Thursday, October 7, 2010

How to Keep your Kids Happy on an Airplane

When I flew to Oregon to visit my Dad, I have to admit I was slightly TERRIFIED to be on an airplane with two crazies under the age of 3. I prepared as well as I could and then held my breath. On the first flight, the stewardess stopped and asked me how on earth I was surviving. In the midst of my spilled water and soggy pretzels, I showed her my secret weapons that made the trip bearable. She said she was getting ready to take a trip with her 1 1/2 year old and needed some ideas. So here they are:

My three year old loved Melissa and Doug's coloring pad so I found this sticker book to keep both girls busy on the plane. They put the stickers on the back of the previous page, so I didn't even need to bring paper. Stickers are a fantastic distraction for both toddlers and preschoolers. Great tool.

Next up is the Leap Frog Tag Reading System. This one is more of an investment (~$35) but even my 1 1/2 year old enjoys it. You have specific books that go with the pen and then the pen reads them to your toddler. There's games on each page and all they have to do is touch the pen to the pictures. The only downside was that the pen was difficult to hear on the plane, but it still helped.

Never underestimate the power of a coloring book. Crayons are safe and do not stain. However, if your 1 1/2 year old has the same addiction as mine does, some will get ingested. So try THIS:

If you haven't already converted, these little packets are wonderful. And those markers can be swiped across your clothes a hundred times and not stain a thing. Love these.

Again, mess free. Need I say more?

Other tips:
Bring suckers (Dum-dums are the smallest). I know they can get messy, but it helps keep your toddler's ears from aching on the flight. For little ones, you can use a pacifier and/or a bottle during take-off and landing.

Only order water. (You know it's going to spill.)

Let others help you and don't feel bad for being the slow one in the security line. I try not to allow myself to feel rushed (like when my youngest rubbed banana all over her cute outfit and my three year old refused to walk b/c she wanted to be in the stroller and they had to totally tear apart my diaper bag in security to make sure I wasn't a crazed pregnant terrorist). Take your sweet time.

Pack the LIGHTEST carry-on bag you can stand. You'll be grateful.

Snacks, snacks, snacks. Pack non-messy ones like pretzels, crackers, apples (not red delicious--those stain), cheese sticks, fruit snacks, etc.

Be patient. So so patient. The flight WILL end. Good luck!
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1 comment :

  1. Thank you! This is such good advice! 2 more long flights till I'm back with you!
    You are amazing!