by Heather Meliski
We recently took our boys on their first flight. I know we’re a bit late to the game, but please don’t judge because their mom may or may not be afraid of flying so we drive everywhere we possibly can. In the spirit of ‘go big or go home’ we decided that a five-hour cross-country jaunt to Los Angeles was the perfect choice for their first time flying. Here are some things that worked for us that may also work for your family.
Pack each kid a backpack – We allowed the kids one backpack each for the flight. To help minimize the chances of anything being left on the plane or lost along the way we allowed them each to bring a movie, noise-cancelling headphones, boogie boards and a water wow (more on these in a minute), a book, a toy of their choosing (which is always a train for my youngest and the Nintendo Switch for my oldest), and two stuffed animals. They put more thought into which two stuffed animals got to make the trip than The Bachelor does with his final rose.
Boogie Boards and Water Wow – I am fairly certain that I have picked up roughly 5,236 crayons from the floors of various restaurants over the years because they have rolled off of a table and they were, of course, the one color of crayon that one of my boys absolutely had to have to create their latest kids’ menu masterpiece. In order to avoid this same experience on the plane – with a lot less room to maneuver – we had the boys bring their Boogie Boards and I surprised them with a Water Wow. If you aren’t familiar with these magical travel tools to keep your kids entertained without a mess, a Boogie Board is an LCD drawing pad. It comes with a pen (and a nice built-in holder for the pen) and you can also purchase other tools such as stamps, brushes, etc. to use with the device. Water Wows come with a refillable water pen – also with its own built-in storage – that you use to ‘color’ pictures. It’s reusable and mess-free.
Let them watch as many movies as they want Whether it’s in-flight movies on built-in screens or movies on an iPad let them watch as many movies as the would like. Some airlines even offer new releases on flights. My youngest and I watched Frozen 2 on our flight to L.A.
Snacks As I have shared before, my boys eat a lot, so I always have snacks of some sort on hand. Flights are no exception. Depending on the airline, snacks may or may not be included and a small package of almonds or crackers isn’t going to cut it for a hungry kid. I also don’t want to be reliant on the flight attendant to bring the boys something to eat every time they’re starving.
These all helped to make our boys’ first flight an absolute blast for them and a win for mom and dad. I hope you find these helpful for your next adventure!