EK has hired a noted boredom specialist (we did not know they exist either) from the University of Central Lancashire to help pax answer the dreaded “are we there yet?” question from their kids.
First, with the help of the airline, Dr. Mann developed a Child Boredom Quotient (CBQ), helping parents identify the exact moment their kids will get bored.
They studied of more than 2,000 parents of under 12’s alongside observations of children during their playtime. Then, (stay awake, this is the fun part) Dr. Sandi Mann categorized 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. ...zzzzz
Here are the findings: 2/3 of parents (that’s 64%) worry about entertaining their children and 43% express concern about their children disturbing other passengers. Children aged 3 – 4 are the most volatile. Bribery techniques such as giving out snacks (41%) 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%) even if they’re not allowed at home, handing out new toys (27%) to keep their tots happy or trying to tire out their children by running around the airport before boarding (16%).
Is it over yet? Open Jaw definitely needs to call Dr. Sandi, we’re bored to tears working through these percentages.
Finally, the doc created a guide for how to structure a plane journey for each age range. The idea is that by mixing these up and stopping an activity at the right time, boredom and restlessness will be minimised. Too late!
Passive – watching films, listening to music
Active – walking up and down the aisle, playing with a pack of cards
Creative – drawing, colouring books
Sensory – refreshments
Interactive – reading a storybook, chatting
Nina Slawek President
The visionary co-founder of Open Jaw, Nina handles everything at OJ from the purse-strings to the talented but eccentric staff. She is frequently spotted hobnobbing with industry leaders and making glamorous appearances in the Open Jaw TV Room.