Travelling with kids can be a very rewarding and exciting experience. New places, new foods, and new cultures are just a few of the opportunities you have to look forward to. Unfortunately, getting there can be a whole other story! Whether you are flying or driving, it is imperative that you plan ahead for your sanity and the sanity of fellow passengers.
Last week, we took our 10, 8 and 5 year old on their first plane ride ever. Being older, I was lucky that I didn’t have to worry about things like diapers, strollers and bottles, but I did have to come up with unique was to entertain them in security line ups and waiting rooms.
Here are my 5 must have items when flying with children:
1. Snacks – Snacks and kids go hand in hand It is rare for me to leave the house without a granola bar, bag of fish crackers or a sucker or two in my purse. The same goes when taking a flight. There is nothing worse then being 40 000 feet in the air and have your complain they are hungry. Keeping a wide variety of snack helps cure those hunger pains and entertain the kids when they are bored. This tip is also extremely important if you have a food allergy. There are very few gluten free options at the airport and if you do luck out and find one it is very expensive.
2. Tablets – Screen time is not always the best way to entertain a child, but it is very helpful when spending long periods of times waiting at the airport. They can use them for educational apps (i.e. Ooka Island’s Reading app), reading novels, and catching up on their favourite shows. Since many airports offer free WiFi, kids can stream videos from streaming devices like Netflix and YouTube kids, allowing them to be entertained for hours.
3. Cards – Card games are great for any age child. You can be with simple games like ‘find the red card or find the number’, when they get older playing ‘go fish’ and memory search are fun. Why not research a new card game before you leave and teach it to the kids on the road. They can be easily be pulled out and played with at the airport, on the air plane or on rainy days at your destination.
4. Books – Electronics are great, but the inevitably lose power. Books are a great way to entertain children, get them excited about their destination and educate them at the same time. Activity Books and coloring books are great too! A great way to engage your children is to purchase and brand new book and writing utensils before take off. The novelty will add to extra excitement.
5. Change of Clothes – If you have ever lost you luggage on a trip before, this one is a no brainer. It becomes even more important when travelling with kids. Washroom accidents and upset tummies Are just a few circumstance you are up against! There is nothing worse for you, your child and the people around you to have a child sit in vomit for a 3 hour flight.
How do you entertain your kids on a plane?