Airplane Trip: Learning Through Play

Big news in our house. After a four year break from air travel we’re ready to give it another shot. When Quinn was four months old we flew to the Dominican Republic. It was a disastrous trip full of non-stop crying, explosive diarrhea all over my pants mid-flight and an abundance of chain-smoking resort guests. We’re putting it all behind us and heading to sunny Jamaica. We are all excited to leave behind the freezing weather of New England for sunshine and bathing suits.

My children are especially excited for the airplane trip. I decided to focus our play on airplanes.  This post includes examples of how we explored an airplane trip by learning through play.

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airplane trip: learning through play  has great ideas to prepare for flight

AIRPLANE TRIP: LEARNING THROUGH PLAY- CHILDREN’S BOOKS

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Children’s literature is an important aspect of learning through play. Look no further than your local library. I am always the lady balancing the enormous pile of books on my stroller as I walk out with three kids. Here are some great airplane/airport themed books:
Airport Byron Barton

Planes Byron Barton

A Day at the Airport Richard Scarry

Airplanes: Soaring! Diving! Turning! Patricia Hubbell

Airplane Flight! Susanna Leonard Hill

Planes Anne Rockwell

Flying Donald Crews

Going on a Plane Anne Civardi

AIRPLANE TRIP: LEARNING THROUGH PLAY- BLOCK BUILDING

We transformed our block area into an airport complete with runways, gates and seating areas. In addition to our wooden blocks I added little people and a few airplanes. Creating the airport and then acting out the different roles of passengers, pilots and flight attendants was a wonderful way for my children to become acquainted with airports.

airplane trip: learning through play with wooden blocks

AIRPLANE TRIP: LEARNING THROUGH PLAY- CARDBOARD AIRPLANE

Wanting to give our children a chance to experience the inside of an airplane before the actual trip we took advantage of a snow day and created an airplane using large cardboard boxes. I am a huge fan of creating structures out of cardboard. I keep a stash in our basement for our creations. Looking for boxes? Ask friends, neighbors and stores if you can take any unwanted cardboard. People are usually more than willing.

We began by looking at one of our toy airplanes in order to decide what shape we needed to make. I used clear packing tape to secure the cardboard pieces together (masking tape works well too). You can create windows and a door using a sharp kitchen knife or x-acto blade. We created cardboard chairs on the inside including a spot for the pilot. (Lu looks a little nervous for the flight). 

airplane trip: learning through play with a cardboard airplane

My children were amazed by the concept that we would be flying as high as the clouds! We drew a mural of the fluffy clouds and sky on large mural paper then placed it under the airplane.

airplane trip: learning through play by drawing the cloud and sky

Such a successful project! We are ready for the friendly skies!

Check out our post on Tips for Traveling with Kids and Tips for Packing when Traveling with Kids

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