I recently took a two and a half hours long flight that was full of babies and toddlers. Most of them were noisy. Such kids are very annoying, especially when you are already stressed. While most of the passengers are sympathetic towards the parents with hyperactive kids, at times, it upsets the fellow passengers when the kids constantly whine, cry and kick the front seats. While I was busy thinking if I was such a noisy and annoying kid, I saw a sweet little toddler across the aisle busy with something on her tray table. This got me thinking whether all the kids in the world are upset about long travels (well two and a half hour is not that long though) or some manage to keep themselves busy. I was amazed to see the kid sitting peacefully throughout the flight and not making any noise. This got me thinking about ways to keep the kids calm and busy during the flight.
Food And Snacks
Like us adults, kids love eating too. This is why carrying lots of snacks, especially the ones they love is a great idea. Pack different types of snacks, in various colours, shapes and sizes to keep things interesting. Don't forget to give them some gum during the take-off and landing. If your kids are too young to chew gum, give them some candies and lollypops for the take-offs and landings. Also, try to carry some beverages to keep your kids hydrated during the flight. If the airport authority is strict about carrying the liquids, pack some dehydrated food like milk powder or soup powder. Ask the flight attendant for some warm water, mix it with the powder and feed your baby. This is a great way to ensure that your baby stays hydrated and well fed during the flight, without carrying any liquid. Make sure that you feed your kids when the plane is taking off and landing to relieve the ear pressure due to the altitude change.
Entertainment is the best babysitter, especially at the height of 35,000 feet. Make sure that all your gadgets are fully charged up and loaded with stuff your kids like. Download their favourite TV shows, movies, apps, music, and games and let them use it for a while. Entertainment sure will keep them distracted for a while. If you can, give your kids their own tablets or iPods so that they don’t drain out your phone’s or tablet’s battery. Also, carry a set of baby headphones. This way, you won't have to hold the headphones for your kids and the co-passengers won't constantly complain about the volume.
Toys And Puzzles
If you are taking really long flights, make sure that you carry your kids’ favourite toys and puzzles. Eventually, all the gadgets that you are carrying are going to run out of battery and your children won’t have anything to do. This is where the toys and puzzles come to your rescue. Take up all the squishy and soft toys that make them feel cozy and comfortable. You can also pick their favourite cars, dolls and even play dough to play with on the plane. Another great way to keep your kids busy is taking puzzles, especially jigsaw puzzles. Put all the pieces of each jigsaw puzzle in a zip lock pouch, get a print out of the main puzzle picture and pack it in the zip lock pouch. Let your kids solve it on the tray table.
Books Books Books
The reason why I am emphasising so much on books is because there are various kinds of books. Pack your kids' favourite storybooks, or buy them some new ones for this journey. Take some crayons with the colouring books, if your kids are fond of colouring. You can also bring along sticker books and help them with sticking them on the images. If your children can read and write, get them some travel journals and informative books about the place that you are visiting. It will keep your kids busy during the flight and they will learn some fun facts about the place they are about to visit.
If you are really very blessed, the cool temperature and the cosy surroundings of the airplane might make your kids drowsy. Just hand them their favourite soft toy and tuck them in their blankets. Rock them to sleep while humming their favourite lullaby. Enjoy the silence as long as you can.
Make full use of the bathroom trips by letting them walk or crawl all the way to the washroom. You can also let them jump, wiggle or dance a little in the aisle or in front of the washroom. This will help them stretch their legs and break the monotony of the journey. Instead of getting irritated with kids, try making their journey enjoyable. Who knows, they might end up enjoying travelling as much as you do!