3 tips for keeping the kids happy on long flights

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You've planned your holiday away, packed your bags, bundled your kids up in their most comfortable clothes and boarded the plane. This is an exciting time, but there are still hours to go until you touch down and your young ones might get antsy. Never fear, here are some easy things you can plan to do with your children on the plane journey that will keep them happy:

Delve into books

Books are an endless source of entertainment. You don't have to worry about batteries or that your child is having too much screen time. It's always exciting to get something new, so surprise your child with the latest picture book. Find one that's interactive, including puzzles or ones that ask questions to get your kid thinking. 

Colouring-in books are always fun. Along with a packet of pens or pencils, they make for a engrossing activity. Pencils are a good idea as your child will still be able to use all of the colours of the rainbow without leaking ink everywhere. 

Keep your child entertained and get them excited for your coming getaway with a book about your destination. There are a variety of travel guides specifically written for children, whether you're heading to Chile or Japan, a handy guide will help them to know what to expect – they can learn about the attractions you'll visit together, see on a map of how far you are from home and feel the wonder of travelling. 

Get crafty

There are many options for craft projects your kids can do on a plane to keep them entertained and get their creative minds thinking. Of course, any craft projects will have to be fun and easy to clean up – it's all in the materials you choose.

Pipe cleaners are a good start, they're colourful, diverse, not messy and can be used to create all kinds of sculptures. With pipe cleaners alone you can make a wizard's hat, farm animals or even an airplane. 

Play-Doh is another no fuss activity that can keep your child busy on an airplane, and can be conveniently purchased in mini-buckets which are perfect for travelling.

Play games

There are many games you can play with your imagination and words alone. Teach your kids games you played when you were younger to get them started and let them create their own.

The alphabet game is a classic that is perfect for travelling. Simply choose a category, such as animals or vegetables, and work your way through the alphabet, with each person taking a turn. For instance, if the category was animals, someone could start with antelope, the next could say buffalo, followed by cheetah and so on.

Another classic is I-Spy. With this game, someone says "I spy with my little eye something beginning with…" and then state the first letter of what they see. The other players then have to guess what the object is.

A long plane journey doesn't have to result in grumpy children and tired parents. Plan ahead, have a few arts, crafts and games up your sleeve and your children are sure to stay happy.

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