We love family vacations as a way to spend time, relax and enjoy another place or culture with our kids experience another place or culture. However, getting to an exciting destination often requires families to take a plane, which can often be challenging with children. Adults can easily relax, read a book and fall asleep but children often get restless and bored causing them to complain and in some instances have fits. No need to stress, Momtrends uncovered some fun and interactive traveling tips to make the journey to your vacation a pleasant one.
1. Pack an activity kit. Create a special tote filled with your child's favorite things like fun stickers, coloring books (like this one from Crodile Creek), small dolls, markers, crayons, clay etc. You don't have to spend a lot of money for these kits (Target has some great mini-items) but the idea is to have several entertaining activities that will suit your child's individual needs and keep them stimulated.
2. Journal the trip. This is great for older kids. Since they are most likely going to experience a new culture or place have them write down ideas about their expectations as well as what they are excited to see. They can also draw a picture of what they are excited to see. We love this one from Eeboo Toys ($11.99)
3. Impromptu fun. If your kids are getting restless think outside of the box and use what is around you. Turn an air sickness bag into a puppet where your kids have to color in the face or use the remote controls as a pretend phone. Using their imagination is a fun way for them to pass the time and stay stimulated.
4. Mini-DVD player. We aren't all about having our kids mindless watch TV but a video on a plane is a fun and special way to break up the boredom. Have them watch something new or an old favorite and remember to bring headphones so that other passengers aren't disturbed. Also, there are many interactive learning DVDs like the Rock N' Learn series that would be great for a long plane ride.
5. Games. Games may seem limited since you are in a plane, but there are actually a lot of fun and interactive activities that you and your kids can enjoy. Depending on your kids age, you can try a game of Mad Libs, bingo, tic tac toe or word scrambles. There are also pint-sized board games of Wheel or Fortune, Clue, Battleship, etc that are ideal for long trips. This Travel Hangman Game from Melissa & Doug ($11) is a good bet.
7. Books. Books are a great way to pass the time. Depending on your child'??s age you can read to them or bring along some of their favorite books. You can also upload colorful books to Ereaders like the Nook or Kindle, which have fantastic 'read to me' versions of numerous popular kid books.
8. Consider a present. Kids love receiving gifts and receiving something new on a plane is a fun way to kick-off a trip. This can be another book or small toy or even something related to to the trip. Sometimes inexpensive and small will work wonders to keep kids engaged.
These are just a few tips to keep your kids (and you) happy and sane before your plane lands. Preparation is key and before you know it you will be loving your exciting family vacation together.
Serena Norr is a NYC-based writer/editor, soup-maker, and more importantly, a mama. You can read more soup recipes on her blog: seriouslysoupy.blogspot.com.
MomTrends was not paid for this post.