Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Flying with Kids: Useful Tips for Family Travelers

Air travel with kids can soon leave you feeling as if you need
another vacation. Children hate to be cooped up in aircraft even
more than adults do. It's not in their nature to sit still, but
the last thing you need is them running around shrieking and
disturbing everybody else. What can you do to keep them
entertained?

Like all difficulties that the family has to face together, air
travel with kids is much easier if everyone involved understands
the part they have to play. Kids will naturally be excited at
the thought of going on a plane, so let them burn off some of
that excitement beforehand with activities such as plane
spotting and making paper planes.

Indulge their curiosity about how planes work and emphasize how
important it is for passengers to behave so that the flight crew
can do their job. Let your children feel that they're performing
a useful role in making the flight happen by being well-behaved.
Where possible, let them assist with small tasks, such as moving
luggage and finding seats.

When the plane takes off, your children will be eager to look
out of the window and watch the ground moving away below. Seen
from above, cities look like maps. This is a good way to
introduce the concept of map making. With paper and colored
pens, you can keep your children busy drawing maps of where they
live, where they're going on vacation, or fantasy places they
would like to visit.

Of course, sedentary activities will only hold your children's
attention for so long. The biggest difficulty in air travel with
kids is the lack of physical outlets for them. One way to get
around this is to discuss the importance of stretching during
air travel. With kids who are eager to do grown-up things, you
should have no difficulty persuading them to try basic
stretching exercises, which they can do in their seats. Have
them touch their toes or see how high they can reach above their
heads. Games that require concentration of the senses, such as
identifying objects when blindfolded, can also help to relieve
physical tension.

When it comes to games, there are many commercial board games
designed for air travel with kids. These can be a good choice
provided that your children have a genuine interest in them.
Carry a small towel that you can spread out underneath the board
to catch any stray pieces, as even magnetic and clip-together
games may lose small pieces.

Air travel with kids doesn't have to be a nightmare. Just make
sure your children feel positive about it and let them know how
much you appreciate their cooperation. If they are well behaved,
they'll deserve a special treat after you touch down, and then
everybody will have something to look forward to.

About the author:
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com,
Susies-Coupons.com and
Susies-Travel-Coupons.com where you'll find
hand-selected online coupons, coupon codes and travel discounts.

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