Setup: 18 kids (ages 2-14) from 1995 America time travel to Ancient Egypt just before the Exodus. The MC knew this would happen (or thought she knew) and told people, but no one believed her. Now they're stuck there. At this point they're thinking (hoping) a few days, but it will turn out to be about 3 months.
It's the first morning after their arrival. They're all staying with Hebrew families in their village and it's time to have breakfast before going off to work. They've all had their adventure and a sleepover and they want to go home.
I'm not worried about the two youngest (2 and 5); they're with their respective siblings and, after some adjustment, will be okay. I'm also not worried about the 5 12 & 14 year olds; they are main/secondary characters and have their own worries, but are basically okay.
But I have 11 kids ages 7-11 who are freaking out.
Crying, tantrums, stupor, anger, fear, what have you. And not the kind of stuff you expect to pass in a couple of hours. Oh, they're having some adventure too but, most of the time, they're so over it. (And honestly, they don't even know if they'll ever see their parents or homes again; their emotional states are completely justified.)
I don't want to spend the next several chapters focusing on their emotions, but I don't want to handwave them away either. I can spend more time with the older characters and put the rest in the background, but I'm not sure where the balance is.
How do I honor their feelings and concerns without letting them take over the story? How do I acknowledge their reality while continuing to move my plot along?
P.S. One of the hallmarks of the Exodus story is all the adults who bitch and moan about how much better off they were being slaves in Egypt instead of wandering free in the desert. Bonus if you can tie these things together.