Keeping kids happy on a long flight

Old Aug 21st, 2008, 07:11 AM
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When our kids were little, I always took tiny notepads found in drug stores for maybe 25 c. each on sale.
Then used them to play tic-tac-toe, hang-man and other such games. It was always fun to create new games often silly ones too.
One kid who loved math problems wanted to do some while on plane.
And the most fun was making origami creatures etc. I printed some instructions and carried some tiny paper in various colors/patterns and that kept them occupied also. Good luck.
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 08:35 AM
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First thing is relax! If you are stressed they will be also. My kids and I flew this summer (without husband)roundtrip from Rome to Chicago. They are very experienced flyers and they know they have to behave. They are six and seven years old and use to long flights. We use to live in Hawaii. This trip in addition to DVD player with extended battery, plenty of snacks (I don't force airline food on them), copy books (notebooks) w/ markers, we brought Crayola Model Magic. Throughout the trip we worked on making various sea life. Everyone around commented on how well behaved my kids were and the flight attendant actually gave them a stuffed animal when we landed. When the kids are getting tired I challenge them to the quiet game. No talking including myself and the winner can buy anything they want from the dollar store. We played four times. Twice my youngest fell asleep. While waiting to get through customs other passengers asked how I did it and the kids proudly talked about the two dollars they each earned (euro on the way back). Have fun!
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Will TSA allow you to bring a small bottle of Ether to knock them all out before they tell you how bored they are?

We traveled with three kids, 16, 12 and 8. The 12 year old wouldn't sleep to save his life and regretted it on his first day in Europe. Fortunately they are young and recover quickly.
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 02:07 PM
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hat about being PARTICULAR?
we all SUFFER on longhaul. why do kids ask for special treatment.
just make an announcement and period!

div
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 12:30 PM
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I had the pleasure of sitting next to a kid once on the way to New York. He had everything in his backpack from cards to homework. The only thing he didn't have was travel scrabble, might have been a good thing from the way he trounced me on tic tac toe.

Since your going to Europe, it would be a good time to brush up on the foreign language skills.
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Old Sep 4th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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I have taken my grandchildren on international flights, by myself, for the past few years. I started when they were 6 and 10. I always have coloured pencils, a tablet of paper, a small activity book, a deck of cards, a pair of dice, and some reading material. The boys have always been well behaved. We have flown from California to London, and both boys stayed awake the entire way. I do let them use the seat back entertainment, as this is a vacation from the norm for them, and we do not watch TV at home or in hotel rooms. We have traveled on trains through out England, and there also, no issue.
One thing I do make them do, is walk up and down the aisle of the plane or train with me several times during the trip (if they are not sleeping). They quietly say hello to anyone who is not engrossed in their own activity. We have met some wonderful, interesting, and amazing people this way, and learned more about the world.
There are a lot of great ideas here, use what will work for you, relax, and have fun!
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Old Sep 19th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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I've hauled my kids all over creation... One cashed in his FF miles on a ticket to Japan - at age 5....

Let them pack their own packs. The rule is that they must be able to carry it themselves (and of course check it for knives, scissors, etc...) Have them bring their own snacks, an empty water bottle (fill it from a fountain after you get through security), tissues, whatever.

Have them work together to pack stuff in their packs. That way, Joey can bring the crayons for everyone and Billy can bring the games and Bobby can bring the books.

Electronic toys are a blessing, although unless they share well you may be in for a fight over the DVD player. Bring headphone splitters so they can watch movies together. Practice this before you leave.

Explain to them what is going on. Make sure they know why they're cooped up in a plane. Let them walk around the plane if they want. Treat them like adults and they're more likely to act like adults.

Most importantly, don't get frazzled by the grumps who will tell you to "control your kids" and "you shouldn't bring kids on planes". I guess they never had children, and they were born fully grown with a sour attitude.
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 04:54 AM
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well, momof4boys, I'm with you- I'd happily let my DD watch TV the entire plane ride over if it kept her quiet and content and not bothering others. I'd also appreciate other parents doing the same!

On a long flight, I would actually bring 2 portable dvd players. they make them so small (7 inch screens) that I wouldn't think twice about doing that. Ipods with video capacity have longer battery lives -- that's another great option. That's what my SIL did with her DD when they flew cross country this past summer.

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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 10:34 AM
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Along with all the other ideas, how about creating some games relating to your trip. A few ideas:

hangman
word search
20 questions

Some of the answers could relate to sights you will be seeing, the history of the region, the language, geography, the itinerary (where will be going after London?), etc.

You can have each boy try to answer questions fit for his age and for every so many right answers, they get to choose a restaurant, buy a souvenir, etc.

