Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Up...Up and Away

Flying can be both exhilarating and a little scary for kids.  The idea of zooming up above the birds it thrilling, although fear of the unknown can be scary.  Flying with kids is always unpredictable.  Will they cry?  Will they just sleep?  Will they get bored and start hopping around in their seats?  
Here are a few tips and tricks to make flying with children just a little easier:

1. The Red Eye 
If you're taking a long flight, consider booking the red eye.  Put your child in their PJs, give them their favourite stuffed animal and chances are they'll sleep through the whole thing.  

2. Talk It Out
You plan and research what to do at the airport before you fly, so it only makes sense to talk to your child about what to expect.  Explain to security procedures and how long you'll be waiting.  Make sure to go over special airport rules like no running, no talking to strangers and no wandering off.  Sometimes it helps to act out certain things to help them better understand.  

3. Restrain Yourself...and them!
Always keep your child buckled in.  Turbulence can be scary for a child and can happen at anytime.  If your child is travelling on a 'lap child' fare, be sure to ask for a lap restraint.

4. Crossing Borders
If only one parent is taking a child across a border, make sure to have a notarized letter of permission or power of attorney from the other parent.  You don't want to be accused of kidnapping your own child!  

5. Lost and Found
Write down all your contact information, including your flight number and emergency information, slip it in a ziplock bag, and pin it to your child.  You can take it off once you're on the flight (so they don't prick themselves while wriggling around).  Airports are big and overwhelming and it can be quite easy for a child to take a wrong turn and get separated from you.  Remember to go over a 'lost' plan before you leave.

6. Up Up and Away
Ask for a window seat.  Watching the world slip away and the clouds float next to the plane is magical for any child!  It also means that they will be next to you and not a stranger.  Never seat a child on the aisle.  If you fall asleep, it's easier for them to get out of their seat.  There is also a lot of hot tea and coffee on those trolleys that can be a temptation for little hands on the aisle.  

7. Think Ahead
Make sure to let the airline know you're travelling with children.  Aside from the special meal, flight attendants are generally great with kids and most airlines usually have a little something for them.  They will also make sure not to put you in the emergency aisle.  Ask about a Kids Club, as sometimes you can get great discounts.   Although most airlines have special meals for kids, make sure to bring a little snack with you, be it some dry cereal or fruit as meal times are unpredictable.  

8. Things that go Pop
Bring gum!  Little ears can hurt when the altitude changes and gum seriously reduces the pain.  Try not to dwell to long on this though, the foreign concept of you ears 'popping' can be quite scary for a child.

9. Smile
Stay relaxed and smile.  You kids will feed off your energy, especially if you're frantic or rushing.  Having a calm attitude will help others too.  Introduce your child to anyone sitting next to them, it will make that person much more sympathetic if your child starts to get testy.

10. A Special Treat
This may be a time to throw a few tv shows or a favourite movie onto your iphone or portable dvd player.  Flights can be dull for adults, which means they can get excruciating for children.  An hour of Dora can be the perfect distraction.  

Our Product Ideas:
Did you know we have great travel products?  For a quick flight or long car ride, check out our Sticky Mosaics Singles!  These little packs come with a simple and portable art project that will keep your little ones occupied while you consult a map or organize all that carry-on luggage.  Choose from a T-Rex, astronauts, unicorns, bunnies and more!  
Check out our Magnetic Mosaics and create beautiful design over and over again.  Kids can follow templates for perfect results or create their own masterpiece. 
These kits require no set up, are small enough to fit in a purse and make no mess!  

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