Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

February 28, 2011

Getting Ready For Spring Break Travel

For Spring Break this year the kids and I are flying to visit my sister and her family in North Carolina.

At least once a day for the last few weeks Anna looks at me and asks “Gabrielle?” (her cousin). When I say “not today” she says, “Mommy’s lap?” And then I say, “No, you’ll sit in your own seat on the plane.”

Since I’ll be flying solo with the kids (the legislature is in session so Chris will be working) I’m definitely planning ahead to make the experience as mellow and pain-free as possible.

This past weekend I started making a list of things I want to make sure we take along on this adventure:

1. Go-Go Babyz Kidz Travelmate. We used the Travelmate last summer on our trip to Italy and it was awesome. It connects right to Anna’s car seat and basically turns it into a stroller for going through the airport. She’s happy and comfortable in her car seat and we’ll need it when we get to North Carolina.

2. A backpack for each kid to carry a few special things. Simon will use his school backpack and I found this toddler backpack for Anna. She’s already been wearing it around the house pretending she’s going to school.

3. LunchBots Duo Stainless Steel Lunch Box/Food Container. I found these at the grocery store yesterday and will be using them to store snacks in each backpack. I’m thinking something like goldfish, dried fruit and gummies. I’ll take water bottles for each that can be filled up once we get through security.

4. A new pack of washable crayons, a coloring book, and a blank book for Anna. A new dot to dot for Simon: The Greatest Dot-to-Dot Book in the World, Book 1.

5. A new book or two for each of them and a favorite or two.

6. A new small toy. I’m thinking something like the Playmobil Dad With Stroller for Anna and a small lego set for Simon.

7. Empty ziplock bags. So great for corralling those small toys, snacks, etc.

8. I want to remember to download a couple movies onto my computer before we leave. I’m also wanting to find out if there’s a way to connect two sets of headphones to my computer so both kids can listen to the movie.

9. Cameras. Maybe a couple disposables or the Instax. I’d love to invite them to take their own photos along the way.

Any favorite travel tips – especially for traveling with a toddler?

Comments

  • 1.
    dawn said…

    I don’t have any tips since we’ve never flown. We have traveled for two days in the car though and I thought ahead like you are. It sounds like you have great ideas already, I always bring some old favorites and then add a few new surprises in their bags. How sweet that Anna is looking forward to going already. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • 2.
    Brian Kasstle said…

    I work customer service for an airline.

    Make sure your seats are together BEFORE you leave for your flights.

    Also, NO playdough for the kids on the plane–what A MESS… and yes it happens all the time….

    Weigh your bags before you travel.

    • ….
      Marie said…

      Believe it or not – I had this happen to me – my son was put in a row ahead of me — and the people were a little rigid and wouldn’t switch seats (b/c it would mean that they…the grown ups…would be separated) He was 4 at the time and handled it like a champ.

    • ….
      Roberta said…

      wow…how insensitive can people be!

    • ….
      Julie said…

      We have been assigned separate seats many times (we are a family of four) and often the airlines refuse to change seat assignments until you get to the airport (we fly American or Delta from NYC to Nashville quite a bit) no matter how many times you call customer service. I much prefer to handle these things ahead of time, but often airline personnel passes the buck to the gate agent who is then forced to strongarm other passengers in person to get them to switch seats.

    • ….
      Krista M said…

      I wasn’t sitting with my 2 year old daughter when I flew with Delta from Atlanta to Boston UNTIL I mentioned to the people who wouldn’t switch seats: ummm….she is potty training…you’ll have to take her to the bathroom, or…? Well…that worked like a charm. Just in case you need to use that one.

    • ….
      Stee said…

      Wait, because you have a kid, the other passengers should separate from their companions? They requested seats together and got them. It’s not very nice of you to expect them to change their seats to accommodate you. Potty training or not. I like kids a lot but I would not volunteer to sit in a middle seat with strangers instead of next to my own family.

    • ….
      Krista M said…

      oh dear….there is always someone getting offended. The point was…we all book ourselves to sit with family, but often the airlines take it upon themselves to overbook or separate families…then they leave it up to the passengers to sort it out. Everyone then just has to make the best of it some way or another.
      I would guess there isn’t anyone out there who has never been inconvenienced when travelling by air.

    • ….
      Gypsy Chaos said…

      Good comments. Of course everyone tries to get seats with their traveling companions. But it’s not always possible. And some people truly are rigid. We book the aisles and windows, knowing we’d offer one to the person stuck in the middle seat. Once we had someone choose to seat between two kids instead of moving to the window or aisle seat.

