Do you have a toddler, young child or even a teen who will be flying with you on your next trip? Keeping little ones entertained at home is hard enough; how will you manage occupying their attention in a cramped airplane seat for hours at a time? Here are a few tips and tricks for helping kids handle the plane ride well.
Watch Movies and TV Shows
Kids usually have favorite movies or TV shows that keep them entertained for hours. Bring a portable DVD player or other a tablet PC loaded with your child’s favorite shows.
Have Snacks on Hand
Few things break up large chunks of time better than snack time. Bring a few different snacks that your child prefers. You can extend snack time by playing games with the food, such as counting cereal pieces or sorting candies by color. If you pack your snacks in sealable containers or paper bags, these can be used as toys later in the flight!
Play Self-Contained Games
Many traditional toys aren’t well suited to airplane rides. Avoid any toys with small parts that can roll under seats. Self-contained toys and games are your best bet. You can make a book out of old clothes that lets your child practice using buckles, zippers and buttons. If you don’t fancy making such a book yourself, there are many styles available for purchase.
Magazines can be another source of fun for kids. Create a scavenger hunt with the magazines or other printed materials the airline offers. Name something you see on the page, and have your child find it.
Create a few discovery bottles before you go. Fill an empty bottle with small toys and shreds of paper; the child will have to move the container around to uncover the toy. Alternatively, they may have to grab a magnet and use it to move cut-up parts of pipe cleaners around a plastic bottle. These discovery bottles are inexpensive to make yourself and can easily be packed in a carry-on bag.
Tell your child stories about where you are going and who you are visiting. If you’re on your way to see grandpa and grandma, share memories about what you did the last time you visited them. You can also make up fanciful stories about what you will do on this trip.
As you’re preparing for your next vacation, remember that a successful flight with your child needs more preparation than simply searching for cheap flights. Make the flight an enjoyable experience for your child and less stressful for you, by following these simple tips.