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How to Keep a Child Entertained on a Long Flight

Updated on August 5, 2009

How to fly without much fuss!


A few years back, traveling by plane was quite a challenge for families with children. There were no monitors to watch t.v. programs in each seat, rather there was only one big screen featuring a movie every now and then. If the kids did not enjoy the movie -which most likely were more for adults- they may have resorted to alternative ways to keep themselves occupied. The results were children crying, talking for attention, temper tantrums to get their parent's attention and even frustration release efforts such as kicking the seat in front of them. Thankfully, those days are somehow over, courtesy of these cute monitors in every seat featuring a variety of programs for both parent's and children's entertainment.

Of course, a child will not watch cartoons for the whole flight especially if the flight is a very long one. So parents, may find some other activities to engage them for the time remaining amidst watching cartoons, playing games, eating and several bathroom trips. Following are some helpful tips and stuff to bring along in your child's carry on luggage.

  • Coloring books

Today there are so many types of coloring books that children often have a hard time choosing one. A few days prior to the flight, let your child choose a coloring book she is particularly fond of, but do not let her have it yet before the trip. Tell her in the first place that she must be extra patient and wait for the day of the trip. Select a small pack of crayola and place it your child's carry on luggage.

  • Favorite Books

If you know there is a book that your child is particularly fond of, bring it along. Or better, head to the book store and purchase a surprise book that will give some minutes or hours of reading. Find something your child is really fond of, like if she loves ponies, get a book about them with lots of pictures, if he likes astronomy, get a book with amazing pictures and stories. Audio books are great if you have an Ipod. Hide the book in your child's carry on luggage.

  • Gameboy

As much as you tell your child not to play too much with their game-boy in a long haul flight you will thank whoever invented this gadget. If you are really willing to, try as well to purchase a surprise game. You want your child to enjoy the flight and be happy and game-boy may be the answer!

  • Snacks

Snacks may keep a child entertained for a bit. Of course, look for healthy snacks. There are many fruit snacks now rich with vitamins that come in fun colors and shapes. These are mostly found in the snack aisles. Get some salty snacks as well to offer a change. It is unfortunate that now with the new regulations juice boxes may no longer be taken on board.

  • Puzzles

Look for puzzles with large pieces so your child will not lose pieces around the cabin. There are different types of puzzles today that can be easily bought on a flight without taking too much space. So may be made of magnets so the pieces may not be easily lost.

  • Blanket/Stuffed animal

Ultimately, you want your child to get some sleep so she or he will arrive at their destination relaxed. Give a comfy blanket and their favorite stuffed animal for comfort. If they have a difficult time getting in a comfortable position, pull up the arm rest and allow your child to rest its head on your lap.

Now that you have gathered several novelties and surprises, you may wrap them up and place them in your child's surprise carry on luggage. This will turn the flight into a much anticipated event and even memorable. As seen, there are various ways to keep your child entertained on a long flight. Best wishes for a great smooth trip!

Fun books for first time travelers!


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