Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Toddlers and Airplanes

About a month ago, I mentioned our upcoming plane ride to Utah to visit the family in [this post]. I was pretty worried about flying alone with a very wiggly one year old.

So now, two plane rides later, I wanted to give you an update on how it went and what I found to be the best remedy for a busy baby in a confined space.

There are 3 main things that saved me:

1. Sleep. On both the going and return flights, we had to make one stop. Each time, the first flight of the day left at 6:45am, so we had to get up around 5am to get to the airport. I'm sure you are cringing right now, but let me tell you how it saved me. Little Ande was so exhausted that by the time we got on our connecting flight, he zonked right out! We made a little pallet on the floor with his blanket and the buzz of the plane was the perfect thing to lull him right to sleep. So, when booking flights, choose your times wisely!

2. Cars!
This might not work for everybody, but my little guy is obsessed with cars lately. He just recently figured out how to play with them (with help from his cousins I'm sure) and has been driving them around going, "Bbbbrrrmmmm" constantly.

So, maybe your child doesn't like cars, but find just one toy that they really like. I totally over-prepared for the flights stuffing lots of toys, puzzles, even play-do into my back pack. Ande hardly played with any of them. The only gadgets that kept him busy were these cars and books. I guess what I'm trying to say is, keep it simple!

3. Snacks!!!! Seriously, more than anything else, Ande remained occupied by food. I sat him down with a bag of lucky charms on the pallet we made on the floor. It worked wonders. I specifically think the lucky charms did the trick. He was in constant pursuit of picking out every last marshmallow from the bag.

Watching him search for the colorful marshmallows gave me the idea for a great learning tool.

{The Eye Spy Bag}

I know I am not the first to think of this idea. I have seen these in people's cars and at church for years, but they can be so expensive to buy or make! I decided to come up with my own easier, and cheaper version. I didn't buy ANYTHING for this project...everything I used, I found laying around my house.

I found several small knick-knacks to put inside the eye spy bag. I also found some sequins and stick-on foam letters/numbers that I've had for a while.
Then, all I needed was a ziploc bag (I used a freezer bag because it is a little stronger) and rice.
I put the knick-knacks, some numbers and letters, and a sprinkle of sequins in the ziploc back and then filled it up about 3/4 full with the rice.
If you want it to be really easy, then that's're done!

However, I wanted to fancy it up just a tad.

I cut a 12" by 14" piece of fabric.
I then folded and ironed each edge over about 1"- 1 1/2".
Here is what it looks like now:
I then folded and ironed each edge over one more time to look like this:
I then sewed down the folded corners to create a pocket type thing. Then, all I did was slip the ziploc bag full of goodies inside the pocket and I was done!
Here is the back:
Here is the front:
What do you think?

I am very pleased with how it turned out. I love that you can easy remove the ziploc bag from the fabric pocket to replace, refill, whatever! I also plan to make a little laminated card that lists all of the items inside that I will attach to the pocket.

This tool is perfect for plane rides, car rides, or just everyday learning fun for your kids!


  1. Great idea using things around the house! I love I Spy bags but they can be a tad expensive.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. I love this! I keep meaning to make one. This looks like an easy way to do it!

  3. That's a great idea - and I like the little case you put it in!

  4. this is such a great idea! i keep kids at home and this would be perfect for the two little ones i keep!

  5. These are so cute! Have you ever considered making these to sell in your shop?

    Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites!

  6. Came back to let you know that I'll be featuring you this week. Come by and grab my featured button if you'd like one!