Are you looking for the best airplane activities for kids? Do you have school aged children and are looking for some entertainment during your next family holiday? Well I do have two boys, who are now 9 and 7 and they have been on countless plane trips since they have been babies.
Whether it was a non-stop flight or a 24 hour journey with layovers and jetlag, I have seen it all; and we all survived. I am not going to tell you it is easy, but as your kids get older, pretty much after preschool age, it is a LOT easier than keeping toddlers entertained on planes! This post is chalk full of plane activities for kids and travel games to keep your little ones, and even yourself occupied, whereever you may be going!
25 Best Airplane Activities for Kids
By far, the most popular toy we have ever had or ever recommended is the cubebot. They are extremely popular with kids who like fidget toys. They are not easy to find at a store, but you can get them on Amazon.
The small ones fit into the palm of their hands and their bendable and foldable design keeps my kids occupied for ages!
It also makes a great superhero when needed. Just make sure that you do not lose the instructions on how to make it back into a square! Cubebot comes in lots of sizes, We have the small one and it is not only just a great travel staple, almost 5 years later, it still gets used in restaurants and in the car. It even goes to school sometimes as a fidget.
2. Wipe-Off Cards
These wipe off activity cards have been a hit with both of my boys and have been in our bin of travel gear for years!
They can easily be wiped clean and used again! I suggest you clean them off after your child has finished, as cleaning them off later when you go to use them again is much more tedious.
If you have two kids, grab a second dry erase pen (but look for ones that do not smell so bad. they seem to smell twice as bad on the plane in the confined space!)
3. Magnet Board Books
I had never seen anything quite like these magnetic boards until I got my hands on one!. The board opens up and creates a scene with a bunch of characters and accessories that stick to the board!
Another reason that makes these a hit is their size. They barely take up any room at all and easily slide into a kids carry on.
4. Headphones for Kids
Lets be realistic, those earbuds do NOT stay in kids ears. Have you tried them before? If you have not, well here I am telling you. And if you have tried them, then YOU KNOW! If you have toddlers, you really need to get a good kids fit on headphones. But if you have school-aged kids, the universal sized ones usually do the trick. We use these ones and have been happy for years! They work for kids 3 and up we have found and adjust to adult size! I love that they have a wire that comes off because you know kids, they are always throwing around the headphones and we have gone through so many pairs where a wire ends up loose. With these ones, that does not happen! The link is for a wireless / wired version, which is nice for them to be able to bluetooth to their electronics and not be tied to a cord, but the corded ones are just as good as the cord is still removable and you do not need to worry about it breaking.
5. Travel games for Kids on a plane
There are quite a few travel games for kids on a plane. Probably the most well known is UNO. But as our kids have gotten older, we have included the following airplane games for kids:
6. Monopoly Deal Travel Game
Monopoly Deal is my 9 year old’s current favorite airplane activity. It is perfect for kids who can read and it is a VERY QUICK version of Monopoly. So even if it is not your favorite game, it is over in about 15 minutes. Emerging readers can also play along, but have a bit of a tougher time with the action cards.
7. Rush Hour Junior
Rush Hour junior is my 7 year old’s pick. it comes in a soft carry bag for all the pieces and it is a logic type puzzle with plenty of options. I am not really sure what the difference between Rush Hour and the Rush Hour Junior version except that the Junior version has an ice cream truck.
8. Boogie Board
Boogie Board E writers are great for kids to draw, and a good way for them to do homework while traveling. If you have creative kids, this is one of the best activities for kids on a plane to keep them busy! We use them for math and spelling. We even use it at home instead of using paper!
The one thing that I do not like about the Boogie Board brand is that the stylus pen is not attached to the board, which is wayyyyy easier when you have kids. You can attach it with your own string though, as it does have a hole on the top of the stylus.
9. Travel Size Connect 4
Travel Connect 4 is great for two and one of my favorite plane games for kids. I also found it was the perfect way to play with new friends while we traveled. The travel version is small and it is the perfect game to play without having to worry about learning the rules.
This is perfect for the younger kids or siblings with big age gaps as even a 4 year old can beat a teenager in Connect 4!
10. Nintendo Switch
If you have been putting off purchasing a Nintendo Switch for your kids, now might be the right time. The Nintendo Switch is small, and when put in a case, fits easily into any carry on or purse. If you want to know what my kids would pick when given the choice of anything, they would pick their switch as the best activity for the plane.
Minecraft is their go-to game to play offline. It is easily downloaded from the eshop. Then you do not need to worry about losing a cartridge as you travel. Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros are other favorites. When they have an internet connection, Fortnite is usually their go to to play with their friends. If you grabbed the headphones I recommended above, they have a microphone and work with the switch!
Airplane Activities for Kids Conclusions
There are so many options for activities for kids on a plane, I hope the list above has given you some options. Do not feel like you need them all, instead pick one or two, or maybe one for each child, so there is something new to play with on your next flight.
If you missed the link above, I also have a post dedicated to the younger kids in my post about airplane activities for toddlers. It gives plenty of ideas for babies, toddlers and preschool aged children.
Lindsay Nieminen hails from Vancouver, Canada and shares her love of travel on this website. She is passionate about showing others that they should not put off traveling the world just because they have young children or are single parents. She aims to encourage them to seek out adventure, whether it is at home or abroad by providing information on how just about everywhere can be a destination to explore as a family.