After using long term parking, there is a wait to be taken to the airport, more waiting in lines at the airport, waiting to board, waiting in another line, waiting for take-off and during the travel time, waiting to land. This is enough to cause any adult’s eyes to glaze over and cause numbing boredom, but the endless waiting can be too much for a child. Whether this causes whininess, excessive chatter, screaming children that you have to chase after, or the, “Are we there yet?” broken record that annoys you to no end, we have some tips to entertain and divert the attention of bored, little ones. Some of these ideas are age specific, while others employ technology.
Movies and Audiobooks
If you try a movie or audiobook downloaded onto an MP3 player, computer, or phone, remember ear buds or head phones. Many libraries now offer free downloadable books, audiobooks and videos through Libary2Go using Overdrive Media. Check to see if your library is a participating member.
Just be aware, when technology fails, batteries die, the flight attendant asks you to turn off all electronics and a child is left bored, one might have to resort to other entertainments, so having a backup is handy.
Books, comic books
There’s nothing like a good book to divert attention away from boredom. However, be aware that starting a new book can be hit or miss because if it isn’t to the liking of the reader and he or she will grow bored. Either a book that has already been started and the child likes, one by a favorite author or an extra one is recommended. For those who don’t like reading, try comic books or illustrated non-fiction like Grossology by Sylvia Branzei:
There is a wide range of activity books out there from coloring books, sticker books, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, word searches, Mad Libs and others. For some of these, having a small pack of crayons is handy.
Pocket Size Games
Small games that are easy to transport like magnetic checkers, playing cards, or Mancala are great to have around. For examples, see the website below.
To create your own magnetic pocket size games from an Altoid tin and using magnets for pieces, check out this DIY process below.
There are many knot tying games, using rope and a book. Below is one example.
All this activity requires is the appropriate length string tied to make a large loop. Some string games require two people, some require one.
Magic tricks can be one way to keep someone entertained by their need to practice. Be aware, some tricks require cards, cups or other supplies, so it is good to know what is involved before selecting a specific kind of book or magic trick to practice.
If you are going on vacation during the school year and a child or adolescent has homework or make-up work from missed school, that is one activity that can be useful to bring along. During the summer, many schools have packets for children to take home and do throughout the vacation. If packing a math textbook sounds unappealing, consider taking a photograph of the pages needed on a cell phone or photocopying them ahead of time.
FLL Park Safe provides airport and cruise ship parking in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.