Emirates reveal secret to keeping kids entertained on the plane.

-A Monitor Report 25 Oct, 2017 | 1002 Views|-+



Emirates Airlines has revealed the secret to
keeping kids entertained on the plane. The carrier has launched the ‘Child
Boredom Quotient’ –to help parents work out exactly when their kids will get
bored and what to do about it.

A research in this
regard was conducted on behalf of Emirates, in June 2017. Data was secured via
an online survey and the sample consisted of 2,006 UK parents with children between
the ages of 0 – 12 who have been on a plane.

According to the
study young flyers will take just 49 minutes and 47 seconds to ask the dreaded,
‘’are we nearly there yet?’’ so with parents battling the boredom threshold,
Emirates teamed up with Dr Sandi Mann, a psychologist and boredom specialist at
the University of
Central Lancashire to
find a solution.

Dr Mann has worked
with the airline to create the Child Boredom Quotient (CBQ), helping parents
identify the exact moment their kids will get bored so they can enjoy stress-free

The study of more
than 2,000 UK parents of under 12s alongside observations of children during
their playtime helped Dr Sandi Mann categorise activities into Active (A),
Passive (P), Interactive (I), Creative (C) or Sensory (S) to formulate the CBQ,
and ultimately help parents mix the perfect blend of activities to catch
boredom before it sets in.

The findings which
also saw two thirds of parents (64 per cent) worry about entertaining their
children and 43 per cent expressing concern about their children disturbing
other passengers, found little travellers aged 3 – 4 to be the most volatile.
Bribery techniques such as giving out snacks (41 per cent) in exchange for good
behaviour were often used just to keep the peace. Other tried and tested
methods of distraction for parents include employing electronic devices (33 per
cent) even if they’re not allowed at home, handing out new toys (2 per cent per
cent) to keep their tots happy or trying to tire out their children by running
around the airport before boarding (16 per cent).

Dr Sandi Mann,
psychologist and boredom specialist, University
of Central Lancashire
comments: “Parents of children aged 3-4 will start to find that this is when
their children are physically very active, gaining independence and when they
need more sophisticated things to entertain them than they did when they were

For instance, the
‘electronic babysitter’ whilst popular for a flight may not work for all age
groups and parents of younger children will find that they have less attention
span for this than older ones. Breaking up this passive activity for active or
creative ones will stop children becoming bored, restless and disruptive.’’

However, it’s not
just bribery that parents resort to when travelling with their children on a
plane. An honest 7 per cent revealed that they simply try to relax with an eye
mask to block out the disturbance.

When engaging in an
activity on board, films are the most popular for keeping children occupied
from around 40 minutes for the youngest age group (0-2) to 1 hour 45 minutes
for the oldest (11-12). This is followed by games either on a smart device or
on the inflight entertainment system (keeping kids occupied from 30 minutes for
the youngest to 1.5 hours for the oldest).

Meanwhile, creative
pursuits such as drawing was the most popular until age 9 when quizzes and
puzzles become more engaging. Colouring and sticker books have most appeal to
the younger ages.

Dr Sandi Mann further
comments: ‘’Very young children don’t need very sophisticated toys for a plane
journey and will be most amused by things in the environment – including people
and of course their parents. For example, this could be ‘I Spy’ whilst, regular
walks up the aisle are good for toddlers for exercise and for pre-toddles to
change the visual environment. Don’t forget singing and interactive games like
peekaboo are also great.

Older children can be
given simple materials like notebooks and pens, puzzle books and comics. Ensure
that they take breaks every so often to walk up and down the plane and try to
restrict the passive viewing just like you might at home. Don’t be afraid of
them being bored as left to their own devices with a few basic materials, they
will find creative ways to engage their brains.’’

Jade Cobbs, Emirates
Cabin Supervisor, comments: “We understand that parents often dread the idea of
travelling on a long-haul flight with bored children.

However, parents need
not wait until the boredom alarm sets off. Whether it’s utilising the Cabin
Crew to provide your kids with activity packs to watching the family friendly
TV shows and movies on Emirates’ ice entertainment system, families can avoid
the boredom threshold via some pre-prepared activities, interactive games or
inflight entertainment.’’

Dr Sandi Mann has
created a suggested guide for how to structure a plane journey for each age
range. The activities are categorised as Active (A), Passive (P), Interactive
(I), Creative (C) or Sensory (S) and the idea is that by mixing these up and
stopping an activity at the right time, boredom and restlessness will be

Passive – watching
films, listening to music

Active – walking up
and down the aisle, playing with a pack of cards

Creative – drawing,
colouring books

Sensory –

Interactive – reading
a storybook, chatting

The CBQ tables are
attached as well as a guide to Emirates' top tips for travelling with children.

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