1. Games on the go
If you bring magnetic board games, put the dice in a small, clear box with the lid on, so you can shake the dice without losing them.
2. In-flight entertainment
Get the kids to pack their own carry-on cases, so they choose snacks they love and bring favourite toys, books and games and even a map so they can track the journey. Result: excited and involved kids, not stressed-out ones.
3. Focus on the fun
Turn the experience into a game by pointing out landmarks and pretending the world below is a toy town during takeoff and landing. Make up stories about the people in the buildings below to keep them distracted.
4. Check in early
Be sure to book your seats early and avoid having to sit separately from your kids. Most airlines offer online check-in well before departure, so get it done now to avoid unnecessary screaming at the airport.
5. Pack goodie bags
In readiness for meltdowns, fidgeting and moaning, have treat bags ready to whip out when needed, filled with colouring books, snacks and puzzles. Take these 10 free printable puzzles with you.
6. Be aware of other passengers
Some tantrums can’t be avoided, especially with very young kids. But providing a few inexpensive sweets, cheap earplugs and a friendly, apologetic note are all you need to take the sting out of irritated passengers.
7. Prevent ear pain when flying
Apart from sucking sweets as the plane descends, get them to take a breath in, then try to breathe out gently with mouth closed while pinching the nose. This should make the ears ‘pop’.
8. Stash the snacks
Flying through different time zones and messing with their routine may mean your kids aren’t hungry or are too sleepy when food is offered. So when nuts, biscuits and crackers are offered, hoard them for later.
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