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How to Keep Young Kids Happy on Flights

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Kids can be a nightmare on flights, everyone knows that… but the thought of taking your kids on a flight needn’t instil panic in you; we have the perfect tips and hints as to how you can keep the kiddies happy in the air. Follow our hints and tips, and hopefully the flight will be quick and painless for everyone on board.

Invest in Ride-on Luggage

You might find it hard to justify this purchase before you go, but trust us when we say that you’ll be glad of this investment when you get to the airport. Brands like Trunki and Skoot Kids do great lightweight cases that are designed for little one while having a strap for adults (when the kids get tired). Not only can you fit more toys and activities into a personal carry-on, but this will get the kids involved by making them feel a part of the whole process. A little responsibility makes kids feel grown-up and important.

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Take Plenty of Activities

Most young kids have a pretty short attention span and will find long flights hard to bear. If you want to avoid extreme boredom and tantrums it’s wise to pack at least ten different activities, puzzles, games, or books for your kiddies to enjoy. Just be careful not to take things like PlayDo that might not be permitted in your hand luggage.

Take a Tablet or DVD Player

You should also think about bringing along a tablet or portable DVD player and some movies to watch. We understand that some parents scoff at the idea of placating kids with an electronic device, but the truth is that you have to think about the others on the flight too. Once the kids hit tantrum stage all bets are firmly off; if a favourite movie or game will quell the storm it’s a small price to pay. Just be sure that your device is charged and you have the headphones!

Sister and little brother sitting in the plane and playing with tablet. The boy is aged 6 and the girl is 9.

Download Kids’ Games or Apps

In the same vein, download some kid-friendly games or apps on your tablet or smartphone (which are switched to Airplane mode pre-flight, right?) to keep their brain engaged.

Boys using smart phone and digital tablet at airplane

Turn Activities into Presents

Everyone loves presents, but kids love them more than most… kids also fare well with positive reinforcement, so why not combine the two into a genius way to smooth the course of a flight? Wrap up some of those activities and dole them out for good behaviour to up the excitement and keep their interest.

Keep Them Comfortable

Take a favorite blanket and a pillow so that they can get comfortable if a nap is needed along the way. Even if a nap isn’t on the cards these home comforts might, well, comfort them.

Distract with Candy

Take-off and landing can be especially tough on the kids, but you can help to mitigate the discomfort of the changes in pressure with some sugar-free hard candies or lollipops.

Take Snacks that Last

If you’re taking snacks along with you then they should be of the healthy and long-lasting variety. Nothing that will give them a sugar high and inevitable crash. We recommend cheese sticks, crackers, fruits, and veg.

Warn About ‘Airplane Police’

While we don’t aim to suggest that you frighten your children into behaving this little white-lie is something that might buck up their behaviour. Tell them that the ‘airplane police’ are on the lookout for naughty children, but there’s no need to go into details as what might actually be done. Often the thought that someone with authority is watching is enough to deter seat-kicking and climbing as well as screaming and other unruly behaviour.


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