As my husband, three children and I get ready to fly down south to visit grandparents, I again begin racking my brain to think of things to prepare us for the time we will be in the airports and in flight. I tend to plan for the worst and assume that all of our flights will be delayed in order to avoid getting “stuck” with cranky kids. Here are some ideas I have used (or plan to try next weekend when we go!).
New things to “unveil” during the trip • A new, novel toy or book can really entertain. • I often hit up yard sales and second hand shops before a trip to get “new” things.
Coloring Pack • A new coloring book and a box a fresh crayons keeps my clan quite entertained. • Also a pen with a blank notebook. • Avoid markers (they mess up that cute shirt you put on for Grandma to see and you will inevitably lose half the marker tops on your first flight).
Snacks • Children can spend a surprising amount of time consuming snack foods. Our favorites are snacks that are non-messy and are I count on my kids usually eating 2 days worth of snackfoods on the trip there! • GUM…everyone gets their OWN (oh, the excitement in our family) pack of gum to chew at take-off and landing. It wouldn’t ensure your kids still won’t have ear issues when they fly, but it will help.
A small jar of playdough • My kids LOVE to see what my husband creates especially.
mp3 player with headphones • This can really buy you some magazine reading time. • I LOVE that some airplanes have satellite tv on their flights. A word of caution. . .not all programming is child-appropriate.
In-Flight Magazines • “Shop” for your next birthday list (my older kids actually write a list out which burns up A LOT of time). • Play the alphabet game. Find a picture in the magazine that starts with A, B, C… (this game can be played on the plane, in the airport, car, etc)
The Airsick Bag Hopefully you don’t have to use it as it was intended (I have with a three year old and it was NOT fun) • Use it as a puppet to decorate. • Put a small item in and have your child reach in and guess what it is.
The Shape Game • Draw as many shapes as you can think of….then search for things around you that are that shape.
Draw your DREAM AIRPLANE • Draw the outline of a plane and have your kids draw what their dream airplane would have in it…trampoline? Free Dairy Queen?
Finish That Picture • One person draws a squiggle and the next person has to turn it into something.
Traditional Games • TIC TAC TOE • Hangman • 20 Questions • Write words from the letters in your destination (ie… CHICAGO) or from other travel words.
52 Fun Things to Do on the Plane by Lynn Gordon • My kids love to pick a card from the pack when we fly. She has some really fun ideas. It is a GREAT deal for just $7.00!
What entertainments do you use for your children when you are traveling?
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