Over time I’ve built up a few of my favourite things to pack for my pre-tweens in their hand luggage. These are my tried and tested little items that I know will help us all have a smooth journey. We’ve travelled on a number of long haul flights now that I can safely say these are the top 5 travel essentials for under 10s hand luggage.
1. Top 5 travel essentials for under 10s hand luggage: Colouring pens and paper.
It doesn’t matter how old my kids are they are happy to get out the colouring pens and draw. It is a sure-fire way to get them lost in some creations. Now they’re getting older they are starting to get into the more detailed colouring books (which I secretly love too and have to “help out” with) but nothing beats some fun colours and a pad of paper. We enjoy making picture stories where someone draws one item on the paper, such as a chicken, and then it’s passed to the next person who draws, for example, a trampoline! It always creates some anticipation as it makes its way from person to person and the end result is usually lots of fun. Other games we play are wordsearches where each person makes one for someone else; giving our children some characteristics, for example ‘a grumpy coffee shop owner’ and getting them to create the picture; or creating our own super tricky spot the difference pictures to try and stump each other (the winner is the one whose opponent can find the least differences!).
2. Top 5 travel essentials for under 10s hand luggage: Alba tablet & headphones from Argos
Tech is becoming increasingly important to our pre-teenagers and while we like them to also engage in more traditional forms of entertainment there’s no need to deny them the chance to occupy themselves happily for some time….and give us a chance to watch one of the inflight movies too. Recent research has shown that more and more over seven-year olds are rejecting the tv for tech and that’s certainly our experience with our children happy to watch an inflight film but not wishing to spend more time than that on it. Our kids love their Alba tablets from Argos (and we loved the price of them!) which have a parental control app which means we feel much better about allowing them to get on with playing. We also really love the Alba’s durability – it comes with two spare bumper cases to keep it safe from knocks so it’s perfect to take on our travels with us.
3. Top 5 travel essentials for under 10s hand luggage: Books
This may not be the first thing my children turn to but on a long flight they’re happy to have some time reading. I feel the restricted space of a plane is perfect for them to lose themselves in a good story and the more I put books in front of them, the happier they are to turn to them. I’ve also realised my son is more likely to read a book of facts so I try to include a factual book in his hand luggage in case he feels like picking that up.
4. Top 5 travel essentials for under 10s hand luggage: Sticker books
Stickers work for children of all ages and mine still love them. I love the more grown up sticker books there are these days which are great for under 10s and you can pick them up in subjects ranging from history to science. I still really like picking up just sheets of random stickers too, my kids enjoy making these into pictures by drawing around them to create a story in themselves.
5.Top 5 travel essentials for under 10s hand luggage: Lollies
Any other time of year I am most definitely not a fan of sticky, teeth-loathing lollies! However, for flights, they can be a parents best friend and work for all ages from toddlers upwards. Not only are they perfect for helping ears during the change in air pressure on take off and landing, they also take a long time to eat and keep kids happily occupied for a while! Look out for quirky flavours like liquorice or sour cherry to keep those tricky tweenagers on their toes!
I’d love to hear your top tips for products that work for you for 7 – 11 year olds.
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