20 great ways to entertain a child on a plane

20 great ways to entertain a child on a plane


Before you are off on your well deserved holiday we compiled this great list of ideas whilst on a plane with your little one. Taking off smoothly is the beginning of a wonderful vacation!

Sitting in a plane is exciting during boarding and take off. The hours before you start to descend can be long and sometimes even boring – especially for children. Sitting where there might be so much to explore is a difficult task. We are here to help and have 20 great activities to entertain a child on a plane.

In one handy list!
If you are a frequent flyer you probably tested some of these already. But it is always worth to check for new suggestions and approved ‘tactics’.

Usually the toddler years are the hardest because these little people love to explore, need to move and cannot concentrate on one thing for a long time.
To make sure that you do not lose your mind (especially on long haul) you do need an arsenal of airplane activities.

20 great ways to entertain a child on a plane

Before boarding:

+ Let them run around as much as possible at the airport to wear themselves out. Children are more likely to be able to sit for a while after that.

+ Beware of treats. Yes, it is the holidays but think about sugar and energy before treating your children to ice cream and chocolate before the flight. Maybe wait for the destination to go for a very special treat…

+ Explain the plane etiquette (again) to your children. Teaching to be thoughtful to those around us is important. Simple things like not pushing on the seat in front of us, not using devices without headphone and overall respect for all of the people on the plane.


+ The key thing is not to show anything that you are taking on the flight to the kids in advance!
So it will be new, exciting and a little surprise!

+ Also, do not show them everything at once on the flight. One by one is the rule…

+ Read our Beginners guide to traveling with children that has lots of tips and tricks!

And here are our twenty ways to entertain children on a plane:

+ Stickers. Easy to find and to bring. For window seats window stickers that can be re-used are cool too!

+ Paper clips. For chains and other creative crafts.

+ Little plastic shot glasses. For stacking or to hide a little trinket under one cup and have your child guess which cup it’s under.

+ Small and new puzzles.

+ Take a pouch at home and fill with LEGO and bring it along! Really good for restaurant visits during the vacation as well.

+ A movie on your phone/ tablet.

+ Matchbox cars. Buy one or two new ones and wrap them up.

+ Small Action figures or figurines. Again wrap them up and together with the cars they will invent a game…

+ Play-doh. Buy the small containers, wrap it up and put in your surprise bag. Play-doh is so versatile and interesting for many age groups!

+ Wikki stix. They are soft and pliable to use. And they stick to each other for 3-D creativity and fun. Twist, bend, stick, create!

+ Books. Small and new. Really good is the iconic ‘Where’s Wally’ or something similar. Which requires you to locate the character of Wally in very detailed scenes.

+ Food/ Snacks. Think small crackers, pretzels, pouches, raisins or chewing gum (good for air pressure too) for kids that can already have them.

+ Guess who! Pack post-its and play “Guess who?”!

+ Chess. Buy a magnetic small chess game!

+ Mini aquadoodle.

+ Finger puppets for role play.

+ Pencils, crayons and colouring books/ paper for drawing.

+ Little containers, bags, pouches with little objects and toys for putting in and taking out. Especially small children love to organise and take things in and out.

+ Take the airline brochure and open their world map. Often in the last pages. Give your child countries or capitals to find on the map.

+ UNO. A classic card game that is loved by all generations.

These are our twenty ideas. All easy to bring, not heavy, great use for the holidays too and most appeal to a wide age range.

Happy holidays!

Slider: Efe Kurnaz on Unsplash

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