Wednesday, October 3, 2007

WFMW--Backwards Day

My brother-in-law and his wife live in Austin, TX, where he is working on his doctorate in neural science (smart guy, huh?).

Anyway, we've been promising them a visit for 3 years now and are finally fulfilling that promise at the end of the month.

My question for Works-for-me Wednesday is this:

What are your suggestions for entertaining a preschooler on an airplane?

Thanks for your help!


For other questions and answers, visit Rocks in my Dryer.


  1. 1. Relax
    2. Don't overpack, but bring a few toys - nothing with smaller pieces though (you'll lose them).
    3. Consider a DVD player. That worked wonders for us last time.
    4. Don't be embarassed to walk up and down the aisles as much as you need to. Get out the energy.
    5. Don't expect a nap. If it happens, rejoice. But don't expect it!
    6. Have fun!

  2. I have to echo the suggestions above... in particular, our boys have enjoyed mini magna-doodles on planes, as well as stickers and coloring books. Or a little toy airplane that can "fly" at the same time as the big plane is flying.

    Another suggestion... and I'm not too proud to admit this... is pack snacks. With our boys, gold fish works best. And the flight attendants are usually about bringing water or juice right away to toddlers since it's no longer allowed from the outside.

  3. These are all things I was thinking about. Thanks for reassuring me!

    Unlimited sugar, huh Joys? Isn't that more entertaining for the other passengers?

    Oh my gosh. Cinderella on a sugar high. The plane wouldn't be big enough to contain her!

  4. I've never had the pleasure, but my sister treks her 3 little ones, often alone, from Pennsylvania to California twice a year, so these tips are from her! 1.Benadryl! 2.plastic & yarn cross stitch kit--a toddler/preschooler doesn't really have the coordination to do it, so it keeps their attention for a long time while they try to figure it out! 3. Aquadoodle travel pages (get them at Target.) 4. Keep a regular sleep/nap schedule the day before/day of if you can--don't count on the plane ride to lull them to sleep if they're overtired. Good luck, and thanks for the nursing advice--I'll be trying those tips over the next few nights.

  5. Regarding Heather's #4 "Don't be embarassed to walk up and down the aisles as much as you need to. Get out the energy." I'm a flight attendant. All the suggestions for toys, DVD player and snacks are excellent. But this suggestion is not safe for anyone, especially a child --- if the plane hit even a small amount of turbulence a person would be thrown with tremendous velocity (many times their weight). A small child could easily hit the roof of the plane (this has happened to me many times) or be thrown onto other passengers or seats. A co-worker had her leg broken when unexpected turbulence threw a man against her. This is the reason that the captain always makes an announcement that it is best to keep your seatbelt on at all times. Except when going to the lavatory, it is best for both adults and children to be in their seat with their belt on.

  6. Yikes! Thanks, Susan!

    Cinderella can sit still for long stretches of time. It's her curiousity that gets her fidgety. Fortunately, she's content with just having her questions answered, not by seeing/touching things on her own.

  7. My recent experience:

    1. Board last! and let your little one run around the airport as long as possible.

    2. Use a leash. I know this opens all the doors of what a bad parent I am...blah, blah, blah. It was me and my two year old (who is the friendliest child on the planet) I'm not going to lose her, or let random strangers grab hold of her.

    3. If you have one, bring a sling too. My little one wanted to walk/run, but after a while she wanted to be held too, the sling made it easier for me.

    4. Get/Buy small toys (one for every hour youre on the plane) and wrap them (bring a trash sack). It's like Christmas and a birthday all in one! Let the child unwrap them when they get fussy.

    5. Snacks are good, but stick to things that are low on the messy factor. We liked fishies, gummies, and the like

    6. Breathe ;] Remember you're not likely to ever see these people on the plane again.

    Good luck!

  8. We have lived overseas for the last 4 years, so I have seen some LONG flights with toddlers. My suggestions:
    1. Bring carrot sticks, crackers, or drink in a "sucking" sippy cup. The chewing or sucking will clear his ears. Nothing sugary, since it travelling makes most kids excited anyway.
    2. Try to get a window seat... this will provide more entertainment than anything!
    3. Bring puzzles, books, or coloring books, since they pack flat in a bag, along with a few toys. Don't bring anything noisy... I've seen parents asked to put these toys away for the sake of the rest of the passangers and it resulted in tears!
    4. Play games with him... he'll love the attention. "I Spy" and "20 Questions" are both goods ones. You can also look at other people on the plane (make sure they are too far away to hear) and make up stories about who they are and why they are travelling.
    5. Go for a bathroom break, but prepare him for how the toilet works or flush it once he walks out. The loud flush can freak some kids out. You might even run into a nice flight attendant. I've seen some of them show the kids around the galley, since they can't go to the cockpit anymore.
    Good luck and I hope this helps! I've survived multiple 9 or 10 hour transatlantic flights this last year with my 11 month old... so you'll be fine!

  9. Thanks for stopping by and helping me with my wfmw- backwards day!

    You had a great question as well! The girls and I will be traveling by ourselves for two weeks in January so I am learning from your help!


  10. Wikki Stix!

    They're basically yarn dipped in wax, but they are good entertainment at restaurants or on planes. My daughter loves them!


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