      I had a problem flying on a long flight. On short one, I can handle twisting when the seat back in front of me slams back. On a seven hour flight, I can’t tolerate the pain.
      An old man with his adult son were in front of me. The old man reclined his seat while at the jetway; I asked him nicely to put it back up. The son ranted that his father had the right to recline his seat. When he saw that my legs simply did not fit with the seat back, he told me to sit sideways.
      Eventually a flight attendant had someone switch seats with me since the two men were adamant that their ticket meant they could put the seat back. @@ sigh.

    • ….
      Kerrie said…

      I don’t think anyone would like or deserves to be separated from their families. But let’s be realistic, can a 2 year old Really travel alone???

  • 3.
    Julie said…

    You can get a splitter for headphones at Best Buy or Radio Shack-then everyone can listen to the movie.

    • ….
      J3SS1C4 said…

      I think you can get up to 6 way splitters even. In Aust, we have a shop called Smiggle, and I got a cute pink heart shaped one! They should be available at pretty much any electronics place though

    • ….
      Autumn said…

      Kohls has the six way splitter. Looks like a wheel hub of sorts. Totally worth it. You will have an awesome trip and hats off to you for great planning ahead!

    • ….

      yep, we did that for our DVD player on a road trip earlier this year. I think we bought it at Target or Best Buy.

    • ….
      Amanda S. said…

      Yep, the ones that split 2 ways are called Y adapters if you’re looking for them on google – they work great! :)

    • ….
      Allison said…

      Might be called a ‘y-plug’. That’s what we’ve always called them in Australia. They should be pretty easy to find. Best Buy/target/Circut City? Have fun and travel safe!

  • 4.
    Jennifer said…

    My sister travels with my niece a lot and uses that same carseat wheeler thing. Last plane they were on was old (it still had ash trays in the armrests!) so the center aisle was narrower. She CARRIED the carseat with my niece in it above her head to make it to their seats. Strong woman! (My niece is 15 months old!)

    She also brings a combination of old+new for familiarity and interest. Also something to suck on (sippy cup of water for now, will move up to lollipops, etc.) for take-off and landing ear-popping. And of course antibacterial wipes for the tray, armrests, etc. Airplanes are dirty!

    Have fun!

  • 5.

    What a fantastic post! I wish you were my mum when I was growing up :)

    My little one is only 7 months, but I am so very much looking forward to travelling with him when he gets older and I can pack him little goody bags like you’ve suggested above Ali.

    Hope you and the family have a wonderful trip!

  • 6.
    Anni said…

    In Germany the headphone things are called Y-Splitter. You can then put both earplugs in one and plug that into your pc.
    You should get that any place you can buy electronics…

    Have a great trip.

  • 7.
    Marit said…

    My son loves to hear audiobooks of his favourite storys. So you can let one kid hear something on your ipod and the other can watch a movie on your computer, very welcome quiet time.

    When i’m travelling with my son i’m sure to bring a book about the travel medium, for example train or airplane oder ship. especially for anna is this surely interesting.

    Also a great thing we always do when we traveling apart from my husband: writing postcards from underway back home to daddy. My son always enjoys that and looks forward if daddy gets the card.This will be a nice add-on in a scrapbook of this week.

    Enjoy your trip!

    Greetings from germany
    Marit

  • 8.
    Kim said…

    No flying tips here, but as a proud North Carolinian let me say WELCOME (in advance) to our state! I hope you have a great visit with your family! You should probably check the extended forecast as its been very up and down lately – 70s one day, 50s the next.

  • 9.
    Alida said…

    It’s great to look forward to a vacation. We recently had a hit with those felt boards that comes with felt people and clothes etc. They’re usually in a theme, like pirates etc. Kept my boys busy for quite a while. Wishing you traveling mercies!

  • 11.
    cinnibonbon said…

    Oh totally love the idea of you letting them explore their world with their own cameras..How exciting!!!

  • 12.
    Tami said…

    maskign tape. they can stick it ALL over their seats, etc and it comes right off. any time of sticker, special tape, etc. it kept my daughter entertains for hours! as for the snacks, I would get them snacks that you don’t normally “let” them have, special cookies etc

  • 13.
    Kim E said…

    Stickers, stickers and more stickers!!! They entertain my 2 and 6 year olds forever!!! I’m sure you have a bunch of scrapbook stickers laying around that you’ll never use, or hit Target!

