As summer approaches it can mean only one thing: the mass exodus of mamas and children as temperatures soar and outside play becomes impossible. Planes are full of mamas and papas trying to entertain their children, and let’s face it, an iPad can only get you so far. So to help you mamas pass the hours on those long-haul flights I share seven of the best travel toys around, all small enough to fit in your hand luggage.
Why seven? It takes me seven hours to fly home, and I recommend a new toy or activity for every hour of the flight to help you hold onto your sanity!
Want to make it extra exciting for little ones? Grab some bright wrapping paper and wrap each toy or activity up for instant excitement and extending the shelf life of the toy by precious moments. Not a new toy? It doesn’t matter! By wrapping an old toy up you can bring back some of the excitement (and hopefully add a few minutes onto its usefulness).
Stickers and sticker books
All mamas know that children love stickers; no matter the age this is an activity that can be adapted to suit.
Young toddlers will love just randomly sticking over and over so make sure you pack plenty of stickers, mama! Reusable stickers are particularly handy for toddlers, I’ve found. As children get older, turn it into imaginative play by buying stickers in a theme and asking them to draw their own background to stick on.
Hours of fun and a breather for mama on the plane.
Car travel mats
These are my top buy for any mama with a car-obsessed child. Cars get lost in your bag constantly and when you manage to find the cars (that have bashed up half of your belongings, including your new sunglasses), kiddos delight in running them up the back of the plane seat much to the annoyance of other passengers.
This is where these fantastic storage and play solutions from Bright and Beautiful ME come in. Each roll up, handmade from quality cotton, has 6 pockets for those precious toy cars and when opened reveals a beautiful felt roadway to drive those cars up and down. Much to the relief of the passengers around you.
You can’t go wrong with an old classic. Small enough to fit in all hand luggage bags and you can tailor it to suit your little one’s age. From the more intricate building blocks that can bring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to life, to the heavy handed toddler safe Duplo for the younger traveller among us, LEGO’s a universal crowd pleaser.
Another old school classic toy, and one that many mamas would shy away from on a plane. But I’m telling you, you needn’t worry, this has been proven to be more popular than an iPad! As long as you buy the small tubs even the clean freaks among us shouldn’t panic too much at toddler enthusiasm. Let’s face it mamas – passengers and crew would rather have a quiet, occupied, Play Doh-eating child than a screaming, tantrumming one.
Colouring books and crayons
Yet again, another old school activity. If you are worried about your little darlings drawing all over the plane, Crayola have come up with the solution: Crayola Colour Wonder will only colour on the special paper. Added bonus here mamas is that little ones then think the pens are magical.
With the excitement of the plane trip it’s always a good idea to have some of your child’s favourite books to try and induce some quiet time. A tired, hyped up child is no one’s idea of fun. If you don’t think your child will sit still long enough to let you take the books out, then it’s an even better idea to wrap these as a new present.
Finger puppets aren’t just brightly coloured pieces of fun to capture the attention of baby; you can get everyone involved in making up stories and role-playing on the flight. Mamas if you’re really lucky you can get the toddler entertaining the baby while you kick back and relax (here’s hoping!).
There you have it mamas, seven of the top toys to pack in your trunk to help keep your little ones entertained as you escape the Singapore summer heat.