Toddler Airplane Activity Bag

As if my novela about my travel with the two boys out here wasn't long enough, let me expand a bit about the bag that kept me sane: our toddler airplane activity bag. I know, I know. You're thinking why didn't you just have him watch a movie? That would have made sense except that we don't have a personal laptop that I could take with me, and my almost three year old iPhone with a cracked screen does not exactly have a long battery life. You could actually pay to watch a movie on the plane we were on, but I'm cheap. Since I knew I wouldn't have technology on my side, I hit up our own shelves, the dollar bins at Target and DollarTree. 

Here were my stipulations for the activities:

1) Not able to roll away. I have brought balls on way too many flights with Ryan. He doesn't exactly have velcro hands (Shhhhh! Don't tell Chris) so if he drops the ball, it rolls away most of the time which leads to him yelping from ball separation anxiety and awkward exchanges with the passengers around you who really don't even want you around. I purposefully chose items that would stay put if they dropped. 

2) Small or foldable. Since I was packing light and Ryan's self-proclaimed "briefcase" is cute and tiny, I didn't want these activities taking any more space than they needed to. I was also counting on Ryan to carry it all, and he isn't exactly a pack camel. 

3) Longevity. I wanted them to be able to keep Ryan occupied for more than 7.7 seconds. I've been having to have him play on his own more lately so I knew pretty easily what would work. Stickers were great because they involve peeling the sticker off, applying the sticker on Mom, peeling it off again, applying it on himself, repeat. The first sticker sheet he opened kept him busy for thirty marvelous minutes. 

4) Favorite things. Ryan's favorite things song wouldn't include brown paper packages tied up with string or whiskers on kittens (definitely not the latter since he announces, "Go away kitty cat!" every time he uses the toilet here even when my in-laws' cat is not even in the vicinity). It would sing of dinosaurs, Elmo, coloring and Dr. Seuss. I wasn't concerned about trying to have him like something on the plane; I wanted guaranteed distraction. 

5) No pieces. This could go with stipulation #1. I didn't choose puzzles or sorting games because I knew everything would fall on the ground and create quite the mess. I think when Ryan is a bit older we could do puzzles on the plane, but we aren't at that point yet. 

6) Inexpensive. As much as I tried to stay on top of things, I knew we were bound to lose items so I didn't want to have to stress about anything I really cared about in the bag. 

I wrapped every item so that would allow us even more peace and quiet. Every second counts. The wrapping was just tissue paper, and it was pretty sloppy since I did it at two in the morning, and it was going to get ripped apart by a toddler anyway. Nevertheless, it worked! I had Ryan give me the pieces as he tore them off so I could put them in the plastic bag that I brought to throw away. I didn't want to have to clean up a lot at the end since I guessed it would be hectic trying to get both of them off the plane (and, oh boy, was I right). 

Toddler Airplane Activity Bag

- dinosaurs 
- sticker pages 
- squishy monkey 
- crayons and paper 
- Silly Putty - Play Doh would have been a better choice, but I forgot to pick some up and didn't have the time to make some
- small books (thank you to my friend, Britt, and her fiance, Matt, for gifting those books to us!)

Does anyone have any other ideas? I have to piece together another one for the trip back home! 

Linking up with Jen for the 7in7 challenge.