How to keep the children occupied on the plane

We're heading on holiday this summer to Orlando, which means there'll be a 9 hour flight to contend with before we arrive. Getting on a plane is not something I ever look forward to (afraid of flying) but there's also keeping the children occupied on the plane which is always something I struggle with -especially when I have an active 9 year old who doesn't do well when he has to sit in one place for a long time.


A plane's wing flying over snow-capped mountains, it is very sunny.



We're on the countdown to our holiday now, and that means I need to start thinking about what the boys will do on the plane. The plane will have in-flight entertainment like movies to watch and games to play but the boys rarely watch more than one movie and don't spend much time on the games. They'd much rather use their iPad - which of course they will have, but I don't want them spending 9 hours playing on their iPad.





The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

Saint Augustine




Other things to consider are the weight of the things we want to take on a flight. There's only so much we can carry and lugging a huge bag onto the plan and having to rummage through it to find things while on the plane is not good either. So what we want is small and light things that will keep the boys busy.

As I've been thinking about it recently I'm sharing my ideas with you to help if you're heading on holiday anytime soon.



Card games


Card games are always fun, be it Uno or simple playing cards you can play with your children and they'll be occupied for a while. It's not something they'll do for the entire time but combined with other things it could keep them busy for at least 30 minutes, perhaps longer. 

LP and BP like regular playing cards because they can do magic tricks or practice new tricks they've learned. They can play on their own too because they've just learned to play Patience.



Classic travel games


We recently bought a travel version of Cluedo which we have yet to try out, there's also travel Scrabble or Connect 4. There are hundreds of travel games online that you can buy and they're nice and compact and easy to use. 



New stationery


Every time we have visited Walt Disney World we've bought the boys a new notebook and pen to use while there. It's a great present to start off the holiday with and they both enjoy writing about the holiday while they're there. We encourage them to write when on holiday because it will help them remember what it was actually like rather than trying to remember and writing about it after we've returned home. 


A girl boss pen laying on top of a pink notebook that says Hello on the front of it.



iPad/Tablet


There's so much that you can do on tablets these days that they're essential for entertainment. You can download their favourite movies onto them (although watching movies on them will kill the battery), the children can play their favourite games, or even learn to code.

LP has started to learn about Swift, the programming language used in Swift Playgrounds on the iPad. He bought his own new iPad recently so that he could use an Apple Pencil with it and learned that he could also learn about coding. Needless to say he has been spending a lot of time doing this just lately and is really taking to it.





All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.

Calvin Coolidge





So the iPad or tablet isn't just for entertainment these days, they can actually use them to learn!



Books


LP loves to read too, he's been through lots of books and having a Kindle is a great way for him to take as many books as he likes without it filling his bag full of heavy books. BP is not as enthusiastic about reading but he will do it when he gets bored, so he'll be taking at least one book to keep him occupied.

The Hubby and I both have Kindles too and will certainly be taking ours with us - mine is more for distraction rather than reading, I need to keep my mind off the fact that I'm on a plane!



Mad Libs


This is so funny when you get the kids involved. We've played it in the car before but never on a plane. We'll be taking some Mad Libs with us in case we get bored and I hope our laughing doesn't annoy other passengers!



Activity books/pages


Both my boys love puzzles and given the chance will spend a while doing word searches, crosswords, or even colouring in. It's great when we can find a book or page that has things they're interested in or somehow linked to our trip. That's why this year I've put together a few activity sheets for them, all about Disney. Some are about Princesses, some about the seas (hello Nemo!) but they're all easy enough that neither of them will struggle - I hope!

Hand drawn picture of a bear dressed as Russell from Up by Pixar.


With all these things in their travel bags I have no doubt I'll be able to keep my boys busy on the plane. Now all I have to do is find a way to distract myself!


How to keep the children occupied on the plane if you're heading on holiday.


How do you keep your children occupied on the plane?






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18 comments

  1. The ideas are so good, I might just delegate my kids to you next time I have to fly...! #PoCoLo

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  2. Gum. It helps with ears popping. If they are clogged they will be awful to deal with. Pack the gum. #pocolo

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    1. Huh, I never thought of gum. We often take boiled sweets with us but gum is a great idea. Thanks!

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  3. I could not do 9 hours with our kids! We had a bad enough time going to Barcelona (a two hour flight) with an 18 month old and 7 year old last October! We learned that no amount of snacks was enough to keep them happy lol #PoCoLo

    www.mummykind.com

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    1. Oh boy, no I agree a 9 hour flight with an 18 month old is tough. I did it with LP when he was a baby and there's no way I'd do it again. It was really tough so probably a good call. However, when they're a little older... 😉

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  4. Those ideas are excellent. We always go with a fistful of stuff to do as well but I tend to just read and go to sleep so the Tubblet. Have a wonderful time in Orlando

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    1. Sleep would be lovely, I wish I could sleep on a plane but my mind won't let me. 🙄

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  5. Bless them for doing so well. I think lots of different things are needed!

    https://lizziedailyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

    #pocolo

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  6. We've never worried about entertaining the kids on long haul flights, just replied on the inflight entertainment and the goody bags they give out to the kids just before takeoff. Most of the flights to the states they've fallen asleep at various times. Enjoy your trip. #pocolo

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    1. That sounds good Suzanne, I wish I didn't have to think about it!

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  7. Really useful information X #pocolo

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  8. I hope the flight goes as smoothly on the day as it seems to be going to go on here.
    Yes weight and bulk is a problem so modern technology does come in handy. Do planes not have the option to plug in like trains do? #PoCoLo

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    1. None I've been on let you plug in, although you'd think they would by now wouldn't you?

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  9. Great list hun. We include most of these too. But I hadn’t heard of Mad Libs. I’ll check it out. Thank you for sharing 🌟 #POCOLO

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    1. Mad Libs are great and will have you in stitches! Just try to keep the laughing down or you might annoy the other flyers! 😉

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