This is a collaborative post.
Having your flight delayed can be extremely irritating and dull, particularly if it is for more than a few hours. However, it can be even more difficult if you have children with you as they are likely to get bored much more quickly than you! Although, as a parent, you are probably an expert at entertaining your child, when you are at an airport, with limited choices, it can be much more difficult.
Walking around the airport should keep the children amused for a while. There are usually lots of people, coloured luggage and shops to see, which means that it can be quite entertaining. Walking will also tire them out a bit, which could mean that they may have a nap or at least be less energetic once you actually get to board the plane. If they are grouchy it can be nicer for other people if you are moving around, rather than in one spot and annoying those people sitting right next to you!
Try to find other children for them to play with
You may find that there are other children around that are also having to wait around due to the delay. If this is the case then you could see whether they all want to play together. Sharing any toys that you have with you or just being able to chat and be together could help them to stay occupied for a while.
There are usually a lot of shops in airports and wandering around these can pass the time. Just browsing and looking at the items they have for sale can be fun and you do not have to buy anything. Of course, there is the possibility that you might find some things to buy that will keep the children amused.
Watch the planes
A lot of children really enjoy watching planes and so you can take the opportunity to spend a long time looking out of the windows and watching them. There are games that you can play, seeing who is the first to spot a plane coming in, looking at the different types of planes and different airlines etc. You may even be able to watch the luggage going on and off and spot different colour bags and things like that.
Go to a café
Children can be much harder work if they are hungry or thirsty and so taking them to a café can not only help to give them something to do but should also help their mood improve if they are not hungry or thirsty. Children tend to take a long time to eat and drink as well so it can help to pass quite a significant amount of time.
Paper crafts – drawing/colouring/modelling
Lots of games can be difficult, not only to carry around when you are travelling but also to find room to play. However, if you have paper and a pen, then you can set up all sorts of games for them. They can draw, you can draw things for them to colour or you can make shapes out of the paper. If you do not have any, then you may be able to ask the staff at the check-in counters etc to see whether they have any.
It is good to be prepared for a delay anyway. Hopefully, you will not have too large a delay, but it is good to be prepared for the worst. Make sure that you have some things with you that you know will help them be entertained. For older children, a mobile device could be enough to keep them entertained for hours but make sure that they are charged and that you have some batteries with you as even if you have chargers, there may not be anywhere to plug them in. If they do not have their own, then you could let them use yours. Books can also be a good entertainment for some children too. A pack of cards are also a good item to take as you can play a lot of different games with it and it is small so will not take up too much room in your luggage. The packs can also be bought cheaply, meaning that if you lose cards or the whole pack, it will not be too much money lost.
Obviously what works for you will very much depend on your child. However, choosing a variety of different things to do to pass the time is likely to be better for them.
Disclosure – This is a collaborative post. For more information, see my disclosure page.