Today is the day I have been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. Today is the day that I board a flight back to the UK for 3 weeks relief against the harsh reality of the Dubai summer. However, I do this alone. With both children. And we land at bedtime.
I’ve already been practicing double babywearing in an attempt to prepare for heading through customs on my own. It’s gone….OK.
Prior to that though, we have the airport and flight to get through. Baby Boy is relatively easy, boobs and cuddles. My big boy, aka the Toddler Terror. Not so easy. There is only so far an iPad is going to get me. And I am not actually taking the iPad as the husband needs to keep that here so we can Skype. Instead I’m taking the DVD player. Great for films, not so good with any apps.
So I’ve had to round up some toys and games to keep him occupied, one per each hour of the flight assuming he doesn’t nap or at any point watch the TV/DVD player/play with the remote.
To make it a little more exciting I have bought some bright wrapping paper and wrapped each toy or activity up for instant excitement. This automatically extends the shelf life of the toy by precious moments and makes an old toy a new one!
Stickers and sticker books
All children love stickers. I am sure most of you have sticky clumps scattered round your house, or a Princess Elsa decorating your fridge door and a few more at toddler height around the walls.
The key on a plane is to have enough that your Toddler can stick, stick, stick. Layers of stickers. The terror doesn’t care if he’s stuck an Elsa on top of Sven who is stuck on top of a car, which is balanced over a choo choo train. He just wants to stick.
Who am I to stop him? I head down to Daiso here in Dubai to stock up, those of you in the UK, think Poundland.
Car travel mats
Cars get lost in my bag constantly and whenever I manage to find the cars (that have bashed up half of your belongings, including your new sunglasses) the Toddler delights in running them up the back of the plane seat much to the annoyance of other passengers.
Then I discovered 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 a beautiful felt roadway to drive those cars up and down. Much to the relief of those passengers around you.
You can’t go wrong with an old classic. Small enough to fit in all hand luggage bags I have brought Lego on every journey since the Toddler was old enough to need toys. As we get older the lego pieces get more intriciate (and OK more parentally involved than I would necessarily like) but with it more time is consumed. Ever so important when seven hours feels like seven weeks days.
Small pan, spatula and pom poms
Have I mentioned the Toddler is kitchen obsessed? Since he could walk and talk he has been playing kitchen with his IKEA kitchen. Heck he’s been cooking with me since he could sit unaided on the counter top so much so now we move onto more complicated recipes, and have I mentioned that he can crack an egg??
With this in mind, I always pack a mini bag with some imagination pieces for him. The small pan and spatula doesn’t take up much room and everybody loves a pom pom. I have been fed pom pom cake, pom pom eggs and pom pom omelette 30,000ft in the air. Don’t think many people can say that.
It would appear that classic toys are the best. I am yet to meet a child that wasn’t quiet when you brought out the play doh. Now that they are available in small packs they really can slip into your hand luggage no problem and it doesn’t really matter if they accidentally get left on the plane.
An added bonus is if you bring any rolling pin or cutters these can be doubled up with the pan to extend that activity out.
As you are reading this I am probably busy rolling out play doh to make sausages. Which is my limit for play doh.
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.
Being on a plane often leads to a great interest in all things plane I have found. We bought an Emirates plane on one trip which turned out to be the biggest hit EVER.
Not only did he like flying it, he also seemed to get a kick out of the fact we were travelling on a plane and he was playing with a plane. Enjoying pointing out each thing that made it plane like and making us take him to see the wings.
And there you have it, our seven toys that are faithfully packed inside our Trunki. Alongside the trusty DVD player and Woody.