Entertaining children on long journeys

We are flying from the UK with DS4 and DD7. What tips do you have for keeping them (particulary energetic DS) entertained on the flight? I know that some of you drive long distances, so you might have some tips that you can give me. Thanks

Sedate yourselfves. You need to be well rested for your WDW time.

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We fly from US to Europe with DDs 6 and 4 every summer. Kindles/iPads and seatback TV screens are your friend.


Agree with the above - tablets with lots of entertaining apps will be the way to go.

Also, sounds obvious, but I've forgotten this before - make sure you have snacks and drinks for the kids (and you!). Airline food portions seem tiny to me and the kids may not like what they are given and who wants to start a holiday with an argument about food.


We also bring a new plain paper art book with brand new pencil crayons that are nice and sharp. Colouring sheets. And some of those art things from the dollar store. We did a flight once that was over 12 hours. Their bags were packed of stuff lol.


Yep, we've flown with kids age 0 to 7 from US to Germany 8 times, so similar duration of flights. At ages 4 and 7, they can watch the films on the plane, or play on your ipad or phone, etc. This is one time when zoning out in front of a screen is awesome and makes the time pass more quickly. We've had fun watching a lot of Disney films the last few trips.

I also bring along many surprises that I pull out when someone is getting too bored / miserable. I bring things like new big sticker books (we especially like Usborne, don't know if you've got those there?), coloring books, crayons. My DD can do stickers for hours.

With my DS, it's a different story, because a sticker book or coloring book will only hold his attention for like 5 minutes. In his backpack last trip we brought along some cheap plastic tools -- he did a lot of repair work on the plane -- and some plastic cars. Nothing precious. Video games were helpful with him. And getting up to go for lots of walks.

I also bring along little pieces of candy that they get to have really seldomly at home, so that it feels like a special treat.

The flight over is hard, because it's daylight all the way, so it feels like the day just stretches on and on... I bet on your return flight they'll be so exhausted from the trip that they'll sleep the whole way. smile


I hope they sleep too, as even if they're not exhausted I'm sure I will be. Some great suggestions there. Thank you

When I fly with my DD5, we rely on technology. I have a portable DVD that we bring with us. The last time we flew with her, the airline thought The Croods was an appropriate family movie. No matter what technology you choose, just remember to bring earphones for them. That way everyone can enjoy the flight.

This year we are also bringing travel Hangman (She has just started to read) and other travel games like checkers or yahtzee.

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Hi! I've never had to fly or even drive for that long before but we do regularly drive 6+ hours to visit family. I've made my boys (5 & 3 now) travel packs. It's a travel case with a lap tray. And then they each have a notebook filled with activities. The activities include a cars playmat and an ocean playmate w/ cars or sea animals to match. A fishing pond - just craft foam "water" and some craft foam fish with paper clips glued to them and a magnetic fishing pole. Craft stick building - just craft sticks with velcro on them so they can build shapes and scenes. Puzzles - these I stuck magnets to the back of each piece so that the puzzle sticks to their lap trays (which is just a cheap cookie sheet attached to their travel packs). Coloring books/crayons. I spy booklets - I made I spy pages and laminated them and they can circle the things as they find them with their dry erase crayons. I also have dry erase workbooks so they can practice letter writing or matching or whatever. Then I include small books or and there is a sticker activity - basically just lots of different stickers and some paper so they can stick the stickers on the paper (my kids love this!). These keep them busy for a long time. Then of course we do have iPads too!


DS22 has had an ADD diagnosis since age 4. DH always fell asleep on long drives. You can
download audio books on a phone or mp3 player for them to listen to. I always found flying to the UK was easier since most flights leave in the evening. Coming home you get up at a normal time but your day gets extended. DS liked playing his NintendoDS on long trips, make sure you have batteries and chargers.

Give them Benadryl - "Keeping parents sane since 1946". If you really want a peaceful flight, try Irish Cold Medicine - Benadryl and Jameson's.

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You know, my friend's pediatrician suggested benadryl for a long flight US to Spain. I asked my ped about it and he said if he heard about that he would call Child Protective Services. Clearly there are differing opinions! Ha ha!

Your pediatrician obviously does not have kids. wink

To be honest, I really do not understand these "keeping the kids entertained during long trips" threads. When I was a child (and dinosaurs roamed the Earth), my family went cross-country in a car twice, and I was pretty much thrown in the back and left to fend for myself. Nowadays, kids have to be constantly provided with entertainment - I've seen mommy vans with the DVD players on for trips to the supermarket.

Hi, @brklinck! Well, one difference between when your parents would "throw you in the back"of the car to fend for yourself, and a long airplane flight, is that I have to sit next to my kid, and somebody has to sit in the seat in front of him, and everybody has to share the plane with him. I guess families share the car with kids too, but I just feel more obligated in a plane to make sure we're not too annoying to everybody else. So it's less about my kids' well-being, and more about keeping my kids under control for the sake of courtesy to others. smile

If I don't bring stuff to do, that means the little one will probably be really loud, if he's tired and feeling cooped up he might start whining and then screaming, and then there's the issue of kicking the seat in front of him. So having movies to watch or games to play just helps everybody relax more and arrive with nerves that are less-frayed than otherwise.

At home, though, I make them fend for themselves a lot. Like this morning while I'm on lines (oops!) For full disclosure, though, I do drive the mommy van with the dvd player going nonstop. smile


Klutz activity books that aren't too messy. We missed school for our last trip so I brought homework lol. They barely touched their travel bags.