Hi ladies, we are going on a long haul flight after Easter and I would like to know what is the best way to handle a 4 year old on a plane?¬†We will be taking an iPad (with games, movies and touchy books), reading books, colouring in books, pencils, pens, blanket, pillow and snacks but my daughter is an outside kid and doesn’t like to sit still! ARGHH I’m starting to fret!!


Posted by jennifer_harrison, 8th April 2014


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  • Last year we traveled to Africa (Zimbabwe) via the Netherlands, then back to the Netherlands, the to Belfast, back via the Netherlands to Sydney; a total of over 80 hours in the air with 4 children. My youngest was 4yrs old and has Down Syndrome and my back then 8yr old has Reactive Attachment disorder with severe kleptomania.
    Each of my kids had their own wee backpack with activities with things like; a puzzle, a reading book, colouring material, activity book, ipad, a favourite soft toy. Do realise that the big flights also have a wee tv for each build in in the chairs, which gives plenty of choice for each to watch and listen.
    For my youngest I bought a bottle of Phenergan at the chemist in case she would get unsettled, as she sometimes responds in extreme fear.



  • Cross your fingers that he’ll sleep for some of it, and maybe the air hostesses will give him a tour of the cockpit



  • This is where an iPad comes into its own. Load up good apps and stories ready to go. Have a bag with healthy treats such a dried apricots etc. On the plane he will get a kids pack and these day you can select your own suitable movies. Hopefully sleep will take up a lot of the trip.


  • You’ve really answered your own question and have everything you need, it’s all about keeping children entertained so they don’t get bored. Only one other thing I would suggest is take some favourite snacks. Hope you have a pleasant flight.



  • I think you pretty much have it covered ! Maybe a xouple of new toys as gifts to open when they get bored?



  • Oh flights can be so boring..11 hours is a long time :-(



  • She might surprise you maybe get some little treats such as bangles, lipgloss eps, pencils etc wrap them up in brown paper and do a lucky dip type thing, every time she gets restless, bathe unwrapping and exploring what the gift is will take her mind off things



  • Headphones, if you don’t have them already – the airline supplied ones don’t fit little kids particularly well. We used a pair of noise cancelling ones for our son for long distance flights and it meant he could watch movies (on the ipad) easily.



  • try to tire her out before the flight so there is a nap on the plane. between the entertainment that you have organised do a few laps of the plane and play a name the plane parts game.



  • Sounds like you have it covered. You will be surprised how she copes. My boys are putside boys, but the inflight entertainment and sleep filled in the time!



  • sounds like you have everything you need. my kids (now 7 and 4) were travelling 3 planes almost 24 hours of travelling including stopovers (2 of them) longest flight of the journey was 14 hours and they were great, i found if i relaxed then they did too. you will probably have more stuff than you need but definately a teddy to cuddle, i didnt take blankets or pillows as they have them on the planes and it was less stuff i needed to carry through airports. good luck i am sure she will be excited and my two generally ate, watched movies and slept!



  • you sound pretty ladened! the planes also have inflight entertainment which is great. they also give the kids little packs with pencils colouring in etc to keep them busy. I am sure you will be fine. just don’t forget to take a change of clothes as they usually spill suff on the planes.



  • Travel is tpugh for kids that don’t like to sit still. You”ve got lots of stuff. You will be able to walk her around a little bit and you might need interactive games like snap etc. to keep her busy.



  • We took a book off stickers and give them every 30 odd minutes or when they where starting to get board



  • Sounds like you are prepared enough with gadgets but make sure you get her to suck lollies the whole way maybe even give her some panadol when your up in the air to prepare for the plane descent. You can also buy ear plugs from the chemist that will help. We just had this problem and my son could not get his ears to pop and he was screaming, we made sure we did this on the way home but also taught him how to pop is ears before returning home on the plane. He did it the whole plane ride. Don’t be too concerned she can also walk up and down the isle if she gets bored.


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