Words Hannah May-Lee Wong
Flying for the first time sure is exciting. Soaring thousands of feet above the air, waving goodbye to the tiny houses below, seeing clouds float by and anticipating arriving at a new destination. Yes, it is an exhilarating experience… right up until the little one gets tired, bored, hungry or scared. To curb a possible meltdown, here are a few tips you can use to keep the young ones happy (or calm, at least).
#1 Snack attack
In preparation for countering those hunger tantrums, come armed with your own nutritious selection of munchies. Pack some whole-grain crackers, small boxes of raisins, cereal, nuts or sandwiches. These wholesome snacks will keep the child’s fingers occupied while filling their tummies. For drinks, besides plain water, you could pack some milk powder to make a comforting warm beverage on board. Just ask the flight attendant for some hot water.
#2 Games and activities
The unfamiliar and confining space of an aeroplane may make some kids uncomfortable. Keeping them engrossed or entertained can help to relax or distract them. Bring along their favourite storybooks and read to them. You could also pack some colouring pencils for drawing or colouring, or workbooks that have puzzles or mazes to solve. Join in the fun and play a few rounds of “I spy with my little eye”. Yet another option is to bring some child-friendly travel version of board games such as tic tac toe, bingo and snakes-and-ladders.
#3 Nap time
When the kids are tired out (and they surely will be after all those tedious check-in processes), take the opportunity to put them down for a nap. Although plane seats aren’t the most conducive to sleep in, make the best of the situation by bringing along a small blanket, a pillow and a favourite soft toy for your child to cuddle up to.
#4 Prepare for take-off (and landing)
With air pressure changes, loud noises and lots of sudden movements going on, take-off and landing can be distressing for the young ones. Keep them calm by holding their hand and getting them to look out the window to take their mind off the scary stuff. As young ears are especially sensitive to pressure change, it could get quite painful for them during the plane’s ascent and descent. Let them sip on some water, suck a lollipop or chew on some dried fruit to reduce ear discomfort.
Have an enjoyable flight!
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