Top Tips for Long Haul Travel With Kids

Posted: 07 Nov 2017 - 11:21 am

Relocating can be a stressful time, espically with children. Recent reserach found that typically, children under 12 get bored 49 minutes into a long haul fligtht. In order to help parents battle the boredom factor Emirates teamed up with Dr Sandi Mann, a psychologist and boredom specialist at the University of Central Lancashire to find a solution.  

Dr Mann worked with the airline to create the Child Boredom Quotient (CBQ), helping parents identify the exact moment their kids will get bored so they can enjoy stress-free travel. 

Dr Sandi Mann categorises activities into Active (A), Passive (P), Interactive (I), Creative (C) or Sensory (S) to formulate the CBQ, and ultimately help parents mix the perfect blend of activities to catch boredom before it sets in.

The findings found little travellers aged 3 – 4 to be the most volatile. Bribery techniques such as giving out snacks in exchange for good behaviour were often used just to keep the peace. Other tried and tested methods of distraction for parents include employing electronic devices even if they’re not allowed at home, handing out new toys to keep their tots happy or trying to tire out their children by running around the airport before boarding.

 Dr Sandi Mann, psychologist and boredom specialist, University of Central Lancashire comments: “Parents of children aged 3-4 will start to find that this is when their children are physically very active, gaining independence and when they need more sophisticated things to entertain them than they did when they were younger. For instance, the ‘electronic babysitter’ whilst popular for a flight may not work for all age groups and parents of younger children will find that they have less attention span for this than older ones. Breaking up this passive activity for active or creative ones will stop children becoming bored, restless and disruptive.’’

When engaging in an activity on board, films are the most popular for keeping children occupied from around 40 minutes for the youngest age group (0-2) to 1 hour 45 minutes for the oldest (11-12). This is followed by games either on a smart device or on the inflight entertainment system (keeping kids occupied from 30 minutes for the youngest to 1.5 hours for the oldest). Meanwhile, creative pursuits such as drawing was the most popular until age 9 when quizzes and puzzles become more engaging. Colouring and sticker books have most appeal to the younger ages. Dr Mann further comments: ‘’Very young children don’t need very sophisticated toys for a plane journey and will be most amused by things in the environment – including people and of course their parents. For example, this could be ‘I Spy’ whilst, regular walks up the aisle are good for toddlers for exercise and for pre-toddles to change the visual environment. Don’t forget singing and interactive games like peekaboo are also great.

Older children can be given simple materials like notebooks and pens, puzzle books and comics. Ensure that they take breaks every so often to walk up and down the plane and try to restrict the passive viewing just like you might at home. Don’t be afraid of them being bored as left to their own devices with a few basic materials, they will find creative ways to engage their brains.’’

Dr Sandi Mann has created a suggested guide for how to structure a plane journey for each age range. The activities are categorised as Active (A), Passive (P), Interactive (I), Creative (C) or Sensory (S) and the idea is that by mixing these up and stopping an activity at the right time, boredom and restlessness will be minimised.

Passive – watching films, listening to music

Active – walking up and down the aisle, playing with a pack of cards

Creative – drawing, colouring books

Sensory – refreshments Interactive – reading a storybook, chatting

About the research: The research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Emirates in June 2017. Data was secured via an online survey and the sample consisted of 2,006 UK parents with children between the ages of 0 – 12 who have been on a plane. To help create the Child Boredom Quotient, Dr Sandi Mann also observed 90 children aged between 6 months – 11 years old at play to determine how children behave in real-life. 

Source = Emirates   Read more at http://www.etbtravelnews.global

 

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