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Flying with Kids: Useful Tips for Family Travelers

Sep 3, 2007
Air travel with kids can soon leave you feeling as if you need another vacation. Children hate to be cooped up in aircraft even more than adults do. It's not in their nature to sit still, but the last thing you need is them running around shrieking and disturbing everybody else. What can you do to keep them entertained?

Like all difficulties that the family has to face together, air travel with kids is much easier if everyone involved understands the part they have to play. Kids will naturally be excited at the thought of going on a plane, so let them burn off some of that excitement beforehand with activities such as plane spotting and making paper planes.

Indulge their curiosity about how planes work and emphasize how important it is for passengers to behave so that the flight crew can do their job. Let your children feel that they're performing a useful role in making the flight happen by being well-behaved. Where possible, let them assist with small tasks, such as moving luggage and finding seats.

When the plane takes off, your children will be eager to look out of the window and watch the ground moving away below. Seen from above, cities look like maps. This is a good way to introduce the concept of map making. With paper and colored pens, you can keep your children busy drawing maps of where they live, where they're going on vacation, or fantasy places they would like to visit.

Of course, sedentary activities will only hold your children's attention for so long. The biggest difficulty in air travel with kids is the lack of physical outlets for them. One way to get around this is to discuss the importance of stretching during air travel. With kids who are eager to do grown-up things, you should have no difficulty persuading them to try basic stretching exercises, which they can do in their seats. Have them touch their toes or see how high they can reach above their heads. Games that require concentration of the senses, such as identifying objects when blindfolded, can also help to relieve physical tension.

When it comes to games, there are many commercial board games designed for air travel with kids. These can be a good choice provided that your children have a genuine interest in them. Carry a small towel that you can spread out underneath the board to catch any stray pieces, as even magnetic and clip-together games may lose small pieces.

Air travel with kids doesn't have to be a nightmare. Just make sure your children feel positive about it and let them know how much you appreciate their cooperation. If they are well behaved, they'll deserve a special treat after you touch down, and then everybody will have something to look forward to.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com , Susies-Coupons.comand Susies-Travel-Coupons.com where you'll find hand-selected online coupons, coupon codes and travel discounts.
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