    • ….
      Amy Dow said…

      Good one! Sticker books were GREAT when I traveled with my 2 kids alone. Definitely make sure you have seats together. Also, I found those paint books (like coloring books) with the colored dots on the page so when you took a wet paint brush to them the colors smeared to make a water color picture. I used a tiny bit of water from a water bottle (so if it spilled it didn’t matter) and asked the stewardess for an empty cup. I never had a problem and my kids loved it. Have a great time! You seem super organized and patient and that’s all you need for a successful trip with 2 kids. When I did it alone I had a 4yo and a 1yo…and from what I remember it went very smoothly!

  • 14.
    Cathi O'Neill said…

    I travel from Ireland to Bend Oregon every second year to visit my parents and have been travelling with my two kids since babyhood… your list is pretty complete, but for my girls I definitely bring a plastic folder with a good amount of plain paper and depending on their ages, crayons, markers, etc…that keeps them occupied for ages!

    I also buy a little surprise that they don’t see at the start of the trip (little game or coloring book, etc…) that I can pull out when they might be needing something new to keep them occupied…

    Have fun on your trip!

  • 15.
    kelly said…

    i love seeing this. it made me think back when i was little. i loved getting to go on a trip. then it meant packing up the old car with everything to get to wherever we were going. one year mom and dad gave each one of us kids a beer case, you know the old heavy corrogated cardboard boxes with flap lid. we painted them, decorated them and you saw the thee kids in single file walking up the hotel steps carrying our beer boxes. ilove memory.

    have a great trip. wave as you fly over middle earth.

  • 16.
    Ronnie Crowley said…

    Radio Shack will sell you a splitter. Having international travelled with kids on my own since youngest was 6 weeks old I’ve become quite a pro! You look well prepared. One thing I used to bring along with me when they were little were pipe cleaners in lots of colors. You can make lots of things with these and then do imaginative play. Then take them apart and start again. They also don’t take up that much room. In England when I was growing we used to have these little books which were called “I-spy” books – they were lists of things you had to see and mark as you say them. They would be easy to make. So you could collect some pictures off google and print several on a small piece of card and get the kids to mark them off when they see things as you travel. Sort of like a bingo game. Maybe a prize when they complete it?

    • ….
      Alison said…

      I was going to mention iSpy books too. Memories from my child-hood but I have not seen them for years (my twins are nearly 2 so a little young at the moment for them). I agree, would be easy to make though.

      Other thoughts… dettol wipes, hand wipes, pens (you could draw finger puppets on your fingers), stickers. Not sure if you have trunki cases/products in the States. They are a huge hit in the UK.

  • 17.
    Maureen said…

    Have a wonderful trip!

    I can’t add much of anything since my days of traveling alone with three were years! ago, in almost a different world and time when airplanes were not crowded, and my crew could sleep on the floor of the plane or on two or three seats. It was a godsend for trips back to the US from SE Asia or the Middle East.

  • 18.
    Arlyna said…

    I used to wrap the little toys or books for my twins when we travelled… Now, they watch DVDs on a portable DVD player that we bring. We’ve only gone on short distance trips (Hong Kong) so it has been okay.

  • 19.
    Lynn said…

    We travel a lot. I go back and forth with my little ones from the UK to New Jersey a few times a year, but must admit that I haven’t done it alone since the ratio became 1:4! You sound well prepared, should be a great trip. With my girls (they are 2) it’s always vital to have a soother of some sort (at the moment they are into their stuffed bunnies) and that always keeps them happy when they are tired or out of sorts, a sort of reminder from home. Also, toddler cutlery. We travel with a small plastic fork and spoon for the plane, as the ones the adult ones are always too cumbersome. (I actually have a travel set in a little holder that I bring with me to restaurants, too). ;)

    • ….
      Beth said…

      I take one or two cans of play-doh on our flights with our 3 small children (along with lots of the things you have mentioned) and it is always a huge hit! We usually end up sharing it with kids sitting close by too! I also take several gallon size ziploc bags. My oldest usually gets motion sickness and it is much easier for children to use the ziploc bag than the little bags the airline provides. They also work great to put clothes in case of an accident. Have a safe and wonderful trip!

