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Ah, flights with kids. The excitement of a new adventure mixed with the potential for meltdowns at 30,000 feet. Don’t worry, mama, we’ve all been there! But fear not, with a little planning and some clever tricks, you can transform that metal tube into a fun zone for your mini adventurers. This article will be your guide on how to keep your child entertained on a flight, with tips and ideas to make your journey smooth sailing (or should we say, smooth flying?)

#1 The Parlini Land App

Parlini Land App

There’s no shame in letting your little ones have some screen time on a flight. For the super little ones (aged 2-5), consider the Parlini Land App. This app is specifically designed to keep your child entertained on a flight, with brain-boosting games, logic puzzles, vocabulary builders, and even pre-writing activities. Plus, it’s completely safe and ad-free, with calming visuals and soft tones to keep little eyes happy. The best part? Parlini Land works on both Apple and Android devices and can be used offline after downloading – perfect for those flights with no Wi-Fi!

#2 Pack for Playtime

Child playing on a flight

A bit of pre-flight planning goes a long way in keeping your child entertained on a flight. Think of your carry-on as a treasure chest filled with goodies to keep little ones engaged. Hit the pound shop and grab a few new, inexpensive toys or travel-sized games. Wind-up cars become roaring racecars down the armrest (just be mindful of your neighbours!), mini colouring pads unleash creativity, and those sticky mosaic puzzles provide hours of quiet concentration (well, maybe minutes!). Wrap them up like little pressies and unveil them throughout the flight. The unwrapping itself becomes an activity, and then they have a brand new adventure to explore!

Don’t forget the classics! Sticker books are a timeless favourite, with the added bonus of keeping them occupied without too much noise. A brand new book to read together is a fantastic way to create cosy cuddle time and unwind after take-off. For older children, a simple card game like Snap or Happy Families offers a quick and fun way to interact and avoid those dreaded “I’m bored” moans.

#3 Fuel the fun

child eating on a flight

A hungry child on a plane is a recipe for a grumpy flight (and potentially a grumpy neighbour!). Packing a selection of healthy and engaging snacks is a great way to keep your child entertained on a flight. Think chopped fruit with yoghurt for dipping, vegetable sticks with hummus, or even some homemade trail mix. Avoid sugary treats that can cause a later slump (and make them extra thirsty!). Plus, the act of choosing a snack and munching can be a welcome distraction.

Bonus: A little pre-boarding planning can also keep your child entertained on a flight. If you know your flight has in-flight entertainment, check out the options beforehand and let your child choose a movie or two they’re excited about. This can help with the pre-flight anticipation and give them something to look forward to during the journey. For younger children, a window seat can be a source of endless fascination, watching the world shrink below as you take flight. Older children might enjoy aisle seats where they can stretch their legs and get some wiggles out every now and then.

Look, flights with kids can be a bit of a marathon, not a sprint. But with a bit of planning and these handy hints, you can turn that airplane cabin into a world of fun and keep your child entertained on a flight. You might even have some fun yourself – hey, maybe that in-flight movie actually looks good this time! So pack your bags, grab your little adventurers, and get ready to conquer the skies together. You’ve got this!

Head to Booking with Kids for more tips, support and family friendly travel guides. Check out our most loved travel gear from brands we trust.