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Long flights w/kids...What do you pack to keep them entertained!

Long flights w/kids...What do you pack to keep them entertained!

Jul 20th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Long flights w/kids...What do you pack to keep them entertained!

Flying from Chicago to Oahu with a 3 year old and a 7 year old. This is our first time taking them to Hawaii so I am a little nervous about the flight. So what are the tricks to keeping them happy for 8 hours on a plane?
ksanders is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Book, food, a deck of cards, small toys and games they can play with in a plane seat and things like that. WHen my kids were little I always brought some "surpises" (like a new book or little game) for them. For some reason when something is new, it's a lot mroe interesting. Now that my kids are older, I usually treat them to a magazine in the airport (I always have them bring their own reading material as well). My daughter also likes to draw, so we always brought drawing supplies, and now she always travels with her sketchpad and pencils.
MFNYC is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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I would advise NOT bringing the carseat on the plane for the three year old. We thought it would be a good idea because it is safer and she is used to sleeping in it, but it seriously cuts into their play space and they can't easily move around. Also be aware that you will be "on" the whole trip so be prepared to be a sole entertainer for a day.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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Oh and also a Leapster for the three year old (I know the directions say you have to be four but my three year old loves hers) and whatever handheld video game system is cool for seven year olds.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Just kidding!
brandie346 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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I'm not. Valium works great for you and you will not be as worried trying to keep your child entertained. Kids can pick up whether or not mom is stressed which raises their stress level.

Eat a valium and you'll be less likely to snap.
Jul 20th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Lots of little treats - food, toys - that are wrapped up so as to seem special. My kids loved Silly Putty, for example, but always seemed to get it embedded in carpet at home - so it was perfect for planes (just make sure they don't stick it to the seat)

Make sure you bring food and snacks. We found some unexpected times for food worked (small boxes of cereal at night-time, soda or chips in the AM). Not a good time to play food police - my opinion was always if it kept them happy, go for it.

And don't forget about the trip home - keep some new surprises in reserve.
gail is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Actually I meant for the kids...

Know what else works good? Vicodin...
brandie346 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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The one thing we cannot travel without is the DVD player and their DVDs. I buy a new one for them sometimes before we leave.

I have found that this works 1,000 times better than any doodads or dollar store items you could ever buy.

karens is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Not to hijack the thread but I have a question about portable DVD players. How well do they work on long flights like these? The battery life only seems to be enough for one movie -- do you recharge in the hotel room or do they sell extra batteries?

So as not to be completely self-serving I'll add a suggestion ...the 7-year-old might enjoy Mad-Libs, and each one takes 15 minutes especially with a young child.
karameli is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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We did the flight from LA to Maui with a 7 year old, who played Nintendo DS the entire time, and my 3-year-old, who spent the entire flight doing this sticker book. It was a Giant Sticker Activity Book, and we found it at Costco but they had it on Amazon too. It's like a puzzle, where you find the stickers that are butterflies or whatever, then find the page where they go. I was bored to tears, but it kept her very quiet and busy, and at least it was somewhat engaging and compact.
sfamylou is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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I agree with all the posts regarding food and activities however with all of these items think in terms of things that take awhile but won't loose their interest. For example, bring snacks but let's prolong the snack. Bring string licorice and any sort of cereal with a hole in the center (cheerios, fruit loops, etc). Have fun stringing the cereal on the licorice for fun, edible necklaces. This will take much more time than just providing a snack.

In terms of books, bring color books with markers or crayons. Sticker books, maze books, I Spy books.

For drawing, tic tac toe, etc bring smaller travel versions of the magna doodle

I agree with the Leapster already recommended but bring headphones to not disturb others. There is a headphone jack in the device that will allow you to plug in the headphones.

Anything that will cling to the window of the airplane if you are sitting near one such as colorforms or sticky people that "walk" down the window when you stick them on it.

If you don't have a portable DVD player or computer that can play DVD's, you can rent one at most major airports with movies. You simply rent on one end and return it on the other end.
sweetsailing is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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Umm.... beer and a couple of playboys?
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Both of my kids bring their gameboys and I don't hear a peep from them the entire flight.
wtm003 is online now  
Jul 20th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Please, ambien and/or valium. Ignore the suggested dosage -- double it and, like sunscreen, apply often.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Gekko is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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You didn't say which airline or which class. We're on Maui, right now, with our kids. We always fly first class and it makes a huge difference. We've flown different airlines to Maui, this time it was Hawaiian. On Hawaiian's first class, everybody will have their own T.V/movie monitor. You can watch whatever movies they have to choose from (which are many) or t.v. shows. It keeps the kids occupied the entire time. My husband calls them pacifiers. Wine helps, too. For you, not them.
TravelTess is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Benadryl. For everyone in the family. Everyone arrives feeling rested.
jennhawk is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Tylenol PM. One for the 7 YO. 1/2 for the 3 YO...when they start getting ....edgy. Stuff really works. You can even put them in the over-head racks. They'll wake up in a day or 2..and won't be a problem. OK, ok, kidding.....but seriously...it really works.
Ramblero is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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Seriously? I always bring Pediacare to Hawaii. My kids always seem to have allergies/colds for whatever reason there, and it's rarely sold at those Whaler/ABC/hotel sundry stores.
sfamylou is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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So far, we have managed to fly with our kids without drugging them. Not saying it won't ever happen, but we have been fortunate to avoid it thus far.

Some non-drug ideas for the 3 year old...my kids aren't old enough to know what a 7 year old would want. We take new books and stickers. We also take small little containers of playdoh and little plastic cookie cutters. The aqua doodle people make small little travel ones that we bring along. The color wonder stuff is also good as well as plain old crayons. Pipe cleaners have been a big hit. They aren't noisy and the guys spend a lot of time twisting them into fun shapes. I have guys so I also load up on small match box cars or the the take along Thomas collection. Lots of snacks, obviously. We use suckers for take off and landing. They are a special treat and it takes them a long time to finish and so far we have never had an ear pressure problem. Small puzzles also work as well as little preschool work books. Finally, we do drug our kids with dvds...it worries me a bit how tv kills brain cells but it keeps them quiet. We are big fans of the Leap Frog videos so those tend to be the dvd of choice on trips.

Good luck. We haven't done Hawaii since our oldest was an infant. Dealing with the time change seems too daunting at this point. Maybe next year.

Have a great trip.

taitai is offline  

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