Keeping Toddlers Entertained on Long Plane Rides

With so many people traveling over the holidays, there has been a lot of talk about how to entertain young kids on planes or in airports waiting. It is difficult to pack too much entertainment in our carry-ons, we only have so much space! I feel ya. 

My sons are super active, distracted and energetic. Keeping them content and happy on planes, while keeping everyone else’s sanity around us can be a challenge (they are lucky there are also cute and charming!). For our two boys (1.5-3.5 years of age) – these are some of my top go-to plane packed entertainment items! 

  1. Miniature play doh 
  2. Water Wow Booklets
  3. Water Painting Graffiti Book Cards
  4. Magnetic Drawing Board
  5. Reusable Sticker Books
  6. Miniature Animal Set
  7. Mini Magnetic Building Tiles
  8. Wax Sticks
  9. Rainbow Magic Paper 
  10. Crayola Magic Paper and Markers
  11. Kids headphones
  12. Kids iPad Case

The above suggestions are pretty gender neutral, but depending on your child’s interest, you could throw in some simple things like miniature trucks or cars, miniature princesses, or a small craft kit.    

Keep in mind that some of the items I listed above are really not intended for kids under 3 years old because of their size. I keep a close eye on my kids while they play with things that can fit in their mouth, like a miniature Penguin. If you don’t feel comfortable having to do so, steer like of my suggestions on miniature unless your child is the right age for it. 

To organize my games, toys, markers, etc. I use slightly thinner reusable clear bags so I can see all the items well and organize them standing up in my bag. Options vary but I like these smaller ReZip bags or these larger one. I also I like to use the ‘airport security’ bags which are a little chunkier and even more clear.

When our babes were younger, my top entertainment items for long plane rides were less self-entertaining but we did what we had to do. Some suggestions below.

  1. Animal Soft Baby Socks Toys Wrist Rattles
  2. Small, not annoying, rattles
  3. Silicon Chew Toys 
  4. Infant Board Book
  5. Infant Soft Book
  6. A multi-sensory buddy
  7. Something to spin/move
  8. Something to hang on the car seat

I always advise people to stay away from toys and games that make noise for the sake of those around you.