits with other refugees for registration at the temporary registration center of the south German border town Passau, Germany. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, a young child laughs, looking out of a bus window in a center for asylum seekers near Roszke, southern Hungary. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
In this photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, syrian refugee child Jana Makkiyeh, 3, whose family comes from Damascus, Syria, holds a teddy bear while standing near her family's tent at a makeshift camp for asylum seekers in Roszke, southern Hungary. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, a young girl plays on a field as she waits in a camp near the border line between Serbia and Hungary in Roszke, southern Hungary. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, a young migrant boy jokes as he crosses the Hungarian-Serbian border with his family near Roszke, southern Hungary. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
In this photo taken Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015, migrants sit in a train to Salzburg at the Westbahnhof station in Vienna, Austria. Over 150,000 people seeking to enter Europe have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia, and many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. Children are resourceful and find joy and distraction for hours in simple objects. Their parents often carry everything they still own in a backpack or two, making dolls and Lego blocks an impossible luxury. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
In this photo taken on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, a boy rides his tricycle down the stairs of Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, a girl blows soap bubbles at the Keleti train station in Budapest, Serbia. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, a Syrian child plays with his mother as they travel by train from Belgrade to the northern Serbian town of Subotica. Children are resourceful and find joy and distraction for hours in simple objects. Their parents often carry everything they still own in a backpack or two, making dolls and Lego blocks an impossible luxury. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)
In this photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, a migrant girl stands near the border train station of Idomeni, northern Greece, waiting to be allowed by the Macedonian police to cross the border from Greece to Macedonia. Among the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, there are many families whose young children still play or find something to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, a Syrian migrant child plays in a park where his family are waiting for the chance to cross with to the nearby Greek island of Kos, on the coastal town of Bodrum, Turkey. The city of Bodrum, a magnet for wealthy tourists, is these days drawing plenty of other visitorsó migrants fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa and seeking a better life in Europe. At its closest point, the Greek island of Kos is only 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Turkey and migrants, mostly from Syria, but also from Afghanistan, Iran and African nations often try to cross in groups upward of eight people in small inflatable plastic boats meant for a maximum of four, powered by tiny electric outboard motors and plastic paddles. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2015 file photo, children play on a train track as migrants wait for a train heading toward Serbia, at the railway station in the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija. Macedonia is facing an increasing pressure of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa flowing into its southern and northern borders with Greece and Serbia and heading toward more prosperous European Union countries. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski, File)
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Among the hundreds of thousands of people making their way across Europe, fleeing conflict and poverty in places like Syria and Iraq, there are many families whose young children find things to smile about even after harrowing experiences and long journeys.

Their parents often carry everything they own in a backpack or two, making dolls and Legos an impossible luxury, but children are resourceful and find joy and distraction for hours in simple things — an empty can to kick around, cardboard boxes to build a fort, or a cemetery transformed into a hide-and-seek labyrinth.

SEE MORE: German states lower housing standards amid migrant influx

Volunteer groups aiding migrants ask for donations — not just food, clothing and medical supplies, but balls, balloons, teddy bears, magic markers, coloring books or paper and any simple toy children can use while they wait at border camps or train stations for the next set of authorities to decide their fate.

Until they reach their destinations, smiling adults are hard to find. Their faces reflect their travails and the uncertainty they're dealing with. Making a child smile is easier. A candy bar, a small toy, even a game of peek-a-boo brightens their day.

Here's a gallery of photos taken by Associated Press photographers around Europe showing children on the migrant trail.

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