Let’s face it, flying with toddlers is no walk in the park. Toddlers are loud, squirmy, temperamental, and exhausting. However, if you come prepared with a few tools to keep them entertained you can make the experience much more bearable. Here are a few ways I keep my kids entertained on flights.
- Let them eat an apple. This trick worked with me on short flights from San Diego to San Francisco. After the excitement of take off wore off, I would pass my toddler a big apple and it literally took almost the entire flight to eat. If they aren’t into apples, then try another labor-intensive snack, or a sugar-free lollipop, the sucking motion will also help during take off and landing.
- Bring a mini whiteboard and marker with eraser on the end. We use the whiteboard to play tic tac toe or we take turns drawing pictures and guessing what they are. For older children, it’s a great time to practice writing letters or numbers. I’ve discovered that keeping it simple is best, if you bring a whole box of crayons and a coloring book the crayons most likely will end up on the floor and the last thing you want is to be crawling around on the ground, groping your neighbors’ feet while you child is screaming that they need their orange crayon!
- Listen to children’s podcasts or audiobooks. We love Stories Podcast, and the kids love wearing their Hello Kitty headphones. You can download the stories onto your phone or iPad and then listen to them during the flight.
- Buy a new sticker book or a children’s magazine like Ladybug or Highlights that the kids haven’t read before.
- Download iphone or ipad apps that your kids will enjoy. There are so many wonderful apps for toddlers out there (and insightful parent reviews). Just remember to install them before you take off!