Exploring a foreign country with the family can be a lot of fun, as kids are the best sources of fresh perspectives and a whole lot of laughs.
But first, you’ve got to survive the plane ride. Kids can be a handful when flying unless you know how to keep them occupied and entertained. Here are seven ways to do just that.
Children who do not have frequent access to digital devices have the wonderful ability to re-read their favorite books over and over again or to get completely absorbed in new ones.
While you can probably count on the in-flight entertainment to keep the kids busy for at least an hour or two, don’t underestimate the efficacy of bringing along a few good books, especially if your child is already an avid reader.
If your kids are too young to read, a picture book such as Where’s Wally can help keep them occupied.
A moving airplane may not be the best environment in which to play board games with tiny plastic pieces, but card games work just fine and can give the kids some must needed interaction.
Games like Uno or Happy Families work well with most kids, but if you forget to pack them into your carry on luggage, some airlines offer free decks of playing cards if you ask, which is the cheapest available option.
Filling in a coloring book using colored pencils or crayons requires a lot of concentration and can even be meditative. It’s no wonder adult coloring books are so trendy now.
So bring along some coloring books featuring your child’s favorite cartoon characters or animals, together with a box of colored pencils or crayons.
Magnetic drawing board
Magnetic drawing boards like the famous Magna Doodle are one of the best ways to let your child unleash his or her inner artist without having to deal with piles of scrap paper and broken pencils afterward. Once the drawing is finished, simply erase and start over.
With a magnetic drawing board, the kids can also play games of hangman, tic tac toe or improvised Pictionary.
Video game console
Handheld video game consoles such as the Nintendo Switch can keep older children and teenagers glued for hours. If your child is an avid gamer, don’t be surprised if this is what keeps him or her occupied the entire flight.
You might want to get a set of headphones or earbuds to go with the console so the rest of the passengers do not have to listen to hours of video game sound effects!
If you usually limit screen time at home, being able to use your tablet will be such a rare treat that the kids will not be able to take their eyes off it.
Make sure they do not accidentally turn on mobile data or wifi and load up the device with kid-friendly apps that have an educational side. You can also download some of your children’s favorite TV series or movies in case they get tired of the in-flight entertainment system.
To occupy young children, bring along some small toys such as finger puppets, figurines, toy cars or stuffed toys. Kids have a lot of imagination, and can easily occupy themselves for hours playing make believe if it strikes their fancy.
Toys can also help to soothe a child if he or she is feeling anxious about flying. After all, there is nothing quite as comforting as a beloved stuffed toy.
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