1. Buy a bunch of toys from the dollar store, wrap them in colorful wrapping paper, and hand one over to your child every 30-60 minutes. Works like a charm!
2. Make some velco craft sticks.
3. Grab some Monopoly money, expired gift cards, and fake coins and make a busy wallet.
4. Print off and laminate these awesome play doh printables!
5. Make a few of these felt busy bags.
6. Book your child a window seat and stock up on some gel window clings so she can decorate to her heart’s content . You can buy these at most dollar stores, and I’ve seen them at Walmart and Target as well.
7. Make an activity binder to take with you!
8. Get out the felt and make this Mr. Potato Head activity mat.
9. To keep kids occupied as you’re checking in for your flight and struggling through airport security and immigration, make up some of these Learning Letters on the Go Plates. You can even make one specific to airports to really keep them engaged!
11. Dig out an old (plastic) spice container, cut down some pipe cleaners, and make this easy (and awesome!) fine motor activity!
12. Get out an old pool noodle and make this easy pool noodle lacing activity. It may be bulky for your carry-on, but if it keeps your kids occupied, why not, right?
13. Make some craft stick puzzles!
14. Find some felt and a large button and make this button snake. By using different colors of felt, and different shapes, you can easily turn this into more than just a button tutorial for your kids!
15. Make a few busy bags to take with you. There are HEAPS of ideas on Pinterest, but I particularly likethese busy bags (especially the number wheel!) as you can play with them together for some good one-on-one time when you’re trying to avoid a meltdown.
17. Bring some tin foil and let your kids make their own creations!
18. Make your own sponge blocks. They are light weight and will easily stack up on an airplane tray!
19. Get out the markers and make “barf bag puppets”. I saw a family doing this once when I was in my 20s and thought, “why would you tempt fate?”, but now that I’m a mom, I’m about 100% certain I will one day be scribbling on barf bags as well. And you bet your life that will be the flight my daughter gets sick and I won’t have anything to catch it in…