1. THE KIDS THE WINDOW SEAT:
That window seat may be your favorite, but listen, as parents, we all have to make sacrifices. In the interest of your own sanity, this may be one of them. The same things that make you happy about sitting by the plane window are absolutely enthralling to kids. Take off! Landing! Cloud formations! You can get a lot of entertainment out of simply giving up that seat. Plus, if your child is small enough, they won’t be blocking much of your view when you look over their shoulder.
2. NEW STUFF:
Can you make your flight a little like Christmas? Sort of, if Christmas is smaller and in a passenger jet. Novelty is king when you’re trying to keep kids occupied, and there’s very little as novel to kids as new toys. Before your trip, consider what your kids like best, think small scale, and pick up what you need accordingly. If your kids love hands-on stuff, small containers of Play-doh or a new pack of WikkiStix will do the trick. If they love sports, a few packs of new sports cards to short through will keep them occupied. For artistic kids, a new small sketchbook and colored pencils (with a small sharpener) can help pass the time. For longer flights, have a few different new items, and don’t give them to your kids all at once
3. ENGAGING BOOKS:
Plan a trip to the library the day before your flight to pick out some new books, ideally in a genre that your kids already love. For smaller kids, books that keep them looking for a long time are best; consider the “I Spy” or “Where’s Waldo” series. The downside to books is that they’re heavy and can take up a lot of space, but if you have an enthusiastic reader, you might consider downloading a few titles on a tablet.
4. CARDS AND GAMES:
Playing cards are the old throwback – remember when airlines actually gave out decks of cards to stave off passenger boredom? Most airlines no longer give out playing cards, but it’s not a bad idea to stick a deck in your carry-on bag for a few rounds of Rummy or a Blackjack tutorial. A pack of Uno cards is also good for a few hands, as are smaller travel-size versions of favorite games like Connect 4, checkers and chess, backgammon, and even Scrabble.
5. QUIET CONVERSATION:
Games that get kids talking are also good for passing an hour or two. Consider classics like Would You Rather (check online for lists of questions for kids) and Two Truths and a Lie, pick up a kids trivia quiz book, or go through a new book of knock-knock jokes together.
6. ON-BOARD TASTE TESTING:
Snacks are a given on a long flight, but taste testing new snacks can make for a more entertaining way to satisfy your hunger. As you’re preparing for your trip, check out the international aisle of your local mega-mart, and pick up a few fun-looking treats; if you’re traveling to another country, this is a great time to sample some of the snacks that might await you when you land. Older kids can take notes and compare their favorites
7. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, SUSPEND YOUR USUAL SCREEN TIME RULES:
Non-electronic entertainment might be your ideal, but sometimes, like when you’re five hours into a flight, you need to hand over the screens and the headphones. A movie they’ve been eager to watch will happily pass 90 minutes, and there are worse ways to spend time on a plane than using a brand new app that encourages open creativity (think Minecraft) or critical thinking.
While entertaining kids on the flight is no guarantee of a good trip all around, doing so will certainly bookend your travel with more calm and hopefully less stress. What’s more, your fellow passengers will certainly appreciate (and may even compliment) your happy and well-behaved kids, making it a smooth ride for everyone.
Don’t forget to reserve your Ground Shuttle to the airport. We enjoy having children on board and provide car seats free of charge (upon advance request) to ensure their comfort and safety. Private rides for family are also available upon request.
Let us do the driving!