Like many of you we are preparing for holiday travel and when our good friends at Little Pim asked us to share with you why we like their products so much one of the first things that came to mind for me was how awesome they are for travel. We restrict screen time at home but when we are on a plane for hours our goal is everyone arrives happy and hopefully in the same clothes they left in. Little Pim and other must have carry- on items help us achieve that goal. So here is my list of 10 things to make a plane ride more peaceful with your preschooler.
1. Snacks. I pack a big bag of snacks with varying degrees of interest for my kids. There are protein bars , crackers, squishers, and more treats like fruit snacks. I am not opposed to bribery if the situation calls for it. I am opposed to spending three times the amount I would at the grocery store at an airport shop. Even if bribery isn’t normally your thing kids can be unpredictable when under stress and traveling is stressful for a lot of kids, so being ready for anything isn’t a bad idea.
2. Good books that let fidgety kids move – lift the flap books for young preschoolers, coloring books , or choose your own adventure ones. Books that have just a titch of extra novelty can be the tipping point to sitting still and getting engaged while they are stuck in a seat. If you normally read to your kids before bed/ nap and you want them to sleep on the plane going through their regular routine on the plane is super helpful.
3.A tablet or iPod. For our family the rule is read first then screen. On the plane this isn’t just my tactic for less screen time it’s a battery saving tactic too. Before getting on board clear off any apps you don’t want your kids using ( pop them into the cloud) and have only educational ones like Little Pim’s Spanish App for iPad , Kindle or NOOK or their Word Bag App for iPhone/iPod .
4. Headphones made for kids to listen to music or use with devices like a tablet or iPod.
5. A buddy to snuggle with. I know it’s scary to think of losing your child’s lovey but if they nap or sleep with it usually take the risk and bring it along it can help your child feel secure and calm.
6. Extra undies, and pants, and shirts, and tights… you get my point. I usually pack PJs because they are all in one and easy to squish into a side pocket.
7. A plain notebook and writing instruments washable markers and crayons are our favorite. Drawing to music is fun and quiet. If you are nervous about letting your kids color on the plane you could use a coloring book app like this one instead.
8. Stickers. They are cheap , promote fine motor skills and you can use them to make up stories, make pictures for whoever is at the arrival gate picking you and your tired kids up, or just free art time.
9. Extra plastic bags. I usually stick 8 Ziplocs in various sizes in my bag. They hold wet/soiled clothes, half eaten snacks, my hand sanitizer after someone broke the lid off… the uses are endless just trust me when you need one and it’s handy you’ll thank me.
10. Wipes. I know wipes are terrible for the environment but they are so great for travel. They can wipe faces, bums, are gentle on a raw runny nose ,and if the flight is terrible and you end up in tears you can use them to take off your mascara before it runs to your chin.
BONUS- A good night’s sleep. For days before you go even if you are scrambling to get ready while maintaining your already busy schedule, make sure your little ones are getting enough rest.
What is in your carry-on when you travel with your kids?
As stated above this post has been sponsored by Little Pim but the research was done by me on many flights with my two kids!
I like to pack wikki stix. They are small and work as a manipulative and the possible creations are endless. And if you lose them it is no big deal.
Yes to everything on your list AND bubble gum, empty and sippy cups
Allison McDonald says
I woke up this morning saying SIPPY CUPS! So should be on the list. I am envious of kids who can chew gum my kids just make a mess.
As little as possible 😉 I used to bring 3 card games, 4 coloring books, a whole box of crayons, etc. Finally I figured out I only need 1 of each. (Doh!) My preschooler loves finding books, too.
I always go to the little inexpensive section of the local toy store. They always have things like tiny sticker or maze books, and teeny crayons, markers, and colored pencils. I fill a little bag up so as to cover both ends of the trip, but I only pull them out one at a time. Memorably on one trip, we only took out one toy, silly putty, and it was good for the return trip too!
Again, Yes to everything on this list. Even way after it would seem they need a change of clothes, I’ve often been glad to have one. Also – post it notes. They are multi-purpose. The first and primary purpose is to put them on the sensor so that the toilets don’t flush automatically on the little bodies. They’re also fun to color on and/or make designs on the window/tray table/dad.
Sometimes I bring playdough in little containers and little cookie cutters. On this last trip I brought color wonder markers to vary it up a bit, I got Catie a sticker book too… so we spent a lot of time putting stickers in that. I’ve also brought window clings before… but always clean off the window first. Catie also loves her little action figures and princess dolls, so I let her bring a few of them… she’ll do pretend play with them for hours.
I totally forgot headphones this last trip and had to buy expensive ones that barely worked at the airport. Won’t forget those again!
I need to remember ziploc bags for our plane ride home tomorrow. Your post came at the perfect time 🙂
Sarah B says
Great list! I am about to embark on my second long haul flight with a 4 and 6 yr old. The best things I packed last time were the cares flight harness and silicone ear plugs. it surprised me how quickly they fell asleep without the plane noise. Also take into consideration their comfort. both children were too short to see the screen in front of them. I have heard great things about the bubble bum booster seat, an inflatable booster seat perfect for travelling. if they are old enough have them carry a small backpack with their own lovey and blanket in it. getting them excited and involved with packing and explaining to them just how long 14 hours is on a plane can really help them get in the right mindset. Happy Travels!
Yes to all of these! I read somewhere to pack a balloon or 2, (not inflated, obviously) for instant entertainment should you get stuck during a long layover. Takes us almost no room!