  • 20.
    Jennifer Gill from Canada said…

    We travel a lot with our kids. My son is 7 and has ADHD and Aspergers. He loves the “I spy” search and find bags (etsy.com) and empty pads for x & o, hangman etc. My daughter is 4 and loves coloring, scavenger hunt games that I make ahead of time for when we are on the plane or in the terminal waiting (exit signs, baby, bathroom signs, Airplane…) also we often take a metal tray (small cookie sheet) and magnets. Sometimes letters and numbers, sometimes a farm scene, or people and clothing. That has been a real hit! Good luck!

    • ….
      Jessica said…

      Love the cookie sheet and magnet idea!

  • 21.
    Julia said…

    We take our son on long haul flights all the time. My suggestions are a plastic grocery bag (one for each way) to hold garbage that accumulates before the crew can get to you, sealed cups like sippie cups, Wipes, and activities for when you can’t use electronics. We have really enjoyed the “My Big Book of Stickers” with activity pages, you have to search through the book for the applicable stickers.

    I used to always take my laptop and a DVD player to keep him entertained but now we have an ipad and it’s AMAZING. You can download movies, and games, it is much lighter weight and I don’t worry about spilling in the keyboard! It really is a great new toy.

    Hope you have a wonderful trip.

    • ….
      Julie said…

      @Julia, can you tell me more about taking the ipad on your long haul flights? We are considering doing this for our flight to Australia next week. We have a dvd player with a 12 hour battery and have never had any worries about losing power on our trip (4 hours from Nashville to LAX and another 14 hours to Brisbane). What is the battery life like on the Ipad? We’ve never watched movies on it before…my husband is going to test it out this week.

      Thanks!

  • 22.
    LeAnne said…

    Ali
    I’ve traveled NC to Bend and back numerous times.
    The biggest headache – changing planes 3 times!

    Play doh – the little party sized packs are the best. We made eggs and birds nests for hours with every kid on the plane.

    Go to the dollar store and pick up little things that you can pull out just when their attention starts to waiver. Toss them when you land.
    Have extras for the return trip.

    More playdoh.

    Luckily my daughter slept for most of the longer leg till she was about 5. Then I had to start carrying a portable DVD player since so many airplane movies are rated R.

    We also liked disney books on tape. And the little tiny Pooh sets or princess sets.

    Have fun – NC is beautiful right now with about 75 degrees and the trees starting to bloom.

  • 23.
    Ruth said…

    Ali, you are so organised!! We did the trip from UK to US last year, I filled a back pack with goodies, some old, some new, some snacks but I wrapped everything up. My munchkin had the best time delving into the bag and tearing the paper off! (just remember to take something to catch the trash!)

  • 24.
    LeAnne said…

    And I forgot – since airlines really don’t serve food anymore, make sure to have lots of snacks and pick up water in the terminal. I carried some sort of drink additive to the little one – like propel or something. Also a change of clothes in case of an accident.

  • 25.
    roxane said…

    I would suggest some cheese sticks, so you have protein snacks for the long journey. You can use those blue re-freezable ice blocks & the protein will keep their blood sugar more level which eliminates the cranky times.

    My mom called our surprises gifts from The Traveling Angel. If we used our travel manners we got a surprise from the TA when we would come back from the bathroom. You could keep those in your bag.

  • 26.
    Beck said…

    The apple store sells a plug that has two sets of ear buds on one jack :)

  • 27.

    I almost always give my 3 kiddos their own disposal cameras for our special trips….so fun! And at least one of them has all their pictures taken within the first 10 minutes of us giving it to them! :) Now that they are getting older, they will have small, inexpensive digital cameras.

  • 28.
    Terri Lynn said…

    Ali,
    A kids camera for Simon….and maybe Anna too….to document their trip as well!

    Oh, and a lot of patience!

    Safe travels,
    Terri

  • 29.
    kathleen said…

    I have packed small cookie sheets in the kids backpacks. It keeps the small lego pieces from getting lost in the seat. Also good for keeping the play dough from getting everywhere. You can cut felt or foam to fit inside with shapes cut into cars or dolls. Magnets would also work.

    Bring plenty of snacks. You never know when you might get stuck on the tarmac for extended periods.

  • 30.
    Ann B said…

    I love LunchBots, and use them all the time! If they are going into a backpack, I recommend slipping a rubber band around them. I’m still finding crushed goldfish at the bottom of mine … :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Ann – good to know.

  • 31.
    Marie said…

    My son is an airplane lover – so since he started being aware when we fly – he gets a new airplane at the gift shop during a layover. Over the years, he has a great collection of planes. He watches for the various models when we are on the tarmac.

