Friday, June 3, 2011

Plane / train Entertainment for Toddlers

This is a repost from my personal blog which I wrote 2 summers ago.  Many trips later this is still our travel style with toddlers!
When flying / taking a train with a toddler it can require some careful planning to give the best chance of going smoothly.
In an online group that I'm part of the general rule of advice is to have a new activity for each hour of the flight/ride. In the weeks leading up to our trips I make activity bags - 1 for each hour of the longest (usually 13 hour) flight. On shorter flights (we had 7 total one trip) I'd pick and choose what to bring in the carry-on and leave the rest in the checked baggage.
This bag had a big pocket - perfect for one of Zilla's favorite books. The two smaller pockets were filled with finger puppets and a homemade string activity. Zilla had as much fun practicing opening the zippers as he did playing with the things inside!
Here is a glove finger puppet book, train book and a pice of string. There is also a small key-chain flashlight. Believe it or not the string in this pack got the most use. Zilla imagined it to be many different things!
A little coin purse can hold small toys and a couple of bracelets.
A house/dog theme for this bag lended itself to some fun playtime.
This is another glove puppet book and a couple of cloth books.
These are the sponges that come in the little capsules that open in the water. They were a surprise addition - Zilla was playing with them so much at Grandma and Grandpa's house even outside of the water that I just had to throw them in.
This was a wonderful garage sale find! Two cloth mats (about place mat size) with a couple of small cars. When waiting at the airport this was the perfect toy to pull out. The mat is just the right size for the seat of a chair.
Bilingual flash cards - perfect for the toddler that wants to know the names of everything!
Another hit is the pad of paper with little stickers. A pen can make circles into so many different things!

These are 9 of the 14 activities that I took along. The others included a small magna doodle (magnetic writing pad and pen), some homemade cardboard shapes with yarn for lacing, a few small animal figures and a favorite doll.

I've followed a couple of basic guidelines:
- light weight
- inexpensive (things may get lost or destroyed)
- things that hold interest

We aren't planning to go anywhere for a while but I"m sure next time we do I'll be searching for this post to figure out what I packed last time!!!

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