Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flying for Spring Break? Airplane Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

The thought of taking toddlers or preschoolers on a confined airplane with over 200 strangers can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be so bad! I’m SERIOUS! Yes it will be tough, NO you probably will not get much reading done, and don’t even think of trying to enjoy a movie, but you WILL survive. And so will your children, and the 200 other people on the plane!

We generally pack an assortment of crafts, small toys and technology! Hopefullly this list will help packing your child’s carry-on for you vacation less stressful!

Crafts and art items are great ways to keep little ones still. When packing things that shut your child, think about 10 minute blocks of time. What will keep them occupied for that amount of time!
  • Beads and Pipecleaners: Be careful, these can be messy, but if you keep the beads in a ziplock or ask a flight attendant for an extra water cup and let your toddler string them on one at a time, they will be thrilled with the bracelet that they have made when it is done!
  • Wikki Stix: I have only been able to find these on bendy stings online, but they are great for the creative kid and much less messy than play dough. They can create 3D characters or shapes or letters! Markus and I made glasses on our last flight!
  • Sticker Books: These can be great for toddlers. I often let them stick the stickers all over themselves, me, or a coloring book.
  • Coloring Books and Crayons: Keep and eye out for the triangle shaped crayons so they don’t roll off the table. After you bonk your head for the 5th time trying to retrieve one that has rolled off the try table you will wish you had these (if you frequent White Spot, save yourself a pack of their triangle crayons for your next flight!) If you have toddler’s who cant quite be trusted to keep the markers off the tray tables, try the Crayola Color Wonder Invisible Markers and Padsthat only produce color on the paper. Means no marks are left on the tray tables!
  • Post it Notes: Mattias is 4 and is just learning letters. He loves using every single page of a post it note to practice his letters or draw pictures. They are also fun to stick all over everything for toddlers and are easy to clean up.
Besides craft and art items, small toys and activity items are another great way to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy! I usually go to Dollarama or another local dollar store and get some new things for the kids.
  • Small Plastic Animals: Depending on the kids interests, I usually grab a pack of plastic animals or figures before our trip. Whether it be farm animals, dinosaurs or bugs, it is something new and fun for the kids to use their imagination.
  • Band-Aids: Lets face it, kids LOVE them! And will love playing doctor and fixing your owies!
  • Travel Size Puzzles: I have a puzzle fanatic at my house, so I always hit up the dollar store and grab a few new puzzles for our flights and for some down time at our destination But check to make sure that the are not too big and will fit on the tray table (yup I have made that mistake too!)
Lets face it, the iPhone or tablet might just be your best friend on your next flight! Load it up with your toddlers favorite shows or games and let them at it! Even if you are a parent who likes to limit screen time, I think an airplane is a special occasion to let them have it! And with the new plane designs, a lot of planes do not have seat back televisions, especially those short flight economy airlines that many families take to places like Disneyland! Do not forget headphones that fit small heads. We made this mistake on our last trip and bought what looked like kids headphones. They ended up being way to big. Now we look for headphones designed specifically for toddlers. The ones made for LeapFrog LeapPads have been perfect!

Some More Handy Travel Tips:
  • Kids love presents. Consider wrapping each item up in tissue paper and letting them be surprised as they open it! On our last flight, my kids wrapped presents to give to me over and over! Whatever kills time! Go for it!
  • Don’t forget their special blanket or stuffy to keep them feeling safe. It also adds an extra person to take care of. My 4 year old Mattias loves role playing and being ”Bunny’s Daddy” on the plane and has to keep him buckled up etc.
  • Bring lots of snacks and maybe some treats too. They are a great way to kill time on the plane!
Remember just to take it 10 minutes at a time. Try and keep yourself calm and don’t worry if your two-year old is screaming because they do not want to sit in their own seat and the seatbelt sign is on. Pull out your best distracting tips whether it is looking out the window for a “bird” or another “plane.” Do not worry about being that mom who’s kid cried the whole way.

You may have seen those little “I’m sorry” type packs that are going around online, with a pair of earphones to give out for the adults sitting next to you. Should you do this? In my opinion? NO. These people sitting around you are adults, they should be mature enough to handle a child on a flight! If they really think they deserve peace and quiet they should not fly on an airplane with 200 other passengers.

Hopefully these packing tips will make your next vacation with your toddlers or preschoolers a little easier! Bon Voyage

Contest Time! Enter to win some special travel gear for your little one this Spring Break! We want your little one to have a fantastic Spring Break traveling in style. Win one of these Heys 18' rolling luggage by entering online at 

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