Lila's airplane survival kit
Lila really impressed me on the flights to and from California - she was extremely well-behaved. I was really anxious about this travel with her since she is now mobile - and tantrum prone as of late - so I made sure I had a lot of things with us to keep her busy, which I knew would be the key to keeping her in a good (and quiet) mood. On our way home, we were delayed because of weather - we had a 3 hour wait at the airport before boarding, then sat on the plane for three hours before taking off for our 5 1/2 hour flight. I was so happy that I was prepared with things for Lila to do!
In addition to her lovey (this doggie) and a handknit blanket she sleeps with, I brought along a lot of snacks (lots of applesauce pouches, yogurt covered raisins, cheddar bunnies, graham crackers and sandwiches) in our carry-on bag as well as some new toys and activities.
These were the big hits:
Alex My First Scribble Sketch Pad - This is a little on the heavy side but the pre-drawn pages are nice for wee ones to doodle on and the stickers included are a nice touch. Also the spiral binding makes the pad stay open easily.
Melissa and Doug Jumbo Crayons - These are the best for wee toddler hands. Easy to hold and no paper on them which always seems to get in the way (at least for Lila). Also they don't roll.
Fisher Price Travel Doodler Pro - This was a big hit. I really like how lightweight it is. Lila likes how it magically erases.
Alex String A Farm - Lila has actually had this set for a while, but its one of her current favorite toys. She is still trying to get the hang of stringing the animals, but she likes being asked to identify the animals and their sounds. There are different variations of this set, too - there are clothes and trucks and some others as well. I bought a little make-up bag to keep the set in for travel.
Melissa and Doug Animal Puzzle Book - This is a small magnetic puzzle book that is great, but super heavy! I unlaced it and only brought two of the puzzles with us.
Munchkin Traveling Flashcards - Lila loves flashcards and this alphabet set is really good. The cards are bound so they don't end up everywhere and the set is small enough to throw in your purse. I kept this in my bag throughout the trip so Lila could play with them at restaurants or in the car.
Leapfrog Chat and Count Cell Phone - This is another toy Lila has had for a while, but it is always a total winner at keeping her occupied in the car and it is another item that is small enough to throw in my purse if we are going to a restaurant or something.
And when all else failed, we fell back on the iPad and trusty Yo Gabba Gabba. Lila actually only used the iPad for a little bit on the way to California, but flying back to New York, with all the delays, we did rely on it quite a bit. I had also burned copies of her baby sign language DVDs onto the iPad for her to watch. I bought these headphones for Lila to wear in flight, which worked out well.
Oh, and the other big hit that kept Lila occupied for at least half an hour on the plane?
Yep. A half-filled water bottle. Toddlers, man.