Staying Sane While Traveling on a Plane

This summer we will be heading to the east coast for a week at the same lake I have been going to since I was 5 years old.  It is such an amazing place, full of so many happy memories for me.  I am counting down the days and cannot wait to experience long lazy days with our feet dangling off the dock, lightening bugs, fresh farm stand corn on the cob, my kids playing with their cousins for 6 days straight, s'mores at the nightly campfire, and getting to visit my sweet Granny's resting place (we sprinkled her ashes about 9 years ago at our family's lakeside home and I love visiting her each year and sharing some quiet time with her).  But, for every part of my excitement, there is nearly an equal measure of dread and gloom that I feel in the pit of my stomach when I think about the 5 hour plane ride that is taking us there.  I have been searching near and far across the Internet for some inspiration and I have found it! 

[sidenote:  oh, internet, how i love you!  What did we ever do without you?]

Chasing Cheerios has come up with a dozen activity bags for her toddler to use during a trip. She gives all the details on her site. I also tracked down a link for some Preschooler Activity Bags ideas for those of us with kids out of the toddler stage. As great as these are for traveling these would be wonderful to keep stashed somewhere and bring out whenever the need strikes. For the full list of Toddler activity bags, go here.

Here are some of my favorites that I am going to be copying for sure:

A mini potato head and a few of the potato head accessories.

An Opening & Closing activity bag (great for recycling some items that would otherwise get thrown away)

Some small containers of play-doh and a few play-doh tools

A mini reversible felt board

A color matching activity bag

Finger puppets activity bag

Sorting wacky macaroni

Those should last us about, umm, well, at least 30 minutes, right?!  


  1. These are really cool! I especially like the opening/closing one. Let us know how it these work.

  2. Oh! Ali! I've learned the hard way that TSA won't allow Play-Dough on planes. Apparently, it's too similar to plastique explosives. I had a brand new pack of 12 mini containers confiscated and thrown out about a year ago. The agent was very kind about it, and I understand their position. But I wished I would have known before I packed it.

    But otherwise, I think you've got some great ideas there. We fly OFTEN. Keeping them occupied is really the key. Do you have access to a laptop or portable DVD player? That's a great way to pass some time.

  3. Kelly -
    Thanks so much for the tip! I am glad that I know that. I would have totally understood, but if my daughter witnessed the TSA peeps tossing her play-doh in the trash, it would have been a meltdown moment!

    We will leave the play-doh at home. I was re-thinking that one anyway...picturing little bits of play-doh stuck to my pants.

    Yes, we do have the dvd/laptop action going, and we will hold out as long as we can and save that for when the kids really need a distraction!

    Thanks again for the tip! I am sure that other moms will benefit from knowing that too!


  4. Great ideas! I'm gonna use these at home too! I looked at those ideas and thought "DUH! Why didn't I think of that?!" Oh, and I LOVE your approach to recipes too. We're always looking for whole food, healthful recipes to try around here. Keep 'em comin'!

  5. We are back and I am really glad I prepped so much stuff. We got stuck in major delays across the country and had a ton of time to entertain ourselves. :)

    The big hits were (drumroll please...):

    -the opening and closing, the sorting wacky pasta, cheerios and lacing string, and the felt story boards. We actually had a couple of other kids in the airport join our posse to play with the felt boards and I was surprised that in this day and age of insane media toys that the felt boards were such a hit!



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