On our flight home from our vacation, the flight attendant informed us that the televisions were not working. We were already in the air, and it that information was jammed into a bunch of other things she was saying, none of which I was listening to. I was too busy making sure the two toddlers I was traveling alone with were not taking off their seatbelts.
I began to frantically look around at every one else’s TV hoping I mis-heard her. I did not. All the screens were blank. FFFUUUUCCCCKKKKKK!
Plan of Action
I was now on a 6 1/2 hour flight, alone with two toddlers and no television to keep them occupied. I quickly began to plan for my survival and map out how I was going to keep them active for over 6 hours in a tiny space. I had downloaded two of their shows and had a movie so I had about 2 1/2 hours of screen time. I only had to fill 4 more hours.
Thankfully I always pack their backpacks with activities just in case they get bored with watching the TV or I deem they need a break.
Here are some of my favorite non electronic activities for air travel with toddlers.
A New Toy – This is always something small that I keep hidden until I need it mid-flight. I always try to make it a tiny version of toys they love. A new car, truck or Rescue Bot.
A New Book – Gratefully, my guys are avid readers. I always get a couple new books include in their backpacks. Two of my favorite were “The Ultimate Book of Vehicles” and “The Ultimate Book of Construction.” These books, kept them busy for an hour.
Travel Memory – These great travel memory games are small enough to fit in a bag and super fun for everyone.
Magnet Kits – This kept them occupied for a while. My guys love trucks, but I also found superhero, farm and princess kits like this.
Mini Magna Doodle – I started using these around age 2 and they are still great. They take up minimal space in a bag and are great for fine motor skills
Painting Books – Get a small cup of water and pack some brushes and away they will paint.
Play Dough – I get the mini play dough containers and a couple small shape cutters. We started doing this on flights around age 3 and I definitely has to be on watch. Just making sure not too much went on the floor but as they have gotten older this is a great go to for long flights.
Funny Face Sticker Books – This is a great activity for travelers as young as 2 1/2 and up.
A few other great ideas are activity books, coloring (all washable crayons), colorful pipe cleaners, cling on stickers, I Spy, and snacks. On long flights snacking is an activity. Pack a lot of healthy treats to eat.
For more tips on traveling with toddlers check out this post!
Also published on Medium.