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How do I keep a toddler busy on a plane - HELP!!!

(31 Posts)
monkeybumsmum Tue 15-Jul-08 21:26:49

We fly quite a bit, only shorthaul, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to entertain DS (16 months). He's very energetic, and doesn't like sitting on anyone's knee for longer than about 30 seconds.

Does anyone have any tips on how I can keep him occupied on my knee? I'm starting to dread flying with him as each time is more difficult!

I've tried feeding him through the flight, poor thing - he loves food and comes out the other end like a barrel. It doesn't seem to be working the older he gets because he eats faster than he used to. I can't bear the fact that he gets so upset by being constrained, but I've run out of idea's of how to make it easier for him.

I would love any advice please!

namechangecosfeelingsad Tue 15-Jul-08 21:31:24

Mine love those magnetic sketching things - Magnadoodles are they called?

If he has a favourite TV programme eg Thomas the Tank, a TTT magazine might keep him occupied for a while, esp as they often come with free stickers or little puzzles.

Small shapesorters are good, as are simple jigsaw puzzles.

Have you ever tried him with an ipod/walkman (volume much quieter than for you)? The new sensation of having the music in his ear might keep him still for a while?

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Tue 15-Jul-08 21:33:52

shall be watching this thread with interest - am already dreading flights to Australia with ds who will then be 18m!

MorocconOil Tue 15-Jul-08 21:43:32

My DC used to sit still at that age if I read to them or took crayons for them to scribble with. It was quite tiring though as it was constant attention to keep them still. They also liked cards eg Tweenies or In the Night Garden, especially new ones chosen by them at the airport.

monkeybumsmum Tue 15-Jul-08 21:44:11

Thanks namechange - hope you're not feeling too sad sad? Will see if I can find one of those magnadoodle things. Will try him with the ipod too - the only problem there is that he likes to dance to music, so whether he will try to have a boogie on the plane I don't know! I think a trip to the toyshop is in order tomorrow grin

PhD - wow, 18 hours!!! You are brave! Are you going on your own with ds? I would've thought you will have more room on a long flight like that, and will be able walk around too. I'm exhausted after an hour and a half's flight looking after ds, so I hope it's not too tough for you...

monkeybumsmum Tue 15-Jul-08 21:44:13

Thanks namechange - hope you're not feeling too sad sad? Will see if I can find one of those magnadoodle things. Will try him with the ipod too - the only problem there is that he likes to dance to music, so whether he will try to have a boogie on the plane I don't know! I think a trip to the toyshop is in order tomorrow grin

PhD - wow, 18 hours!!! You are brave! Are you going on your own with ds? I would've thought you will have more room on a long flight like that, and will be able walk around too. I'm exhausted after an hour and a half's flight looking after ds, so I hope it's not too tough for you...

monkeybumsmum Tue 15-Jul-08 21:44:54

Oops - silly finger blush

Thinkstoomuch Tue 15-Jul-08 21:48:12

Does he sit still for tv? We paid about £70 for a portable DVD player and it was well worth it. We were also able to plug it into the hotel's tv when we got there. Not that they should be glued to the box during a holiday, of course, but it was useful for short periods. And MP3 player good too. Also scrap paper and crayons, and stickle bricks.

ScaryHairy Tue 15-Jul-08 21:48:22

A portable DVD player with Pingu (we're not big on TV but needs must and it is good for the bits between takeoff and landing).

Sticker books are good for 20 mins or so each as well.

namechangecosfeelingsad Tue 15-Jul-08 21:49:51

Thanks mbm, I really should change my name back, I'm not feeling as sad anymore!

Shitemum Tue 15-Jul-08 21:51:08

If it's shorthaul then ask one of the stewardesses to book you a DVD player as soon as you get on or buy your own and take a couple of DVDs with you.
I also advocate a new toy or distraction per 20 minutes of flight. So a three-hour flight would need 9. These can be anything from a balloon to a mag.
I have to fly from Spain to Scotland soon with DD1 4.10 yo and DD2 1,10yo. TBH i'm hoping they'll entertain each other...!

bookswapper Tue 15-Jul-08 21:54:01

portable DVD and Pingu here too!!!
and lolly for take off and landing (sucking helps clear the ears)

hatcam Tue 15-Jul-08 21:54:28

def agree on portable dvd players and sticker books, also new books/small cheap toys wrapped with lots of paper and sellotape to make them extra difficult for toddler hands to get into, also puzzles/jigsaws. Small cars/trucks for zooming around in the aisle and on the floor. That said, we always seem to spend the entire time on the plane following my toddler up and down the plane while she causes havoc and last time we flew long haul (America) I think she snacked the entire way across the Atlantic (and didn't sleep in a 10 hour flight) smile

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Tue 15-Jul-08 21:59:28

oooh, wrapped loot, clever idea hatcam!!

no dh will be with us fortunately mbm.

our plan is to break it up lots - london to hamburg by train, then fly to singapore, then home. Probably kidding ourselves that will be easier!

cannot do maths to figure how many toys, shitemum?

ScaryHairy Tue 15-Jul-08 21:59:47

And don't forget to plan for an hour sitting on the plane before take-off (there are often delays there with shorthaul flights IMO) so take some extra bits.

Shitemum Tue 15-Jul-08 22:04:34

3 per hour phd...and it still won't be enough...
wrapping them up is a great idea!

hatcam Tue 15-Jul-08 22:07:53

(polishes halo) can I have a gold star?

I'm more the harrassed-weetabix-in-hair type of mum, it's not like living in a boden catalogue at hatcamtowers, it's so nice to have a good idea!

Shitemum Tue 15-Jul-08 22:10:21

Actually a few well-wrapped Weetabix wouldnt be bad idea eithergrin

Elk Tue 15-Jul-08 22:30:41

On my last flight with dds (4 and 2) they ignored all the books/toys/games I had brought with me and played with the mega bag of fruit gums I bought in the shop. They made loads of pictures with them whilst v. slowly eating them. (They don't like them 'cos they are too chewy!!)

hatcam Tue 15-Jul-08 22:32:14

well-wrapped toddlers? grin

(tsk tsk bad hatcam)

shreddies Tue 15-Jul-08 22:34:46

My sil recommends a roll of sellotape for toddlers on long journeys. I have yet to try it but can imagine it would kill at least twenty minutes.

Klio Tue 15-Jul-08 22:38:00

We're recently back from 8 weeks in NZ and Oz with ds (2). Did break up flight in Hong Kong on both legs of longhaul but did loads of short flights whilst over there. I found a mixture of food, sticker books and being able to look out of the window, whilst I described what was going on putside worked best. He wasn't remotely interested in DVD player, iPod or anything like that, but was unusually interested in the safety card in the seat pocket and it kept him interested for ages!

PussinJimmyChoos Tue 15-Jul-08 22:38:03

Shh...don't tell anyone....Medised...

<legs it from thread> wink

<disclaimer - I do not give my DS medised for flights>

dinkystinky Wed 16-Jul-08 10:23:01

DVD with Pingu, Nightgarden and Thomas the tank engine seemed to work an absolute treat with our DS when he was 22 months... also, juice in sippy cup for take off and landing, snacks galore, magazines with stickers, fuzzy felt shapes (nice and cheap, didnt matter if lost them on plane, though did find we were finding them for months afterwards!), aquadraw mats (TTE colour in ones, so we could discuss what he found when he coloured it in) and a few of his favourite books/toys wrapped up (though none of the really little ones as they're impossible to find if you drop them on the floor on a flight) kept him happily entertained for a 9 hour flight...

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Wed 16-Jul-08 20:52:56

TTE, dinkystinky?

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