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Flying with kids - no tablet required!

Taking a trip abroad with children can often be a recipe for disaster: they’re not prepared for the patience of a medium to long-haul flight, they want to have the freedom and space they have at home, and you’re imagining every calamitous scenario that could cause upset over the course of the journey.

Whipping the iPad out for games or TV programmes seems like a quick fix, but your little ones’ eyes are still forming and are at risk of irreversible eye damage using devices for hours at a time. Here are our top tips for getting your kids through the flights hassle free:

Grab a window seat

Booking a window seat will keep any child thoroughly entertained during take-off and landing, gazing at the buildings below and the journey into and above the clouds. After take-off, create a game and encourage your child to spot the shapes of animals in the clouds.

Drawing

Bring a pen and paper to keep a list of the animal shapes in the clouds, and when they’ve tired of looking out of the window, ask them to draw each animal on the list. Bringing a coloured pencils or crayons will extend the activity further, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for a few rolling down the aisle!

Have a conversation

Most people are now so absorbed by electronic devices during flights that the simplest option is often overlooked. Discuss where you are traveling and what you will see on your trip for the outbound flight, and what you enjoyed the most on the return journey. Show your child a map to demonstrate where the journey will take you, and you can tell them about the countries or cities you’re flying over.

Audiobooks and music

If you don’t feel like doing to talking on your flight, have someone read them a story! To get them interested, download a story they’ve already read as a book, and some brand new ones for the journey home. Alternatively, get a selection of their favourite theme songs or nursery rhymes, most children will happily listen on repeat until landing!

If else fails and you do have to resort to giving them an iPad or phone to hold their attention, make sure they take regular breaks, and don’t forget the headphones!

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