list of things to entertain kids on an airplane

As my husband, three children and I get ready to fly down south to visit grandparents, I again begin racking my brain to think of things to prepare us for the time we will be in the airports and in flight. I tend to plan for the worst and assume that all of our flights will be delayed in order to avoid getting “stuck” with cranky kids. Here are some ideas I have used (or plan to try next weekend when we go!).

list of things to entertain kids on an airplane |

  • New things to “unveil” during the trip
    • A new, novel toy or book can really entertain.
    • I often hit up yard sales and second hand shops before a trip to get “new” things.
  • Coloring Pack
    • A new coloring book and a box a fresh crayons keeps my clan quite entertained.
    • Also a pen with a blank notebook.
    • Avoid markers (they mess up that cute shirt you put on for Grandma to see and you will inevitably lose half the marker tops on your first flight).
  • Snacks
    • Children can spend a surprising amount of time consuming snack foods.  Our favorites are snacks that are non-messy and  are  I count on my kids usually eating 2 days worth of snackfoods on the trip there!
    • GUM…everyone gets their OWN (oh, the excitement in our family) pack of gum to chew at take-off and landing. It wouldn’t ensure your kids still won’t have ear issues when they fly, but it will help.
  • A small jar of playdough
    • My kids LOVE to see what my husband creates especially.
  • mp3 player with headphones
    • This can really buy you some magazine reading time.
    • I LOVE that some airplanes have satellite tv on their flights.  A word of caution. . .not all programming is child-appropriate.
  • In-Flight Magazines
    • “Shop” for your next birthday list (my older kids actually write a list out which burns up A LOT of time).
    • Play the alphabet game.  Find a picture in the magazine that starts with A, B, C…
    (this game can be played on the plane, in the airport, car, etc)
  • The Airsick Bag
    Hopefully you don’t have to use it as it was intended (I have with a three year old and it was NOT fun)
    • Use it as a puppet to decorate.
    • Put a small item in and have your child reach in and guess what it is.
  • The Shape Game
    • Draw as many shapes as you can think of….then search for things around you that are that shape.
  • Draw your DREAM AIRPLANE
    • Draw the outline of a plane and have your kids draw what their dream airplane would have in it…trampoline? Free Dairy Queen?
  • Finish That Picture
    • One person draws a squiggle and the next person has to turn it into something.
  • Traditional Games
    • Hangman
    • 20 Questions
    • Write words from the letters in your destination (ie… CHICAGO) or from other travel words.
  • 52 Fun Things to Do on the Plane by Lynn Gordon
    • My kids love to pick a card from the pack when we fly.  She has some really fun ideas.  It is a GREAT deal for just $7.00!

What entertainments do you use for your children when you are traveling?

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9 responses to “list of things to entertain kids on an airplane”

  1. Kerry says:

    What a great list! Thank you so much!

  2. shivani says:

    this really helps me thanks whoever this is ive had lots of fun on the plane doing this stuff.

  3. Sofia says:

    Thank you for the ideas.

  4. Frequent Flyer says:

    You are not allowed play doh or playdoh type stuff past security checkpoint!  Even in tiny amounts.

  5. Mamayearwood says:

    Love so many of your ideas…thanks!

  6. Suzanne Selby says:

    I really like your list and will be using it when we fly in the fall.  Thanks!

  7. Suzanne Selby says:

    I really like your list and will be using it when we fly in the fall.  Thanks!


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