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Brilliant Toddler Plane Activities That Will Keep Them Busy!

Genius Toddler Airplane Activities

Keeping toddler entertained on plane may be surprising difficult, especially on a long-haul flights. They don’t have enough space to run around, so they are often fussy. On the other hand, you are tired too, and all you are dreaming about is to take a nap or watch a movie. Let’s face it- it’s not easy for everyone. However, if you think about toddler plane activities before embarking, the entire travel may be surprisingly pleasant.

I’ve beentraveling with Mia since she was 2 months old and sometimes I really miss the time when all I needed to do was breastfeeding, changing the diaper, and putting her to sleep! Traveling with toddler is definitely more challenging but still, it’s worthwhile. At the end of the day, all we have left is our memories. Showing your kids the world is the most precious gift you can give them.

Anyway, let’s get back to the activities for kids on a plane. They are all tested by us. We recently took 24 hour-long journey from Europe to Thailand. Mia wasn’t crying even once. It’s all because of these interesting toddler plane activities!

Travel Entertainment For Toddlers Tips

Looking for travel activities for toddlers on a plane? This post will be helpful to you!

One Activity For Every Half Hour Of A Trip

If you want to plan your toddler plane activities right, you need to prepare one interesting thing to do for every half an hour of a journey.

Babies get bored fast, so don’t expect your kid to happily play with one toy throughout the flight. The longer the trip, the more activities you need to prepare.

Get Them Tired Before The Flight

The worst thing that you can do is to give your kid tablet to play before getting on a plane. Save it for later! When you are in a duty-free zone, let your child run, jump, and have fun!

The more tired the kids get, the calmer they will be during a flight. Plus, there is a great chance, they will take a nap. Most travel activities for toddlers on a plane requires sitting, so be sure your kiddo will take enough exercises before.

Stay Calm

Children can feel all the emotions, even before they learn how to speak and express themselves. If you stay calm, your kid will probably be calm as well.

Don’t get nervous, don’t scream, try to be relaxed no matter what.

How To Entertain A Toddler On A Plane?

Give Them Small Gifts

It can either be something brand new or their old, small toy (for example farm animal). The point is to pack it carefully before the travel.

Wrap it up with paper, put it into plastic bag, then place it into the small cartoon. The point is to keep toddler busy on plane, so the more unwrapping, the better.

All kids love kinder surprise. Why? Because they don’t know what’s inside and they can’t wait to find out. You can do something similar for your toddlers before travel. Then give them these small gifts every time they will start being fussy. 

If you don’t feel like doing it all by yourself, you can buy surprise eggs on Amazon.

Tell Them A Story

There are many toddler plane activities to keep your kid entertained.

It can be a story about anything- their favorite cartoon character or you can come up with something completely new.

My tip is to tell your kids a story about… themselves. 

Once upon a time there was a very brave little girl/boy
She/he was starting a big adventure with her parents.
They woke up early in the morning, getting ready to get on the plane

It’s working surprisingly well. You can tell your toddler about the people you met on your way, and also emphasize how brave and polite your kid is. Parents’ words have great power, so be sure to encourage your toddler to behave well.

Have Fun With The Sticker Book

Whoever invented stickers, this person must have been a genius! They are one of the best airplane toys for toddlers. Why? Because they are light, small, and make no noise!

My baby girl can play with them for hours, in contrary to every other toy that she has.

You can either buy just stickers or sticker books. I recommend the second option. The kid can stick them to the clothes, table tray, or simply to the book where they belong.

Here are my daughter’s favorite stickers:

Playing hide and seek is one of the toddler airplane activities.

Play Hide And Seek With Toys

Hide and seek is one of the best games for kids of all ages. You can’t actually play it in a plane, however, the toys can do it!

The rules are quite simple: each of you takes one toy. For example you take the doll and your baby takes the piggie.

The doll is counting to ten and the piggie needs to hide somewhere (under the blanket, inside the backpack, etc.).

Everything works exactly the same as with the standard hide and seek game. The only exception is that the toys are hiding, not you!

Give Them A Massage (With Nursery Rhymes)

Toddler massage is a brilliant idea for a long-haul flight.

Long journey may be quite stressful, that’s why one of the best toddler plane activities is to give them a massage. There are many awesome nursery rhymes that will help you with it. Here are some examples:

Criss Cross (draw a large cross on baby’s back)
Apple Sauce (draw vertical lines down baby’s back along spine)
Spiders crawling up your back (tickle up the spine)

Cool Breeze (blow against baby’s cheek)
Tight Squeeze (Cuddle)
And now you’ve got the shivers! (tickle)

With arms and legs:

Open, close them, open, close them; don’t get in a muddle
Open, close them, open, close them; give yourself a cuddle!

With circular movements:

Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear.

I guarantee that your kid will love it. If you wonder how to entertain toddlers on a plane when they get bored of all the toys, a nice massage may be a life-saver.

PRO TIP: You can then play that your kid is giving a massage to his/her favorite toy.

Make A Pretend Play Hospital

Most kids LOVE pretending that they are doctors. Hospital role play is one of the best plane activities for 2 year old, 3 year old, 4 year old, and even older children!

Depending on what will you pack for this trip, the patient may be you, your kid, or one of the toys. Be sure to bring band-aids. If you want you can take the entire doctor kit. However, you will be just fine using the things that you will on a plane. A napkin may be a blanket, plastic spoon may be a tongue depressor, etc. 

Be creative! It’s one of the most important things to remember while planning airplane entertainment for toddlers.

Play With The Window Gel Clings

One of the best way to entertain toddler on plane for up to 1 hour! Kiddo can place the clings on the window and everywhere around.

In contrary to traditional stickers, the clings are reusable and they leave no residue.

