So we finally went on our much anticipated long haul flights with Mr 5 and Miss 3. The kids used their travel trays once in an airplane (at my request) and once in the airport to keep beads contained, but really they would have been happy without them. Travel with a 5 and 3 year old is definitely different to a few years younger.
But on the upside... The trays fitted well, and worked well. If the kids hadn't had so much great video-on-demand they probably would have got a better work out.
We ended up buying a couple of tablets, and really between them, the in flight entertainment and the free flight activity book handouts, we could have flown with one other activity book per child, and had enough to do. Still the kids enjoyed the goody bags full of sticker books small beads and chenille sticks.
So my top tips for flying with a 3 and 5 y/o:
1. Expect no sleep. Any sleep you do get is a fantastic bonus.
2. Take a couple of slices of plain bread (or something similar that your child likes) in case the meals are just not enticing enough.
3. Take a small bag of gummy bears for the whole family to use in moments of impending meltdowns (they take a little longer to chew, but are still small).
4. Take spare clothes for kids and parents for any orange juice accidents or similar.
5. Take a tablet loaded with as many apps as you can find.
6. Bring a book for yourself. You can be sure if there is one in-flight TV screen not working, you'll be persuaded to swap so that you're the one without a screen.
7. Bring headphones for the kids that fit them and stay on. We used ones we had originally bought for their leapsters.
8. Empty the kids' water bottles out before you reach the x-ray point so you're not encouraged to skull the whole bottle.
Top android apps for 3 y/o girl:
1. Anything from Dr Panda
2. Fairy dress ups
3. Angry birds
4. Cut the rope
5. Cooking games
Top Apps for 5 y/o boy:
1. Cannon bash
2. Cut the rope
3. Bad Piggies
4. Flow free
5. Unblock car
Top Apps to play together:
6. Tap play