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How do I amuse 2 kids on a long haul flight??

8 replies

crystaltips · 06/04/2003 19:44

I am travelling to The States for Easter with yy kids are 8 and 10. DO you have any bright ideas as to how to keep them amused ?
The airline do not have the individual screens AAARRRGGGHHH!
Thanks

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robinw · 06/04/2003 19:49

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robinw · 06/04/2003 19:50

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snickers · 06/04/2003 20:16

Well - the airlines seem to always have a pack of something to try and amuse children. Not sure how good they are? I would say pack a special bag of "stuff", containing say 8 different activites (one thing each LONG hour!!) several books, colouring pads, paper, crayons, gameboys (borrow one if necessary!), travel board games, snacks, and a real treat (perhaps a holiday item, like sunglasses, or a toy, or whatever floats their boat) that you can tell them you've got so that if they've been good for the entire journey, they can have it at the baggage claim!!! Perhaps an atlas book, that they can find their destination on, and a tour guide, that they can read through to see what things they'd like to do the other end. Are they good at being set tasks like this?

Find out in advance whether the airline would allow them a tour of the cockpit (I know I know, we're all terrified of terrorists, but two children? Are we THAT mean now?). Or perhaps ask the hostesses, whether they can show the children the place where they make the food (CLUTCHING CLUTCHING at straws here!!!)

Remember that we ALL use the "waiting for the food to arrive" trick to waste the first hour or so of the journey, there's the long haul bag of "goodies", like toothbrushes and such. You can spend a good 15 mins taking them to the loo to brush teeth etc. Get them to write a few postcards

How about sitting them next to an old lady (preferably American, for the novelty factor), as they always seem to have all the time in the world for children, and could maybe tell them all about where they're going! (nb. to that lady - "I'm sorry"!!!!)

Consume all the free booze on offer, and make sure your kids are checked in on seats geographically on the opposite side of the plane to yours!!!

Otherwise, I'm with the drugs option!

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Meanmum · 07/04/2003 14:32

Snickers - you have some great tips.

Crystaltips - At their age they are young adults (or so they think). Think about what amuses you over a long period of time. I wouldn't think you would have too many issues travelling with kids this age.

My advice would be to treat them like adults, I'm sure you do anyway, and inform them that it is a long flight and they need to think about what they want to do on that flight prior to geting on the plane. They then need to plan and prepare for it like you do.

Obviously books, tapes etc. If they don't have anything portable to play music on I think you can buy really cheap portable tape players from Argos. Have them make their own tapes up. I know portable CD players are expensive, even I don't have one because of the price of them. They will get a lot more enjoyment out of listening to tapes they have compiled themselves.

Set a limit to what your budget is for them. Therefore, tell them they can have £10.00 each to spend on what they want for the plane. Limit if you want so it doesn't include sweets, or too many sweets anyway. This could cover books, blank tapes, magazines etc.

You'll be amazed at how quickly the flight goes. I'm a big fan of Snickers advice about getting them to plan some of the holiday while they are on the plane. Have you got any days set aside that are theirs. You could tell them they have to plan an outing on that day for the whole family that once again has a budget (they can go crazy otherwise). Let them see how it is for you to do it on a daily basis. Tell them they are in charge of everything and even on the day give them responsibility such as what are we having for lunch, snacks etc. It may work with some gentle guidance from yourself.

It's always easier in email than reality though. Let me know how you get on.

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miggy · 07/04/2003 15:00

I agree that the thought is worse than actually doing it. For various reasons I took mine last year-3,5,8 then, to Florida from UK on my own, was really dreading it but wasnt bad at all (in fact so unbad that I did it again in the summer). I think telling them that they had to behave or we would never go on holiday again, helped
Second tip for gameboys, I also cheated and bought my older 2 a new gameboy game each-produced when on the plane, that lasted good 3 hrs.
Also printed lots of problem pages/puzzles etc off the internet-cheap and can tailor to indiv. interests.
If your 8yr old is girl-Wikki stiks are good, also beads for threading, sewing kits with blunt needle (plastic)- you know the kind of material with little holes in?
Always give mine their own bag (they have to carry it too) full of comics/print outs/small toys/pencil case, new book,gameboy,sweets,crisps,raisins,drinks-saves fights!
We also have a mini-etch a sketch that has a little book with it that shows you patterns/games made by KLUTZ
8 and 10 would be up to travel chess/scrabble?
good luck anyway

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snickers · 07/04/2003 19:39

Cor-thanks meanmum! I remember getting a tour of the cockpit (and I was a "grown up" - and it was absolutely fab! We got to sit in the jumpseats for takeoff!

Tapes - of course! You could get their favourite book(s) on tape too. Unabridged, this can mean several hours of quiet Get one for yourself too!

www.booksontape.com/
www.isis-publishing.co.uk

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SoupDragon · 07/04/2003 19:48

Robinw, drugging children on flights is my favourite option Not sure it works with 8 & 10 year olds though.

Do you know an anaethetist who can give them a pre med??

Can't think of anything else to add to the great suggestions here so far.

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Sarahmum · 08/04/2003 15:00

We have done lots of long haul travel with our son - the best investment we ever made was a little digital video camera with a 2.5" screen. You can tape cartoons & films from the TV to watch on the little screen and plug headphones in for sound - hey presto - your own inflight entertainment. It's also fun to play back holiday videos on the flight home. Extra batteries are recommended!

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