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Parenting hacks

04th Jun 2024

How to keep your toddler busy on a plane

Niamh Ryan

Bringing your little ones on their first holiday is such an exciting time, especially when it’s their first time on a plane.

However, we all know the scrutiny parents can face from other passengers on public transport.

Young children can be unpredictable, and a new environment can make them uncomfortable and fussy even if they normally adapt well to new places.

These are the top tips to keep your little ones distracted but happy while on the plane.

Window stickers

There’s not a child in the world that doesn’t like stickers.

Window stickers are a wonderful alternative to regular stickers as they’re easy to remove and won’t leave any stubborn residue on surfaces. It’s a great creative activity that will keep them busy, with no cleanup.

For another option, parents online have praised masking tape for hours of fun.

Suction toys

Suction toys are another great activity to keep little ones entertained.

They’re relatively cheap and also ideal for bath time.

As a bonus, they’re big enough so that they won’t get lost on the floor if dropped.

Busy boards

Another great tactile activity are busy boards, often used in Montessori.

They can feature spinning wheels, switches, velcro, etc, which will keep your toddler entertained.

If you have the time – and energy – you can even make your own board with supplies from Art & Hobby and other craft stores.

Drawing tablets

If your child loves art and drawing but you’re concerned about the potential mess involved, drawing tablets are a great alternative. You don’t need multiple colouring markers or pens, making it very compact.

Most also feature a magnetic strip that easily wipes away the drawings, so it can be used over and over again on long flights.

Snack boxes

If all else fails, there’s nothing like a good selection of snacks to keep a toddler happy.

Packing a small lunchbox that has different compartments can make it seem more special for them.

You can colour coordinate the box, include sweets they don’t get to have very often.

Source: Passionate Penny Pincher

Even using cookie cutters to chop up fruit and veg can make the food seem more appealing.

However, it’s probably best to avoid too much sugar in their snacks, especially for long flights when you’ll want them to be able to nap.

Keeping calm

It can be daunting to board the plane with young children for fear of what the other passengers will think or say.

We’ve all been on a plane before with a crying baby. While it’s not ideal, we shouldn’t blame the parents or even the child.

We were all crying babies at one point, so there’s nothing embarrassing about your child getting a little bit fussy on the trip.

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