Keeping small children occupied on planes

Our holiday is speeding towards us and it’s suddenly occurred to me that we have a 10 hour flight with a 6 year old and I’m a little underprepared!  We’ve flown twice before with Miss L and both times were ok, as long as we have plenty to do.  This year I’m updating our plane pack as she’s a little older now.

She has a pink back pack with wheels, so she can pull it herself which is very important when you’ve got lots of bags and a small child.  It also gives her a sense of responsibility for her own things and she also feels like she’s helping.  The most important thing I’ve found so far to take with us is a Nintendo DS.  She can play her games to her hearts content, the SD cards the games come on are tiny and you can pick them up second-hand cheaply from computer game stores or online stores.  This year I’ve gotten a Club Penguin game and she’s still obsessed by the Build a Bear one I got her for the plane last year.

Next up books, don’t take loads of bulky ones, they weigh a ton and you’re never going to read them all.  So I’ve bought a 3 paperback books in one ‘Horrid Henry’, it’s light and there’s 12 stories in it.

As for colouring I buy some cheap colouring books from poundstores, which also have word searches and crosswords in and a pack of crayons.  A blank notebook so they can have a holiday ‘diary’ also is a good idea, Miss L loves to draw where we are and what we’ve done.

One word of warning, I’ve found that felt tips leak all over the luggage when excited little ones forget to put lids back on, and pencils break.  Also you can’t take pencil sharpeners on planes with you anymore so crayons win hands down. Of course there is also a bad of Haribo hidden in her bag somewhere for take off and landing as for some reason she’s never figured out sweet sucking, but chewing Haribo is apparently ok 🙂

What’s your travelling tip with toddlers and small children?

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  1. I always take play doh or plasticine, both of which are very easy to clean off the fold down tray thing and keep them all entertained for a while. I also take a handfull of little toys like sylvanian families, cars and plastic dinosaurs which they can use to make up stories with. The play doh comes in useful here for bridges, houses etc. Hmm, I think I’m going to do a post on this one soon…

    Victoria’s last blog post..And now for a short history lesson…

    1. That’s a good idea to take plasticine, hmmm might get a small packet. I know Lily would instantly drop the Sylvanian toys on the floor though, seriously she’s more clumsy than me 😉 Good thinking though if you have a non clumsy child!

  2. Great tips! I don’t have children yet, but this is some good info for when I do! I have a portable DVD player with headphones – movies seem to occupy kids quite well. It may also help them to nap. Who knows. My biggest problem with flying is my ears – usually when I hear kids cry it’s during take off and landing – their poor little ears. I have to take special ear medicine every time I fly! I know it’s painful!
    ~angela @ peonypatch

    Angela’s last blog post..Peanut Butter Pie

  3. We also have a similar plane pack for our brood as our plane marathon approaches, DS games, colouring books, reading books, a couple of small trains for my 3 year old to push about and some playdoh for my youngest!
    Hope you have a good flight!

  4. re the plasticine/play-dough…make sure to check with the airline that its OK. We brought some on a recent trip to the US and security would not allow it, as there was recently a bomb attempt in turkey with a family that disguised plastic explosive in play dough tubs.

    Stickers are always a big hit and I generally try and run my son down BEFORE we get on the plane, always boarding last, so that he is beat when we get there.

    I always wrap up the toys in wrapping paper so its a surprise what is coming out to play with…adds a bit longer onto the activity. Also I make sure the first thing has been completely played out before getting something else out.

    slugs on the refrigerator’s last blog post..New Lease of Life

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