Spring Break: In-Flight
Entertainment For The Little Ones
Spring break kicks off the biggest travel season of the year. With kids, travelling long distance is a big operation. Not only do you have to pack for them and yourself, you also have to think about how you and the kids will pass four hours in the air. Picking out a few good children's books may buy you a few minutes, but there's a lot of time to fill on a flight. We came up with some inspiration for you. Here are five ideas for in-flight entertainment for the little ones.
Art In The Air
Give your kids something that's simple yet creative to focus on. It shouldn't require too many tools or accessories that can get lost in transit. Think of projects like finger knitting or friendship bracelets that don't require much more than a safety pin to get it going. These types of crafts require concentration for more than a few minutes, which keeps kids from getting bored and restless. They may even take all of your kids' attention for the entire flight! As a bonus, if you're visiting family, your kids may have gifts to present to them when you arrive.
Just arming your kids with crayons and paper to draw may not keep them busy past the tarmac. Drawing is a fun activity but on a flight, choose drawing games to give your kids purpose. This can be simple like playing a few games of hangman and tic-tac toe, but if you want to make it a more involved activity, give them an assignment like drawing what they expect to do and see on your vacation. For something more interactive, play the squiggle game: one person draws a squiggle and the other person tries to turn the squiggle into a picture.
You can't go wrong with packing a deck of cards in with the baby gear. Big kids and little kids alike can find joy and pass time with a good card game. For younger kids, have them play a game of go fish or memory. Older kids can play more complicated games like war or crazy eights. Card games keep the kids engaged and thinking so they don't think about how much time they have to kill, cooped up in an airplane cabin.
Work With What You've Got
Airplanes come equipped with things to keep adults busy, but you can turn those items into fun activities for kids. Give them a challenge and see what kinds of things they can craft using what's in their seatback pockets — allow them a few tools like crayons and a glue stick to make something clever out of air sickness bags and boarding passes. If your kids are little, put them to work cleaning with wet wipes — they'll think they're doing good work and they won't be bored for at least 15 minutes. Plus, you won't have to do any sanitizing yourself.
This should only be used as a last resort and it's best to keep it a secret for as long as you can, but packing a fun toy or treat may soothe a fussy child. The trick is to give it to them at the first signs of a tantrum — you don't want to give it to them while they're acting up so you're not rewarding bad behavior. Rather, you want it to be an incentive for appropriate airplane behavior.