You have been up all night packing, you’ve checked everyone’s passports three times, your three year old finally has his shoes on and you are actually on track to making it to the airport on time…..and relax.
Erm relax??? I don’t think so! You now have to spend the next five hours trying to keep your grumpy three year old, (who was not allowed to bring his jumbo digger on his travels) from going into meltdown every five minutes.
Just give him the iPad.
Well you would but the eight year old has that and your guilty mother syndrome has also flared up because you left him with the iPad for two hours whilst you were trying to get everyone to leave the house on time.
Don’t panic. Here are some great suggestions for keeping your little ones entertained on flights, in the back of cars, whilst riding a camel or however you are making your way to your holiday destination this year.
Water Magic – age 3 years and upwards.
Water Magic by Galt is genius! The joy of painting without the mess. By using the water filled pen your little one will magically reveal the hidden pictures. I cannot describe my own joy when seeing my very lively boy sitting quietly, focussed on what he was about to create. They have a range of themes from dinosaurs to animals and fairies. At around £5 a book, definitely a must have! Available here.
Wikki Stix – age 3 years and upwards.
Wikki Stix seems to be an American phenomena or maybe it’s just me that hasn’t heard of it but I will definitely be purchasing some for our hols! Basically they are twisty, bendy sticks that you can mould into shapes, animals or any configuration you can think of. You can buy a large travel pack at around £20 but if you are going on a long journey you will most likely need a variety of toys so I would stick with the smaller, less expensive option shown here at £6.25. Available here.
Toot Toot Driver – age 3 months to 2 years.
Turn your toddler in to a true back seat driver with this Toot Toot Drivers toy. The soft steering wheel comes with ignition, gear stick, light up car button, wing mirror and horn. All with interactive sounds. The velcro straps make it easily attachable to the pushchair but can also be used in the back of the car for those long car journeys. A little bit more expensive at £16.49 but worth the money as it will last beyond the holiday. Available here.
Travel Doodle – age 3 years and upwards
This travel doodle is a mess free way of letting your children draw to their hearts content, erase the masterpiece and draw again! No need to pack reams of paper for the journey or the box of felt tips,half of which have lost their lids (or will if you take them with you). This is a fun, creative outlet to keep your child entertained in between each “are we there yet?.” At £11.95, an affordable option. Available here.
Melissa and Doug Wooden Mini Puzzle Set – age 24 months and upwards.
Four puzzles in one, what’s not to like??! A nice compact travel case houses these four animal puzzles. All in colour coded slide out trays, even if nothing else feels calm and organised, your child’s travel toys will! At only £6.99 this is a lovely addition to your carry on bag. Available here.
Jungle Animals Interactive Sticker Book – age 3 to 6 years
This vibrant interactive book is jam packed with reusable stickers. Your little one can create their own jungle scene with their favourite animals creating a back drop for their very own jungle story! As well as stickers your £4.99 will also provide your child with sturdy stand up figures to involve in the jungle shennanigans. Not just for the car trip but a good option for a rainy day should you be stuck in the chalet! Available here.
Old Skool Options
The above gives you a few ideas for those long torturous journey’s where everyone just wants to get there. Don’t forget there are many old but trusted toys that are great for the pull down flight table….
- Play Dough – an excellent option, one or two small tubs that you can fit in the front of your flight bag.
- Duplo – My little one has often been kept at bay with just a handful of duple pieces.
- Books – don’t forget the trusty book. I have actually found it quite relaxing to read to my child during flights, although not so handy if you are driving a car at the same time.
- Crayons and paper. Classic.