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Activities for Toddlers on Planes: Expert Work!

Activities for Toddlers on Planes: Expert Work!

Flight with toddlers is good if you are well-prepared in advance. Are you also looking for the best activities for toddlers on planes? Check out our list of items that you can pack.

  • Books.
  • Legos/Blocks.
  • Crayons.
  • Playdough.
  • Little cars and toys.
  • Stickers.
  • Wikki stix.
  • Travel-friendly puzzles.
  • Kids tablets and kid-sized headphones.
  • A whole bunch of snacks.
  • Magnetic games.
  • Your toddler’s favorite toy.

17 Best Activities for Toddlers on Airplanes!

Toddlers are energy-filled beings. They need constant outlets to release that magnanimous amount of energy. This is something that pressurizes the parents in routine life. Now, think about putting the toddlers in a restricted place say an Airplane! What do you think the situation will be!

Parents usually have to face many problematic issues when flying with toddlers. The toddlers may get cranky and frustrated. The air pressure can sicken them as well. What’s worse is the reaction of people around the parents. The constant judgments made on your parenting are likely to make you even more frustrated.

This is a time when parents should keep activities and items within their reach. This will keep the kids busy. They won’t disturb everyone on the plane with their shouting or tantrums. However, the question arises that how to entertain a 2-year-old on a plane! The key to success is to keep it as simple as is possible!

1. How books entertain toddlers?

Books are the best friends for human beings. This is also true for toddlers. Books present one of the best activities for toddlers on airplanes. However, it is important to choose the books according to the age and interest of the toddler. There are different types of books that parents can select.

  • Board books are an ideal choice for toddlers. They offer different varieties. For example, there are books on animals, colors, numbers, and many other areas too. It is good if you keep more than one board book, especially if your flight is longer. This is important because you can give different books at regular intervals. In this way, kids won’t get bored by a single book only. Also, the parents can discuss the pictures with the kids. This makes the kids relaxed that parents are giving them time.
  • Water wow books also present a good traveling choice for parents of toddlers. For example, Melissa and Doug Water Wow Bundle is a good choice for traveling purposes. These books have laminations on the pages and a water pen. When the kids moisten the paper with the water in the pen, the picture become visible. This is a fun activity for toddlers. Keep tissues and napkins with you because kids might need them while working on these books.
  • Flap books are also good choices when it comes to the domain of books. Even if the toddler cannot read, these flap books are very interesting. Only the images in the books are attractive enough to keep the toddlers entangled. Again there are different topics on which flap books are available. However, since they have some weight therefore pick what your toddler will like.
  • Quiet books also offer different ways to keep the toddlers busy on the planes. There are books that offer counting, zipping, braiding, lacing and many other activities as well. Kids can perform the tasks on these books on their own. In this way, parents are also relaxed. Most of these quiet books offer more than one activities. Hence, if kids get bored with one activity, they can easily move on to the next one as they can with deMoca Montessori Quiet Book.

2. How Legos/blocks entertain toddlers?

Every kid loves Legos and blocks. I have three kids of different ages. They all love to work on Legos and blocks for hours. Legos and blocks can bring out creativity and innovation far more than parents can imagine. When it comes to traveling on planes, Legos are also ideal as they weigh less.

Toddler airplane activities keep kids entertained in every long haul flight. Use the tray table on airplanes to place Legos and blocks. Legos are among the best travel toys that kids love a lot. This is true for both younger children and older children equally. A creative kid makes construction sites with the blocks.

The technique is simple: use a box container with a tight lid. Put Legos inside it and pack it firmly. One thing to remember is that Legos can easily be misplaced. Therefore, always keep a check on the quantity that you are packing. For the safer side, you can keep an extra bag with you. This will help if your toddler will need more pieces during the flight.

So, if you are going on a plane ride with young kids and you want to keep your toddler occupied, always take Legos/blocks with you. You’ll be surprised to see the imaginative play of your kids.

3. Why packing crayons is a must?

There is no second opinion in the likeness of toddlers towards coloring. All toddlers love to color. Crayons are the best coloring options for toddlers. So, get a pack of crayons for every toddler and put it in their bags. Keep some blank sheets of paper. That’s all it! It is pretty simple yet completely interesting.

If you want to add more sweetness to your toddler, print some free printable coloring pages as per your toddler’s likeness. They will definitely love coloring their favorite items, cartoon characters, or any other thing.

