THE EDIT • August 2022
Looking to avoid the dreaded “Are we there yet?” without resorting to the iPad? These non-digital toys and games for kids of all ages will make time fly on your next plane journey. We’ve even thrown in a couple for adults for good measure. From mess-free art to classic board games gone compact, Agatha Zarzycki rounds up the best of offline, in-flight fun
Create 3D art using only these sculpting sticks – similar to pipe cleaners – and your tray table. Made from vibrant yarn and wax (the friendly kind used in bubble gum), all that’s needed is light fingertip pressure for them to stick on any smooth service. Plus, they peel off easily, so there’s no need to fuss about mistakes. Think cute clothes, daring dinosaurs and tactile learning.
Ages 3+, wikki-stix.co.uk
Watch your little adventurers' eyes light up as their pictures come to life in stunning rainbow colours. Simply push the sketching tool over the black screen to let the imagination run wild. The best part? The drawing board is reusable, so kids can doodle to their heart’s content. Not to mention it makes for a fun educational tool for practising handwriting and maths.
Ages 4+, hamleys.com
Invented in China, these two-dimensional puzzles won’t just fascinate budding jetsetters, but will help their spatial and visual problem-solving skills, too. Cut a square into seven geometric pieces called tans and arrange them into fun objects, from lions to flowers and rockets. You can even personalise this one. Tip: cut out the pieces before your flight or bring craft scissors that are under six centimetres long.
Ages 6+, tinyme.co.uk
You can’t go wrong with the classics, and though the original board game isn’t ideal for a flight, that doesn’t mean you can’t score New York Avenue from the sky. This small and simplified version has 110 cards, including action cards that let you charge rent and make sneaky deals. The first player to collect three property card sets wins – in as little as 15 minutes.
Ages 8+, waterstones.com
Even older than chess, backgammon is a game of strategy and luck from ancient Mesopotamia that both older kids and parents can enjoy. Usually a bulkier (albeit beautiful) board game, this roll-up cotton version is light, compact and stylish. It’s even packaged in a dust bag that’s great for travel. See if you can bear off all 15 pieces before in-flight snacks commence.
Ages 12+, notanotherbill.com
This question game for adults (kids shouldn’t have all the fun) aims to build meaningful connections, and what better time than on a long-haul flight? Dig a little deeper with the original edition, which explores players’ backgrounds, values and views on important issues, or get the Happy Hour Edition to talk about memories and dreams. Bonus: each one comes in a pretty pocket-sized box.
Check out our new Skyflyers Kids Lounges at Heathrow this summer, and – just maybe – spy our mascots Peggy and Leon in Gatwick departures. To find out more, click here