The thought of flying with young children can be nerve-wracking. Even after booking your flight ticket you might be wondering if you made the right choice or if staying at home would have been better.
While traveling with kids on air might be a hassle, it will be worth it, and more importantly, it is not impossible to have a good flight. Be patient, be calm (because kids can smell your fear), arm yourself with these tips to keep your kids occupied during your flight, and you’re well on your way to an enjoyable flight experience!
1. Pack a Snack
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You might want to relax the reigns on the no-snacking rules for your toddlers when you’re more ten-thousand feet above ground. Pack some healthy snacks like cereal bars, rice crackers and dried fruit pieces together with some pretzels, gummy bears and bite-sized cookies to keep them satiated. This way you don’t have to worry about a prickling conscience while keeping your tots satisfied.
When packing your snacks, go for food that don’t get messy, can be kept for a long time without refrigeration and are bite-sized. If you’re worried about your little ones spilling food, add in a snack cup to your packing list.
2. Keep Your Kids Entertained with Apps on Your Tablet
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A tablet can be very handy in keeping your kids occupied during your flight. Before travelling download some apps and games that might interest your little ones and you will have gained yourself not just a happy toddler but also a much-needed break.
Check out apps like MarcoPolo Arctic, Sago Mini Babies, Road Trip – Endless Driver, and Smart Kid Puzzles.
3. Make Your Own Activity Sheets
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Instead of lugging around a bulky bag of workbooks to keep your little tykes busy during flight time, you can opt for an assortment of activity sheets. Give it a creative spin and try creating your own activity sheets. It could be simple tracing, coloring, or even your own crossword puzzle!
Lots of online resources are available for you to make reference to - so mix and match and create your own (and for a little less work, look for sites that’ll let you print the activity sheets)!
4. Mix It Up with Off-screen Games
If you’re concerned about your little one’s screen time, you can mix up their entertainment with some off-screen games or stick with off-screen games instead of pulling out your tablet. After all, having some low-tech fun is not an impossible feat. Consider games like I Spy, magnetic board games and card games like Uno and Go Fish. Maybe even surprise them with a new toy they’ve had their eyes on, probably not that train set but something like putty and mini squishes.
5. Flip a Picture Book
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A picture book from your toddler’s library would do just fine in keeping them entertained but even better than that would be a new picture book. You can get one for them as a surprise or bring them down to a bookstore to choose together and unveil it only during the flight.
If you have a bit more time on your hand, you can make your own picture book, one with actual pictures of the family. You can then try getting your little ones to spot themselves when they were younger or even when Mummy or Daddy were babies! This one may even keep Mummy and Daddy occupied during the flight as well!
6. Distract Them with Soft Toys
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Bring their favourite soft toy on-board and it will prove to be both a source of comfort and entertainment. Bring a few and create your own story of a band of travelling toys! Only your child and your creativity will limit the possibilities!
Also, if you’ve packed in your tiny tot’s favorite cuddle toy, prepare another one of the same kind because there’s always the possibility of losing the toy in the midst of your travels.
7. Get Artsy with Colouring Books and Drawing Pads
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When you’re packing your little one’s flight bag, add in some coloring books and drawing pads together with sets of color pencils, crayons and markers. This will keep your little tots busy for at least an hour (which would mean an hour of peace for Mummy and Daddy!).
If books and pads take up too much space, you can instead print out coloring sheets of your kid’s favorite characters to bring along. And instead of bringing whole boxes of color pencils and crayons, you can arrange them together in a case, which would be much easier to manage as well.
8. Stretch Your Legs
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Whether you’re travelling in a short-haul or long-haul flight, little ones might find it hard to keep still. Before they start getting grumpy from having to sit at one place for a lengthy period, you can bring them on walk up and down the aisle, every hour or so. It will also help you to stretch your legs and stay sane.