How to keep children entertained on long journeys.

Last year we went on our first flight as a family of four with two children who needed entertaining. The year before the girl had been too young so simply slept on the flight. No such luck last year though! However, I went to the airport prepared. For both children I packed a special small bag, with treats and toys they had never seen before. They were special bags which were only to be opened once we were on the flight.

This year we have already been on one long journey, a five hour trip on a train to London, and we are off to France on a flight this week. Here is what I have bought the children for the journey to keep them entertained.

They each have a sticker book and they also have one to share. We will see if that happens! They also have some finger puppets to play with. I chose a small new toy each for them. In this case, they have a couple of Moshi Monsters. I think they squeak which, in retrospect, is possibly a bad idea. The other passengers may not thank me for those! The final thing in their bags are a packet of 'sweets' each. These are fruit stars which they very rarely get, but will love as a special treat.

The main thing I find is that they shouldn't open the bags until they are settled on the plane. This way you get at least twenty minutes of excitement purely based on what is in their bag. What I have bought for them should easily keep them busy for a couple of hours, as long as we take the sticker books slowly! As long as they can keep quiet (ish) and not cry then I will be happy with the result.

When we return from France, I shall do the same, stocking up on some French goodies for the flight home. Again, I will buy a small toy for the pair of them and maybe a magazine. It doesn't matter that it will be in French, it should still keep them entertained!

What do you do for long journeys? How do you keep your kids occupied?