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Old 05-24-2011, 01:37 AM   #1
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Toys / Ideas to keep a toddler amused on a long flight

Next Year i will be taking my 2.5 year old to Florida from the UK. I thought it might be a good idea to do a post with a list of ideas for the long plane journey to keep my toddler amused. Please can you share your ideas.

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Old 05-24-2011, 02:44 AM   #2
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I flew a lot with my kids when they were toddlers It really wasn't that bad at all. What I found worked best were:

Pay attention to them and not expect them to entertain themselves (so many parents just seem to want to read or watch the in flight movie--once the kids reach the point of demanding attention you are already in a losing situation).

Pack a variety of snacks that you know your little one likes and pull those out every so often. Aim for not too messy and semi healthy stuff.

Activities that are unusual to the child. For my kids, office supplies (which they did not normally play with) were always a big airplane hit--and not expensive for me to buy Post it notes were fun or them to draw on and then stick all over the window, tray table, etc (get a variety of colors and sizes). Colored masking tape or electrical tape and popsicle sticks make great building and art supplies. Colored "dot" stickers are easy for little fingers to peel off the backing on their own and not so sticky that you can't get them off later. Toddlers can also spend a looong time fascinated by making chains with larger sized paper clips. Add in a couple of small new toys, a lovey, markers or crayons and you are set.

Bring out new things to do slowly throughout the trip. Don't pull it all out right away--the first half hour or more she will probably be fascinated enough by the plane and all that is going on around her that you do not need ANYthing you brought with you.

Stay active at the gate before you board the plane. I there is an empty gate near by head over there. Play games like Head Shoulder Knees and Toes or Simon Says to keep her moving until she HAS to be still in flight.

Pack carry ons you can put under the seat (much easier to access and then you do not have to worry about space in the bin near you) and then do not take advantage of priority boarding with a toddler. WAIT and board with the very last group--otherwise you are adding about a half hour of sitting to the total for no good reason.

Get up and walk to the restrooms and around the plane every so often.

If you think she might like any of the in flight movies, bring headphones that will fit her comfortably and an adapter for her to use.

Flights were always fun for my kids--I bet your little one will have a good time too.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:52 AM   #3
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I forgot the other thing which seemed to help on long/overnight flights:

I packed the jammies the kids were sued to sleeping in and their blanket from their bed (both slept with a very small and their blanket as toddlers so this was doable), a book we usually read at bedtime and their toothbrush.

When I was ready for them to settle down and sleep I changed them, brushed teeth, read to them, etc. Having the familiar bedtime items there seemed to cue them in to the sleep mode and made getting them to settle down, fall asleep and even stay asleep easier.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:34 AM   #4
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we took a small aqua doodle mat like this

http://www.elc.co.uk/Mini-Artist-Hap...efault,pd.html

also took favourite teddies and a few books, when the boys were younger they always took a few small cars and played with them on the trya table. DD usually took some mini princess figures etc.

We jsut made sure that we had plenty of small snacks for them, usually non messy ones like small packs of raisons

I was terrified on the first flights but to be honest they behaved pretty well. If you go stressed they will sense it, relax have some fun with them on the plane, you can't expect kids to be silent, as long as they are happy and having fun and not disruptung anyone else around them then it will be fine.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:55 AM   #5
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we didn't have a long flight but of all the things I packed it was a $1 slinky that distracted him the most! He was 20 months at the time
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:39 AM   #6
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Colorful pipe cleaners or Chenille Stems

Just be careful as some can have the metal tip exposed, so check them first. You can make all sorts of shapes or animals with them. Keep some in your purse for waits at restaurants or in line too.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHdisneylover View Post
Bring out new things to do slowly throughout the trip. Don't pull it all out right away--the first half hour or more she will probably be fascinated enough by the plane and all that is going on around her that you do not need ANYthing you brought with you.
I couldn't stress this bit of advice enough. When I was researching our families' trip to Japan, I came across an idea that for every hour of the trip, have an envelope with something pertaining to the trip in it. For us, it was puzzles and info about Japan, for your little one, I would suggest coloring pages, paper cut out "puzzles", snacks, maybe a simple picture story?

It actually made the flight go by much faster, knowing we had something to look forward to each hour and it helped us get more and more excited about getting to our destination!



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Old 05-24-2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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The first time I flew with my DS I picked an evening flight thinking he would just fall asleep...but NOT SO! He was so over stimulated by all the new sights and sounds. He didn't want snacks or toys or anything I had brought "just in case". He was just cranky the whole time because he wanted to sleep but couldn't. So if there is any doubt in your mind that your child won't be able to sleep on the plane, then I suggest planning it during the day!

We bought little fun toys at the dollar store (they have a bunch of Disney themed stuff, too!) and individually wrapped them. So each 30 min/hour they got a new present. Also packed small snacks for each hour. Not just junky stuff...cut up fruit, raisins, string cheese. But also some candy treats, too.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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I would agree, something new for them sometime into the trip. We stuffed some new things into my backpack, cool new crayons and a couple of Mickey/Minnie coloring books. We may do that again this trip...

Personally, put me in a window seat, I'll be content for the whole trip, or until it gets dark.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:36 PM   #10
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New little toys/games and than wrap them. It will take DD time to unwrap the toy but than the little toy is extra special because it was wrapped.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:39 PM   #11
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Nhdisneylover had some great tips! I took my 15 month old solo to Dallas this spring and used similar ideas. I booked my flights at nap time, let him push the stroller around at the gates until we needed to board so he'd be trired, and then let him watch out the window until he fell asleep. When he woke I got out the snacks and when he was done with food he got a new toy. On both flights I had passengers and flight attendants tell me how good he was. He is a good baby, but I think the key was I was prepared to keep him happy!
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:03 AM   #12
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So many good tips!

We flew with our son at 15 months and again at 20 months. Both times we took toys for him to play with, snacks, juice...and his favorite blanket/snugglie. The only difference between the first time and the 2nd was, the 2nd time we needed his carseat at our destination (sadly not Disney)...so he was comfortable and familiar in his carseat for the flight. :D
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:17 PM   #13
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Crayola Model Magic, if you can find it. It is similar to play-dough but is completely clean- doesn't leave crumbs or residue. It comes in individually sealed packages. She can form it into shapes. Then you can give her two colors and have her mix them till they blend into one new color. That takes a while. We would form it into eyeglasses shape and put them on our face for a laugh, make figures and play "puppets" with them, the possibilities are endless. At the end of the flight, you can toss it into the last trash pick-up. It dries, can't be used again (you can save it if she's made something she wants to keep).
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:01 PM   #14
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The crayola model magic and pipe cleaners are brilliant ideas. Thank you for all the ideas. I will defiantly be using them.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:32 PM   #15
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Exactly what everyone else has said plus - baby wipes!!!!!
My dd used to clean the seat area etc from top to bottom at that age. Kept her occupied for ages for some reason.
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