Plane Activities for Toddlers

We recently got back from our warm and sunny getaway to Turks and Caicos! It was so nice to escape this New England weather and enjoy family and beach time post holidays! It was James’ second flight (his first was when he was four months old when we traveled to Mont Tremblant, Canada) and Henry’s first flight so we prepared as much as we could before.

Although Henry was not able to hold his yet, we purchased these L.L. Bean monogrammed backpacks. Do you remember them growing up? I had the teal color! We put a few gifts in James’ bag so he could play with them during the plane ride. The idea was for James to unwrap a gift every hour or so and entertain himself during the flight. I didn’t end up wrapping the items because I was worried about getting through security but it didn’t matter – James got excited for every item taken out of the bag regardless. Of course some activities lasted longer than others but he LOVED seeing all the new ones.

How did we choose what to bring? I wanted something small and easy to travel with. I wanted something I knew James would enjoy (think favorite things – i.e. cars, coloring, animals etc). I wanted to bring some classics and never fails yet also some new and exciting things.


Toy Cars – I didn’t buy new cars because James has a million and still loves every single one of them. I just took a few and put them in a zip-lock bag. He brought them everywhere in Turks from the beach to dinner.

Water Wow Books – These are really cool. They come with a pen that you fill with a little bit of water (I over poured :/) and start coloring the pages. The water turns the pictures different colors and it’s mess free!

Post-Its – Who knew little sticky papers could be so fun? They can be drawn on and made into little books or torn apart one by one. James chose the pulling apart option and it took up a solid 30 minutes!

Dot Stickers -I think any type of sticker will do but I just like the simplicity of these. My idea was to draw shapes on the packed construction paper and have James peel a sticker and place it along the edge of the shape. It acts as a fun activity for James but also helps with fine motor skills.

Crayons-Always have crayons as a backup whether it’s in my diaper bag or travel bag. James loves to color and the possibilities are endless.

Construction Paper-If your children are a little older, you can use paper to play games such as tic tac toe or the dot game. However, my intention was to draw roads for James’ cars to drive on, create pictures using different size tape pieces, and have James place dot stickers along the edges of drawn shapes.

Gel Stickies – Found in the Target $1 section. There’s an assortment of dinosaurs, numbers, letters, shapes etc. James chose dinosaurs and he stuck them on the T.V., tray and the window. It’s a one time use and I actually wished I bought more of these because they were one of the biggest hits!

Headphones-I found these headphones on Amazon but they can also be found on Overstock. They were comfortable and safe for James. The volume can be turned up and down or on and off on the wire for convenience. And for peace of mind, it never gets too loud! I had high hopes James would spend most of the flight watching ALL. OF. THE. SHOWS. But he only watched on and off for maybeeee an hour.

Koala Kloud – We didn’t end up using this but I can see it being helpful during a longer flight. It’s an inflatable ottoman you would put on the edge of your child’s seat. This way they can lay down comfortably without crowding your space.

Colored Tape – Another big hit. James loved holding the rolls of tape, making them spin and roll. We would pull off different size pieces and stick them to our shirts or paper. He had fun even making balls of rolled up tape.

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