Whether you are traveling or staying at home this summer you can have a blast with your kids. These three tutorials from our amazing guest, Jill from The Bird And The Berry, will help you eliminate some of the hassles of airline travel with children, and take the guess work out of what to do on a hot summer day at home. Enjoy!
A while back I found myself in the position of flying alone with my child for the first time while heading out of town to event plan / throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law. The closer the day of my flight got, the more I started to panic. In my research online for ideas of how to survive my upcoming flight with a 3 year old, I came across this cute idea at cake events blog. As much as I liked her idea I didn’t want to insinuate that my child was going to be bad and that we were going to make people mad. So I came up with my own little jingle for the favor, packaged some treats up, and packed them in my daughters travel back-pack for the flight. We got the treats out right before boarding and I had a little conversation with her about how we were going to be good on the plane and give the treats to those sitting by us. She was excited to hand them out with me, and it gave me a good opportunity to explain to her how we needed to be friendly to those around us and not be loud and bug our new friends on the plane. I have to say, though, that upon actually entering the bustling, completely booked flight I started to second guess my pre-made gesture and how it would be received. Despite my new nervousness about the whole idea I managed to get our over head bags put away and once everyone was settled I passed our treats out to the 3 passengers behind us, the 3 passengers in front us, the flight attendants, and the poor passenger sitting next to us. Although most of them had confused looks on their faces when I handed them a treat bag, they all ended up with smiles on their faces after they read them and throughout the flight smiled at Jayna and chatted with us. It was great and liberating to break the ice with those around us, and in a way acknowledge that yep I am the mom traveling alone with my kid and we are not sure how this is going to go, but we are aware of you. And seriously who is going to say something rude to the mom that just gave them a bag full of starbursts.
Flight Favor Tutorial:
Step 1: Download the Flight Favor printable, print, and cut the labels out.
Step 2: Fold or score the labels in half.
Step 3: Fill cellophane bags ( I found mine at the Dollar Tree ) with an individually packaged treat. I didn’t want the passengers thinking I was poisoning them.
Step 4: Fold over the bag, place the label on top, and staple. Make sure you make enough for your return flight.
Step 5: Get up the nerve to pass them out on the plane. You can do it, it really is not that bad.
Step 6: Enjoy your flight! You now have 7 passengers who “have to” be nice to you and know you may need help, and flight attendants who think you rock and are better than all the other crazy moms on the flight.
The other thing that helped with my flight was the “Good Girl Travel Rewards” system I made for my daughter. I thought of the top 4 things I needed her to do during our travel through the airport and on the flight and then made a little card for her with symbols for each action since she couldn’t read. The 4 things I picked were listening, being quite, helping, and staying in her seat. I placed the card in a lanyard she could wear around her neck and explained that if she accomplished a task she could earn a sticker on her necklace and a treat or toy for the flight. The system totally worked and she was the best little helper ever. A pilot from another airlines even stopped us because of her necklace and gave her wings to put on the lanyard. We got tons of compliments on it and I felt like everyone that stopped and talked to us about it was cheering on and encouraging my daughter to earn her rewards. I also in small print put her full name on the card in case we got separated.
Travel Rewards Tutorial
Step 1: Download the Girl and or Boy Travel Rewards printable. There is a large card in case you do not have a lanyard. Print and cut out the cards.
Step 2: In small print on the front or back of the card put any personal information you would want someone to have if your child got separated from you.
Step 3: Place the small card in a lanyard or laminate the big card.
Step 4: Buy some stickers that fit the squares, some treats and small toys that are appropriate for an airplane flight. I again bought mine at the dollar store.
Step 5: Talk to your children before your flight about what you expect of them and how the reward system will work.
Step 6: As they complete a task, let them put a sticker on the task to indicate that it is finished.
Step 7: Peel off the stickers so they have a blank card for the return flight.
This summer my flight lanyards and flight favors are packed away because we are staying home for a number of reasons. One being the fact that we are hoping to adopt and want to save up vacation time for that exciting day when a new little one joins our family. So in an effort to make summer fun and exciting while at home we have come up with a lot of fun new things to try and do. Our favorite so far has been our PVC bike wash. I have seen these on Pinterest and other blogs and decided to try my hand at one. Anything that is made of PVC is always a great project because it is so cheap and easy to assemble. We put ours together in less than an hour and then my daughter and I went to the Dollar Tree the next day to pick up things to decorate it with. We had just as much fun finding stuff for the bike wash as we did playing in it. The neighbor kids loved it and it even got the moms out of the house to come see what crazy thing I was putting together. It was a hit at my 4th of July party and would make the perfect addition to a lemonade stand in front of the house.
Bike Wash Tutorial
Step 1: Go to and print these plans for the bike wash structure. Use your imagination in changing the plans or adding to them.
Step 2: Buy all the PVC and parts at your local hardware store.
Step 3: Cut and assemble all the pieces.
Step 4: Drill the water holes as per the downloaded instructions.
Step 5: Go wild at the dollar store buying sponges and anything that reminds you of a car wash
Step 6: Decorate structure.
Note: I found all my sponges, rope, bath loofahs, dusters, and water noodles at the Dollar Tree. Then I bought some table cloth fabric in lime green at Jo-Ann Fabrics and cut it into strips and sewed loops at the end to hang it on the pvc, and bought foam sheets to cut and make my signs. I then made tickets out of the leftover foam so that the kids could pretend they bought tickets to go through the bike wash. Any sections of the bike wash that you want to cover in water noodles can just be measured cut with scissors and then slipped right over the PVC.
Step 7: Place the structure on the grass, driveway, or side walk. Hook the structure up to a hose and turn on the water. Let kids either run through it or ride there bikes through it. If the ground is not level you can always use rope and tent stakes to secure the structure or straighten it.
Note: The structure comes apart easily for storage. I am either going to sew a bag to put it in, or will hang it taken apart on hooks on the garage wall during the winter.
I really hope you enjoyed my traveling and stay-cation tutorials, printables, and projects for this summer. They have worked great and have been fun for my little family and I hope your family enjoys them too. Also if you or someone you know is thinking about or looking to place a baby for adoption we would be more than honored if you considered our family or passed our information along. We are so ready to add to our little family and cannot wait to share all that we have, and do with one more sweet little one. You can learn more about my family and our desire to adopt at www.hutchingsadopt.com . Thanks!
Alison is one of the 3 founders of HowDoesShe.com She is the mama of 4 rockin' kids who love PB and J's. She has one fantastic husband who is the love of her life and loves long walks on the beach!
► Read more posts by Alison
Although Alison, Missy & Shelley started HowDoesShe in 2009, the real backbone of HowDoesShe is its many talented female writers and contributors from all over the United States and Canada, sharing both personal and professional articles and tutorials on how to be amazing women. Read more...