We get asked a lot for ideas of things to pack when traveling with kids. My boys & I are headed to California to visit family for spring break, so I thought I would take the opportunity to show you what I am packing for them for the airplane. They are 5 and 9 years old now, so it has changed quite a bit over the years. Plus, when traveling on an airplane with other people around, you have to be a little more diligent.
First, I always pack chewy snacks to combat ear pain during pressure changes. Also, it always seems like my kids are starving the minute we get on the plane, before the attendant has come around for snacks. Make sure you pack extra napkins/tissues, because invariably something will get spilled or hands will get messy, and the 1 napkin they give you is never enough. I have also finally learned to bring our own headphones, after a couple times of having to pay way too much money for cheap earphones.
My 9 year old is relatively easy. He will probably spend most of his time watching the JetBlue in-flight TV or reading his Harry Potter book. I am also bringing his Harry Potter coloring book and colored pencils, a Melissa & Doug Secret Decoder activity book, plus some Melissa & Doug pop-up mini posters that both kids can share. He has been studying Ancient Civilizations in school so I am also throwing in an Ancient Egypt sticker book by DK Publishing. We have a 2 1/2 hour drive to the airport, and have to wait 2 hours at the airport for the 2 1/2 hour flight, that is a total of 7 hours of traveling. I want to make sure he has plenty of activities to suggest when he starts complaining about being bored, LOL.
The activities I am bringing for my 5 year old, include the Melissa & Doug Make a Face sticker pad. It is a little big for most toddler sized backpacks, but it does (barely) fit in his larger backpack. It is a fun activity that both kids enjoy and is not messy. I am also bringing him a Harry Potter coloring book because he wanted one just like his brother. He is still in preschool, but will be starting Kindergarten in September, so I have been trying to give him lots of activities to get prepared. He loves dinosaurs, so I have a Dino-dot-to-dot to help him learn numbers, washable markers, a Melissa & Doug Water WOW alphabet writing pad, and a Melissa & Doug stamp activity pad. Lastly, I have his Leap Pad filled with lots of learning games.
Hope these ideas help you prepare for your next trip with kids. Before summer I will post some ideas for younger kids, and maybe even some fun tricks for road trips in a car.