Real talk: There are some ages that are easier to travel with that others; especially when we are referring to in-flight entertainment.
Bitty babies don’t really need to be entertained and the over 2 crowd can usually be kept busy with an iPad and favorite movie. It’s the 7month-22month(ish) old kiddos that tend to present more of an amusement-related challenge. This group is hard because they are all about moving around and discovering the world. The early crawlers, full-on crawlers, early walkers, and early runners do not want to sit still…regardless of what the captain says. What’s a mama to do?
We recently took our first long-ish trip paired with a long-ish layover and ferry ride over to St. John USVI. I scoured the internet and Little S’s toys for in-flight options that would provide long periods of entertainment and weren’t too bulky. This is what I came up with:
- The 10 Button Book by William Accorsi – This was probably the heaviest thing we took on the trip altogether, but it was worth its weight in gold. My 1 year old spent a good 45 minutes placing and removing the buttons (cleverly attached with ribbons to the spine of the book) from the different die-cut holes on each page. Phe.no.mi.nal.
- Melissa & Doug Peek-a-Boo Panda – There are few things that my tiny human loves more than a good game of Peek-a-Boo and with this toy, she was able to play it fairly independently throughout the flight.
- Stuffed animal with a window cling. My sister-in-law gave this to Little S as a Christmas present and she LOVED it. It might sound ridiculous, but I swear this guy saved us from a couple tantrums. A huge plus was that it had a window cling so we just stuck it to the airplane window while playing with it and that beautifully magical piece of plastic kept me from having to fish it off the airplane floor. (And thanks to the close proximity of coach cabin seats, I’m sure the person in front of me was grateful for the window cling too.)
- Melissa & Doug Take- Along Shape Sorter – This was great during layovers when we didn’t have to worry about pieces flying everywhere (haha- get it?!). What is nice about this toy is that has 2 activity sides (shape sorter & crinkly flaps with pictures underneath) so even if you don’t want to do the shape sorter on the airplane – because shapes on a plane are risky – you have the option to play some kind of lift the flap game with the other side.
While I haven’t been able to test the following products/ideas (didn’t discover them until after the St. John trip), I have heard GREAT things and look forward to trying them when we go on our first international trip with the little lady in June.
- Old Macdonald’s Farm (Poke-a-Dot) Book – This book was an Easter basket present and omg it is so cool! The little boss around here can spend nearly 20 minutes entertained by all of the buttons she gets to push and the noise it makes is sort of a soft “click” so it’s not annoying at all. Definitely taking this one on the next flight (only downside is that it is pretty heavy).
- Melissa & Doug Water Wow Activity Book – This is probably better suited for a kiddo that has already expressed an interest in coloring. In any case, I’ve heard good things and they look pretty fun.
- DIY Ideas:
- Sticker sheets and a notepad for the little one to put the stickers on
- Cut up pipe cleaners (approx 2 inches) to fit into the holes of an empty spice jar
Hopefully something on this list will help keep your tiny human a bit more entertained. Let me know if I missed something that has worked for you in the past!