The prospect of flying with young children can be daunting, especially if it’s a long journey. Lucky parents might find that their kids sleep the whole way, but the more likely scenario is that you’re going to have to find a way to keep your little ones engaged during the flight.
How to keep kids entertained on a flight
Sitting still in a confined space for hours doesn’t usually come easily to children, so here are some top suggestions for how to stave off boredom and keep kids entertained on a flight.
Get them excited about your destination
Whether you’re heading on vacation or visiting family in a different state, focusing on the reason you’re flying can help kids see why it’s worth it! Spend time talking about all the exciting things to do in New Orleans, ask them what rides they’re most looking forward to at Disney World, or look at pictures of the adorable animals they’ll be able to see in the San Diego Zoo.
Bring plenty of games
Having a selection of games on hand can be a lifesaver during a flight with kids. Ideally, you want to bring options that don’t take up a lot of room, have tiny pieces, or involve making a mess. A classic coloring book and pencils are always good, and magnetic games with pieces that stick to the board mean you won’t lose anything, even if there’s turbulence.
Load up a tablet with movies
Bringing a tablet loaded up with TV shows and movies kids can watch is a great method for keeping them entertained when they’re stuck in their seats. It’s a good idea to have a mix of old movies they love and new ones they’ve been looking forward to – that way there’s bound to be at least one option they can get excited about!
Don’t forget about snacks
While you will almost certainly be given some food and drink on your flight, having a selection of special treats to hand can be useful for distracting bored children. Just try to avoid anything that’s smelly or results in messy and sticky fingers (bring some wet wipes just in case!). You can bring drinks on board with you too, but remember that anything larger than 100ml will need to be purchased at the airport after you go through security.
Read a book together
Books are another fantastic option to have available during a flight, with the added bonus that they get kids away from screens for a while. Depending on how old your children are, you might like to consider bringing a book that you can read aloud to them (the other passengers won’t mind if it keeps them quiet!). Comics can also be a great choice, as they’re lightweight and easy to slip into your hand luggage.
Chat with the cabin crew
Lots of kids are fascinated by airplanes, and one way to capitalize on this and keep them engaged on a flight is to get them chatting with the cabin crew. Once takeoff is over and the food and drink have been served, there may be a quiet moment when you can wander down to the back of the plane, and your son or daughter can ask them questions.