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Busy Envelopes for Traveling with Kids

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We spent this past week in sunny Florida relaxing and enjoying some time away as a family.  It was our first time flying with both kids.  Little Lady had been on a plane before but she was 1 and does not remember.  She was a bit apprehensive and not sure what to expect.  As for Baby Girl, I planned on just holding her and nursing on demand to keep her happy (it worked).

To help prep Little Lady for the trip we watched a number of YouTube videos about airports and planes, including the TSA video for kids (very helpful).  This really helped prepare her, if she knows what to expect things usually go swimmingly.  The other tactic I used was the promise of special surprises once we got on the plane.  She was so excited to see what the surprises were!

I am happy to report that after 4 planes (2 each way) we arrived home in one piece and had almost perfect kids while traveling.  They blew my expectations out of the water.  I’d like to think these special surprises had a little something to do with it so I’m sharing them with you here.

Busy envelopes for traveling with kids

My intention with these envelopes was to keep Little Lady (3) busy and occupied on the plane.  I didn’t want to resort to watching movies etc.  I’m not against that but her tablet is WiFi only and I had only downloaded a couple TV episodes. We saved that for the delay we had at one airport.

The couple weeks leading up to our trip I gathered and made items I knew Little Lady would love and keep her busy.  My goal was to collect enough items for 4 letter sized envelopes that were not too heavy and would not make a mess on the plane.  These items would also have to be unique enough that they would grab her attention. Added bonus, she could play with the items during our week stay as well.

busy envelopes

Here are the 4 collections I came up with.  Much of this is from the One Spot at Target.  Others are items from her craft stash that she received as gifts and hadn’t opened yet (score!).  I labeled the envelopes 1 & 2 for each trip on the way there and the way back.  They were light and compact enough to slide into my carry-on.

Envelope 1

busy envelope for traveling with kids

  • Hello Kitty Notebook, her favorite character at the moment.  (On clearance for less than $1)
  • A pack of stickers from her stash
  • Alphabet workbook (a gift she hadn’t really seen yet)
  • A cool multi-color pencil (another gift)
  • 3 lacing cards (these are cut from cardstock, I used a hole punch to add the holes around the edge)
  • 3 strands to lace with.  I used ribbon, yarn, and twine.  I wrapped clear tape on one end to make lacing easier.
  • A sucker, each envelope had one little treat.

It was quite funny, I got a lot of “hey I have stickers just like this at home!” But no complaints, she loved this first one.

busy envelopes for traveling with kids

Envelope 2

Busy envelopes for traveling with kids

  • Coloring/sticker book (Target One Spot)
  • Hello Kitty Go Fish Cards (Target One Spot)
  • Twistable colored pencils.  I paid full price for these guys and glad I did.  Not sharpening, no staining on clothes like pen and lots of cool colors.  I got a pack of 12 and divided them up between envelopes while leaving a few at home.
  • And a sucker

She got this envelope after she was seated and buckled and the whole family was situated.  We had just been in the airport an extra 2 hours then we sat on the runway for a bit.  Before take off we played go fish and she feel asleep playing.  The coloring book was a hit all week.

Envelope 3

Busy envelopes for traveling with kids

  • Shapes workbook (a gift she hadn’t used yet)
  • Minnie Mouse activity book (One Spot)
  • Stickers (from her stash)
  • Twistable pencils
  • And a sucker

Minnie Mouse is a household favorite, this and the sucker had her hooked for a while.  On the way back I packed her little carry-on backpack with some of the items from the first 2 envelopes so she could use them again. Mainly the pencils to color in he activity books.

Envelope 4

busy envelopes for traveling with kids

  • Doc McStuffins Activity book (One Spot)
  • Doc McStuffins stickers (from her stash)
  • 1 twistable pencil
  • Color Wonder paper pad
  • Color Wonder markers (from her stash)
  • And one more sucker

Loved the Color Wonder paper pad, no mess anywhere but the paper.  Little Lady has a habit of leaving caps off and writing on most of her clothing.  This was great

Little Lady was not super happy about leaving her “kids” behind when we left.  She has about 20 stuffed animals she sleeps with and totes around; we only allowed her to bring 3.  So as a special surprise I wrote a little note on the first page of this pad.  It really got her excited.

envelope note

Vacation was a blast but I am so happy to be home.  We’re packing in the fun this summer, going “camping” in 2 weeks.  I use quotes because we are staying in a cabin.  Not taking a baby in a tent, that would just be torture.  Time to unpack and get back to normal until our next adventure.

Do you travel with your kids?  What are some of your tactics for keeping them happy and occupied.

Thanks for visiting!

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Tuesday 24th of June 2014

What a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing at Monday Funday link party! Pinning! ~ Heather

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