On my recent flight from London to Chicago (for an unexpected trip to see my sick husband), I felt sure at least an hour – maybe two – would involve my two and a half year old sleeping – especially as it coincided with her afternoon nap. But nope. How about none (and I’m not including the 15 minutes she snatched just before we landed – blooming typical)!
So, I endured eight, long hours entertaining her on my own. She had a couple of overtired strops but here are some of the means I used to keep her amused (and which have worked on other flights too), even managing to squeeze in a film to watch myself!
1. Puzzles, games, toys
A range of easy to pack toys is essential. Stickers, colouring books are great and the Melissa and Doug water pad is a new favourite (you paint with water, it dries and you can paint it all over again and again – genius)!
Life with children must have been SO much harder before tablets came along to give parents a bit of quiet time (thank goodness I’ve had kids in this electronic generation). In my eyes, they are a must-have for long journeys. Some of the Apps on mine include Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Pip & Posy, CBeebies Storytime & Cbebbies Playtime (all pretty educational too). Downloaded videos of Mickey Mouse Club House, back to back Peppa Pig, Dr McStuffins and, of course, Disney’s Frozen, keep my little one transfixed for ages.
3. In-Flight Children’s Channel
A cartoon or kids channel is usually available on in-flight entertainment. It’s a good idea to get your child their own headphones before you fly which fit them properly.
Pack LOADS of snacks! Don’t bank on your child eating the in-flight meal – if you’ve booked one (make sure you book one)! Rice cakes, sandwiches, oat bars, raisins all got scoffed! These will also come in handy at your destination when a hungry child wakes up at 2am thinking its ‘day time’.
5. Get Active
Walk up and down the aisles, get them doing a bit of exercise (and you too) gives them a slight change of scenery and you might find a willing participate (perhaps another child) to keep them amused. The cabin crew are usually pretty good at giving little ones lots of attention.
How do you keep your children amused on long haul flights? Or do you have any tips on getting them to go sleep on a flight? I’d love to hear from you (I still have the return leg to go)! Please comment below.
Other posts you may find useful
Top Tips For Flying With Young Children
Holiday Essentials: What To Pack Young Children