First, snacks. Really, I think these were the most important thing and I took advice from other places online that suggested avoiding a lot of sugar. Maybe that helped, maybe it didn't, but the girls did pretty awesome so take it how you will. Snacks were especially helpful with the under one crowd since nothing really kept her attention for longer than a minute or so.
Second, the secret wrapped gifts came in really handy when we had unexpected occurances/frustrations (i.e. extra time on the tarmac, kids not wanting to be in seat belts...mostly just Lucy emergencies). They were all cheap toys (cars, small dolls, toy camera, finger puppets)
Third, favorite books and magazines.
How about a couple free advertisements. I'm not usually one to shout out specific brand names, but there were a couple things that were great to have on our trip:
-Fisher Price Stack and Roll Cups
I would recommend this to anyone because it is SO versatile. You can nest it, stack, roll it, make a rattle, build, bang, stick things through the hole, put on your head, play peak-a-boo etc, etc. DEFINITELY one of the best things we took for the baby (and the 2 year old). Plus it was nice to have once we got there. I only took about 5 or 6 of the cups and I left the tiny ball home so we wouldn't lose it.
These are cool little 3 in 1 blankets and even though they were super cute, any 3 in one blanket would be fine (I know there are other brands). It was wonderful to have a comfort toy that could be used to sleep with as well. I saved these until we got on the first flight and then gave them to the girls. You can unzip the blanket from the animal for washing or whatever. And just for those who are curious, we got the pink hippo "Pinky" and the blue elephant "Cosmo" (Creative names given by Lu and Brig).
Now that I'm done advertising, here is a quick list of the age specific stuff that I'd take again.
Under 1 year:
silk handkerchief (or cotton or whatever fiber you may have)
A bag full of stuff that can be taken out and put back in. This is what Char wanted to do most of the time. I don't know how many times she unloaded the diaper bag.
The stuff in the pencil holder was pretty good for short amounts of time (feathers, pom poms, pipe cleaners)
2 year old:
Loved almost everything in her folder (see post below)
I succeeded in getting the glue and the scissors into Romania, but had to check them in my luggage when leaving Romania.
I-spy, picture finds, water color pictures, scissors (of course) were a hit.
Stickers'tape are always a great time consumer.
So, I guess that's it. Somehow we did it (and without the use of Benadryl), and it was fun.