Things For Kids To Do On A Plane | Child Travel Tips
See All Articles,  Things To Do,  Tips & Tricks

Things For Kids To Do On A Plane

So you’ve managed to make it through the airport, and you’ve boarded the plane, congrats! If you haven’t seen my tips for getting through the airport and take-off with ease check out my article here How To Travel With The Kids – Airport & Take-Off

Now, that you’re on your way, there are so many things that kids can do to occupy their time on a long trip. Whether you’re looking for things for kids to do on a plane, or entertaining kids on a road trip. I’ve narrowed this list down to some of my favorites, try these and I’m sure your kids will remember how fun it was to ride on an airplane.

When planning your activities, I recommend taking out one item at a time. When one activity is put away, bring out the next. Handing the kids everything at once may result in them losing interest much faster; be the keeper of the fun, be the curator of the next great idea, and if you can, keep them wondering what’s coming next.

Pack Crayons, But Not Just Any Old Crayons

Crayons may seem like a no-brainer, it’s true, but I wanted to mention them anyway because once you pack crayons, you’ll realize the regular ones are NOT great for a moving car or plane, if you can buy triangle shaped crayons your days of crayons rolling off trays and laps will (mostly) be over! Square, stackable crayons are a great option, too!


Wikki Sticks Activities!

I think all kids (and probably most parents), have a great time playing and creating with Wikki Sticks or Pipe Cleaners…since I’m not sure how pipe cleaners would go over with airport security, I’d opt for Wikki Sticks if you’re flying. They seem completely innocuous to me but TSA may not agree. Better safe than sorry!


Yep, band-aids. Young kids can’t get enough, seriously. My son has at least two non-existent wounds being covered by band-aids at all times, he will gladly open every band-aid in a box if given the okay. A little messy but totally harmless; band-aids definitely give expensive toys that develop motor skills a run for their money.

Liquids rule!

Snacks are a great distraction but if you’re traveling by air don’t forget the liquids rule. I’d rather save my liquids for hygiene products and pack dry snacks like goldfish crackers, cheerios or trail mix.

Surprise Gift Ideas

Wrap some cheap toys for the kids, you won’t be sorry!

I love bringing surprizamals or little transformer toys to break out in moments of extreme boredom. I’m sure you’ll enjoy brainstorming surprise gift ideas of your own.

Have You Tried One Of These?

The 20 questions toy is an oldie and a goody. It’s a little portable electronic trinket that typically has a key ring attached is so much fun! I remember my niece getting one for Christmas about 15 years ago and every kid and adult in the house had a go at it. Eerily accurate, you’ll have a lot of fun trying to stump this toy!

Wipe-Clean Books

Activity books that wipe clean can be found in a variety of styles with activities suitable for all ages.

Find-It Games

Find it games like the classic Where’s Waldo books are an entertaining group activity for kids and parents seated next to each other.

Magnetic Board Games

Magnetic board games are great, they have magnetic board games that convert and with several games all-in-one. Very handy to have on any trip.

Origami Crane


Getting a book to learn origami is great fun for older kids, and maybe even you! I bought one for my mother when she was in the hospital that came complete with an assortment of pretty paper. If you or your child are crafty, you can’t go wrong with this bring along.

Alternate Activity Type

If you can keep the kids from getting too bored you’ll avoid the tantrums that inevitably ensue. It’s nice to try to alternate between solo and group activities. Maybe the kids color by themselves and then you do a find-it book together. Then they solo play with a toy or book then you play a magnetic board game with them; if it’s all solo play it’ll get boring. And once interests in the activities you’ve gathered and brought along wanes, you can break out your Kindle or other tablet and let the kids zone out a bit.

I sincerely hope this list helps spark some ideas for you. Please, if you have anything to add I’d love to hear your favorite things to bring along.

Remember…no matter the age, wet wipes are always a good idea on a trip. Happy travels!


  • Mary

    Hi Melyssa,
    You have nice tips for traveling with kids. Traveling with little kids can never be easy. I think packing crayons and some games would help. Also, putting a bracelet (with the name) on a kid’s wrist would be a great idea in case because it is very crowded. Yes, and I agree that we should bring our snacks to feed them when necessary. With the tips you provided, I will try some of them next time I take my child with me on vacation.
    Thank you for sharing your tips.

  • Barbara C.

    Hey, Melyssa!
    I love these ideas. My godson is a very creative child and loves to play and talk a lot, so we usually make-up stories of things we see along the way, like animals, people or even a funny-shaped cloud.
    He loves to tell tales and make everyone laugh, so trips with him are always amazing.
    I really like your magnetic board game idea. Do you know where I could find a good one to buy? I’m sure he would love that!

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips with us, have a wonderful week!

    • Melyssa Collins

      Hi Barbara,
      I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the article! I have added a link to a magnetic board game where it says”magnetic board game” in the article. The one I linked has great reviews, seven games and is only $14.99, I hope it’s just what you were hoping to find for your godson. Thanks for stopping by and let me know if there’s ever anything else I can help you find 🙂

  • Dan Strong

    Hi Melyssa,

    Thanks for the great tips! While I do not have children yet, I am expecting to in the near future. To be honest, this is good timing for me because I always wonder how I can keep my future children occupied on a plane without disturbing everyone else. I have been on a flight too often with a child that cries the whole time. While I know it can’t always be avoided, I would prefer that didn’t happen when I bring my child on a plane LOL. I think these activities will definitely help to keep a child busy for sure! Love it.

Leave a Reply to Barbara C. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *