Greetings, fellow moms, and travel enthusiasts! As a mother of five adventurers, I know that long flights can often be daunting when it comes to keeping our kids entertained. That’s why I’m so excited to share my fav tips and tried-and-true activities to make your next long flight a breeze! Fasten your seat belts and get ready to take off on this fun-filled journey of learning creative ways to entertain your kids during a long flight!
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
The key to a successful flight with kids is preparation. Before takeoff, involve your children in the planning process and explain what they can expect during the journey. To keep things exciting, create a checklist of essential items and engage them in packing their own carry-on bags. This way, they’ll feel a sense of responsibility and be more invested in the adventure ahead.
We all know how cranky hunger can make anyone, especially little ones. Pack an assortment of their favorite snacks in your carry-on to keep their tummies satisfied throughout the flight. Opt for healthy options such as sliced fruits, trail mix, or homemade granola bars, but don’t forget to throw in a few special treats as well. Remember, a well-fed child is a happy child!
Let’s Get Creative
Unleash your child’s inner artist by providing them with a variety of art supplies. Pack coloring books, washable markers, stickers, and sketchpads to ignite their imagination. Encourage them to create their own storybooks or design postcards for family and friends. This will keep them busy and make a lovely travel souvenir.
Playful Puzzles and Games
Bring along age-appropriate puzzles, magnetic board games, and card games to keep your little ones engaged during the flight. Jigsaw puzzles are excellent for developing problem-solving skills, while magnetic games offer endless entertainment without the fear of losing small pieces. Classic card games like Uno or Go Fish are great for fostering social interaction and friendly competition.
Books for the Win
Never underestimate the power of a good book! Pack a selection of your child’s favorite stories or introduce them to new adventures. Engage their imagination by asking questions about the characters or encouraging them to predict the story’s outcome. Audiobooks or interactive e-books on tablets can also be a great alternative, allowing your child to listen or read independently.
Tech Time, but with Limits
Electronic devices can be a lifesaver during long flights, but it’s crucial to set boundaries. Bring along a fully charged tablet or smartphone with pre-downloaded age-appropriate games, educational apps, or movies. Set time limits and encourage breaks to prevent overstimulation. Don’t forget to pack headphones to ensure a peaceful flight for fellow passengers.
Wrap small gifts or activities and hand them out at regular intervals during the flight. It could be a new toy, a puzzle, or even a small DIY craft project. The element of surprise will keep your kids excited and engaged throughout the journey. You can also include personalized “flight certificates” to reward their good behavior, making them feel like true aviators!
Stretch, Move, and Explore
Sitting for an extended period can be challenging for kids. Encourage them to stretch their legs by taking walks up and down the aisles whenever possible. Some airlines even have kid-friendly activity areas onboard. Engage them in simple exercises like toe-touches, leg lifts, or arm circles to keep their bodies active and minds refreshed.
Get to Know Your Fellow Passengers
Flying can provide your children with an excellent opportunity to engage with individuals from all cultures and backgrounds. Encourage them to strike up conversations with fellow passengers, respectfully inquire about their destinations, and maybe even learn a few words in a different language. This not only fosters social skills but also broadens their worldview.
Encourage your children to document their travel experiences by providing them with a travel journal. They can jot down their favorite memories, draw pictures, or write about the fascinating things they see during the flight. This not only keeps them engaged but also nurtures their writing skills and allows them to reflect on their journey.
Fun with Origami
Origami is a fantastic way to keep your kids entertained and stimulate their creativity. Pack some origami paper and teach them simple folding techniques to create animals, airplanes, or flowers. You can find easy-to-follow instructions online or invest in a kid-friendly origami book. This activity will keep their hands busy, and their minds engaged.
DIY Travel Kits
Create personalized travel kits for each child based on their interests. For example, if your child loves drawing, include a mini sketchbook, colored pencils, and a drawing guide. If they enjoy puzzles, add a mini-Sudoku book, a Rubik’s Cube, or a small portable puzzle. Tailoring the kits to their preferences will make them feel special and ensure hours of entertainment.
Interactive Maps and Globes
Bring a compact world map or a globe and let your kids explore different countries and continents during the flight. Engage them in interactive learning by asking them to locate specific cities, identify landmarks, or learn about different cultures. This activity not only keeps them entertained but also fosters their curiosity about the world around them.
Encourage your kids to unleash their storytelling skills by engaging in collaborative storytelling sessions. Take turns starting a story and let each person add a sentence or two to continue the narrative. This activity not only sparks their creativity but also strengthens their communication and listening skills. You’ll be amazed at the imaginative tales that unfold!
Travel-sized Board Games
Many popular board games offer travel-sized versions, perfect for keeping your kids entertained during a flight. Pack games like Connect Four, Battleship, or Snakes and Ladders to indulge in some friendly competition. The whole family will have a great time playing these portable games.
Discovering Cloud Shapes
Gazing at the clouds can be an exciting and imaginative activity for kids during a flight. Encourage them to look out the window and identify different cloud shapes. Challenge them to find shapes like animals, objects, or even people’s faces. This simple yet captivating game will keep them engaged and entertained while marveling at the wonders of the sky.
Virtual Tours and Documentaries
Make use of the in-flight entertainment system or bring a tablet loaded with educational documentaries and virtual tours. Start an amazing trip through the fascinating world of the animal kingdom, where majestic wild animals are waiting for you to find them. Immerse yourself in the enigmatic depths of the ocean, where a mesmerizing world of marine life unfolds before your very eyes. Alternatively, embark on a virtual expedition to renowned landmarks scattered across the globe, and let the allure of these iconic destinations transport you to faraway lands. These immersive experiences will not only entertain your children but also expand their knowledge and curiosity.
Simple Science Experiments
Engage your little scientists by conducting simple science experiments during the flight. For example, demonstrate the concept of static electricity by rubbing a balloon on their hair or clothes and watching it attract small objects. You can also create a lava lamp effect by combining water, oil, and food coloring in a plastic bottle. These hands-on activities will keep their minds engaged and spark their interest in science.
Travel Trivia and Quiz Games
Create a customized travel trivia game or download a travel-themed quiz app to challenge your kids’ knowledge about different countries, landmarks, and cultures. Make it fun by offering small rewards for correct answers or turning it into a friendly competition between family members. This activity not only entertains but also educates and encourages them to learn new facts.
Relaxation and Mindfulness
Long flights can sometimes be overwhelming for kids, so it’s essential to provide them with moments of relaxation. Pack a small travel-sized coloring book or mindfulness coloring sheets and encourage them to color and unwind. You can also teach them simple breathing exercises or guide them through a short meditation session using kid-friendly apps or guided meditation recordings.
With these tips at your disposal, you’re well-prepared to conquer long flights with your little ones. Remember to be patient, plan, and infuse a touch of creativity to keep your kids entertained and make the journey enjoyable for everyone. Embrace the adventure and cherish the precious moments spent together, whether on the ground or in the skies. Bon voyage, fellow moms, and may your travels be filled with happiness and wonderful memories!