How to Survive Flying with Kids
Nothing compares to the anxiety that kicks in when you think about flying with little kids. Once they become mobile, flying becomes a marathon for you and them. Trying to keep a toddler in one place for that long should be an Olympic sport and if you are successful, you get a gold medal and your face on a box of Wheaties.
After flying several times with our two boys, I quickly discovered a few hacks that make it a much more enjoyable experience for all of us. It's all about keeping them entertained and that usually means bringing along new things they've never seen before. I hate to say it but bringing along iPads or our leapfrog leap pad has been a huge game changer. We load those up with movies and educational games and it works like a charm every time.
I have found that making little "surprise bags" help a ton too. This is a brown paper bag filled with new toys, treats, and coloring activities. The dollar spot at Target or the Dollar Store are great places to find little things to put in the bag. I usually do a new toy, usually a matchbox toy, invisible ink marker and coloring pad, and something sweet like a sucker or licorice. Those seem to keep their mouths busy the longest! I love the invisible ink coloring kits because you don't have to worry about them tagging the whole row you're seated in.
Another fun thing I found was to get a bead organizer or pill box and fill each compartment with a different snack. I got a bead organizer from Hobby Lobby and filled it with things like goldfish, cheerios, fruit snacks, m&m's, and some fruit. The kids thought it was so fun to open each lid and have a new treat. It keeps them entertained and feeds them!
One more tip that I found is to pack a ziplock bag with Clorox wipes and wipe down the tray and armrests. I also bring the sticky, disposable placemats and wrap them over the tray. This keeps my germaphobe mind at bay and I don't worry as much when kids eat off the tray!