Written by: Steven Petter
Stop the disapproving stares!
How do we make time fly at the airport with toddlers? Airports are stressful – I’m sure they’re designed that way to make you buy all the over-priced stuff they try to peddle in the shops there, and that time can be made worse if you have the most dangerous of all children by your side, the bored toddler! Even worse if you have more than one, so when your child is attracting dogs with his high-pitched squeal and making a scene, the last thing you need is to have Doris and Mavis looking over their spectacles at you and tutting in disapproval while they wait for their flight to see Daniel O‚ÄôDonnell in some posh Saga hotel. All this drama can be avoided by simply planning ahead, children need entertainment so be prepared to keep their minds active.
Toys and Games
Taking toys with you can be a good start but the rules for toys are as follows:
- nothing too small it can be lost (and thus bring on the screaming)
- nothing too big, it will knee-cap pensioners as they pass.
- nothing that will have bits break of or come away.
Depending on their age, having an MP3 player with either music or a story book on can take their minds away from the monotony of airports. But be sure the device is fully charged as there will be no chance to juice it up once you leave your car.
If sticking with technology take your tablet along and load up some of your kid’s favourite films to keep them laughing while all around them are falling apart. But remember, if you have an army of children that your choice of movie appeals to all of them as they will want to share.
The other big pass time of course is games; I-Spy for example may be good fun and help you to get your child engaged in airports and what things/people do. Try to avoid anything that involves running around as the safety aspect of that may not be in your favour. You may also want to do some colouring; taking an A5 pad with you and some small crayons can alleviate your little monster’s boredom and the tools will fit nicely into your pocket once they are finished. Try getting them to draw airport things, like planes, or security guards.
Beware of rip-off shops in the airport
Those are the big ones, if all else fails, and only if you really really have to, then you can take them for a walk round the shops but remember these two vital points:
1) Airport gift shops have their own currency which isn’t based in any realm of reality, so don’t expect to be buying little one a toy unless you want to take out a second mortgage.
2) Airport shoppers are rude and can’t see two feet in front of them, so hold on tight to little one and try not to get stressed. Make it a little adventure for you and your child, get them excited about what they are seeing and don’t buy your body weight in cheap gifts before you go away, it may be too much to carry.
Exploring the airport with your child can be a really good way to keep them entertained. Try to watch planes taking off, show them the screens and use the time to engage them in what you are doing so it isn’t too much of a shock when they are there. Lastly and most importantly, try to have fun and enjoy your holiday!