Flying with a toddler has traditionally been one of the least-fun things you can do as a parent. In fact, up until recent years you could’ve been forgiven if, on an especially long flight, you went all Samuel L. Jackson and yelled, “I have had it with these mother%&#*ing toddlers on this mother%&#*ing plane!” Thankfully, technology has made flying with a toddler today a whole heck of a lot easier than it used to be. Here are four pieces of technology we used on our last flight to keep Annie happy from take-off to landing.
Our iPad entertains Annie at home for a long time, so it only made sense to bring it on our flight. Since Annie loves to play games and watch episodes of her favorite shows on the iPad, I downloaded a couple new games and episodes to surprise her with once we got on the plane. This was definitely a good idea as Annie was so excited by the new additions to our iPad that she sat still for the first half of the flight!
Eventually, however, Annie tired of her iPad. A big reason, I think, is because the games she plays on the iPad are a little advanced for her age. Luckily, Annie also has a Leap Pad, which is a learning pad filled with games and activities tailored specifically to developing the skills of kids her age. It has a lot of different features (many Annie has yet to even try), but she has the most fun taking photos of herself with the built in camera/video recorder, using the stylus to draw pictures, and taking care of her “virtual pet.” Annie was so into playing with her Leap Pad that she didn’t even look up when the stewardess came over with pretzels. Score. More pretzels for me.
Safe Soundz Headphones
The iPad and Leap Pad are great for keeping kids quiet, but without headphones they can drive neighboring passengers crazy with the noise they make. So, instead of blasting Yo Gabba Gabba throughout our plane, I put Safe Soundz headphones on Annie. These headphones are ideal for Annie because they have a small, kid sized headband, and protect her delicate ears by not going any louder than 75dB.
This last piece of technology I brought on the flight to keep me sane. I loaded it up with some books I wanted to read and a couple of my favorite movies to watch, and it helped pass the time a lot easier. Though I brought it for me, the Kindle actually helped Annie, too, by allowing me to model for her how an adult (well, sort of an adult – me!) quietly and respectfully uses technology on a plane. Although if I am being honest, I almost never get to actually USE the Kindle because I’m too busy making sure Annie is amused and, by extension, quiet and not disturbing anyone on the flight.
I really don’t know how our parents kept us in line on planes back in the day without any of this cool technology. I think I might need to call my mom and apologize retroactively for anything I may have done, especially on our flight to Hawaii…that was a loooong flight.