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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Airplane Busy Bags for Toddlers

If you're a first-time visitor to Crazy Joy - thanks for stopping by. I write about homeschooling, our three accidental pregnancies, our four (very young) kiddos, and why I hate going to the pool.   Pull up a chair and spend some time looking around, if you like what you read, consider subscribing for updates straight to your inbox! 

We got home from our trip up to Michigan late Sunday night. Which means this week has been busy with unpacking, laundry, re-stocking the pantry, doling out discipline (do your kids entirely forget how to behave at home after a trip like mine do?!) and generally going insane.

While I wait for relatives to send me their pictures (we didn't take our big camera and my iPhone memory was FULL of course) I thought I'd share the busy bags I prepped for Squirt and Sweet B to take on the plane with them.


For the Squirt (3 1/2 years old) I packed:
  • Small books
  • Brown Bear matching activity
  • Numbers matching cards
  • Toy cars (McQueen and Mater obviously)
  • Small coloring book and crayons
  • Stickers
  • Happy Tot fruit/veggie blend pouch
  • Raisins
  • Granola bar (aka store bought sugary treat)
  • Lollipop and hard candy (for helping little ears adjust to the changes in air pressure)

Packing a bag he could easily carry all by himself was helpful. We get compliments on this bag ALL the time. It's adorable, super functional and the perfect size once you no longer need a big diaper bag. This exact bag is no longer available, but The North Face Sprout (Big Kid) Backpack is similar and I love the color.


I found the Brown Bear Brown Bear matching activity here...Sweet B has enjoyed playing with these cards too. Oh and I love having all the little card activities organized into these clear zippered pouches. When we're not traveling I keep them all clipped into a 3-ring binder so they stay organized (AKA off the floor) I found the zippered pouches at Staples, but Amazon sells these Transparent Binder Pouch (and offers free shipping with Prime - no brainer!)


Numbers 1-10 matching set of cards. (It's convenient to have an elementary school teacher for a mother...I get old classroom hand-me-downs like these all the time.)



For Sweet B (18 months) I packed:
  • 2 small board books 
  • Mini Magna Doodle (thanks Mom!)
  • Pipe cleaners 
  • Pom Pom push game
  • Button snake
  • Color matching clothespins
  • Stickers
  • Toy car
  • Raisins
  • Granola bar
  • Happy Tots fruit/veggie pouch
  • Lollipop and hard candy 


She, of course, needed a matching bag like her brother's. I, of course, want to eat her up when she's wearing it. Again, this exact bag is no longer made, but check out The North Face Unisex Sprout Backpack for something similar. 


For this matching game I painted the tops of small clothespins and went through my Sherwin-Williams paint deck to find matching paint chips. Great for hand-eye coordination and learning colors. 


I've seen this button snake activity all over Pinterest. Sew a button on to the end of a piece of ribbon and cut shapes out of felt with a slit in the middle. I knew Sweet B would stay entertained just putting the pieces on and off, but you could adjust this for older children by making different shapes and colors to teach patterns. 


Pom pom push game. I cut an (embarrassingly rough) hole in the lid of food container and put 10 pom poms inside. Sweet B stayed very focused taking everything out and pushing them back in one by one. 

My gracious mother in law took Squirt up a day ahead of us with her, so B Daddy and I only had to worry about one child, one carry-on, one personal item and one car seat each. Piece of cake, right?! We were a sight to see rolling through the airport. I had Blue Eyes in the Moby Wrap, Sweet B was riding on top of the stroller perched in her carseat and both B Daddy and I were trailing carry-ons, a backpack and diaper bag. My mom gave me the best advice I've gotten yet for traveling with tots... maintain your sense of humor!

Sweet B did great on the plane. And I was much calmer knowing we were as prepared as possible with activities and bribes snacks. Oh and sweet baby Blue Eyes? He slept the whole way. Both there and back. Love this stage.


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