The worst part of traveling for a vacation has to be the time trapped in the airport with small children. I have never understood why they don't provide fold down beds instead of those rather uncomfortable chairs and why aren't there playgrounds in every airport(I do recall Denver having a small play place) for kids, after all you can get a haircut, pedicure and a massage, but when will these folks who design airports realize that about 3/4 of the population is traveling with little ones in tow? Oh, wait I remember playgrounds take up space and usually don't make money......so I guess it's just left up to us parents to find inventive new ways to keep our wee ones entertained so here are a few ideas.
Well thank goodness for computers and DVD players, but OK really you can only leave them plugged in for so long and then they are done, thank goodness. Well, if you happen to be stuck at the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, they have a wonderful Native Museum just above the Starbucks that has a variety of terrific art work. We were even able to find a piece from Frank Miller, an artist from Teller that does fantastic scrimshaw on walrus tusks along with a variety of other crafts from all over Alaska.
Ben packed some of his Playmobil guys along with some knights and army men and the big windows seemed to make a perfect spot for him to set up a battle and get his daily requirement of vitamin D, oh but wait we were in Seattle so there wasn't much sun but terrific light was still streaming into his field of play.Being an experienced traveler I have learned that bring a combination of toys, books, or other fun object that the kids have never seen before helps to keep them busy. Jake and Ben both loved these maze books, Ben had the Treasure Hunt Mazes. Mom forgot to bring some tracing paper, but they didn't seem to mind. This KLUTZ book kept both daddy and son "tied" up for much of the 6 hour layover in Seattle. I think I will be getting another string book with more advanced techniques. This one seems to have gotten pretty good reviews.
Of course you can always have fun playing with your food, after all you have had little sleep, are stuck in a rather dull place, and desperately wish you could wiggle your nose and "POOF" be at your destination. Zoe and I tried that by the way, and she said that our magic had run out, but there was some fun to be had playing with her Woodkin dolls. You can change their magnetic heads and dress them up in different clothing. To me they are just like wooden paper dolls and they also come in a great little carrying case of their very own that has a handle....perfect for a three year old!
And what is a mama to do with all of her spare time while the kids are busy with their innovative new toys? Well you can always start balling a new yarn and cast on a new project and if that doesn't keep you busy there is alway shopping! I just happen to pick up a great new handmade bag from Queen Bee Creations. It was just too hard to resist.
Hopefully if you are traveling this summer you will have flights that leave on time, arrive on time, and have no layovers in between, but just in case that doesn't happen come prepared.