1. Sand Jar
Place a few small toys or household objects such as a button, paperclip, lego, golf pencil, rubber band, etc. in a jar (spice jars work nicely) then fill the jar with sand. The child needs to spin the jar to find all the objects – a stationary scavenger hunt!
Put aside some small toys that your child will not notice are missing or go to the dollar store and buy some inexpensive toys/books/activities. Wrap them up like presents. You can even wrap a present inside multiple boxes so they have to open lots of wrapping and boxes and anticipate the gift even more! (careful, this one can get messy!) Every so often during the trip, give your child a new present to unwrap and enjoy!
3. Don't help!
Make everything last longer. I know this sounds simple, but it really helps. When putting away a toy to take out something new, let your child help. Let them peel the banana themselves – it takes longer – that’s the point! If you are giving your child a wrapped present, don’t help them open it. Let them take time undoing the tape or finding the edge. That extra 5 minutes they are busy, happy and occupied is less time you have to be playing activity director.
I know, you are thinking this is not unique – here’s what is – make the stickers yourself! Use photographs of your family, place you are visiting or anything else your child loves. Sticker paper can be found at office supply stores, amazon or big chains. Print out a page with small pictures and cut them into fun shapes. You can bring a coloring book and use the stickers to create a story with your family in the scene.
5. Play with your food
Use your best judgement on this one but here’s what I mean… I used to eat slices of cheese. My mom would break it into pieces and we would make letters of the alphabet. So maybe we would make a B using 6 pieces – then eat the bottom piece and you have an R, see if your child can get from an R to an F, etc. You can come up with words that begin with that letter or objects you see around you with that letter. Of course there’s always the stringing of cheerios game too!
6. Water in a Ziploc
Most moms carry plastic bags just in case. Bring a few extra – you can get water on the plane. Put some in a baggie and let your child shake, rub, pat and play! Add some ice to make it interesting! Note: you may want to double bag it to make sure it doesn’t rip or leak or if you are really feeling ambitious, you could bring some duct tape to seal the ends. Plus, water is a magnifier, put it up to your eyes and see what happens!
Hi! My name is Buffy and I am the owner of Sunlit Travel! I love to plan special occasions like HONEYMOONS and FAMILY VACATIONS! My favorite part is adding special touches to make the trip especially romantic or adding a fun surprise!