The real title to this post should be: “Flying with a Toddler… with minimal preparation!”
We are all busy in our day to day lives, but lately… well, lately having room to breathe seems to be asking too much. I am used to keeping a hectic schedule so normally this wouldn’t be that “abnormal”. But keeping up with EVERYTHING and preparing to go on vacation was absolutely incredible.
Side note: kind of ironic isn’t it that life gets that much more hectic in order for you to take a break?! I digress…
So it wasn’t until three hours before our cross country journey that it even crossed my mind to think about flying with a toddler.
Little Dude had flown before as a 4 month old and since has had tubes put in his ears (Which alleviate any pressure while flying) so the normal concern of having your little one’s ears popping wasn’t a concern. It completely slipped my mind that now, as a 22 month old, he is ALOT bigger than he was at 4 months old. Luckily he did sleep for the long flight between Montreal and Calgary, but it was very uncomfortable for the Mr. and I.
Literally 3 hours before the flight I started searching on Pinterest for “toddler plane activities” and the “best apps for toddlers” – I quickly looked at a few pins I found, downloaded a few apps and went to my craft stuff to see what kinds of things I might have to amuse Little Dude.
Here is what I came up with:
- A TD Bank notebook that hadn’t been used
- Christmas tags (which I would use as stickers)
- Pipe cleaners
- Heart stickers
- Left over Christmas cards
- Thank you cards
- Disney character stickers (the free kind that are sent in the mail)
- Fun tape (which I planned on using as stickers if I ran out)
- A pen (not ideal but since we moved I haven’t looked for crayons and in my mad dash to create pinterest worthy activities figured a pen would due)
Apps I downloaded (which were all FREE):
- Peekaboo Farm
- Trucks by Duck Duck Moose
- More trucks by Duck Duck Moose
- ABC Elmo
Little Dude loved all of them, but kept going back to the two Trucks apps and the Elmo one the most.
At the Bathurst Airport (ZBF) they had some printouts of coloring pages available for kids to take with them before going through security. I picked one up as well as half a green, orange and red crayon. Side note: I was pretty thrilled in this moment that I didn’t beat myself up over packing a pen for a toddler to use rather than making a special stop on the way to the airport for crayons!
On the plane you can also come up with activities that require no preparation at all and are, of course, free. Here are a few things we tried that worked (especially on our long flight home from Vancouver to Montreal):
- stacking cups, ask the flight attendant for a few cups and away you go. Make a tower, stack one on top of the other, hide something and do a magic trick (I know they are clear but a toddler is pretty easy to do magic tricks with!)
- Stuff things in an empty water bottle. My cousin gave me this idea so I can’t take the credit… but placing tiny balls of paper into a bottle, then dumping them again really works.
- Playing with the table tray or video screen (these are pretty obvious, but kept Little Dude entertained)
Lastly, until a few days before our flight when I mentioned to my colleague I was going to buy some Paw Patrol episodes as a “just in case” she told me to download them from Netflix. Feeling like a cave woman for now knowing this I was so amazed that this was possible and thankful to have saved a few dollars by using a service I already pay for to its full potential.
I hope these tips help you on your next flight with your little one – if you know someone who might find this useful, please go ahead and share it or better yet pin it on pinterest (it would make my day!).
My shoes for that: Adidas High Tops (Little Dude’s sneakers this fall!)