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10 Tips For Keeping a Toddler Happy on an Airplane

Published on: December 30, 2013

Ten is a great number.

It's divisible by both two and five evenly. It's the first double digit. For most of us, 10 was probably a pretty good year. It's also great for lists. Lists of the 10 best things. Lists of the 10 worst things. 10 ways to get gum out of hair. 10 ways to get gum in hair. And if we know one thing at ParentMap, it's that busy moms and dads like getting to the good stuff without all the fluff. Introducing our newest blog feature: Top 10s!

The absolutely coolest thing about this new feature is that you can write it! Send us your Top 10s! We want to know your tips, tricks and very favorites. Send them to: ParentMap at gmail dot com

++ This Just In! ++ The wonderful folks at Baby Loves Disco would like to offer up a family four pack of tickets to a randomly selected contributer! Just send in your Top 10 lists by Thursday at midnight and we'll do a drawing Friday morning for the Saturday May 17 tix! Thanks BLD! It's the last dance party of the season - you won't want to miss it! (Can't make Saturday - the tickets are good next season as well!)

To kick us off, jet-setting mom Debbie from Delicious Baby (aren't they though?) shares her tricks for keeping toddlers happy in the sky!

Top Ten Ways To Keep A Toddler Busy on a Plane

Every parent gets anxious about their travel plans and keeping their young kids occupied on long plane flights. Here are our top ten airplane activities for toddlers and preschoolers that won't increase the size of your luggage!

10. Digital camera fun. Put some fun pictures onto your digital camera (you're carrying it anyway). Good candidates are pictures of the people and places you are going to visit or pictures of a recent adventure (like the zoo). During the flight, you can relive the fun and tell stories about where/who you're visiting.

9. Ice-tastic. When the flight attendant delivers drinks, ask for a cup, a couple ice cubes, and a straw. There are endless games with this combination. Ice is fascinating to toddlers in and of itself, and you can teach them to swirl it on the bottom of the cup, or catch it on the straw (airplane ice usually has a hole in the middle). Watch that the ice doesn't end up in their mouth though (choking hazard).

8. Hand jive. Teach yourself some new finger rhymes (e.g. "where is thumbkin") before you go.

7. Snack-attack. Extend snack time by challenging your child. "What is the is the smallest bite you can take" or "see if you can eat just one at a time (tricky for little fingers).

6. Blue Painters Tape! If you can't figure out what to do with it, don't worry, any toddler can show you.

5. Boxes. It's no secret that young toddlers love boxes. Save the boxes from your cosmetics purchases and collapse them to put in your carry-on. You can put them back together once you're on the flight.

4. Tupperware can be fun! Pack your snacks in Tupperware & the packaging becomes a toy when the snack is done.

3. Get a window seat. Colorforms or reusable stickers. We especially like the original, shape based, ones, but whatever you have will work. If you have a window seat, your child can stick them on the window

2. Scarves for fun and fashion. A lightweight scarf can be used for peek-a-boo or made into dress up clothing (a hat, a cape, a skirt, a purse, a pirate eye patch, etc, etc, etc.)


1. Three words: Barf bag puppets!

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