Traveling with a small child especially on an airplane can be stressful. Flying with a child isn’t exactly a walk in the park and kids get bored easily. Kids like to move around and asking your child to sit down in a confined space for a long period of time is like pulling teeth. We have traveled quite a bit with our little one and while there are no foolproof plans for avoiding meltdowns, I did want to share four tricks that we use to ensure we get through a short or long flight with as little or few tantrums as possible.
Small children are very busy. They just don’t sit still. Kids need to move around, and burn excess energy. Arrive early enough at the airport so that your child can get to run around and do laps in the terminal. My husband and I take turns walking and running after my son. After a few laps in the terminal my son is a lot more calmer and easier to settle down. Utilizing the long walkways before asking your child to sit down on a plane can work miracles even on your energizer bunny.
Children will get hungry and airline food is not always suited to the taste buds of a small child or even an adult so make sure to pack plenty of snacks. Pack a lot of options. We like to bring dried fruit, fruit/yogurt pouches, goldfish, animal crackers, cereal, granola bars and special treats like cookies, M&Ms or other favorites. In my experience, eating is another form of distraction and when my son is chewing I can assure you he isn’t screaming.
If your child doesn’t go to sleep, he/she will get bored quickly so make sure to bring plenty of distractions. Purchase special toys that are perfect for travel like these handheld trains/cars to drive around the tray table or small dolls, puzzles, coloring activity, readers, stickers, little plastic dinosaurs or superhero figurines, 3Doodler, or an etch a sketch. These toys are a great way to pass the time. Target and Walmart are good places to pick up extra toys that won’t break the bank.
I have rounded up a few other travel toy favorites below.
Invest in some sort of video technology entertainment like a portable DVD player, Amazon Fire or an iPad to keep your child occupied. These especially comes in handy on longer flights. Even if you don’t let your child watch TV at home, allowing your child screen time while in flight can help diffuse energy that would have otherwise led to a tantrum or meltdown. Load your tablet with songs, movies, or games to keep your little one entertained for as long as possible. Our favorites are Disney Cars Toon, Disney Melody Time, Disney Tarzan, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Bubble Guppies, and Thomas the Train.
If you are still in search of other DVD options for your little one, I have compiled a few other favorites below.
What are your tips and tricks for travel with little ones?