“Traveling” and “Toddler” are two T words you don’t often want to use in the same sentence. Little wigglers need a lot to stay entertained on a long flight. But with a little planning and a small bag of props, you can work some Mom magic to keep those tiny hands busy for longer than you think!
– Let your snack do double duty. Snacks like Cherrios are a great way to practice threading and build fine motor skills. So bring a couple pipecleaners along with your food and encourage your bitty to thread one through each O. When you’re done, twist the ends of the pipecleaner together to make a cereal bracelet. Bonus points for challenging your little one to eat their Os right off of their wrist!
– Create some multi-purpose art! Pack some surprise coloring pages to decorate on the plane ride. After crayons, add reusable stickers to your art work. Let littles practice peeling the backs of each sticker off themselves, even if you have to start it. Then bust out some post-its to cover up different parts of the page. See if your kiddo can remember what’s hiding beneath each post-it square. Can they even draw their own version of what’s missing on top?
– Make it sculpture time! PlayDoh is fantastic for flights. Use different items from your purse to make unique imprints in the dough. Use the pipecleaners mentioned above to give your PlayDoh creature arms and legs, or your PlayDoh train some tracks. You can even use the dough to cover a few of your smaller purse items (like coins, lip balm, pen) then have your child guess which is which!
– Use what you already have! Got an iphone? Hand it over with your headphones and a great children’s audio book playing. Got a magazine? It’s now a Scavenger Hunt tool. Challenge your tot to find specific colors, shapes, or items in the pictures. Got a camera? Let your child tell you a story about each photo you scroll past. You’ll be making brand new memories as you go!