Great toys for airline flights aren’t always the same as great toys for road trips. A toy dropped on the floor of the car is usually easier to retrieve than one dropped on a cramped airplane floor. Due to carry-on restrictions, toys brought on board need to be entertaining, very compact, and not break any hearts if left behind on a plane.
Now that B is a toddler, here are some things I won’t fly without:
Pipe cleaners – If your toddler can resist putting these up his nose or in her ears, pipe cleaners can be loads of fun. They take up barely any space and you can bend them into animals, goofy glasses, or a million other things. If you’ve got Cheerios, you can string them on the pipe cleaners for instant jewelry. I always make sure to fold over the ends of the pipe cleaners before packing them so there are no sharp ends.
Stickers – My personal favourite are the big 700-sticker books by Golden Books available for the Wonder Pets, Diego, Dora, Thomas the Tank Engine and others. The stickers are colourful, cute and fun – but they are really only slightly stickier than a post-it note. So, your toddler can put them on airplane windows, the tray table, his hair, your face, where ever. And when he is finished playing, they just peel right off and can be reused. The books themselves are a bit big, so I pull out pages and put them in a ziploc bag in my carry-on bag.
Colour Wonder Markers and Colouring Pages – Kids love colouring with markers, but it doesn’t take long to regret handing a toddler a regular marker (even the washable kind) on an airplane. Colour Wonder Markers will only work on Colour Wonder paper, so you won’t have to wash marker off hands, mouths, tray tables or anywhere else your toddler chooses to write. If only they would make these in a triangular version so they don’t roll off the tray table…
Crayons – Are always a good bet and triangular crayons are helpful if you can get them – anyone who has had to retrieve a dropped crayon from the floor with a reclined airline chair wedged against their head can appreciate these, because they won’t roll off the tray table. Though a bit rolly, Alex’s Farm Finger Crayons are fun because not only can you colour with them, they have cute animal faces can be stacked.
And don’t forget the ‘air sickness’ bags in the seat pocket in front of you. They can be used to create puppets and those pipe cleaners you brought along make great antennae!