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FREE Airplane Trip Social Story and Coloring Book

My family is getting ready to take our three special needs kids on their very first airplane trip.  I'm a bit overwhelmed and anxious about the journey, but I'm really excited that we can give them this experience.  Flying commercially comes with a big list of new rules and situations.  To help prepare my kids, I created this social story.

Do you also have a special needs or sensory kid?  Check out this list of tools for your next trip!  Airplane Travel Survival Kit for Sensory Kids

I found all these great airplane travel graphics from Educlips on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I am so happy that she offers her art in both color and black and white.  The creator made it super easy to make the social story with a matching coloring book.

My goal with this social story was to cover all the major moments in airplane travel, while still keeping the context short and simple.  So hard!  The story talks about arriving at the airport, checking bags at the ticket counter, going through security, boarding the plane, behavior while on the plane, and other important things your child needs to know.

The color printable includes 12 cards that you can print and use before and during your trip.  I recommend cutting them apart, and then laminating them for durability.  I included a spot on the cards to guide your hole punching, so you can put them on a keyring or lanyard.  Read through the cards frequently before you get to the airport.  Then, review one card at a time just before you experience it on the journey.

If you're having trouble with my other printables, blame Google.  They messed up my entire library (almost 1000 between my two blogs), and I'm still trying to get them all fixed.  These one should be fine and hopefully the others will as well.

The coloring book is set up to be printed back to back and folded into a booklet.  There are 16 pages, which includes the text from the social story and a few more fun prompts.  Your child can work on the pictures while on the plane.  I recommend these twist up colored pencils for coloring; although triangular crayons might be better for some kids, as they won't roll off the tray table.  The best part is that you can print this book off as many times as you'd like (personal use only), so your child can color it on every flight!

I highly recommend checking out the blog post at Every Star is Different.  She is raising four special needs kids and did an extensive preparation period before they took their first airplane trip.  Her family went to the courthouse with backpacks full of belongings to practice going through security, as one of their pre-flight activities.  I think we should do that before our trip as well.  The blog is full of great ideas for parenting and homeschooling special needs kids and has tons of free printables, so it's very worthwhile to visit.

My kids are also enjoying the book, "How Airplanes Work," which also covers the process of flying from arrival to departure.  The different flaps open to show what's happening in the baggage check area, the airplane bathroom, and more.  It's opened lots of good discussions.  We've also filled in other information with Youtube videos.

I'm also planning on surprising my kids with an airplane from our carrier.  They love everything with wheels (and will probably be disappointed that they don't have a propeller), and should enjoy reenacting the take off, flight, and landing.

I still have a few more printables I'm working on in preparation for our airplane trip, so come back soon.  My head is spinning with all the details!


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