How do you entertain your kids whilst travelling?

With the school holidays upon us, the question of keeping the children happy during the journey is on every parent’s mind. There is the possibility that they will disturb other passengers or become bored, especially during a long flight. However, we at I Love meet and greet have found some quick and easy solutions to travelling with children…

Our main piece of advice is to find activities to keep them engaged; static toys will only keep them entertained for short periods of time. Stimulating activities like Top Trumps, loom bands and sticker books are proven to be more effective over longer durations. Finger puppet for toddlers and Lego for older children will also encourage creativity and stop boredom. You can even purchase Lego kits in practical travel packs to prevent the loss of small pieces.

In order to increase the entertainment value of these activities, wrapping them up and presenting them as gifts is a great approach. The element of surprise and time it takes to open the present will make it even more entertaining for your child. The gifts can also be presented as rewards for good behaviour, perhaps every half an hour, to encourage further good behaviour.

Food can also be used as a form of entertainment; snacks like raisins and string cheese which are fiddly to eat will occupy your children for longer amounts of time. Treats like lollies may be rare at home but they will be extremely beneficial on flights, whether the flight is long or short. In particular, lollies encourage kids to suck and swallow, which during takeoff and landing will help with the change in air pressure avoiding any discomfort.

If you are worried about the limitations of luggage space, old-fashioned verbal games require no equipment. Classics like ‘I Spy’ and ‘Twenty Questions’ are simple but provide endless forms of entertainment.

For a more modern approach, tablets and smart phones are very useful. We would suggest downloading some films and cartoons in advance from iTunes – a mix between old favourites and new shows supplies the best variety for any situation. Likewise, free apps like BBC CBeebies Playtime with games for children are educational and fun at the same time.

Travelling on an airplane can be daunting for a child, especially if it is their first time and this can cause them to be restless. To prevent uneasiness, packing a blanket, pyjamas (if it is a night-time flight) or something familiar will make your child feel more comfortable. For older children, try printing off some maps of the plane’s journey so that you can track your progress throughout the flight; not only does an understanding of the journey entertain and educate but it makes the children more confident with flying.

We know that experiencing the holiday through your children’s eyes is exciting. Using I Love meet and greet is the ideal way to start this adventure; we may not be able to entertain your children on the airplane, but being met right outside the terminal is better than hustling your family and luggage on and off a car park bus.

By Sarah Anglim at 23 Jul 2015

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