I think that anybody who needs to be inside a plane for a long time will get bored. If adults, who relatively have longer attention span and a supposedly better EQ, get restless during a long haul inside an airplane, what more kids who have all the energy in the world?
If you do not address their needs for action during a long flight, you will suffer the consequences. So make sure that you board your flight prepared with fun activities and materials that your kids will love. And don’t forget to bring their literal security blanket (in the form of their favorite blankie and/or stuffed toy). Here are some tips:
- Let them bring their own little bag. They should be the ones to decide which stuff they would like to bring for the long flight. Your kid might just want to read a book, so let her be.
- But prepare a couple of activities that you can do together. This is hitting two birds with one stone – your kid gets to have fun, and you get to have fun too.
- A deck of card does the trick. While you do not have to teach them poker (yet), there are a lot of kid-friendly card games that you can play with them, such as Crazy 8 and Pares Pares. Skip the 1,2,3 Pass game, since it can be noisy.
- A good board game. If you have two or more kids, then a great board game will make two hours fly by easily. But skip Snakes and Ladders and stick to newer more exciting ones, like Taboo and Cranium, although playing these games can get a bit loud. Whether you’re flying in an economy Seair flight or in a business class Cathay Pacific airbus, the rule stands – respect other people and keep your voices low.
- Cross your fingers and hope for a good movie list in the plane. International flights usually have wide movie selections that include romantic films, actions movies, and cartoons for kids. Hopefully your kids have not seen the movies in the selection, or that they are their favorites.
- Create a contest. Have them draw your face, and ask your spouse to vote for the one that resembles you the most. Don’t forget to give a prize to the winner, and make sure that all kids get to “win”, so you won’t have any problems with jealousy and sibling rivalry.
- Make them as comfortable as possible. In addition to their favorite toy or blanket, you can also have them sit in your car seat propped on the airplane seat. This can lessen their feeing of restlessness, since the car seat feels more familiar and significantly more comfortable than the large seat inside the plane.