• By Amanda Blackburn.

Great family ideas for keeping busy on long-haul flights.

Although it’s fantastic to travel somewhere exotic with your family, it usually means a long journey to get to your destination. We have a long flight next weekend, 9 and a half hours on a plane to be exact. I can’t wait to go on holiday but I’m not looking forward to the flight, it’s such a long time to be sat around on a plane. I’m going well prepared and taking plenty of things to keep all my family occupied during the journey.

Here are the mini-games I’m taking on the flight, we will also be playing these by the pool when having time out of the sun and over drinks in the evenings when the children are in bed.

Paddington Spot The Difference by University Games for ages 8+

My son loves the film Paddington so I thought this would be perfect for him. It’s compact for travel and includes 80 spots the difference challenges with 2 dry erase markers with eraser tips. You have to race against each other to find all the differences, the cards are wipeable and come in easy or hard levels.

Smart Ass card game by University Games for ages 12+

We all love this game, although it’s a bit hard for my 8-year-old. He does like trying to guess though and sometimes he’s been correct. It’s a small pack of cards so doesn’t take up much room, includes 90 Question cards and instructions. Each card has 10 clues, you have to guess who, what and where I am? The first person to collect four cards is declared the winner. You just yell out the answer as soon as you know it, but maybe not too loud on the plane, you don’t want to get into trouble. This mini set can be played alone or can be used as an expansion set for the Smart Ass board game.

5 Second Rule by University Games for ages 8+

The game includes 90 small card question cards (180 questions in total), pass on cards, switch cards, spiral timer and rules. It’s a fast-thinking game, can you answer the question when under the pressure of the 5-second timer? It’s such a fun game asking easy questions like name 3 animals found in a zoo? It’s all about answering quick enough when under pressure. My 7-year-old son can play this game we make it easier for him and he has to answer only one or two things instead of 3.

Sort it Out by University Games for age 12+

Another compact card game including 80 cards, coloured tiles, a tile holder and instructions. The winner is the player who is the luckiest and smartest at putting five interesting items in correct order. Example; Do you know which is faster: a cheetah, a race horse, a bicycle, a rabbit or a car going 60mph? Can you sort them out in order of fastest first? My son loves listening in and he helps me so he gets involved.

Pointless The Mini Game by University Games for age 12+

This compact version is based on the witty and compelling BBC TV quiz show. My mum and dad who are coming on our holiday with us love this game so it’s really for them. The game includes 120 questions, 1 question card holder, 1 answer and score sheet (30 sheets double-sided) and 1 set of rules. Each question has been surveyed by a group of 100 people who are given 100 seconds to give as many answers as they can. The object of the game is to select one of the 5 answers presented that the player or team believe is the least likely to have been given by the 100 people surveyed and therefore having a low points score. My parents are really good at this game so I’m sure I’m definitely going to fail at winning.

I’m also taking a pack of my son’s Top Trumps cards and UNO.

Here are a few ideas that will also pass time during your flight.

Play “I spy” with the SkyMall magazine.

Find all the animals (you’ll be amazed how many there are!) or items in a certain colour, you can adapt the search to suit different ages. For older kids, try having them pick what they’d buy off a certain page or what they think is the most ridiculous item offered.

Take a pack of stickers and a pad with plain paper to make a scene using the stickers. Children can also add their drawings to the scene so take some felts or crayons.

Orchard Toys have a great selection of mini-games that are perfect for younger children. My favourites are dominoes and pairs. I have always taken these away on holiday, they are not only great for playing on a plane but are great to play by the pool, on the beach or whilst waiting for dinner to come at the restaurant.

Here are a couple of my favourites.

Dinosaur Dominoes for children age 2-4.

Penguin Pairs for children age 3-6.

Print off some of their favourite colourings or take a colouring book.

If they have an Ipad or a tablet add some new games and new interactive stories. Make sure that the games work without the use of the internet.

Play dough for younger children or have you seen the new Mix-up clay made by alphabet pie? It’s bouncy slime that can be mixed together to create different colours and creations. The air-dry clay is brilliant and makes absolutely no mess. The kit in the photo below includes everything you need to have fun and is available for children age 3+.

Take a few fidget spinners and squishes to help relieve some stress during your flight.

Small snacks that can be eaten slowly can help pass some time.

And of course super strong sleeping tablets for everyone..... only joking!

So here are a few ideas that can pass away some time, if you have any different ideas or know of any good portable games to add to this, please comment below.

Thank you for reading, the games in this post were sent to me for the purpose of review, as usual, all thoughts and opinions remain my own.


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