There are plenty of options to keep little hands and minds occupied while taking to the friendly skies this spring break. While a device with a screen seems like an easy go-to, it might not always be an option for every family.
Put those tables in the upright and locked position, because we are lifting off with some screen-free ideas for your child’s in-flight entertainment!
Before we buckle up, consider these ideas first to make your voyage easier for all:
- Don’t board too early. Making little ones sit for those extra 20-30 minutes might prove to be a deal breaker, even though most airlines let families with children get on the plane before other passengers. Get the wiggles out in the terminal.
- Bring plenty of snacks. Now is the not the time to be judicious about snack portions. Let them have what they want when they want it.
- Bring an easy-to-pack extra pair of clothes. Should a spill or accident happen, you don’t want to be without a change of clothes. When you reunite with your luggage, you can always throw the clothes in your suitcase to reduce your bulk.
- Wipes! Bring plenty of wipes, both for the clean up of messes and the sanitizing of little hands and everything they touch.
So what to do to keep little hands busy?
Post-it notes. Hand your child an entire stack of sticky notes. You know they love to play with them on your desk at home, so on the airplane let them have at it! Stick them anywhere they please in and around your seat or the back of the seat in front of them. Easy clean up!
Travel versions of their favorite games. Learning Resources’ Mental Blox Go! is the perfect travel activity set. It comes in a case that doubles as the board, making clean up a snap. Challenge your child’s critical thinking skills with the suggested games, or have them think up their own.
Ask for cups, ice, and napkins. For little ones, transferring ice between several cups is a fun activity. Watching the ice melt, relocating it to each cup, etc., can prove to be a super fun when you are two years old.
Cereal and string. You are probably packing cereal as a snack anyway, so why not make it an activity? Bring along some string or dental floss and make some seriously chic Cheerio necklaces. Fun to eat after!
And for the older set, let’s practice spelling. Grab Learning Resources’ Lacing Letters for some spelling fun. Just grab your family’s names so it doesn’t take up too much room.
Pipe cleaners and an old spice container. Rinse out an old spice container and cut up some pipe cleaners for a fine motor activity. Children really need to focus on this task and the repetition is sure to soak up some time.
Gel window clings. If possible, situate your child along the window. Being able to look out will keep them occupied…but not forever. When they lose interest in watching the world get smaller, hand over some gel clings for them to decorate the window. They are inexpensive and will keep engaged for a while.
Breath mint container and craft pom poms. Practice colors identification by stuffing an old Tic-Tac container with pom poms. Just like the pipe cleaner activity, this is a practice in fine motor skills and can be repeated over and over.