How to entertain a 2.5 year old on a plane? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 06-27-2007, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm thinking snacks, of course, but I'd like to get some other little surprises for the flight. Any ideas?
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#2 of 21 Old 06-27-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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A 'new toy' usually works. The last time I flew with DD (age 2 then) I bought magnetic dress-up dolls & farm theme.
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#3 of 21 Old 06-27-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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How long a flight? We went to South America last February and I don't think we would have made it without a portable DVD player. I'm not normally an advocate for sticking a kid in front of a TV but it was def. worth far more than its weight in gold for that.
DS is, um, rather "spirited" even for a 2 yo, he doesn't have much of an attention span for coloring, more than a few books, etc.

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#4 of 21 Old 06-27-2007, 04:44 PM
 
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LOTS of different little things that you can pull out every few minutes has been what's worked for us with DD on flights back and forth from Boston/Paris. Get a colorful zippered purse or a backpack at the thrift shop and fill it with finger puppets, crayons, stickers, small sheets of colorful paper, a couple tiny jars of Playdoh, a mini Magnadoodle, small books, snacks, a play scarf, etc. Don't forget a favorite stuffed animal or blankie.

Also, spend some time going through the stuff in the seat pocket---magazines, barf bags, and headphones can become ingredients in games when given the chance.
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#5 of 21 Old 06-27-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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It's a good idea to have a few new things that your dc has never seen before such as books, toys, coloring books/crayons, anything like that you can think of. Don't show them to your dc before you get on the plane. Sometimes the excitement of the new things will keep them distracted for quite a while. If your dc likes music and is old enough to wear head phones, that might be a good distraction too.
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#6 of 21 Old 06-28-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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I second the portable DVD player!

My mom & I recently went on an 8 hour plane trip with my 2.5 year old. We had plenty of snacks and new little toys, but DVDs kept his attention for the entire movie.

We also did lots of walking in the airport to get some of his energy out.
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#7 of 21 Old 06-28-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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I third the portable DVD player- my 2 yo is very spirited and hates to sit still. We will be taking a 3 hour plane trip next Tuesday and I bought a bunch of new small toys, which will keep him occupied for about 30 seconds... but the DVD is what will primarily keep him occupied.... and hopefully a nap.

I am also generally a stickler for good nutrition, but I will be breaking out the skittles, which he loves, and will buy me a few more minutes of peace.

Good luck!!!
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#8 of 21 Old 06-28-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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Stickers, stickers, and more stickers. Playdoh is great, too. Take him to the airport gift/book store before boarding and let him pick out a couple of new books and little toys (nothing that makes sounds!) Finger puppets are fun, too. Enjoy the flight!
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#9 of 21 Old 07-02-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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Don't mean to take over your thread, but I just came to ask this same question. I have a super busy almost three year old, a spirited 5 year old and we are travelling to the states in three days : . . .22 hours actually on airplanes!! We are taking some playdoh, coloring books, scissors, tape (can keep them occupied for a long time), origami paper, and a couple cars to play with. This will keep him busy for maybe 2 hours, then what do we do? DH has been looking at the portable DVD players, but my question is how long does the battery last? We will be in the air on our longest flight for about 14 hours.

Barbara:  an always learning SAHM of Ilana (11) and Aiden (8) living in Belgium with my amazing husband.

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#10 of 21 Old 07-02-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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For my flight with DS last week, I brought a new Matchbox car, a Magna-Doodle, and I loaded some of his books-on-CD on my iPod -- he thought that listening to his stories was way cooler than mama just reading to him on the plane.

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#11 of 21 Old 07-04-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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A window seat.
Just worked like a charm for us.
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#12 of 21 Old 07-04-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisette's_Maman View Post
LOTS of different little things that you can pull out every few minutes has been what's worked for us with DD on flights back and forth from Boston/Paris. Get a colorful zippered purse or a backpack at the thrift shop and fill it with finger puppets, crayons, stickers, small sheets of colorful paper, a couple tiny jars of Playdoh, a mini Magnadoodle, small books, snacks, a play scarf, etc. Don't forget a favorite stuffed animal or blankie.

Also, spend some time going through the stuff in the seat pocket---magazines, barf bags, and headphones can become ingredients in games when given the chance.

