Parents say stationery is best to keep children entertained on flights

What do you give YOUR child to play with on a plane? Over half of parents shun gadgets and name stationery as the best way to keep children entertained on a flight

  • Survey quizzed 1,500 British parents on best ways to keep children occupied 
  • Only 27% said it was by using an iPad and 10% added it was giving out sweets
  • 69% of parents said they worry about the journey when booking a holiday

Over half of parents say stationery is the best way to keep children entertained on a flight, a study has found.

The research showed that those travelling with young ones are shunning electronic gadgets, with 57 per cent saying they won’t board a plane without notebooks, pencils and crayons.

This compared to 27 per cent of parents who say they must take an iPad for their children and 10 per cent who bring sweets or chocolate.

A new study has found that over half of parents say stationery is the best way to keep children entertained on a flight

A new study has found that over half of parents say stationery is the best way to keep children entertained on a flight

The study of 1,520 parents of children under five was conducted by family travel firm Tots to Travel, which asked what influenced their decision when booking a holiday, with the length of journey and worry about how to keep their child entertained during a flight emerging as key factors.

Sixty nine per cent of British parents said that they worry about the journey when booking a holiday, and almost a third (31 per cent) would not consider flying for over three hours with their children.

One in 10 British parents are more adventurous – they stated they would take their child on a flight up to nine hours.

The research showed that flight time is a driving force in deciding the ideal destinations for UK parents depending on the age of their children, with all of the top-ranking destinations coming in less than a five-hour flight away.

For under ones, the most popular destination is France while for those between one and two it is Spain.

A UK holiday is most popular for parents with children aged two to three, while three to four-year-olds are most likely to go to Italy, according to the survey.

In addition, the most popular destination for four to five-year-olds is Greece, the study shows.

Meanwhile, other findings suggest that UK parents are happy with the service on offer from the busiest UK airports.

A table showing the most popular destinations for parents to take their children, depending upon their age

A table showing the most popular destinations for parents to take their children, depending upon their age

Eighty one per cent of parents rate UK airports ‘good’ for travelling with children. The highest-ranking airport is Glasgow (85 per cent) and the lowest is Newcastle (72 per cent).

The majority of British parents (56 per cent) said they wouldn’t want to go on holiday in temperatures over 25 degrees.

However, there are almost one million sun starved UK parents (five per cent) who would happily take their family to temperatures up to 35 degrees.

Child behavioural expert Richard Daniel Curtis said: ‘Children under the age of five need to be stimulated and given opportunities to move throughout a journey.

‘Whilst you may get quick wins from using technology to entertain them at this age, this is often short-lived as the children start to experience eye-strain, lack of movement and secondary behaviours. These secondary behaviours include things like not answering a parent, being frustrated, irritability and rudeness.

‘Having a selection of hand-held engaging non-technology-based activities are far more suitable for travelling for more than 30 minutes.

‘Food, toys or tech are all time-limited activities, whereas pens and paper can provide infinite opportunities for entertainment.’ 

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