How to Entertain a Toddler on an Airplane

Recently, my sister Loo and I took Lincoln on a plane trip up to New Jersey.   It was his first time on an airplane, and we lucked out that the ride was a quick, 2 hour non-stop flight.  But being the over-prepared, Type-A mom that I am, I was prepared for the worst.  I thought I’d share with you the items that I brought in my carry-on diaper bag to entertain a toddler on an airplane.

How to Entertain a Toddler on an Airplane

First of all, the basics:

I had 4 diapers, wipes, Wet Ones {for his/my hands}, Clorox Wipes {for the airplane tray and other surfaces}, a disposable changing pad, 2 changes of clothes, and an assortment of diaper cream, lotion and sunscreen, all in trial sizes.  I also had zip-lock bags with different little snacks in each….spreading out the snack process as long as possible!  {I used baby goldfish, Cheerios, Puffs, dried apples, dried blue berries and mini club crackers}

I also brought a couple of our favorite board books {I brought 3, the above picture is just some of my favorites}.  I try to choose books that  have multiple ways of engagement.  For example, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a repetitive favorite, but can also be a time-killer.  On each page, I can cover animal names, noises, and colors.  And Lincoln loves the last page with all of the animals on it….he makes it into a “point and find” game.  And the book can end up taking 5-7 minutes to read one time.  Another of his favorites is Little Blue Truck, which has an actual story to read, as well as detailed pictures to talk about and find animals in.  I also brought Lincoln’s Farm Friends, which is an I See Me! Book that I reviewed last year.  It features a photograph of “Farmer” Lincoln on each page and has a story, as well as opportunities to talk animals, colors, numbers, letters, etc.  It’s an easy one to drag out too, and Lincoln loves seeing his face in it!

I made this little I Spy bag for Lincoln’s Cowboy themed first birthday, but he is now just getting interested in it.  He like squishing the beads and looking at the little horses and boots and such inside.  I’m hoping to make a few more of these to start selling on Etsy…what do you think?

But my secret weapon is my treasure box of goodies!  I made it to entertain a toddler on an airplane, but I’ve just kept in in my diaper bag and it’s come in quite handy in restaurants and in doctors’ offices!

I have a couple of small toy animals, four blocks {just enough to stack, and with the letters of his name on them}, a car, some stickers, some Washi Tape, pom pom balls , and empty thread spools.  I used the thread spools because he likes playing with them at home, but the blocks really serve the same purpose for stacking and knocking over {and the blocks don’t roll!}.

And everything fits compactly in a empty Cottonelle Flushable Wipes Tub!

That particular brand of tub is important, because the fun of the pom poms is putting them into the tub through the rubber flaps.  This seriously entertained Lincoln on the plane for over 20 minutes….dump, stuff, repeat!

The washi tape was also a good distractor because it’s a light weight tape, which means its really easy to pull off or reposition.  I ripped off pieces and stuck one end to the tray.  Lincoln would pull them off, try to get the sticky part off of his fingers, and then push down the tape on something {or someone!} else!  And repeat.  I also packed the Felt Busy Book that I made for him, and the stickers were great to use and reuse on the empty pages in the back.

DIY Easy Felt Busy Book for Toddlers on an Airplane

And just like that, we were landing!  And my little kit entertained him the rest of our trip in restaurants and while visiting family.  It’s nice to know I have some tricks up my sleeve for when he gets antsy!

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