They’re excited! Traveling by plane is new and exciting. They can’t sit still while waiting to board the plane, never mind expecting them to sit in a seat for hours. And for me sitting in a cramped spot for a number of hours with my fidgety children doesn’t exactly top my list of my favorite things to do. However, when it comes to traveling, it is something we all must face, whether it be an airplane or a car and it really can be fun for all. I see you shaking your head, but it can be a good time with a little planning. Really!
As my family and I are getting ready to head to Disney in a matter of days. I’ve compiled my favorite fairly inexpensive, easy to pack and still entertaining products to keep them busy while we fly the friendly skies.
We all know about electronic devices whether it be a tablet or phone, a travel DVD player, or other small game playing device, so I’m going to focus on non-electronic devices in this post.
Aqua Doodle: My boys big and small love this drawing pad. It’s thin, thus making it easy to pack in your carry on. It comes with its own pen that uses water to draw. This is a great mess-free drawing pad! It’s called Aqua Doodle – Travel Doodle. If you are taking this on a plane, after you pass through security, fill up the ‘pen’ in the bathroom sink. Now draw with the water pen. The magic is as it dries, it disappears so your kids can draw and draw which is really pretty cool, in my opinion!
Journal/Notebook: Pick up a journal book or note pad at your local discount store such as Wal-mart and some washable markers and each child can make their own “book”. My four-year old loves to draw pictures and then we create a story together to go with his picture and my nine-year old will write out a story complete with illustrations. It’s fun, educational and keeps them busy (at least for a few minutes!)
If you want to get really fancy, Lakeshore Learning has a Draw & Write Children’s Journal that is pretty great for writing and illustrating a story.
Sticker Books: Always a favorite for little fingers are Sticker books. Using their fine motor skills (or mom/dad’s help) peeling the stickers off and being able to pick where they go is a fun activity! A search on Amazon for Sticker books will pull up lots of results. Here are some my recommendations that my kids have enjoyed.
Build Your Own Cupcake Sticker Activity Book. This is a tiny, fits in your hand sticker book.
Ultimate Sticker Book: Frozen – Disney’s Elsa & Anna and all their friends in this full color fun sticker book.
LEGO DC Comics Super Hero Sticker Book – Great for fans of all ages!
Wikki Stix: Like a pipe cleaner but better! These are made of a waxy material that not only make them safe for little hands but they stick together much easier. I know I’m always poking myself with the metal on the pipe cleaners and honestly I’m not even sure pipe cleaners would make it through TSA so play it safe and order some Wikki for your next airplane trip and see what fun creations you and your kids can come up with! Wikki Stix are available on Amazon.com.
Books: Reading books although fun may be hard to do with the airplane noise never mind the people around you may not want to hear you reading a story. Picture books are easy to go through especially for toddlers.
My First Body Board Book was one of my son’s favorites when he was younger. Pointing at each of the pictures and telling your child what each item is or just let the child flip through the book themselves.
A Squirrel’s Tale was a favorite of my older son when he was a toddler. This book has a cardboard cut out of a squirrel which passes through a slot on each page. The squirrel got used so often, we had to buy another copy of this book so he could continue his adventure over and over again!
Activity books: dot to dot, mazes – Kumon activity books. This is probably one of my favorite things to get due to the sheer multitude of variety available.
Coloring: Nothing beats a few crayons and a coloring book or some plain paper. But if your child intentionally or not, colors on the airplane tray, you may wish you had something like Crayola Color Wonder Disney Coloring Pad which allows your child to color but mess free! The markers only work on the special Crayola paper. Win-win!
Another Sticker Activity: This is a twist on the sticker activity books. It’s like a puzzle with puffy sticker pieces. Better for kids with a better fine motor skills. My nine-year old is very excited to take on the challenge of Melissa & Doug’s Stained Glass “Undersea Fantasy”
Other Tips: Don’t show everything at once. Keep the element of surprise on your side. Show one thing at a time and then wait. Let them have a snack and stare out the window. Maybe, just maybe they will close their little eyes and you could all have a little quiet!
Consider packing half of your airplane activities in your suitcase for the way home! The way back can be just as long as getting there and now you have a fussy kid because the excitement of getting to a new place is long gone. So be sure to keep some fun stuff on hand!
Don’t forget the snacks, a small blanket, their favorite cuddle friend and wipes!
Have a great time on your trip!
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