I’m not ordinarily a fan of travel toys that are so specialized that they can only be used in one situation, but for families that fly a lot, the Air Play Tray Table Cover and the Kids TRAYblecloth and Activity Center are slipcovers that help keep boredom (and tray table germs) at bay. Both covers can remain on the tray whether it’s open or closed and your kids can eat off of them, too.
The cotton Air Play is festooned on both sides with soft educational toys, which ought to suit the 6-24 month set. While her tray table’s open, your child can manipulate colorful buttons, zippers, buckles, and little shapes that resemble food items. There’s also a crinkly strip coupled with a squeaky toy, a good combo for teaching sounds but not necessarily sounds I want to hear in flight. When the tray table is in its upright position, the cover’s other side yields a mirror, photo album, a string of beads, and a mesh pocket that’ll hold a tiny toy. Cleverly, the cover folds inside out and turns into a case with handles, which may inspire your child to pull her weight and carry it off the plane. The Air Play retails for $29.99.
The nylon TRAYblecloth will pack appeal for kids 3-10. It has as its centerpiece an 8 ½” wide clear vinyl pocket; once your child slips a printable activity sheet inside, the pocket serves as an overlay. Using one of four provided dry-erase markers, your child can then draw directly on the pocket, reusing the mazes, connect-the-dots drawings and other activity pages whenever she likes. Stowage pockets, accessible while the tray is either open or shut, permit storage of the markers and other small items your child wants handy. The cover sells for $19.99 and is available in seven themes, including arty “Southwest Horses” and the appropriately travel-themed “Pacific Coast Highway.”