Entertain Your Kids on a Flight This Way and Your Fellow Passengers Will Thank You!
Taking young children cross-country or abroad, is an experience for the entire family. But extra-long trips to reach those amazing places is challenging. If saddled with your little kids on an over-long flight, here are some ways to keep them engaged in mid- air, if you could stop them to stop them from kicking the seat in front of them.
Never board early
With assigned seat numbers on the plane, wait until the very end to board or ensure one parent boards with carry-on luggage while the other remains in the boarding area with the children. Pre-boarding privileges are tempting, but tackling an extra 30 minutes of fidgety sitting onto an over-long flight is daunting. Having children already sick of the plane even before the wheels have left the tarmac is just too much.
Bring a deck of cards
A small stack of Uno-cards provides hours of entertainment. Play standard versions, or sort by color, putting them in numerical order. When can you play 50 consecutive games with your kids?
Pick snacks that take time to finish eating
Snacks are recommended for your kid on board, after ensuring these won’t disappear in two seconds flat. Small boxes of raisins, string cheese, or other tiny treats that will be eaten bit by bit, extend that snack and the non-stop associated entertainment, to last longer.
Bring pajamas on overnight flights
If flying at night, a pair of pajamas for your child ensures comfort and a bedtime feel. Brushing teeth and snuggling with a much-loved stuffed animal or blanket, ensures a familiarity, and ensures that your kid will sleep for a few hours on the plane. Now if you could just fall asleep!
Choose very interactive books
Books carry a lot of weight, so packing too many on a trip is out. Opt for those that aren’t finished soon. A good Where’s Waldo or I Spy book can keep your tiny human occupied for long, rather than for less than ten minutes.
Always carry Play-Doh
This needs to become a family staple on flights. It can be shared by multiple children, there will not be a big mess to clean up, you can always think of many games with it, keeping little hands busy.
Ration the entertainment slowly
A nightmare on a long flight is when your child runs through the carefully planned activities scheduled, even before the seatbelt sign, is switched off. Tell your child to pick something new to do every 15 to 30 minutes (depending upon age and activities). Pack each activity separately in a plastic bag, wrapping them in crepe paper, ensuring that getting the next activity out will be another activity.
Play “I spy” with the SkyMall magazine
A little child remains happy for some time, with these catalogs. Let them search for animals (Be amazed with the number) or items in a certain color. For slightly older kids, let them pick the best buy off a certain page or let them identify the most ridiculous item on sale.
Always remember stickers
Why kids are mad about stickers is a mystery, but all of them are. Buy a cheap set (big packs from Michael’s under $1) and let them free, without waiting for an all-clear sign on electronic devices.
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