Before having our son, my husband and I utilize the help of all gadgets and tech. It sure makes life so much easier. Except, with Josiah King turning a year old really soon … we had to start reconsidering what toys and gadgets can he utilize. In a world running on technology, it is unavoidable for kids to develop a desire to watch tv, play with a smartphone, and more. I understand some parents have no choice but to give in and hand over a device to keep their tots happy … but it shouldn’t come down to letting a TV or a smartphone as well as a tablet do all the “babysitting”.
My husband and I had to sit down and discuss this topic carefully. It isn’t healthy to just let our son stay glued on a tv show or movie. The same concept applies to playing cellphone or tablet games. We all know that turning on our tablet or smartphone and letting our toddlers play games or watch something, can certainly keep them quiet. But what if you want to keep your toddler entertained without the help of technology? Even high up in the clouds, it can be done. Let’s look at the following tech-free ways to entertain toddlers (even when flying).
Give Your Child a Special New Toy
One great tip to keep your toddler entertained when flying is to purchase a new toy to give him once you’re on board. It would be really fun to choose an airplane, but any toys your child has been wanting will be great. Your child will be entertained with his new toy as least for a little while.
Bring Activity or Coloring Books Along
Activity and coloring books are wonderful for airplane travel. You can put down the little tray and your toddler can color, do dot-to-dots, etc. This can keep your child busy on a longer flight. Don’t be afraid to pack several varieties. You can also go online and find free-to-print coloring pages in almost any character or theme.
Read a Book Together
It’s also great to hit the thrift store before your trip and find some new books. You can usually find Golden Books or other children’s books for $1 or less. Another great place is the Dollar Tree. The Dollar Tree has a great selection of children’s books. If your child is starting to feel sleepy, read to him or her to help your little one doze off.
Pack Plane-Friendly Toys
Plane-friendly toys can include small cars, card games, magnetic toys, action figures or dolls, etc. You want to avoid toys that have lots of pieces and accessories that might get lost. The fewer pieces, the better.
Purchase Some Blind Bags to Open
Most children absolutely love blind bags. There’s something fun about opening a bag to discover a secret toy. You can usually find some sort of blind bag at Walmart for $1 each. The Dollar Tree also sometimes carries blind bags. If you’re on a long flight, give your toddler a new bag to open every hour or so.
Go for a Walk
Last, but not least, if your child is starting to feel restless, get up and walk the aisle. Fellow travelers may not be thrilled with this, but it’s better than your toddler having a mini-meltdown. If you have to, spend some time checking out the features in the bathroom – anything to keep your toddler occupied.
Air travel doesn’t require using your tablet to keep your toddler entertained. There are so many tech-free ways to entertain toddlers when flying. Something as simple as a new coloring book and a box of crayons can keep your child entertained for a good hour or so. The key is always having something else up your sleeve. It’s better to be over-prepared than under. Pack several activities, especially if you have a long flight. This will help prevent any meltdowns when your child gets bored.