How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Long Flights

Discover tips to keep your kids entertained on long flights. From activity kits to in-flight entertainment, make traveling with kids a breeze!

Kid on Flight

Getting on a flight with kids can be a daunting prospect for any parent, and even more so when it’s a long one, such as an international flight or flying coast to coast. Trust me, I know all about it. I’ve been traveling with Madison since she was two months old, and I think I’ve learned a trick or two when it comes to keeping her entertained. Our longest international flights were both 16-hour non-stop flights to Australia and Dubai, and she was a trooper.

When it comes to keeping little ones content and occupied in the confined space of an airplane cabin, it can be a challenge, but with a little preparation and creativity, you can ensure a smooth journey for the whole family. Here are some tips to help you keep your kids entertained on long flights:

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Long Flights

Pack a Variety of Activities

Bring a mix of activities that appeal to your child’s interests. Coloring books, sticker books, and travel-sized board games are great for sparking creativity and keeping hands busy. Don’t forget to include a few new toys or books as a surprise to pique their curiosity. Also, consider including activity sets that cater to different stages of the flight, such as quiet time, mealtime, and pre-landing wind-down.

Go Digital

Tablets and smartphones can be lifesavers on a long flight. Load them with your child’s favorite educational apps, games, movies, and shows. Don’t forget to pack headphones to avoid disturbing fellow passengers. Also, it’s a good idea to bring a portable charger or battery pack to ensure your devices stay powered throughout the journey.

Take Advantage of In-Flight Entertainment

Many airlines offer in-flight entertainment options, including movies, TV shows, and music channels. Take advantage of these amenities to provide your kids with a variety of entertainment choices during the flight. Let them browse through the available options and select something they’re interested in watching or listening to. Just be sure to pack headphones or earbuds to ensure a comfortable viewing experience for everyone onboard.

Snack Smart

Snacks can be a great distraction, so pack a selection of healthy, mess-free snacks. Consider timing the snacks to break up the trip and give your kids something to look forward to. In addition to the usual snacks, bring some special treats that can be used as rewards for good behavior or to mark milestones during the flight.

Plan Ahead with Surprise Treats

To add an element of excitement to the journey, consider surprising your kids with small treats or gifts at various intervals throughout the flight. This could be something as simple as a new coloring book, a favorite snack, or a small toy. The anticipation of these surprises can help break up the monotony of the flight and keep your kids engaged.

Get Moving

Sitting still for an extended period can be challenging for kids, so be sure to allow for regular movement and stretch breaks throughout the flight. When possible, take short walks up and down the aisle with your child. This can help them burn off some energy and reduce restlessness. Additionally, you can practice some in-seat exercises or stretches to keep the blood flowing and help your child stay comfortable.

Interactive Play

Bring along travel-friendly interactive toys or games that you can play together. Engaging with your child not only helps pass the time but also strengthens your bond. Simple card games, magnetic puzzles, and travel versions of classic games can provide entertainment for both you and your child.

Comfort is Key

Ensure your child is dressed comfortably for the flight, and consider packing a favorite blanket or pillow. Familiar items from home can help them feel secure and more at ease in the new environment. Additionally, pack a change of clothes in your carry-on in case of spills or accidents.

Set Expectations

Discuss the flight with your child beforehand, explaining how long it will be and what behavior is expected. Setting these expectations can help them understand the situation and reduce anxiety. You can even make a simple timeline or checklist for the flight to give them a visual representation of the journey’s progress.

Be Patient and Flexible

Finally, be patient. Despite your best efforts to keep your kids entertained, there may still be moments of frustration or boredom during the flight. Things may not go as planned, and that’s okay. Being flexible and keeping a positive attitude will help you and your child have a more enjoyable flight experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and concerns parents may have when flying with children:

  • How can I prepare my child for their first flight? Talk to your child about what to expect during the flight, read books about airplanes, and play pretend “flights” at home to build excitement and understanding.
  • What should I do if my child has a meltdown? Stay calm and address your child’s needs. Comfort them with familiar items, distract them with a favorite activity, or take a walk if possible.
  • Are there any particular toys that are better for flights? Look for toys that are quiet, mess-free, and engaging. Avoid toys with many parts that can get lost or cause a disturbance.

Remember, every child is different, so what works for one may not work for another. The key to a peaceful flight is finding the right combination of activities, snacks, and breaks that suit your child’s needs. Safe travels!

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