I used to keep such coloring items with me as my younger daughter is very fond of coloring. We usually opted for Crayola Princess Coloring Kit. The internet is full of websites that provide free printable coloring pages. This keeps kids occupied within the confined space of an airplane. Tantrums also lessen in this way, especially if this is the first flight of your child.

4. Should you keep play dough?

Now, this may seem to be tricky and a bit messy as well. Younger kids love play doughs and these among the best airplane activities for toddlers. But do the parents like them as well? Also, will the security officers allow you to take the play dough inside the plane? Once, all these answers turn out to be positive then play doughs can be an ideal item for parents.

Play doughs have the magical power to keep the toddlers quiet for hours and hours in a long haul flight. They get so entangled with the dough and its design that they forget about the world around them.

So if you want some quiet time and are not worried about cleaning the mess then you must go for play doughs. They are easily available at any dollar store. They will keep your toddler happy throughout the whole flight.

5. How Little cars and toys keep toddlers entertain?

Little toys provide a whole new world of entertainment to the toddlers on planes. There are many varieties of toys that you can choose from. Cars are universal favorites when it comes to boys. Even girls like them too. Toddlers can use the little cars in different ways. The arms of their seats, your seats, the tray table, and even legs and arms can be used as roads. Toddlers can play with them alone or they can share with their siblings as well.

activities for toddlers on planes
Plane flights are hectic for children!

Little toy cars save space and are also mess free. Kids keep them as their personal items. Playing with such toys also promote fine motor skills in children. So, if you are looking for toddler airplane activities for long haul flights, cars are your best friends in this regard.

Little airplane toys for toddlers also include small stuffed animals, animal figurines, dolls, and a whole lot of action figures. The list does not end here as the options are limitless. My little one likes to take dinosaurs when we fly. My girl goes for small dolls and even cute and tiny stuffed animals. The key is to watch for the weight of such toys to keep a child entertained.

6. Should I take stickers for my toddler on a flight?

When we talk about the favorite toddler airplane activities, stickers should also be included in the list in addition to travel toys. They are a form of mess free art for children. Toddler stage is a stage of exploration and innovation. Every idea a child comes up with is a brilliant idea. Stickers are a huge hit for both a road trip and long haul flights.

All my three kids are hard-core fans of stickers and sticker books, even the eldest one too. Just give them a pack of stickers. You’ll see their decorative abilities sooner. That is why I always prefer taking at least three sticker books with me. Toddlers can use the stickers on the book. They can also stick them on themselves and even on you. But the main point is that they’ll remain busy for a considerable time period during airplane travel.

You can purchase different types of stickers as per your toddler’s likeness. For example, Frozen is a real hit these days among girls. So, my little angel always prefers Anna and Elsa with her through the flight. Similarly, options for boys are also endless. Stickers tend to be reusable. Kids keep on sticking them and taking them off over and over again. So, if you are looking for ideal activities for toddlers on planes, try a sticker book.

7. Are wikki stix really good for keeping toddlers busy during a flight?

Toddlers love to create new things and wiki stix is a great idea for this. Just give them wiki stix during your next trip and they’ll be busy making different types of shapes. Even the older kids can indulge in this activity by making more complex shapes and objects. Wikkistix is waxy when they are new. However, the texture changes after being used by those tiny hands.

However, even then they can be used. Just put them in the hands of the toddlers while they are watching a movie. This will keep their hands busy. In this way, they won’t be poking each other, the flight attendants or the other passengers sitting next to them out of boredom.

All in all, wikki stix are considered as favorite airplane activities for many children, especially when the flights are of extended period. Using them falls under cheap ideas as they are not very costly. They are the best travel toys for keeping a toddler busy. For instance, you can take WikkiStix Travel Fun Pak with you on a flight.

8. How travel-friendly puzzles keep toddlers entertained on planes?

Taking care of the size of the puzzles is the key for making the right choices. Always go for the sizes that can fit easily in the travel tray. In this way, the toddler won’t be agitated due to lack of space. The pieces will also be less likely to fall down and disappear. This is a very good activity for toddlers on planes. It also improves the fine motor skills of children.

activities for toddlers on planes
Children like puzzles a lot!

Puzzles enhance the interest of the toddlers. They want to see what the final result will be. That is why their interest is maintained throughout the entire activity. This is what makes puzzles the best toddler airplane activities.

If your kid loves puzzles, you can carry two or three travel-friendly packs. You can also choose the packs that offer three varieties within them. You will be able to keep your toddler entertained and your long flights peaceful.

9. Are tablets and headphones good choices for toddlers on planes?

You’ll agree that technology has become an integral part of our lives today. Kids are no exception in this regard as well. Toddlers are at the developmental stage where they can understand certain aspects of technology quite well.

