A child’s first plane journey is a milestone often anticipated with trepidation, and rightly so. Nothing is guaranteed: a habitually placid child might spend the entire flight screaming from cabin pressure-induced ear pain. Or conversely, a child who usually is rambunctious might snooze for the whole journey. The only certainty is that most parents will disembark feeling frazzled!
In this digital age, electronic devices can be a saving grace when traveling with kids, but it isn’t always possible to access a fast internet connection, WiFi, and charging facilities when needed. Here are six analogue ways to keep the little ones occupied in the air and make flying as pleasant as possible for all concerned!
We all like to nibble on something to pass the time while flying and children are no different. Bring along some small snacks to soothe and distract. It's also worth remembering that young children are unable to pop their ears to equalize cabin pressure, meaning that sucking on something during takeoff is advisable to avoid potential discomfort. For tots, a sippy cup should suffice, with a lollipop doing the trick for older children.
Easy to transport in a backpack, small toys are an essential travel item for any child! If you want to introduce an educational aspect to play, why choose a set of mini animal figures, like Safari Ltd Toobs, themed according to the native wildlife of your destination? Kids can spend hours talking and learning about each species and engaging in imaginative play. Make sure your child conducts a roll call of any small toys before disembarking the plane so that no precious critters are left behind!
The infinite possibilities of a simple pad of paper cannot be understated. Drawing games, like hangman, is just one suggestion for activities that require nothing more than said paper and a pencil. If you have the foresight, printed activity pages, sticker books or coloring books are also great ways to pass the time. Coloring products, like Crayola Color Wonder, are ideal for younger children, as the pens only work on a special paper, eliminating the danger of illicit toddler airplane graffiti!
Books & Magazines
Pack a few small children’s books — they are guaranteed to engage attention, at least for a little while. Allowing your child to pick out a favorite kids’ magazine from the airport shop is also an excellent way to embark on the big trip. Or why not give your child a blank notebook and get them to fill it with stories of their travels? They can start writing and drawing while on the plane, glue tickets and other scrap bookable items inside and return home with a full record of their trip to keep for years to come!
Fun & Games
Bringing along a few small, travel-size games is always a good idea when traveling. An ordinary pack of playing cards can be used for a host of kid-friendly games, like Snap, Go Fish and Old Maid. Furthermore, many popular board games come in mini travel versions that are not only light and compact to transport but include magnetic pieces for convenience.
No Equipment Necessary
When all their toys are buried in luggage compartments and the kids are becoming bored, don’t forget all of the games you can play together without any supplies at all. Games, like I Spy, alphabet list games, 20 Questions and Rock Paper Scissors are all old favorites that can make the time whizz by. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination. Bon voyage!
Harper is a passionate creative writer happily residing in the sunny city of Auckland, New Zealand. She always tries her best to bring laughter and positivity to her work, and you’ll see her personality reflected in many of the pieces she’s produced for blogs and sites such as Jumpflex AU. To get in touch with Harper, head over to her Tumblr page!