Games can help transform your flight into a memorable relationship builder for your family. Here are a few games that require little or no preparation and can involve everyone in the activities.
FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN
Are We There Yet? – Kids have probably been asking this since the days of the chariot. Just because you are traveling near Mach 1 in a high-performance Bombardier* jet does not mean your children will be immune. For this game, keep track with Airshow on your in-cabin monitor and celebrate when you have reached certain milestones. You can even give out age-appropriate treats or prizes at different intervals to keep them interested.
Who Stole the Cookie? – Start with the group beating out a slow rhythm, such as a clap then a slap knees. Someone starts by saying, ‘Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?’ in time to the rhythm, then says, ‘(Name) stole the cookie from the cookie jar.’ The person named says, ‘Who, me?’ and everyone responds, ‘Yes, you.’ The named person says, ‘Couldn’t be.’ Response: ‘Then who?’ Named person then names someone else by saying, ‘(Name) stole the cookie from the cookie jar,’ and you try to keep the game going to the rhythm. Once things are running smoothly, you can gradually speed it up and see how fast you can all go.
FOR OLDER CHILDREN
Who Am I Thinking Of? – A player thinks of something in an agreed-upon category – your relatives or attractions at your destination – and other family members ask questions to help solve the puzzle. The questions must have yes or no answers. Is it a man? Does he live in New York? Whoever guesses the relative gets to think of a new name for the others to guess. This is a variation on the old classic, 20 questions. You can open it up to categories other than a relative, and make it more interesting by limiting the number of questions to, say, 10 – or even fewer.
Heads in the Clouds – Make a game out of identifying the clouds you see en route. It can be interesting to make connections between altitudes during different phases of the flight and the clouds you can see out the cabin windows. There are a number of iPad apps that can help with the identification and explain how specific clouds are associated with different weather patterns.
FOR ALL AGES
Making Memories – Work together with your kids to make a travel journal. You could do this with pen and paper, or work on a mobile device such as an iPad. This is especially good for families with a wide range of ages, because each journal can be appropriate to the individual child. Or, you can all work together to make a single family journal. Added benefit: you all will have a memory record of your trip. They don’t have to be all writing. You can use drawings, photos, stickers (for paper journals) – let your imaginations run wild.
The Interview – Let one person imagine a favorite celebrity or fictional character. The rest of the family then pretends to be reporters at a press conference, taking turns asking questions to find out all you can about this interesting person. It is fun to think of different or compelling questions, and it challenges the person being interviewed to come up with answers. You can be serious or silly. Or both.