You could also do flashcards for some of the basic words in each language (thank you, you're welcome, please, police, yes, no, taxi, hamburger, etc.) so that they can help communicate.
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Another idea is to give each boy the name of a place you will visit (castle name, the salt mines, etc.). Then the kids can take turns making up a story about that place and telling it to the others. The more imagination used the better.

When you actually visit the place, you'll find the kids saying things like "hey, Joe - that's where your monster spider lives", etc.
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 01:03 PM
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This site looks like it might be worth checking out: jetwithkids.com
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Old Oct 13th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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Nightnurse? and a seat well away from me!
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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To all of you who said, "benadryl", "keep them away from me", etc.--they were fantastic and it was some guy behind me who kept grabbing my seat back every time he stood up and grown ups who stayed in the toilet WAY too long.

Kids are reminded to be quiet and polite. Some adults have lost their manners.

So, be nice, kids are people, too.
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Old Oct 20th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Hi Mom of 4,
Glad your trip with the boys was good. Our trip to SE Asia was also good, except for the older (read about 75) woman who kept smacking me on the back of the head whenever I leaned my seat back! She did not speak English, and the stewardess did not seem to want to help. It was a nightmare, but all the children on the flight were well-behaved.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 06:44 PM
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Portable dvd player would be very good for the 3 year old and the 8 year olds. We bought one for Hawaii one year and it was worth it. The battery lasts for about 3 hours. I called the company and bought a second battery. Then you have 6 hours to move that thing around.
I pods, and gameboys (sound off please) work well. Make sure you have headsets for the dvd player.
Some air movies are not appropriate and they definitely won't entertain the younger ones.
Deck of cards, books, madlibs, pens, markers, coloring for the younger ones. Fun treats ...definitely have snacks.
Small toy treats are always fun.
I used to pack backpacks with some new stuff. I have girls so I went with polly pockets and cards and a coloring book and crayons,e tc... Maybe action figures?
Hopefully they will sleep. Have fun.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 06:45 PM
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Okay i wasn't thorough in my reading and realize you already went.
Glad you had fun and I agree some kids are better than grownups!
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Not to start a whole new debate (Benadryl or no? TV or no?), but I've been tempted to smack people on the head when they recline their seat in a full, tight coach section where my knees are already at the back of the seat. Especially when they have more leg room than I and recline their seat from the moment we hit altitude. Courtesy goes a long way-on here and in the air.
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Old Nov 15th, 2008, 09:05 AM
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Feeling a bit of a need to defend myself here. SusanSDG, I agree that courtesy goes a long way, so I also do not usually recline my seat. The man in front of me had reclined his before we even took off, I waited until dinner had been served, cleaned up, and most others had reclined. I did not hit the man in front of me for reclining his seat, nor did I harshly confront the woman who actually did hit me. I put my seat up, waited about an hour, then tried again. Both my grandson on my right, and the lady on my left had leaned their seats back right after dinner with no problem. When I leaned back again, she again hit me. I put my seat up, waited about half an hour and tried again. Now this was a 12 hour flight that had been preceded by a 5 hour flight and a 9 hour layover. I was TIRED. I do not usually put my seat back, because like you I feel it is not very nice. However, on this flight I needed to rest. I tried to rest with my head on my hands on the tray table, but that was not very comfy. So I tried a third time to put my seat back. Again, I was smacked, and when she pulled her hand back, she hit my grandson, too. Now I do have to say the smacks did not hurt, they were just a violation. She could have tapped me on the shoulder or in some other way approached me politely. So if we are talking courtesy, I think that she was way off. And yet, I feel that I was given a reproach for putting my seat back.
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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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lsdourte,

Wow, what an incredibly rude person.

Not that I have any, but if my child/grandchild got hit, she would have been hit back.

If it was me, in your situation, I think I would have just reclined my seat and kept it back. If the womam kept swatting at me then I would insist the stewards do something about it. I don't think could ignore it if she was continually doing it.

On the off chance they did ignore it, I would take down all their names etc. informing them that I would be making complaints to both the airline and that I will be looking into pressing assault charges with whichever police service would have jurisdiction (and have them find someone to translate that to for the woman doing the hitting).

I've been told by stewards that they can't force people to put their seats up excpet during takeoff and landing. They can't even make the person do it during meal service. Of course this may vary from airline to airline, but I suspect its pretty standard.

There was one person who refused to raise his chair during meal service after both I and the steward asked nicely. I admit, I can be petty, so his chair got a good bounce every time I got in or out of my seat for the rest of the 12 hour flight. Wonder if he still refuses to raise his chair during meal service...?

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Old Nov 17th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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If someone hit me (THREE TIMES!) on a flight I would have gotten the flight attendants involved. You can't just go around hitting other passengers!!!!!
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