If you’re traveling with children, it’s always a good idea to have a few ways to entertain them on the flight and in the airport. If not, your children may end up making your travel experience a nightmare with their questions and whining about how much time is left until you get there. The following are the best ways to keep your children occupied and your sanity intact.
Magnetic-board games fit perfectly in a carry-on and will sit nicely on the airplane trays. You can purchase classic board games such as chess, checkers, tic-tac-toe and Chutes and Ladders. Since all the pieces are magnetized, they stay on the board, which means minimal clean up and no lost pieces.
Before you leave for your trip, visit the bookstore to pick up activity books. These books contain puzzles and coloring pages your children can keep busy with for hours. It’s best to purchase one for each of your children because sharing doesn’t go over so well with these types of books.
If your children enjoy reading, why not purchase some reading material to keep them occupied? For older children, chapter books are the best type because it will take them more time to read the entire book. If you haveyounger children, picture books will work just as well to keep their questions at bay. Instead of buying hard-copy books, you could buy an e-reader and download e-books for your children; however, you can’t download them on the flight, so be sure to download them while at the airport waiting for your flight.
DVD Player and Movies
Since movies last for at least an hour and a half, be sure to bring a few movies and a DVD player for your children. They will be thrilled to watch movies on the plane and you’ll have a moment of peace for at least a few hours. You could also bring a tablet if you don’t own a portable DVD player. Check iTunes if you have an iPad or iPod or check the Android store if you have an Android-operating system to download movies.
Gaming System and Games
Children love to play video games. Bring along their portable gaming system and their favorite games to keep them thoroughly entertained. It’s also a good idea to buy a couple new ones for them to start playing.
If you’re going to be up in the air for a while, why not teach your children some new crafts? While you can’t bring large craft projects, you can bring the supplies to make smaller items such as bracelets, necklaces and rings. You can also bring yarn to crochet or knit small items.
Children love playing travel games with their parents. Play the alphabet game with your children by starting with the letter “A” and having everyone think of one word that starts with that letter. Going through the entire alphabet will take up a lot of time. You can also play I-Spy. Start by saying, “I spy with my little eye…” and then name a color of an object you see. The object of the game is to have the children identify what you are spying. Have each child take turns spying something to really pass the time.
Educational Flash Cards
You could also use travel time to teach your children something valuable. Bring a few different packs of flashcards to quiz them on different subjects. You can usually find math, word and spelling flashcards at the airport shops. Travel time doesn’t have to be a bore for you or your children. If you bring along classic board games, video games, books, movies, crafts, flash cards or play classic travel games such as the alphabet game or I-Spy, the time will pass more quickly and be entertaining at the same time. By having many different options, your children will have no trouble occupying themselves for hours.
Image from Flickr’s Creative Commons
About the Author: Stacy Fogwood is a mother of three who relies on cheap airline tickets because she often travels overseas to visit her parents. She always brings plenty of options for entertainment for her children on long flights.