This post originally appeared on barefootblonde.com. Find it here.
Happy Spring!!!! Woo! Even though we are having an endless summer over here, I am thrilled for spring because we will be seeing cherry blossoms in Japan. Last spring we were in Holland for the tulip festival and we love going around the world experiencing spring in different countries. Looking back on our trip last spring I saw this post we did from our flight to Holland with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – I love the photos because it shows how much Atticus enjoys traveling too (I love watching him pull his suitcase and hold his stuffed animal Bluey!) He gets so excited about flights but part of it is because I think we get him super amped for each trip. There are fun ways you can get your toddler excited to travel which in my opinion makes the whole experience – from packing, driving to the airport, the flights and everything in between – way more enjoyable. Here are some tips for ways to get your toddler excited about the trip! I promise these will help the whole travel experience!
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1. Their Own Suitcase
Atticus loves to have his own things to look after and carry/push! Ever since he could walk we have had him pulling little suitcases. He finally outgrew his airplane suitcase (picture of him pulling it here!) and we got him a new big boy suitcase – a panda roller with a matching backpack! We got it in the mail a couple weeks ago and he has pulled it EVERYWHERE since. That day was like Christmas for him! We kept telling him this is his suitcase for our trip to Japan and that he gets to pack it with whatever he wants to bring with him. This part is always so fun for him. He loves to push it through the airport and send it through security. Seeing it on the other end of the security belt is like heaven for this kid! Amazon has tons of fun suitcases for kiddos. It is also fun to have them decorate it if you want to add stickers or keychains!
2. Name Tag
Get them their very own name tag and let them write their name or help you write it. KLM had a little name tag for the kiddos on the flight and he was so excited about this and kept showing everyone how it said his name! You can also have them decorate this with stickers.
3. Books About Your Desination
In the weeks leading up to Japan we had been reading lots of kids books about Japan! Learning about their holidays, food they eat, and sights we will be seeing. There are tons of fun children’s books for almost every country and even city specific. So lots of fun ideas for this! Also fun to have them try counting in the language or learning a couple words before you go.
Before we went to Australia we learned lots about kangaroos and koalas and got them super excited about getting to see them! We took them to multiple zoos while we were there and I felt like seeing them in person after learning about them beforehand was really fun for them! You can get them stuffed animals too (we are big on stuffed animals over here!) and print little coloring pages of the animals. I always just google coloring pages and google has just about everything
5. Imaginary Games
Before the flight you can think of imaginary games you want to play on the way to the airport, at the airport, and on the plane to keep the mood happy. It is fun to have a pair of binoculars or a magnifying glass to make a game of “I Spy” or playing detective in the airport a bit more fun. They are also fun toys to have on trips — every sight is more fun for a toddler when they get to look through binoculars!
6. Crafts - Spot The Flag
We have been huge on crafts lately. Every morning Atticus pulls out our craft bin. We have been making fun crafts with construction paper and we like to make the flag of the country we are going to. Let them cut out the shapes and pick the right colors. It is always fun for them to spot the flags when you are driving around. Since there is a lot of driving on trips this is a fun activity for them to do anytime you are in the car.
7. Paper Chain
Make a count down with a paper chain! I seriously made paper chains til I was in my teenage years lol. I think they are so fun!!! Atticus has one in his room right now and you can count down the days until travel day! Which leads me to my next…
8. Travel Day
Make it an official day – like a holiday!!! On holidays I always woke up to fun little gift baskets – they were often super simple but still exciting! You can have a simple basket waiting for them with a toy airplane, some stickers, and maybe a pilot hat! We got Atticus a pilot hat when we went to Bora Bora and it was so fun!
9. Movies and Shows
If it is their first time on a plane (or even if its not!) its fun to show them videos (like this fun cartoon Bluey video where they fly to Rio de Janeiro!) to get them excited about getting to go FLY! Bluey is KLM’s mascot that makes it more fun to fly with kids. They have 4 YouTube videos with Bluey on adventures! They also have lots of fun Bluey products for kids on board like passport holders, eye shades, a badge, and coloring books and more!
We love to have a day of packing and have Atticus help us! You can have them help pack which clothes they want to bring, what books they want to take, etc etc. I think this just helps them feel like they are a part of the whole process and if nothing else is just a fun activity to do beforehand! Maybe you can pack a special pair of shoes they get to wear when they get to the there!
I hope these help get your little amped for a fun day of travel! As long as you give yourself plenty of time it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience traveling with kids. It can be a really fun experience for them even the weeks leading up to Travel Day! If you need more ideas for fun cartoons, KLM has four fun videos on their youtube channel that our kids love to watch!
Thanks to KLM for sponsoring this post!