    Lollipops (there are some Yummy Earth ones that are organic + naturally colored) are handy for a variety of reasons :) Including when you need a treat too.

    Games on the iPod/iPhone are great — I normally will put a new one for the trip on – which is a big surprise.

    Ask for the family bathroom — I’m only wrangling one – but it’s still helpful to find.

    I’m in NC – the cherry blossoms are coming and the daffodils are making their way out too ! It’s spring – so one day it’s 80…the next it’s 50 — but it’s all good! :)

  • 32.
    Jill D said…

    We bought a splitter (for less in car arguments about who gets the ipod) at Amazon. It was about $6.00 or so…

  • 33.
    aimee said…

    we use this

    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Rockstar-Multi-Headphone-Splitter/dp/B00475K64E/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1298902061&sr=1-1

    comes in handy if you need more than one splitter!

  • 34.
    Renee said…

    Ali -

    You are super organized. I have found that our kids like to listen to Boomerang episodes. http://boomkids.com/ They listen to them over and over again even at home. We put them on the iPod for them to listen on the trip. We also have the Kindle application on the iPod which is great for my son. We get him a few new books and he is happy for hours. I have found a large variety of books for him at the Kindle store. We go with a mix of relatively current series and then old classics. The classics are super inexpensive which is also nice.

    Good luck. I remember my first trip traveling with my two alone. It was a wonderful adventure. We used a car seat stroller combination similar to what you have for Anna.

  • 35.
    Deb J said…

    I don’t have children but used to travel a lot and picked up some ideas. I think you have most covered but two things I can think of. 1. Lots and lots of wipes. I am amazed at how little the airplanes get cleaned between flights and there are always reasons for them otherwise. 2. Some large ziplock bags. You never know when or what you will need them for. Have a great trip.

  • 36.
    hlp said…

    Pick up some new stuff for the trip home, too! I get bored and cranky on the return flight, and I’m way more than 2…

    • ….
      Gypsy Chaos said…

      LOL! I completely agree with you.

  • 37.
    sprizee said…

    Oh, best of luck on the flight there and back. You can buy a simple and inexpensive headphone splitter to connect two sets of headphones to the jack instead of one.

    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F8V234-WHT-APL-Headphone-Splitter/dp/B0000UV2AW

  • 38.
    Andi Sexton said…

    Ali,
    My only advice is to plan for a three hour delay. What would you need if for any reason a connection was canceled or you were sitting on the plane for hours and not going anywhere? Extra diapers…wipes..water…and a blanket… I got to travel w/ two toddlers one year, solo, and this is what happened to me. They need to run, move around, etc. So as much moving about prior to getting on the plane is also my advice!

    • ….
      Robyn said…

      Totally agree on the plan for a long lay over just in case….I always travel with a travel pillow and light travel blanket that fits into my carry on and use it all the time the days of the airlines providing these is long since gone! I would also analize what snacks your bringing cheese sticks, turkey pepperoni, protien snacks that don’t need rerfrigration and not loaded with sugar and dies will probably keep your children happier and will avoid the sugar high and sugar time blues.

  • 39.
    Tanya said…

    I recommend covers for the tray tables. They’re plastic and peel n stick to solid surfaces. They’re designed for eating out. It just gives the kids a “cleaner” surace to eat and play on. You can find them at most baby / kid stores.

    Dum Dum lollipops help with the sucking for take off / landing as well.

    The only caution with Legos is the tiny pieces falling on the floor.

  • 40.
    Jamie said…

    I think you’ve got a great list. My boys are 7 and 9 now, so easier to fly with, but when they were toddlers, we kept plenty of snacks in the bag. I figured them snacking far more than usual was perfectly fine as long as it kept them behaved, and it usually did! Have a fun trip.

  • 41.
    Debbi G. said…

    I don’t know if someones has already suggested this, but the mini cans of play-doh are awesome on airplanes!! Of course, the cans have to be brand new so the “doh” is soft and not crumbly (and no messes left behind)..I bring clorox wipes with me to clean everything down first. I knew I wasn’t nuts when before one flight, a flight attendant saw what I was doing and smiled & said, “That’s smart.”

  • 42.
    AnnieM said…

    We traveled ALOT when our 3 were little; mostly car trips but it was so much easier to keep them occupied. I had a bag of treats (little toys, a new book, special snack they were not always allowed to have, etc) and every 30-60 min they got to pull one out.
    Also, not sure if they still make these, but Colorforms are plastic pieces that stick everywhere (windows, tray tables, etc), pull up very easily and will keep a 2-3 year old occupied for quite a while.
    Have a great time!!!

