Headed up and away for a summer trip? There’s no good way to fly with a toddler. But there is some gear you can pack to keep things from heading into a tailspin. So to speak.
It’s unlikely the flight attendant wants to scrape the remains of your Lisa Frank sticker collection off the back of a tray table, so may I recommend reusable stickers? Classic toy company Melissa & Doug makes a whole series of reusable sticker pads that, while on the larger side, can still be crammed into a carry-on. $4.99, melissaanddoug.com.
2. Magna Doodle
A step up from the Etch-a-Sketch, whose teeny knobs may frustrate the under-five set, the Magna Doodle was a must for us. Fisher-Price manufactures a travel-sized version, which is still plenty big enough for maniacal toddler scribbles. $9.99, amazon.com.
For one trip, we upgraded our art supplies with P’Kolino’s Extra Jumbo Triangular crayons. Because the very last place you want crayons rolling away is when you’re stuffed into a middle-row coach seat . $7.99, amazon.com.
Before I had a baby, I railed against snack culture. Now with a 20-month-old eating machine, if there aren’t words coming out of her mouth, chances are there’s food going in. Cheerios, banana chips, cheese, crackers, fruit–and-yogurt pouches—whatever I could stuff into her diaper bag I did. But be advised: The pouches et. al. have to come out of the bag to go through security.
Be prepared to break some of your rules. Despite my determination to keep my daughter’s first years screen free, you too may in desperation stay up late the night before a 6 a.m. flight downloading The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.