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.
- 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!)
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!
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