Well we’re quickly approaching the Summer Holidays and probably many parents will already be dreading the thought of keeping their children entertained on flights where laptops and tablets have recently been banned.
Any families travelling to 6 specific countries -Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia – are now barred from taking on board devices that are “larger than a normal sized mobile or smart phone”. This includes laptops, tablets and e- readers so it’s no wonder some parents are getting anxious about how they’ll manage to keep their little ones occupied during all those hours in the air.
As our kids are a little bit older, we obviously used to travel with them in the “pre-tablet” era and we’re only too aware of the need to keep them entertained – no one wants to hear screaming children on a plane and even worse if they are your own!
So here are 5 different ways that we can personally recommend to keep your children quiet without technology.
- Books – Although physical books are slightly more bulky to carry than an e-reader there is an added benefit – the novelty factor of actually turning the pages! Our kids loved the brightly coloured pages of the Julia Donaldson’s books and we’ve spent many an hour with them pondering the wonderful images in You Choose – even better that they have holiday/travel pages included.
- Colouring – There are plenty of children’s colouring books now available at really reasonable prices or kids can even create their own pictures with blank paper, bright pencils and a bit of imagination. You can even join in with this now as there are many books specifically designed for grown-ups. And colouring is even supposed to improve your wellbeing so, on a flight, it’s a win win!
- Puzzles – Many different types of puzzles are readily available from WHSmith in the airport terminal from crosswords, to wordsearches, to Sudoku. Most of these are tailored to certain age groups so pick the right level to keep your little ones amused. We also regularly used our plain paper and a pen to play the dots and boxes game – great for getting the kids to start thinking strategically too.
- Games – Some of the traditional games have developed a smaller version to allow you to play in a confined space and there are plenty of games specifically designed for travel. We’ve just launched our new travel game NumBugz which has 7 different games in 1, so something for everyone plus it’s light and portable so easily fits into your handbag. This is the only game you’ll need this year and it’s perfect for the whole holiday not just the flight.
- Comics – In my day children spent much of their weekly pocket money on comics like Dandy, Beano and later Jackie and we poured over them for hours. Well surprisingly they still exist and normally include articles, toys and plenty of activities inside. Comics range from Barbie to Jacqueline Wilson to Match of The Day so you should be able to find something to suit your kids’ tastes.
We hope you have a fantastic time – just make sure that you are well prepared for the flight, check that the activities fit in your hand luggage and don’t allow a lack of technology to ruin the start of your holiday. Oh and don’t forget plenty of snacks! ????