Flight Activity Bag!
As this is the first long haul flight with a toddler I have done a lot of research into ideas and fun things to do on the plane to keep him occupied on the trip. Below is a break down of our activity pack for the kiddo to keep him entertained, some stuff from home and some new things. Nothing that holds so much attachment that he would cry if we misplaced it on the plane or in transit, and it's a good collection of things to keep him occupied in the hotel room as well as at restaurants when eating out! It seems like a lot, but keep in mind it'll be approximately 15 hours in transit during the day including airport time and the train into Tokyo etc. We may not use everything, but to have an option in a melt-down moment will be excellent! I'd love to try and entertain him for as long as we can before he gets glued to a screen... Also to note, we aren't bringing any other toys from home so this is what he will have to play with in Japan!
Heaps of stickers! I know if I give my kid a sticker book he loves it for about 10 minutes and then loses interest. So instead of giving him one big sticker book, I created 5 seperate sticker pouches with different stickers in each and a piece of paper to stick them on. The plan is to just pass him the singular sticker pouches throughout the journey to keep it fresh and entertaining.
Also in the craft folder are cut outs from a Frankie magazine (idea from the excellent blog The Tokyo Chapter - click here to discover more awesome in-flight ideas! ) along with a couple of pieces of paper, a glue stick and some washi tape. This is to make our own cut and paste artwork. Haven't done this before with him but he loves using glue so thought it worth a try!
I also added in a little pouch with some pipe cleaners and beads to make some bracelets! Easy enough to discard at the end of the flight but will entertain him for a few moments for sure!
I popped in a generic colouring book and a fun colouring sticker book with funny faces to stick in. I also got some new crayons that twist up so we don’t have to worry about breaking them on the plane etc. Knowing my luck, twisting the crayons up and down will be the highlight of his trip!
I also made the kid a journal for Japan with different pages for the airport/on the plane/each day we are away etc so we can talk about and note down the moments that are most memorable for him and draw and stick things into the journal that we collect along the way. The ultimate keepsake!
Play-Doh! I combined all the colours that he has at home into one container, and brought along his plastic scissors and love heart mould. It’s not a super common activity at home but when he plays with it he loves it.
I added in two books that are new, but that I know he likes. He always has two books before his nap so when it comes to his nap time on the plane we will have new and fun things to read. This is also to add some new books to the repertoire while we are away as I have heard its a bit difficult to find books in English when in Japan and its a part of his before-sleep routine. Trying to make sure we don't go mad rotating the same books for three weeks!
The kid is obsessed (and I don’t use this word lightly) with Moana but has no memorabilia or books about the movie so I knew these two would be an absolute win.
Toy capsule vending machine toys. I got three of these, I took the plastic off and took the toy that are inside out of the wrappers so it's a bit easier in the moment. He’s never seen these toys before but I though it would be good to build with me or my partner and play with on the flight. No attachment to these toys so no problem if they drop on the floor etc or if we loose them. And he LOVES opening and closing the containers. Bonus!
Mini Thomas toys. I packed 5 of these in their packets (nothing quite like the element of surprise!), but cut the tops off the packaging because they are crappy to open. He gets these as little treats at home or when we are out and about and likes lining them up and playing games with them. Might not hand over all 5, might keep some for the flight home!
We got him some awesome kiddy headphones that actually fit his cutie little noggin and also have a decibel cap so it never goes too loud in his teeny little ears! This is for watching movies, or listening to music/playing games on my phone if we get to that point!
Last but not least... New vehicles! This kid LOVES anything with wheels/that moves. The fire engine set is amazing as we will be able to get deep into some serious role-play but there are so many pieces that it won't be an issue if something gets left behind, the helicopter because we had one ages ago but had to throw it out and the kid still asks about it and a pull back car for the airport to chase and use up some energy before we leave.
So thats it! Seems like heeeeaps but in the context of entertaining a toddler in a confined space for 15 hours, it won't seem like too much at the time! Come to think of it, this is probably going to be the best day of the kids life! Haha. The flight back to Melbourne is a night time flight, so there will (hopefully) be much more sleeping and not so much entertaining.
This is what the Flight Activity Bag looks like all packed up.
Also to note, I am putting everything in one bag within my backpack along with other things like nappy bag and his blanket/panda for his nap! This is so I can keep it all together and in one place so when we get on the plane I can pull out the Activity Bag and have it at our feet or under our chair for easy access. Our flight snack pack in my partners back pack will be the same. This way its not all mixed up and I don't have to sift though a myriad of things to find what we want/need.
I'll write a new post after the flight to talk about what worked and what didn't work, what was excellent to have and what we could have done without! How he was on the flight and anything else I leant along the way!
I'd love to hear what tricks you have and use for long haul flights for toddlers! Comment below!