Planning a trip with your children and wondering how to entertain children on an airplane? The answer to this question will vary depending on the child and age. Traveling with our kids has certainly became easier over the years. We live right smack dab in the middle of the United States. Until you are planning a family vacation, you don’t fully realize how large the United States is! We really enjoy road trips because of the ease of having your own vehicle and the cost savings. However, any trip over 8 hours and we are out! Bring on the plane!
Since we love to travel, I probably should be keeping a travel journal for each of my children. I bet my oldest has been on at least two dozen trips if not more. We have certainly picked up a few tips along the way.
Entertaining Toddlers on an Airplane
Entertaining toddlers on the airplane I find to be the most challenging. Yes, you can take an iPad or Kindle but, at least with my toddlers, it lasts at most 15 minutes at a time. Now what will we do for the next 2 hours? While my motto with the 4, 6 and 9 year old is “go simple”. it was not with a 2 year old! Your bag better be full of options! I’m not a fan of crayons (because they melt when hot when left abandoned in a car) but if I can find the ones with the shape of a triangle (so they don’t roll) and washable I grit it and bear it. I also really like the Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers! They do roll (I know, so frustrating) but I don’t have to worry about turning my head to find my angel has created a mural on the airplane wall. We will pack a book or two because lets face it, toddlers can read the same book over and over and over. Lastly, my most unusual tools are masking tape and bandaids. I haven’t met a child yet who doesn’t love bandaids or tape! The masking tape I tear off and just let them go to town taping whatever they like. The bandaids – I hand over the entire box. I’m actually helping my children develop their fine motor skills. It takes a lot of work and time to remove the bandaid from the box, remove it from the wrapper, remove those little bitty strips and finally to find the perfect placement for said bandaid. So much entertainment in that $2 box of bandaids! Oh, and of course, pack snacks!!! No matter the question, when it comes to children the answer is always snacks and lots of them!
Entertaining Preschoolers on an Airplane
Entertaining preschoolers on an airplane is definitely not as challenging as the toddler. My youngest is 4 years old. On our recent trip to California she was actually pretty pleasant on the plane. Her Kindle Fire has apps that keep her entertained for a solid 45 minutes or so. I made sure to download a few movies to her Kindle Fire and to my iPad, boom another 1 1/2 to 2 hours! The rest of the time is spent answering endless questions on why each person she can see is doing whatever they are doing. Oh, and snacks, don’t forget the food! Food is a necessity when trying to entertain children on an airplane.
Entertaining School Aged Children on an Airplane
After surviving the airplane with toddlers and preschoolers, traveling with your school aged children is your reward! At home we have strict screen time rules but when we travel those rules pretty much don’t exist. Thus, a trip on an airplane is absolutely magnificent to a 6 and 9 year old. Not only do they get to fly through the air they get 3 hours on the phone to play non-educational games and maybe even catch a movie. Pretty awesome. So for your school aged child be sure to pack electronics, headphones, a book (just in case that electronic dies) and of course – you know this by now – snacks!
Be sure to check out my other posts HERE about traveling with children!