Flying With Kids
It doesn't have to be big, but the backpack can act as a Santa Sack, bursting with treats and activities to keep your kids busy during the flight. Hit up your local $2 shop and buy a bunch of small, inexpensive items including colouring books, games, toys and trinkets. Look for fun items that don't make noise, which may irritate your fellow passengers, and that prevent a child-like assault on the drinks cart stewardess.
The smart phone
In the past, we'd do everything possible to keep our kids away from our expensive mobile phones. These days, they serve as portable entertainment devices that can keep the little ones quiet and entertained for hours on end! You can download one of about a million kid's shows from the Apple iTunes store -- there's a section dedicated to children that lists almost every show imaginable, from Dora The Explorer and Diego to Spongebob and The Wiggles, so there's no doubt that your child's favourite show is listed. Most episodes cost AU$2.99 and can be downloaded in just a few minutes. You can also download other applications including games for free or for a dollar or two each.
Portable DVD player
While we're in the digital medium, you could consider investing in a portable DVD player. For a small outlay, a portable DVD player can provide your kids with hours of distraction and can allow them to watch their favourite movie or TV show, over and over and over again. We've found inexpensive ones in K-Mart and Target, but most electronic retailers stock them as well. We also recommend a double headphone jack if you have more than one child, so then they can watch TV together!
Colouring in and activity books
It might seem obvious, but skipping the activity book could be catastrophic if it's overlooked! The simple colouring in and activity book can provide hours of distractive goodness for your child. Make sure you have a ready stock in back-up, just in case as they finish or tire of one book and want more. Likewise, ensure that you pack an emergency back-up stash of crayons and pencils, as the colour they like might snap, resulting in a tanty!
The window seat
Scoring that illustrious window seat can be entertaining and informative for your kids. When the weather is clear, you can point out landmarks, country towns, roads and lakes to give your little ones a different view of the world.
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