Kitty is at a weird age. She’s not really a little kid, and she’s not really a big kid, and all of the information pertaining to entertaining kids on a long flight seems to be for those groups. So what about an 8 year old? Here’s what I’m planning on bringing to keep Kitty entertained.
Phone with a downloaded movie and music: We love our Amazon Kindle Fire for Kids, but it’s 90 percent useless without wifi, and it’s on board storage is so small we’d have to delete many of the apps on it to make room for a movie. This is why we save our old phones. Nate just recently upgraded, and so we will take his old Android phone and download a movie from Google Play onto it. Kitty has her eye on the new Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast movie, and that should keep her entertained for at least 90 minutes, a good chunk of time.
Even if you spring for in air wifi (it usually runs about $15 for a coast-to-coast flight), it’s not powerful enough for streaming. Any videos you want to watch have to be downloaded to your device. A portable DVD player or a laptop with a DVD drive are good alternatives here.
Travel games: While I will make sure that the phone has some offline games on it, it’s always good to bring some actual games. The novelty factor here usually keeps kids entertained for longer than you’d think. There are pocket electronic versions of games like Yahtzee and 20 Q, but I love tiny version of tabletop games like Travel Boggle (I actually have a keychain version of this that seems to be discontinued) and Trouble. Card games like UNO are fun as well.
Activity books/Printables: Kitty loves word searches, so I will bring along a book of kids’ word searches that I found at the dollar store. You can also find word searches, Spot the Difference, Connect the Dots, Mazes and all kinds of activity pages on the internet. Disney recently sent me some activity sheets for the release of Cinderella and since she enjoyed that movie, I’ll print those out. I’ve also made them available for you to download.
Snacks: I always bring nut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese crackers, fruit snacks and some M&Ms. Having an economically purchased selection of treats makes it less tempting to buy a $5 tiny tin of Pringles when the Flight Attendants come around.
Water bottle: Bring it empty and fill it in a water fountain after security. It takes a long time for the Flight Attendants to get to the back of the plane (which I swear is where they stick all the children), and the cabin air can be drying. I’ve had Kitty cry on an airplane because she just wanted some water.
Blanket and Travel Pillow: These are MUSTS. It makes it so much easier to convince a tired kid to try and sleep when you can make them as comfortable as possible. Blankets are not as available on planes as they once were and communal blankets are kind of icky anyway. Bring something familiar from home that your kiddo can cuddle up to. You could even go buy a piece of polar fleece with a print they like. Polar fleece is warm, soft and doesn’t fray, so you don’t even have to hem it.
Hopefully, with all of these contingencies I can keep my not-really-small-but-not-quite-big-kid entertained and comfortable!
Links to Amazon.com are Affiliate Links, if you purchase those items through that link ParentingGeekly makes a few cents, which helps me with costs related to site maintence.