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Occupying kids in very long flights

(14 Posts)
Equimum Sat 28-Sep-19 08:35:44

We have just booked to go to Indonesia next spring to celebrate a special occasion. We’re very excited, but I am dreading the flight with our children who will be 4 & 7. (We did think about it and decided to take the risk). We have previous does multiple transatlantic flights with a 1-3 year old, so it’s not completely new to us, but I’d still appreciate some advice.

I suspect the older one will relish having unlimited time on Minecraft and getting to watch a film. He can also read confidently etc. But the 4 year old will be more of a challenge. We’ll make sure the iPad is loaded with games for him, that we activity books, stories etc, and plenty of snack, but....

.....what else would you take to occupy kids of these ages/ how would you keep them busy?


OP’s posts: |
RainOrSun Sat 28-Sep-19 08:47:45

Decent child sized headphones, universal jack adapter, and let them loose on the inflight entertainment (assuming you are flying with someone that provides it!).
At 4, my youngest needed help getting a new programme going. But 5 he had it nailed.

The only other thing I do is enforce some screen free "sleep" time for my oldest if it is a night flight. Because before I did this, he had 3 hrs before we went to the airport at midnight, and then stayed awake until bedtime in our destination (ie 3 hrs sleep in 2 days). The younger one just sleeps at some point, so doesn't need to be told to......

Honestly, I stopped taking loads of activity books pens etc because they didnt get used, but then they aren't madly keen on them at home either (we did flights like yours 2 or 3 times a year for 5 years). Reading to him on a plane is hard work because of the background noise.

Might be worth taking an empty bottle with you for drinks - especially the 4 year old. The little plastic foil lid drinks you often get with meals are good for spilling!

Enjoy the holiday.

RainOrSun Sat 28-Sep-19 08:49:57

Oh, and at the airport find the playground or an empty gate and get them moving - jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks sort of stuff if no playground. Do you have a direct flight? Doing this during transit made a big difference to our second flight.

Equimum Sat 28-Sep-19 08:51:23

Rainorsun thank-you, that’s all super helpful. I will put child-sized headphones on their Christmas lists!

Good point about the activity books too - I always take them and they never get done, so maybe I’ll just ditch them!

OP’s posts: |
Teddybear45 Sat 28-Sep-19 08:54:55

There may actually be more stuff targetted for the 4 yo on the entertainment system / kids pack that the airline issues as most airlines expect older kids to behave. My 7 yo DN has been frustrated many times as the kids movies are too young for her but the grown up stuff is too old.

eurochick Sat 28-Sep-19 08:58:42

Maybe a couple of games like uno or dobble that can be played to give a break from screen time (or headphones, which get uncomfortable on my adult ears after a while).

Water colouring was a hit with my four year old on a flight.

Lots of snacks in case they don't eat the plane food.

glenthebattleostrich Sat 28-Sep-19 09:03:05

I do a surprise airplane bag for DD. Lots of silly little games and toys.

I also give her a few pounds to spend at the airport on a magazine and some treats.

SJane48S Sat 28-Sep-19 14:08:30

Top trumps - don’t take up much space. It does mean playing with them! Re activity books, agree these don’t tend to get used but my DD did like sticker books ( and you don’t need crayons/pencils). I always pack a change of clothes and plastic bag- my DD gets travel sick & has been sick numerous times at airports after the car journey there or after getting off a flight. She also has spilled drinks over herself and me as there isn’t much wiggle room on a flight - sitting next to a juice stained and a bit smelly kid on long haul isn’t fun! She does take slippers with her and these help with the comfort factor!

Merrilymerrilymerrily Sat 28-Sep-19 14:16:09

Water colouring books are fab. Def take their own water bottle that you can fill up airside - less spills than normal bottled water. I usually take one activity book that they like - eg dot to dot, colouring, mazes, spot the difference, a cuddly toy, a couple of vehicles. Also mini magnetic doodle pads / magic slate are good. You can play tic tac toe and other games with the older one. At 4 and 7 the entertainment system should have them pretty hooked though. And snacks. Lots of snacks.

Wannabegreenfingers Sat 28-Sep-19 14:16:14

We do a long haul flight with our two most years. They have been flying this since they were 3&4 now 7&9. Honestly less is more. Screen back entertainment, a magazine and or book and usually a cuddly toy. The take off and landing occupy an hour or so, 2 meals another hour, multiple visit to loo 🙈 many hours and sleep if you can get them to and plenty of snacks.

Happy Holidays x

Ricekrispie22 Sat 28-Sep-19 16:51:58

There’s a junior version of Rubik’s cube (different animals) and a junior version of Rush Hour game.
We also took some Plus Plus
These puzzles are good

HappyHolidays75 Tue 01-Oct-19 17:08:47

I'd echo the dont take much theme here.
Been flying long haul since mine were newborn. Age 2 was hardest. 4 up a doddle. Loads of good films and games on seat backs. We always take over-the-head head phones as way easier.
Pack of cards or similar for airport games.
Some food incase they don't like the airplane stuff, but I always get them to have a try of the airplane food as it kills some time.
Really don't take loads of colouring etc - maybe 1 note pad and 1 pencil case for drawing and games.
Enjoy! I actually watched 2 whole films on flights with mine this summer. Make the most of it!

Soontobe60 Tue 01-Oct-19 17:21:42

Please don't take any kind of competitive game like snap. It's a nightmare for those nearby who have to put up with the fall out when someone looses, as i fond out when we flew long haul sitting in front of an otherwise delightful family whose kid went into meltdown mode every time they lost.

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Fri 04-Oct-19 23:18:47

I also don’t take much - at that age iPads, headphones, a colouring book and shit tons of snacks

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