Carpe Diem OUR Way Family Travel Blog

What to Pack: Airplane Activities for Toddlers

What to Pack: 15 Airplane Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers


Airplane Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers for your next flight

The thought of taking toddlers and pre-schoolers on long flights can be daunting. But entertaining toddlers on a plane doesn’t have to be!

you probably think i am crazy.


Yes it will be tough, NO you probably will not get much reading done, and don’t even think of trying to enjoy a movie, but you WILL survive.

And so will the 200 other people on the plane!

I have listed 15 of my favourite airplane activities for toddlers and preschoolers that we pack for my kids (who were two and four and are now almost three and five). These items are also great for car trips, train trips, bus trips and just about any other time you need to keep kids sitting (relatively) still and quiet!

Yes we pack the iPods for some quiet time on the flight!

Yes we pack the iPods for some quiet time on the flight!

Our Favourite Airplane Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers.


1. My kids are loving the .io games from Poki on our laptop right now! With more and more airlines and airports (as well as busses and other modes of transport) having wi-fi, these are a great new addition to our travel arsenal. You can find other categories of games on their website here.

2, Pipe Cleaners and Beads

Be Careful, these can be messy, but if you keep the beads in a ziplock or ask a flight attendant for an extra cup and let your toddler string them on one at a time, they will be thrilled with the bracelet that they have made when it is done!

3. Wikki Stix

There are so many ways to entertain toddlers on a plane, it just takes some thinking. I have only been able to find these on Amazon, but they are great for the creative kid and much less messy than play dough. They can create 3D characters or shapes or letters! (These also came in our “AllPakt” backpack. you can read about all of the other contents here)

4. Travel-Friendly Puzzles

I have a puzzle fanatic at my house, so I always hit up the dollar store and grab a few new puzzles for our flights with toddlers and preschoolers. But check to make sure that the are not too big and will fit on the tray table before your flight! (Yup i have made that mistake too!)

AIrplane Snacks for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Airplane Activities for Toddlers – iPad and Fishy Crackers

5. Sticker Books

are great for toddlers. I often let them stick them all over themselves, or me, or a coloring book.

6. Coloring Book and Crayons

Keep and eye out for the triangle shaped crayons so they don’t roll off the table. After you bonk your head for the 5th time trying to retrieve them you will wish you had these!

7. Post-it Notes or Note Pads

My Preschooler is just learning letters and loves using every single page of a post it note to practice his letters. They are also fun to stick all over everything for toddlers and are easy to clean up

8. Small Animals

I usually grab a pack of plastic animals or figures before our trup and wrap it up. Whether it be farm animals, dinsaurs or bugs, it is something new and fun for the kids to use their imagination.

9. Ipad or Tablet

YES we pack the technology! A mum has gotta go what a mum has gotta do! I load up our old iphones with movies that the kids are into and that gives me a break on a long flight.

10. Headphones

that fit small heads. We made this mistake on our last trip and bought what looked like kids headphones. They ended up being way to big. Now we look for headphones designed specifically for toddlers. The ones made for LeapFrog LeapPads have been perfect!

11. A package of Band-Aids. Lets face it, kids LOVE them! And will love playing doctor and fixing your owies!

12. If you have toddler’s who cant quite be trusted to keep the markers off the tray tables, try the Crayola Color Wonder Invisible Markers and Pads that only produce color on the paper. Means no marks are left on the tray tables!

13. Kids love wrapping up and giving gifts, bring some tissue paper and let them wrap up some small items and check out the thrill on your face when you open them up!

14. Don’t forget their special blanket or stuffy to keep them feeling safe. It also adds an extra person to take care of. My 4 year old Mattias loves role playing and being ”Bunny’s Daddy”

15 Airplane Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers including Tava Adventures Passports

Tava Adventures – Seattle Passport

15. We love the Travel Passports from Tava Adventures. The Passport comes with 10 4×6 travel cards hi lighting your chosen destination in a kid-friendly way! We have the London and the Seattle ones and hope to collect more as we travel to new places!

Is your bag full yet?

Don’t forget the snacks when you pack for your kids activities on an airplane. You can read our list of snacks to pack for your next trip here. And if collecting all of these things seems like entirely too much work, consider an All Pakt, (click to read our review and why we still use it today!)

Are you headed on a long-haul flight soon? Check out the Savvy Globetrotter’s Post on What to Pack for a Long Flight

Sidenote: Once you have packed up all of these items, check out Scary mommy for her hilarious take on what your flight will look like here!

Did I forget something you love to take on a flight with your children? let me know in the comments!

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You can hover over this pinnable image of Airplane Activities for Toddlers  (or any image on my site) to quickly pin it !

Airplane Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Editors Disclosure: this page contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase from Amazon, we receive a small commission, at NO EXTRA Cost to you! Please consider using our links when making a purchase to help us travel longer and continue to bring great content to this site

Lindsay is the Editor and Head Writer of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She wears many hats including mom, wife, freelancer, GM for a manufacturing company and soccer player. Lindsay is spontaneous, loves travel, photography and very recently discovered she loves to write.

17 thoughts on “What to Pack: Airplane Activities for Toddlers

  1. Sheri

    When my kids were toddlers, before they were using iPods or iPads, I brought old cell phones that we were no longer using. They loved playing with those!

  2. Brenda Tolentino

    My daughter is 11 now and has been traveling since she was 3 months old, I remember the days when I had to entertain her. Those stixs were one of the things she loved. Colored pen and paper also kept her busy for a bit. As long as you take one you out a a time and then whip out technology at the end, the flights was always peaceful for all. Great tips here!

  3. mark wyld

    A few solid idea’s there for the kids. My youngest would crazy with the bandaids. We are lucky our girls are at the age where they are happy to watch the in-flight entertainment or sleep.

  4. LeAnna

    Baby #1 is on the way and people keep telling me that we won’t be traveling the way we do now. And they are right, it will have to be adjusted, but I can tell you, I do NOT want to STOP traveling just because we have children (in fact, I want them to see the world, too!) I’ve been reading lots about traveling and flying w/ kiddos.
    For the younger ones, I hear having things tethered down is essential so that pieces, cups, binkies, etc don’t fall into those hard to reach places on planes.

  5. Stefan

    Not one but TWO little bundles of high energy trouble and joy to cater for here! I have 2 nephews, one is 5 and the other 8. Going on holiday with my sister I quickly learnt to empathise with the poor mother with the crying baby. But OMG god BLESS technology. The ipad has been a god send!

  6. melody pittman

    It is so nice when parents actually consider bringing”anythin”g for their children to do so this list is a godsend. I get so mad when kids are just bored and acting up and the parents do nothing about it or get mad at them in return. Too bad they all can’t be like you.

  7. Priya

    Our kids a little older now but we have been travelling since they were 2 years and we used to coloring books and pencils now it is ipads and earphones :)

  8. Dariece

    Great ideas! I had no idea that triangle crayons existed….brilliant! Also, I really love the idea of wrapping some little things. Makes it all so much more exciting for children!

  9. TC

    That list is brilliant and the triangular crayons are pure genius! I didn’t even know those existed but will definitely be getting some now! Also like the pipe cleaner and bead idea – ideal for my daughter. Thanks for the great post.

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