XP: Activities on the plane? — The Bump
Pre-School

XP: Activities on the plane?

We're flying across the country in a couple of weeks with our 3 and 4 year old girls. It will be their first time on an airplane which is exciting, but one of our legs will be 4 hours long! Any tips for activities to help keep them occupied on such a long flight? We will be bringing our portable DVD player (w/headphones) as well as crayons/coloring books. But was wondering if anyone had any other great ideas to share that may not be so obvious. (We'll have a 2-hour layover too and then another flight - ugh - yes, we're crazy!) TIA!

Re: XP: Activities on the plane?

  • I had a friend who just travels tons with her son help me prepare with my trip with Rachel.  She told me, pack lightly and anything non-essential into the checked luggage.  On the plane have maybe 1 or 2 small toys per child, 1 or 2 dvds per child, one book per kid, small dvd player, and one coloring thing (I got a paint with water book from Hobby Lobby) where the water was in a pen and the ink would erase after 15 minutes... it was great that thing entertained for hours) and some snacks.  She was right about not needing a lot.  I was surprised b/c she really only played with her paint book and watched her DVD.

    Carry your one carry on in a back pack b/c you will be bending and moving a lot in the airport and often the airport is more challenging than the flight which I found to be very true.  I'm grateful I wasn't lugging around stuff besides my purse and back pack b/c Rachel was so crazy in that airport.  Most airports have a kids play area.  Rachel loved it to let off steam!!!!

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  • All stuff I bought for our trip on the plane.  DS is 4.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312502206

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0806984635

     http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596731567

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0528965425

     http://www.amazon.com/Wikki-Stix-Wiggles-Squiggles-Curlicues/dp/0974665207/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1313608972&sr=8-2

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312504837

    Also, sticky notes (post it's) you can draw roads on them and stick them on the tray and change them up, little matchbox cars to drive on it, books to read, coloring books, pipe cleaners, painters tape all can be used and easily removed.  Gum for take off and landing!  Any loveys they might want to snuggle.  Hope this helps :)

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  • Post it notes. Really. And stickers to put on them.
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  • We don't have a pdvd player, but I have recently flown a similar distance with two and driven 19 straight hours with them. Stickers, coloring materials, small cheep craft. We made pipercleaner monkeys on the plane and had this sticker by shape thing where she filled in the colored stickers to make a butterfly. I also brought kiddie magazines (aka pottery barn kids catalogue etc that she just sat and looked at) and bought a couple of new thin cheep paperback books, like I spys. Also one new small toy captivated both mine for a good long time.

    i don't do gum for take offs and landings, but gummy snacks. I try to avoid sugar most of the time, but hey, whatever works.

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  • We travel a lot, including long international flights (solo with DD, no DH or other relatives), and I've never traveled with a DVD player. DD is pretty good at playing with her baby doll- feeding her, changing her diaper, trying to get her to nap, etc. and that alone usually takes up at least an hour of the flight.

    Other activities that occupy her are:

    - playing with play-doh (then I just throw it out when we get to the destination, I actually hate play-doh and DD never plays with it in the house, so this is a "cool only for planes" activity)

    - a sketcher/doodler

    - miniature play-sets like dollhouse furniture or those little Animal sets I forget the name of- Calico Critters, I think?

    - Color Wonders markers & coloring books

    - snacks, tons and tons of snacks

    If all else fails, she likes to play with my camera or phone or make-up or anything else in my own carry-on that seems cool to her.

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  • We flew a couple of weeks ago and the best toys I got were a travel magnadoodle and some silly putty. They LOVED playing with those. (got both at the dollar tree.) also, small puzzles, but you have to be careful with those. and lots of snacks. :)
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  • Just finished up a 2.5 hr flight with the kids (twice as was round-trip).  Ditto pps -- portable dvd player is PERFECT.  Make sure you have 2 sets of headphones as most can support 2 sets.  I put a stash of DVDs in a CD travel holder I had.  I got a new DVD for the plane (a Caillou one for DD and Mater's Tall Tales for DS (which I now can recite by heart)).  I packed each kid's carryon the night before and they could not open until on the plane.  Each got a new something -- DD got colored pencils in a bag and DS got a new matchbox car.  Snacks in each -- travel bags of cheese crackers, fruit snacks, pretzels, animal crackers.  I made sure each had a sippy of some sort.  Ditto the post-it notes and stickers.  DD really got into those.  I also had for her some small dolls to play with -- her little princess dolls and a Calico Critters set her grandma bought her.  Books are also good -- ones like Little Critter, Berenstein Bears, The ___ from the Black Lagoon, Fancy Nancy, etc. that are soft covered so easy traveling.   We also loaded games on the iTouch for DD to play.  I like the play-doh idea -- hate the stuff myself so we never have it but good to have on the plane.  I'll use that for next time!  Be sure to also pack travel wipes to clean the tray tables, armrests and such and extra bags for any dirty items you need to clean later.


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    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

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