There is no doubt about it: flying with kids is a challenge and a half. The key is to keep them occupied, as boredom will surely lead to grumpiness and (at worst) tantrums. Is TV the only option? No, it isn't: why not let that be your last resort? Here are five different toy options that are small, light and perfect to entertain the kids on board your next long-haul flight.
1. Brand new books like Richard Scarry's A Day At The Airport. Choose books for the plane that are lightweight (paperbacks) and have plenty to read and look at. For little ones, Richard Scarry is a great option, for older kids try something like a DK guide to something your child has a particular interest in, like this Pocket Guide to Space.
2. Removable tattoos like these ones from Tattly. One way to keep kids entertained (and exercised) on flights are trips to the bathroom. Throw a removable tattoo in the mix and a trip to the bathroom becomes an awesome adventure. Just be kind to your fellow travelers: only break these out once there is absolutely no queue.
3. Magnetic drawing boards like the travel Fisher Price Doodle Pro. Drawing (or a game of Win, Lose or Draw) is a great way to keep kids busy, especially if Mom and Dad join in the fun. But the last thing you want on a plane are crayons or pencils that can roll down the aisle! A mini magnetic drawing board with a pen that is attached by a string is a perfect solution to this.
4. Paint-with-water pads like this one from Melissa and Doug. Painting is something my kids love, but we don't do it regularly, so it always seems like a special treat. Instead of water in a cup that can spill, you should be able to get enough moisture from a damp paper towel and, again, these pads mean very few parts (just a pad and a paintbrush!) which means there is less of a chance that bits and pieces will get lost.
5. Twisty-bendy puzzles like this snake puzzle from Smiggle Australia. Puzzles that kids can mess around with in their hands and make plenty of shapes/patterns with make great travel toys and can help kids to calm down and work off steam.
What is your favorite toy to take on-board? Leave your suggestions below!
(Images: as linked above)