Friday, 29 November 2013


Again, this is something that needs to be thought of waaaaay before you get on that plane. Regardless of your child's age, (unless we are talking newborns with only one requirement for hours of entertainment - your milk supply) then it is strongly advisable that you smash up (translation: spend up big at) your local Two Dollar / Hot Dollar / Bargain Basement store with strange, unusual, colourful, interactive, disposable, glow in the dark, squishy, funny, imaginative toys and games.

In flight entertainment "toddler" style
However, there are a certain number of basic rules that do apply to your shopping list:
1. Don't buy anything you intend on keeping for a long time.
2. Perhaps avoid the super loud musical toys, for the sake of not making enemies on the plane.
3. It must be something your child has NEVER seen before. And do NOT let them see these toys until you are ON that plane, desperate for a source of distraction.
4. The smaller the better to fit inside that carry on bag. (yet large enough to not be a choking hazard...)
5. Avoid sticky, sugary objects of any kind (this should be obvious why). No one likes to travel twenty something hours with lollipops stuck in their hair / down their blouse or with children bouncing on and off the walls from sugar rushes.
6. Things that roll can also be nothing but a nuisance for you as the plane is clearly not always on a flat angle - and we all know our little monsters darlings love to throw and drop their toys.
7. Balloons are also not a good idea. They burst and can sound like explosions. Just saying.

In past flights, I've had particular luck with play dough, stickers, pencils, flashing squishy toys that you can mould, fluffy pipe cleaners, small books, quirky looking dolls, small race cars, etc.

Glow in the dark masks kept us entertained for hours!
On one of our most recently family trips to LA, Steven's work flew him Business class, while my seat was booked in economy, with both the girls. Obviously, I was feeling anxious about this scenario. Although we had secured a bassinet for Francesca, aged five months at the time, and Isabella had her own seat next to me being over two years, I was worried about this being my first international trip with both the kids, and doing it solo, essentially.
By some gift of god, the man seated next to me on this flight was amazing with kids, completely understanding, chivalrous and had a similar appreciation for gin and tonics as me. With the kids needing distraction as the lights were dimmed for the sleep section of the journey, my neighbour / new friend Aaron and I busted out the glow in the dark masks that i'd snapped up the week before, we sent Steven an inflight seat-to-seat message to come and join us and before I knew it, we had our own small disco happening in row 24!! (silent disco of course, so we didn't wake the other passengers). The kids thought it was hilarious and it seriously killed about two hours of the journey time for me. I'd like shares in the company.

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