KinderHop :: How To Keep Kids Occupied On A Plane

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{KinderHop is published once monthly and written by Trip Styler’s Seattle-based kid 'n family writer, Keryn.}

Traveling with kids on the plane doesn’t have to be the nightmare you imagine it will be. The key is to be an active parent. If you try to wish away any squirming or tears, they certainly won’t disappear on their own. It's true, your days of popping a sleeping pill might be behind you for a little while, but you can still enjoy a long flight with your kids. If I can make it 15 hours to Hong Kong with a 20-month-old by myself, I can do just about anything. With a little creativity you can turn any flight into a fun adventure with your kid{s}.

Keeping Kids Occupied On A Plane // Survival Tactics

  • Grab some flash cards and books to distract young minds during takeoff and landing.
  • Keep a small model airplane handy to get young travelers excited about the flight. Help them pretend to liftoff and land. Do a few loop de loops. Have the plane land on his or her tummy for a quick tickle and distraction from any turbulence along the way.
  • Hand over your iPad, iPhone or laptop. There are several engaging toddler game apps and movies available to keep your child entertained for hours. If you normally limit electronic use for your child, think of this as the ultimate treat and something that only happens when you travel.
  • Get up and walk. Never underestimate the power of a stroll down the aisles. Kids, just like adults, need to stretch their legs from time to time. If your kid can’t sit still at home, why would they on a plane?
  • Don’t forget snacks! Young mouths need to be fed more often than adults. An added bonus is snack time will eat up a chunk {pun intended} of your flight and keep your kids occupied for at least a few minutes.
  • Take a deep breath. Some babies and kids will cry. This is just part of life as a parent. Your fellow passengers will be more forgiving if they see you at least making an effort. Some may even try to give you a hand.

[photos by keryn]