Our 3-year-old loves going places. To the park. The post office. The grocery store. Anywhere.
When we announced that we were going to Disneyland, she talked about it for weeks. Truth be told, she is STILL talking about. In fact, I am still talking about it too. I'm ready to go back. I love that place.
She also still talks about the plane. Lately, she's been wanting to pretend that we're on a plane several times a week. She always want to cook me food on the plane - steak and potatoes, vegetable lasagna and cheesecake and peach tea. If only REAL food service on planes was that good.
Anyway, from my limited experience, I think 3 is a very good age for jet setting. She can sit still for a longer period of time, she can be distracted, and she can have full conversations. She was the picture of good behavior during both of our flights.
Here are four things that helped:
1. Lollipop, Lollipop. If you are traveling with a preschooler, never underestimate the power of a lollipop. Lollipops are wonderful for two reasons: (1) they take a long time to lick and will buy you a good chunk of time, and (2) they help little ones to "pop" their ears during take-off and landing.
2. Drink Service. Our 3-year-old was totally excited by the prospect of getting a special drink to put on her tray. We normally never let her drink soda (In fact, she only had her first soda this past summer - a neighbor's home brew of root beer), but we made an exception for the trip. She drank Sprite happily out of a straw and felt quite proud of herself.
3. Snacks. DO bring a variety of snacks - dried apricots, trail mix, crackers, fruit snacks, etc. Chances are the airline won't serve anything (which stinks, by the way...I remember the good 'ol days when you got a sandwich and chips and a cookie) so be sure to have your own on-hand for any "I'm hungry" moments.
4. My Airport Busy Kit. The My Airport Busy Kit is a a genius little kit designed by two California moms. The kit is priced at $15.99 and includes markers, crayons, stickers, a measuring tape, a laceboard, scissors, bendable craft sticks, and much more...all packaged in a see-through mini suitcase with two smiley faces on the front. When I used the word "genius" above, I meant it. This kit is packed with just the right variety of products to keep a preschooler busy for a long time. In fact, we didn't even make it through all of the contents over the course of our two flights. Surprisingly, she probably loved the kid-shaped measuring tape best (it's the blue elephant in the picture, see above). She "measured" the seat and her arms and her baby sister and all kinds of things.
At $15.99, I actually think the kit is priced very fairly. On a previous trip, I went to Michael's and bought stickers, a sketch pad, and other odds-and-ends...and I spent at least that much. And the items weren't as plane-friendly or as packable.
Needless to say, I think these kits are great for plane rides, road trips, waiting rooms, and any time when sitting "still" is required by a small child. I already have the kit tucked away for our next journey.
YOUR TURN: How do YOU keep your small children occupied on airplanes and on long road trips?
WIN IT! One winner will receive a My Airport Busy Kit ($15.99) by My Busy Kit. To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Saturday, December 12th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
* I received a product sample for review purposes.
*UPDATE* The winner is #6 MaryBeth @ FourSillySisters. Congratulations!