YEAH THAT!

we went to the dollar store and got lots of stickers and coloring books, new (to DC) books, new (to DC) snacks (try asian markets! They have really interestingly packaged and healthy snacks!).
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#13 of 21 Old 07-04-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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The two things that have worked wonders for us are:
- sticker books, especially the ones where you can use the stickers over and over again
- magnadoodle- the pen is tied on so you can't lose it between the seats!
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#14 of 21 Old 07-04-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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We got a mini magnadoodle for $3 at Toys R Us. It came in QUITE handy on the flight, and it was easy to carry in the backpack.
Also, coloring books and crayons, or those cool color wonder books/markers. And for my ds, books that he's familiar with. He'd much rather have a book that he already knows, than a new one.
If it's a really long flight, I'd also say a DVD player. Our flights are 5 hours, and we can do without, but I might take ours the next time anyways. It would make it easier during the times when the seat belt has to be fastened for turbulence.

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#15 of 21 Old 07-04-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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What we took on the plane when traveling with my 2 year old DD

- STICKERS, she put them everywhere
- snacks, different completely non-healthy variety
- books
- her blankie
- and I thought the magna doodle was a good idea!

HTH
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#16 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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I'm getting ready to travel with my 2yo DD on a looong flight and I got a mini beads-on-wire thingys (don't know if they have a real name) you usually find at doctor's offices and places like that. DD is just really getting into the fine motor skills, so I think it will keep her busy pushing those beads back and forth.

Treemom2 -- if you're on an international flight you will probably have seat-back tv's (check with the airline) but you can usually choose from several different programs with those.

Also planning lots of trips to the toilets -- DD loves to wash her hands. And I'd rather have her walking up and down the aisle than kicking the seat in front of her. I'm really worried about this possiblity as her legs seem to be exactly the right length to make some good kicks inevitable.

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#17 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 02:39 AM
 
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From my experience:
Mr Potato Head
Doodle pad
small puzzles
washable crayons
books
small toy animals

Also, every 30 minutes, spend 2 or 3 minutes letting your walking up and down the aisles while you follow behind. People will say "hi" to your child and talk to her, especially old ladies.
Avoid sugary snacks.
Let your child look at the safety procedure manual (you know, the one in the pocket in front of you)
Let your child "read" and destroy the airplane magazine. See how small you can tear the pages

Mainly, don't worry if your child makes a mess (within the limits of reasonable) and 10-15 minutes before the plane lands, put the trash in a plastic grocery bag (bring your own) and get all the toys together in the toy bag.
I've taken many flights with DS, and this is all my best tricks.
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#18 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 06:49 AM
 
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STICKERS!

my son is also extremely spirited with millions of hours of bottled energy (somehow) and stickers are one of the things he absolutely LOVES to play with for hours and hours and hours. at chapters you can buy reusable sticker books (that come with stickers)...the stickers sort of suck and aren't that reusable, but we bought a HUGE sticker book (like the 1500 sticker book ) that we use with the sticker book (the pages are plasticky like)...also, you can buy these magnet books at chapters too that are super for entertaining little kids!

and crayons.

we take lots of flights, between 10 and 20 a year, and our longest with haye was to hawaii. he was sick the way there so he wasn't really into playing, but on the way back we let him sit on the floor and play with his toy suitcase/snacks/stickers...he was pretty entertained for awhile, until he tried crawling under the seats to steal shoes

crayons + stickers = heaven

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#19 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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My favorite piece of advice was to plan on one 'new' thing for every 15 minutes in the air. The thing can be walking aisles, looking at the safety sheet/magazine, a snack, etc. Of course, some won't last the full 15min but some will go longer so its just an average for planning.

Also, take the time to 'wrap' up the toys you take. Some may be new, some not, but let the kiddo pull a wrapped toy out of the bag (like a grab bag) so its a surprise, and just the anticipation and unwrapping part can make things a little more interesting/last a little longer.
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#20 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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Miniature retractable tape measures. I got one at the fabric store I think. It didn't take up a lot of space and pulling the tape out and then pushing the button to retract it was a lot of fun.

Ice cubes

Wet wipes-- let them clean the window or their chair or whatever.

Playdough. I got the party pack of tiny little containers and brought one along.

Fake tattoos

Books, books, books. DD will sit still forever if I just keep reading to her.
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#21 of 21 Old 07-05-2007, 04:49 PM
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I bought this Matchbox track for DD at Target and it kept her completely entertained for hours. It fits on her lap and folds up completely so she could play with it and put it away pretty quickly. I am not a fan of plastic toys but this one is durable enough and DD loved it enough to play with it for hours. -She still plays with it at home BTW.
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