Thursday, August 6, 2009

Are you about to take the first flight with your toddler or a young preschooler? Here is how you can prepare them for this experience.
How to prepare young children for their first flight

This post has been updated in April 2014. 
Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

1. Talk About Your Upcoming Trip

Start talking to your children about your upcoming trip a few weeks before an actual trip. Answer all the questions they might have - our daughter was already a fluent talker at 2, and she had a lot of why and how questions that we took time to answer.

2. Read Books About Plane Travel

Going on a Plane

Our daughter adores Usborne First Experiences stories by Anne Civardi. There are several different stories in these series, and Going on a Plane details every step of a journey – from getting into airport, going through security, to picking up luggage at destination. This book has bright realistic illustrations by Stephen Catwright. Complete Book of First Experiences proved to be a great investment for our home library, since it was one of Smarty’s favorite books for several years. Another two books I recommend are A Day in the Airport by Richard Scarry and My First Airplane Ride by Patricia Hubbell.

3. Play Pretend

After reading books, play pretend at home. Let your young child go on a plane on her own and guide her through steps in this pretend play if she or he allows you to. My daughter enjoyed packing her little backpack, strapping herself into her high chair and pretending that she is flying to different countries around the world.

4. Make an Airplane Craft

We had a mini theme Things That Fly going at home in preparation for our trip, and we made this airplane collage. Smarty was not in the mood on the first day, so we just colored the template, and I helped her cut it. The next day she was eager to “do some gluing”. She gets pretty good with squeezing just the right amount of glue on her projects. Then I gave her cotton balls for clouds and some foam transportation stickers to embellish her sky scene. She was picking airplanes and helicopters at first, but then decided to expand into all kinds of vehicles. I think the end result turned out pretty nice:

5. Let them pack

Young children will feel more in control if they feel themselves included in preparation for the trip. If possible, let them pack their own backpack or a mini suitcase with snacks, favorite toys, and extra clothes. We also sneaked in a couple of new items in her backpack – Crayola Color Wonder Set and a Travel Doodle Board.

Preschool Art and Crafts

For more great preschool art and craft ideas, check my Pinterest board Preschool Arts and Crafts.

Your Turn

Preparing for the First Flight with Kids
At what age did your children take their first flight? (We actually flew for the first time when daughter was 15 months, but she can’t remember that flight).

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Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Cute idea, and it turned out really nice!

Autumn said...

I'm so impressed with how many craft projects you do! The boys are lucky if they get to do something like this once a week.

Ticia said...

Sigh..... my kids still haven't figured out the right amount of glue. They still try to add half the bottle.

Susana said...

We made a jet plane craft this week--you'll see it Saturday. Yours is so cute--she did a great job!

I gave you an award:

Michelle said...

This is so cute we might give it a try this week!

Orange Juice said...

LOOK AT YOU GIRL! You're totally crafty!

Dr Sonia S V said...

Lovely. My daughter is 2006 born too and loves crafting.
Do drop in at our blog:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love the idea of pretending playing the trip!

Clare - The Super Mommy Club said...

I'm pinning this for later because we are flying out to Orlando in November and my kiddos will be nearly two. They've already flown at 6 months and 11 months but I think this will be the first time they will really be aware of what's going on.
p.s. I'm inviting you to come link this up at my party - I hope you'll stop by -

Anonymous said...

Great ideas to prepare the little ones for a first flight!
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!