Although the facility of TV is available in the majority of flights. However, what will you do if there is none or if it is not working properly? A kids tablet is your backup plan in such instances. Screen time falls under good airplane activities for toddlers. But, they should be managed properly.

You can save your toddler’s favorite movies or games on the tablet. When nothing seems to work during your next trip, you can offer the tablet to them. The attractiveness of their favorite items will easily calm down for at least half an hour or even more than that. Just as tablets are important for backup, kid-sized headphones are also a must. The toddlers tend to be comfortable with the right size. The wireless option has made things even better for both toddlers and parents.

So, if you have two kids or even more and you are looking for great ideas about airplane activities for toddlers, utilize technology and enjoy yourself!

10. How snacks keep toddlers busy during a flight?

Now, this is something that has two benefits. The kids will be busy and their tummies will also get full. What else can be more promising within the domain of airplane activities for toddlers if you have a very hungry caterpillar with you on a plane.

Hunger is an important factor that irritates a toddler on planes, after boredom. Finger foods are the best choices when it comes to snacking on planes. They create less mess, are easy to handle, and are liked by toddlers too. You can also take such snacks that take more time to eat like Cheerios.

Being parents, we all know that snacking is the ultimate fun activity for kids. This is also true for older kids and even many adults as well. At least it is with me and my husband! So, we always pack different snacks in our travel bags.

Snacking presents the best activities for toddlers on planes without any doubt. For example, toddlers can make necklaces of gummies or candies and then eat them. Similarly, they can do stacking activities with cheerios or all the snacks.

Before packing for a flight, keep snacks on the top of your post it notes. In this way, you’ll never forget about them and your toddler will be happy during the flight too.

11. Why magnetic games are the best options for toddlers on planes?

There is a very simple and straight reason for choosing magnetic games: They are magnetic and therefore there are very less chances for them being scattered all around. Magnetic traveling games can be found in different versions. For example, you can choose magnetic board games such as tangrams or boards showing different pictures that you can fill such as Vanmor Travel Tangram Puzzle. Always go for sizes that will fit in the travel tray. But make sure that the toddler won’t swallow the pieces.

Then there are the magnetic drawing boards. They are easy to handle as the toddlers can draw whatever they want and erase it and the board is again available for the next drawing. All in all, this is a mess-free activity.

12. Packing your toddler’s favorite toy is the best approach during flights!

Last but not the least, always pack two or three favorite toys of your toddler in his or her backpack. Sometimes, toddlers become immediately calm when they see that their favorite toys are also going with them. Even if it is a stuffed or any type of toy they’ll simply hug him and start playing. This keeps their frustration at a bay as well. They even fall asleep while holding their favorite toys. What else can parents ask for a long flight of many hours!!!

Some pro tips for keeping your toddler entertained on planes!

Flying with toddlers can be quite intimidating. The attention span of toddlers tends to be short. they become bored easily and quite early. At the same time, they tend to be quite active most of the time due to excessive energy. Therefore, parents should learn about some pro tips on toddler airplane activities:

  • If you can, buy new toys and games while going on a flight. This is because new toys and games will keep them entertained and interested for longer time duration.
  • Keep regular intervals in presenting the toys or games to the toddlers. If you can wrap them up as a gift, then the impact will be even stronger. Curiosity will make such activities the best toddler airplane activities.
  • Always remember that toddler airplane activities are far better than static toys. So, pack such items that keep the toddlers busy in doing something meaningful.
  • Always focus on the games that take more time in completion. However, they should also be according to the age of the toddler. I have tried this with my three kids and they always love such toddler airplane activities.
  • For a change of taste, indulge toddlers in verbal games as well such as I Spy and others. In this way, they’ll think that you are spending time with them. Then, when they’ll be doing some activity they won’t disturb you much.


All in all, traveling with toddlers on planes is a thing that can be stress-free if parents understand their toddlers more and use more reasonable resources. There is no need for fancy, over-the-counter items. Keep it simple and you’ll see the results. Your children will love your planned toddler airplane activities a lot.

We would be very happy to hear from you on the comments sections of our Facebook page. You can also visit our Quora page. Feel free to leave your comments and queries about activities for toddlers on planes.

About The Author

Affaf Amjad

Having an MPhil in Applied psychology and being a mother of three kids, I have always tried to try and test different psychological interventions and approaches in the day-to-day routine of my kids. Sharing my results and effective strategies with parents around the globe is the my main aim as a writer.

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