No matter how well behaved your children are, sometimes you worry about arriving in one piece and maintaining your sanity during your flight. It can be a challenge to keep active minds occupied during a day of air travel. What if they act up, or spend the whole flight screaming? What if you land more frazzled than ready for fun?
Ulla Luukkonen, Product Manager, Food, Souvenirs and Toys at WDFG Helsinki, suggests these in-flight toys and souvenirs to delight – and distract – active children. Items are available at Duty Free stores at T1, T2 Schengen and T2 Non-Schengen.
1. Moomin soft toys
The beloved Finnish literature characters were created by the Swedish-speaking Finnish writer and artist Tove Jansson in the 1940s. Seven decades on, they’re still going strong.
Cuddly toys made to resemble the inhabitants of Moominvalley are perfect for kids under 7. But these souvenirs are also popular among adults; Asian passengers are known buy them as presents.
2. Lego sets
In an age of iPads, the humble Lego brick has not only endured – it has survived to become a top toy among children.
Duplo is a product range designed for children 1½ to 5 years old. Lego set themes, such as Star Wars and Minecraft, meanwhile, appeal to individuals of all ages. As long as you’re attracted by the idea of building things with colorful bricks and minifigures, Lego is for you.
3. Afrikan tähti
The Finnish board game was created in 1949 by then 19-year-old Kari Mannerla. He was inspired by stories of the world’s largest diamond, the Star of Africa, after which the game was named. There's one in almost every home in Finland.
The main objective is to find the legendary stone. The board covers the continent of Africa, with famous cities marked as big red circles, and with routes consisting of small black circles connecting them. Players can start their exploration from either Cairo, Egypt or from Tangiers, Morocco, and a race begins when someone finds the Star of Africa.
When flipping tokens, players can end up with lesser gemstones, a robber stealing their money and slowing their progress, or nothing at all. The winner is the one who reaches Cairo or Tangier first, delivering either the diamond or a horseshoe.
The travel version easily fits on an airplane tray table, providing fun for the entire family – especially those with children over the age of 4.
4. Moomin playing cards
This pack of 52 normal-sized playing cards makes kid-friendly games such as Memory, Go Fish or Crazy Eights even more enjoyable. Sometimes we forget that a simple pack of cards, portable and adaptable, is one of the easiest ways that families can while away the hours.
5. Moomin drawing board
Recommended for ages 3 years and up, this educational toy allows mess-free doodling on the go. Features such as easy grips, a slide eraser and a tethered pen are made for smaller hands.
Read about how Helsinki Airport makes travelling easier for families with children here.