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How do I entertain a 1.5 year old on a 3 hour flight?

17 replies

Looking4wards · 30/09/2019 11:14

I'd love to have some ideas please. DS going to sit on mine or DH's lap,
but he can't sit still for 30 seconds at the moment, not even to watch TV. When I put him on my lap, he arches his back and climbs off. He just wants to run about the place.

Any suggestions on what to do to occupy him?

A lot of activity books are for 3+. DS can't hold a pencil properly, he just chews them, so that's all colouring, puzzles and join the dot type of stuff out.

We don't have any tablets. I've tried mobile, but he's not interested and just wants to put it in his mouth.

He also likes to throw his toys, so don't want to take them out and have to run all over the plane for find them.

I've bought some new books for him to read on the plane, but that'll only take up about 15 minutes out of the 3 hours! Suggestions please?

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MadeForThis · 30/09/2019 12:51

Will he sleep? I always try and get dd to sleep for a bit. Usually only get 30-40 mins.

We have teddy/dolly to play with. Lots of silly games where dolly runs abut the seat.

Peppa cards. Small toys that won't roll away. Stickers. Colouring pencils and paper. Paper airplanes.

Walking up and down the plane.

Jumping on your knee.

Lego or sticky blocks.

Etch a sketch

Travel aqua doodle.

Food - crisps, crackers etc.

We fly to Spain a few times a year and it's never fun on the plane. Most people are quite accommodating. Just dont let him kick the seat in front.

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Babyfg · 30/09/2019 12:57

A tablet or iPad? It will only be a one off and they do seem to keep children pretty stationary

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MadeForThis · 30/09/2019 13:00

Try and tire him out at the airport. Burn off some steam first.

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Tableclothing · 30/09/2019 13:01

Bulk buy ear plugs for nearby passengers?

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Sparadrap · 30/09/2019 13:12

There are some Usborne flap books that are aimed at much older children. They have about 20 little flaps on each page. My DS used to love (and still does) just opening and closing all the flaps. The one we have is called something like “under the sea“. Lovely pictures too! Sensory toys might help too.

It won’t be as bad as you think!

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OverthinkingThis · 30/09/2019 13:24

A small number (8 ish) of megabloks
Lift the flap books
Small car or similar
Mobile phone - try letting him see himself in the selfie camera
Snacks
Peekaboo with a muslin in front of your/his face

We recently flew with a 20 mo. After takeoff we put the armrest up and sat him between us. We used the inflight magazine to bridge the gap between our two tray tables to increase play space. If you get a window seat they like lifting the flap up and down. And yes make sure to get a walk up and down the plane before landing.

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windandme · 30/09/2019 13:43

I'd always get a bulkhead seat so that dh and I could sit either side and ds would have three feet wells together to play in. He could actually do a fair bit of jumping around.

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twirlgirl · 30/09/2019 13:51

Buy some cheap bits and pieces, wrap them up and dish one out every hour or so. Someone suggested this when DCs were little and it worked well. The excitement of a present and the unwrapping can while away a bit of time.

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SpaceDinosaur · 30/09/2019 13:55

"Lose" one of his current fave toys and rediscover it just before the plane.

Wrap up toys. One every 20 min or so.

Borrow a tablet. CBeebies have some lovely games. Netflix allow downloads etc. Practice with him wearing headphones in advance

We had magnetic games. An enclosed board with balls and a wand

Cars

What does he like to play with at home?

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Looking4wards · 30/09/2019 16:03

Wow thanks for all the suggestions!
I'll definitely wrap some toys up for him.

I can get a magnetic game... I saw them in a local kids store last weekend but the tin said 3+ so I didn't get them. But maybe they could work.

At home he likes to throw his toys then runs after them, picks them up and throws again, and repeat. Also loves pushing his toy on a stick around. Basically anything that involves him running about. I struggle to think how I can replicate this on a plane.

Unfortunately the timing of the flight means he'll probably nap in the car on the way to the airport and then be full of beans on the flight itself Sad

It's an easyjet flight so I'm not expecting much room in the seats at all.

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Ellmau · 01/10/2019 01:01

Can you tie a toy to him/his clothing/the seat armrest/you? Maybe with a stretchy rubber band?

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1Bobbinwinder · 01/10/2019 01:21

I think 18 months is hard because they are kind of... stupid, for want of a better word.

I think make your expectations as low as possible: this will be hell, but we will survive. Then anything better than that is a bonus!

Practically I find that things like landing and taking-off consume everyone's attention and are a bit exciting so that will go quickly - approx 30 mins of the flight done and dusted. And as others have said, food! I remember an adult-sized pot of porridge with loads of honey and jam from Pret keeping my son happy, then a packet of breadsticks. I think we took stacking cups that were quite a hit surprisingly! Sometimes it's the random day-to-day things that get them. Like the in-flight magazine or paper cups with sachets of milk. Good luck!

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managedmis · 01/10/2019 01:26

Just start praying now and you should be OK

Grin

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HuloBeraal · 01/10/2019 01:51

Books.
Snacks
Magnatiles
Playdough
Snacks again
Take a walk
Sticker books
Watch 10 mins on the iPad
Snacks
Books again

Break it up into 15 min chunks and think of 12 things you need to do. Also you should prepare him for the seatbelt beforehand. I usually buy a separate seat so that once we are airborne they can have their own space.

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HuloBeraal · 01/10/2019 01:54

Sorry I realise that’s not a helpful comment but in the future if it’s possible I would. Forcing an 18 month old to sit on your lap for 3 hours is hard. We also take a small bag of cars and fire engines and buses. Also some dot markers. And one of those travel doodle things.

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Number3or4 · 01/10/2019 02:08

How about leaving extra couple of hours earlier to avoid sleeping in the car? Then doing your best to keep him awake at the airport. Let him play and get himself tired. You will have more space to explore than inside the plane. Plan activities to do there and with a very tried toddler.

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4OneDay · 01/10/2019 03:27

Sellotape. I know it sounds strange but it was the best advice I was ever given. Take a few rolls and let him go nuts with it.

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