  • 43.
    Julie said…

    Splitters are pretty easy to come by and wonderful, but what has also made our life a lot easier is buying a set of child size headphones. My daughter couldn’t keep the earbuds in and the adult size headphones always slipped off her head. This time, we bought her pink, childsized ones, and it make the movie watching part of the trip much easier.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Mdr-222Kd-Childrens-Headphones-Pink/dp/B00172M8HS

    These are the ones we have for my four year old, and they aren’t perfect, but they are a major improvement.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Julie – I’m going to add some of those to my list.

  • 44.
    Elizabeth said…

    I have traveled with my daughter since she was 2 several times by myself and have found that allowing more time than I think I need allows us to enjoy the trip through the airport process so much more. It allowed me to let her down to walk to the gate and not have to hurry her along. No frustration or frazzled nerves. I found a little freedom early on for the kids goes a long way when they have to be strapped down and contained later. Plus a lot of airports have a play area for the kids now. Takes a lot of the extra energy away for the plane ride.

    Hope you have a wonderful trip!!

  • 45.
    Roberta said…

    The airlines do not like Playdough because it sticks to the fabrics/fibers of the seats and floors…so please don’t bring that. HOWEVER…Silly Putty is fine…a ball/egg of silly putty and a few colored comic books and the kids will both love it…especially Simon because he can stretch out the characters for Anna. Then roll it back up into a ball and roll it out onto the next character to copy onto the silly putty. Finding comic books with lots of faces is the best thing because stretching out the copies faces on the silly putty is what the kids like the best. A small plastic box to hold all the supplies that fits under the seats and also works as a lap desk might be a thought since the seat trays don’t always work for little people. Packets of wet wipes are always handy as well. Hope this helps and welcome back to North Carolina…were nothing could be finer ;)

    • ….
      Saderchick said…

      Great idea to improvise a lap desk, Roberta! Once the car seat is installed on the plane seat, the tray table will NOT go all the way down. Have used the GoGo Babyz Travelmates with my twins, GREAT product!!

  • 46.
    madeline St onge said…

    You seem to be very organized Ali. Love the Travelmate for the car seat. what a great idea.

  • 47.
    Heather H said…

    Get there early enough to make the airport process relaxing. Let the kids run around before you get on the plane. Also I don’t usually preboard with the kids (of course this works better if someone else can take your car seat on ahead of time) – but I find the less time the kids are cooped up in their seats on the plane, the better. An extra change of clothes (for Anna AND a shirt for you, just in case!). I always keep some quart-size ziploc bags with me for containing used diapers until I can dispose of them. Definitely second the idea for a new toy for each of the kids. If this is Anna’s first flight she might really enjoy a book about taking a trip on an airplane.

    Good luck and have a safe and fun trip! It sounds like you will be well-prepared. :)

  • 48.
    Deirdre said…

    Ditto on ziplocks/wipes. I’m wary of bringing anything that can roll off their trays on the plane or get easily lost and cause drama. That’s why we love the magnadoodle for drawing (no crayons rolling or lots of paper to carry). We bring one for each boy.

    When ours were younger, I made laminated pictures and punched holes in it for them to “thread” with yarn…similar to these at Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dtoys-and-games&field-keywords=lacing+cards

    I think it is worth trusing the kids with an old point & shoot if you have one—to get the quality fun shots from the kids’ point of view, they have to take LOTS of dud photos too. The disposable & instax film is so expensive, it’s hard to let them take 10 of the same thing. And they love looking at the digi images on back. My boys have entertained each other on planes just taking photos of themselves making funny faces.

    Dum Dum lollipops are great for traveling.

    Have a great time with your sister!

  • 49.
    Missy said…

    I know that you’ve mentioned that Simon isn’t really big into drawing, but I know that my 3-year-old loves our mini magna-doodle that we keep on hand for road trips. That might be something to investigate for Anna – they are about 6-8″ wide, so they fit in most backpacks or even a purse. I love this because it’s so much neater and you don’t loose crayons. My daughter also loves to tear out the pages of coloring books when she’s done, so this is another way to control the clutter. Perhaps Anna hasn’t discovered the joys of paper ripping yet! :)

    Have fun!!

  • 50.
    Suz said…

    Distractions and Diversions will make for a peaceful, pleasant trip. By the looks of the comments posted above, and your list of items, I’d say you are pretty much good to go!
    Have fun!

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