This week, we brought our kids on their very first airplane ride as we headed down to Florida. The boys are 2 and 4 and I think I had more nervousness than most parents as I started to pack our bags and prepare for the long flight. To get ready for the plane ride, here are some tips, tricks, and pins I used to help.
1 The Three C’s (sort of): Calm, Courteous, don’t Care
In all circumstances, try to remain as calm as possible. When you’re nervous, your kids sense that. Just relax and try to help them enjoy the ride! Be courteous of other passengers. Try not to pack the toy that drives you batty at home since on a plane, you likely can’t just hide it in a closet or toss it to the other room and hope they don’t see. Finally, try not to care about what others think. It’s unrealistic for children to never fly on a plane and ultimately, the curmudgeon in the corner that scowls because your child loudly proclaims excitement at the journey isn’t worth a second thought from you.
This pin will give you helpful information for how to tell your kids about flying, what kinds of things are involved, and a little more about traveling. I found that having conversations about the sounds of the plane and what we might experience going through security definitely helped to prepare them.
Prepare an airplane bag with new toys, snacks, treats, and some fun new games and activities. Half the battle is trying to keep them occupied to pass the time. Sometimes, if you have a layover, you might be able to even have them view the cockpit and talk to the pilot — all of which adds to the excitement of the ride!
Bringing snacks was a lifesaver for us. Placing all the sealed snacks in a Ziploc beforehand made security a breeze and the kids were then quickly entertained with a few treats throughout the flight. I also didn’t have to worry about finding food right away once we were off the plane because they had just had a light snack beforehand.
If you have an iAnything, a Kindle or smartphone, those will be great in a pinch when you really need to make it through that last time period. Our boys were great the whole time, got a bit antsy and the games helped to keep them quiet and occupied.
What are your tips for flying with kids? Share or pin with us over at Chicago Parent (http://www.pinterest.com/chiparent).