Don’t Forget About Snacks

Still wonder how to keep toddler entertained on plane? Be sure to bring snacks. Regardless of age, every toddlers can grab something in hands and eat by themselves. It will keep them busy for a while.

Be sure to bring enough snacks to keep toddler busy on plane.

I don’t recommend bringing chocolate or anything that contains loads of sugar. Instead, pack healthy snacks such as:

Use Disposable Cups To Play Games

Don’t throw the disposable cups and cutlery away. You can use it for many games!

Here are some of them:

  • hiding the toys inside
  • squeezing and pressuring to hear the funny sounds
  • putting them on hands or feet and pretending that they are Mr Cups
Cleaning is one of the travel activities for 2 year olds.

See What’s Outside The Window

One of the airplane activities for 2 year old+ is talking about what’s outside.

You can put the window shade down to pretend that it’s a night and you are sleeping.

Put it up again to pretend that you just woke up.

Talk about the shapes of the clouds.

Ask your baby what else can can be seen there (birds, other planes, maybe Santa Claus?)

Clean All Surfaces Together

Gems are everywhere on the plane. Most of you probably clean everything by yourself. Next time, ask your kids to help you!

Give them the sanitizing wipes and clean all surfaces around you together. It’s not only a way to entertain toddler on plane but also a great opportunity to give them a lesson about hygiene.

Have fun with your baby on a plane!

Make Funny Faces

Aeroplane activities for toddlers doesn’t need to be boring! Have some fun with your kid and make funny faces together.

Show your baby that you are sad and ask him/her to do the same. Do it again with a happy or angry face.

It’s not only a great opportunity for you two to laugh together but it’s also a pretty interesting lesson about the emotions.

Your kids will learn how to name their feelings- it will be pretty helpful throughout the upcoming travel.

Read Books

It’s one of the best travel activities for toddlers, especially when the kid is sitting on your lap. You can read together! Be sure to choose the colorful books, the more details, the better.

The absolute bests are lift-flap books that allows your kids to engage and search for something interesting by themselves. Here are the recommended lift-flap books:

Toddler watching cartoons on a plane.

Watch Cartoons

Save this one of the most obvious toddler plane activities for later. When your kid will be watching the cartoons, you will have a chance to relax a bit.

Even though most aircrafts provide on-board entertainment for kids, I thinks it’s better to take your own tablet. You can download your child’s favorite apps before- that’s why you can be sure he/she will like it.

Mia’s favorite cartoons are Dave & Ava. This app works offline, which is pretty helpful on a plane.

Draw or Paint

How to keep toddler busy on plane? Let them draw or paint!

All the kids LOVE it, however it may be quite challenging to carry the crayons and paper on board. There are some brilliant travel solution for that though:

Water Wow Books

The best part of these books is that they are small, no-mess, and light. All you need to have is a little bit of water that you pour into the special pen. Your kid is coloring the book with it.

When the painting is drying out, the colors are fainting. Then all the colors disappear and the book is ready to use again. It’s quite brilliant, as it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes for the painting to dry out completely. These are our favorite water wow books:

Wipe Off Books

In contrary to water wow books, your kids can draw and paint their own shapes in wipe off books.

The big disadvantage is that they can get dirty. However, if you choose dry erase crayons, you probably won’t have this problem. Here are some of my daughter’s favorite wipe off books: 

Doodle Board

My personal favorite! One small and light board is enough to keep toddler busy on plane for a long time. It doesn’t require any additional accessories and your kid won’t get dirty for sure. Here are some of the best doodle boards for travel:

Modern technology may be a live-saver during a long-haul flight,

iPad Games And Apps

The simplest answer to the question on how to keep a toddler entertained on a plane is to use modern technology.

Bring your own tablet with games and fun apps. Some that we use are:

Make A Puppet Theatre

The thing I love the most about finger puppets it’s that they are small, light, cheap, and kids love them.

Playing with puppets is one of my favorite toddler airplane activities. With a little bit of imagination, keeping toddler entertained on plane for a long time won’t be a problem.

Finger puppets come in different shapes and colors. My recommendation for the kids up to 4 years is to choose animals like these:

Exercise The Brains With Toddler Brain Teasers

You can’t really do physical exercises on a plane, however you can always stretch your brain!

I find Brain Quests one of the best airplane activities for toddlers. The kids love solving the problems and learning new things. These little books will definitely keep toddler busy on plane for a while:

Not Recommended Toddler Plane Activities And Things To Do

Bring Tiny, Loud, and Messy Toys

I don’t recommend bringing small toys on board. They are easy to lose- you don’t want your kids to start crying because they can’t find their favorite plaything.

You also shouldn’t bring loud or messy toys onboard to make sure your kid will stay clean throughout the flight and the other passengers won’t hate you. Here are some of the toys that you shouldn’t take with you:

  • lego
  • play-doh
  • any interactive toy

Drug Your Baby To Stay Calm

I think it’s a terrible, terrible idea to drug your babies in order to keep them calm. Some parents use Benadryl that will make the child sleepy.

Don’t do it! Kids need to stay conscious to learn what it is to travel. They should take their time to adjust to the changing environment. Be a responsible parent and let your kid go through it consciously. Teaching your child that the pill is a solution to all of their problems is the worst lesson you can give them.

Have a question? Join our Family Travel Support Facebook group, we will be happy to help you!

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how to entertain a toddler on a plane

Did you enjoying reading this post about toddler plane activities? Do you know any other ways on how to entertain a toddler on a plane? Share your thoughts in comments!

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We are Karolina, Patryk, and Mia, the lazy traveling family. After spending 5 years as digital nomads, and living in many countries in the world, we decided to make Poland our base.

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