Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Travel Ideas for Toddlers

Summer is just about here, which means lots of travel and vacationing!

In a couple of weeks me and the kids are going to be flying to Washington to spend time with my family! Unfortunately, my husband isn't able to take time off work so he will be staying home this time around. Even more unfortanate is the fact that I will be traveling alone with my 12 week old baby and a 2-1/2 yr old rambunctious son - scary!

Traveling with my baby shouldn't be too difficult...considering she is still at the stage where the movement of the plane combined with the humming engines should lull her right to sleep.

However, flying with my 2yr old is a little terrifying. I have traveled with him alone in the past (which is never fun but we survive :) yet, now that I have a baby too, things might get a little tricky.

I have been searching the internet for different travel/entertainment ideas for toddlers and I think I have found a few activities that will be great for the trip. Here are some of the ideas I have come across, as well as a few tips that have worked for me in the past...

1. Lacing Cards, via The Rigneys - A quiet time activity that requires full concentration and is easy to store in your carry on or purse. 

2. Fun Snacks - I realize it would be a lot healthier to pack carrot and celery sticks, but honestly my 2 year old won't touch that stuff. Instead, I am planning on bringing him some fun halfway healthy snacks like these Twisted Fruit Sticks, they taste great and he will love to pull them apart! 

3. Button Snake - Via Second Story Window - Another great hands on activity that will keep my little guy busy.

4. Travel Doodler - A small sized magnetic doodle board (like THIS one from Fisher Price) is perfect for traveling with toddlers. It's great because there's no mess and no need to awkwardly collect crayons that fell underneath the seat in front of you. My son and I like to play Pictionary with it and he thinks it's hilarious to slip the eraser bar over my drawings before I have a chance to finish them! 

5. Sticker Book - Sticker's are always hit with my little guy. He usually ends up looking like a sticker monster with crumpled up stickers placed randomly all over his clothes, arms, & legs...but as long as he is entertained by it, I say it's ok! He loves curious George so I think THIS sticker book will be perfect for him! 

6. Media Player - I will NEVER travel alone with children without one of these. I don't like the thought of purposely gluing my toddler to the TV, but when he's throwing a fit on an overly cramped airplane and kicking the grumpy lady's seat in front of him, I will do just about anything to get him to stop. Something like an iPod touch is great to bring along because it's much smaller and easier to pack compared to a portable DVD player, and it has a great battery life! I load it up with all of his favortie movies and always bring headphones because the built-in speakers aren't loud enough to be heard over the airplane noises. 

It's going to be a rough trip, but seeing my family is definitely worth it! 

Do you have any good travel tips for me? I would love to hear them! 


  1. It looks like you have it covered. I can't imagine he won't be entertained with all this stuff. I"m sure it's going to be fine =)

    - Sarah

  2. Oh gosh, traveling alone with a toddler and a baby is definitely a challenge. But you'll survive it!

    This is a weird one, but I read once about taking a roll of blue painter's tape. We did that when my son was 18 months and he spent quite a bit of time tearing off pieces and sticking them all over. Another good trick is to get little dollar store toys (like small plastic animals) and wrap them individually in paper and tape. Give them to your son every so often. It takes awhile to unwrap them, and then he has a new little toy to play with. At 2.5, my son is best occupied by the iPad or iPhone and lots of different snacks. Apps that have been great are Elmo's ABCs and Shape Builder.

  3. I've had to travel lots with the kids, so some of my tips are: Don't make N sit in the stroller since he's going to be cooped up on the plane, check the carseats instead of gate checking them so you don't have to carry them around the airport, and backpacks ares wayyyy easier to carry so they aren't falling off your shoulder.

  4. Andrea, get those sticky window decals (usually sold at target, walmart or michaels) they are usually $1-$2 and are so worth it! My 3 year old loves to stick them to the window on the plane and it keeps her entertained for quite a while!!

  5. Magna doodles are good. I hear Target has a cheaper version. Also get a bag of pipe cleaners. They're cheap and fun to bend and shape. Finger puppets can be made out of felt and inexpensive. You can also make a small felt board using a small pizza box or piece of cardboard and then cut out some shapes or figures, hardly any cost. Threading wooden beads. A toddler would probably love anything that they can put on and take off, magnets and small cookie sheet from dollar store. Just make sure the pan is magnetic. I like the idea of the blue painters tape. Can't wait to see you all!

  6. Good Luck. I totally think its ok to throw healthy out the door. Your sanity and his happiness is more important for those few hours.

  7. these are great!! we went on an 8 hour plane ride last spring with a 4 year & 2 year...NUTS!!?

    stickers and pez candy were great. Also I took a little trip to the dollar store and filled a little back pack ... every thing was brand new and they had never played with it before which helped ;)

  8. You are so good. I wouldn't be able to do it! I don't know what else. Something to snuggle with, suckers, for little ears on a plane, and don't forget that ipod! Bacon saver.

  9. 18 mo old kept busy for a half hour stretch with just the stamps with lids on them, no ink pad. worked really well. also works well in sacrament meeting. I also have a question for did the curly girl method...are you still doing it?

  10. Honestly, it sounds like you are more than prepared! You've done a lot of research -- I swear most parents don't when flying with their kids. I've seen so many kids bored to death on planes -- no snacks, no books, or toys. :|

    You will be just fine! Just remember to bring some patience too. :)


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