Before leaving on our recent family holiday interstate I asked the Childhood 101 Facebook community for their suggestions for entertaining a mobile (and very active) 16 month old on a five hour plane trip. The suggestions were fabulous and there were quite a few that I hadn’t tried before so I thought I would compile a list to share. I have included a few of my own as well and added some comments below about which items we ended up using successfully on our trip.
25 Ways to Keep Toddlers Busy on a Plane
- Stickers, like a roll of the “teacher dots” from the newsagent – Shae
- Sultanas (raisins) – Shae
- A movie on your phone (or iPod or iPad) – Shae
- Wrap little toys for them to open – Esther
- Stickers, (play a game where you) stick them to you (or them) and get them to find it – HaroldnSteph
- Mini aquadoodle – HaroldnSteph
- Invisible Crayola markers that come out in colour on the special paper (Crayola Colour Explosion), no mess anywhere! – Bridie
- Cup of ice from the air hostess – Bridie
- Little plastic shot glasses from supermarket for stacking – Bridie
- Finger puppets – Melanie
- Play peekaboo – Melanie
- Pop bubble wrap – Melanie
- Walk the aisles when it’s safe to do so – Melanie
- Small magna doodle – Crystal
- Pencils, crayons, books for drawing – Crystal
- iPad with headphones – Kathy
- Anything in little containers or bags with little objects and toys for putting in and taking out, and lids to take on and off – Anne
- Wind up toys – Rebecca
- Tons of snacks – Carol
- Clothes pins (pegs) – Dorothee
- Squeezable fruit puree pouches – Dorothee
- A window seat – Sofia
- Blanky or special comforter toy
- Commercial sticker books
- A few favourite books (paperbacks weigh less)
Numbers 2, 5, 8, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21 and 25 worked a charm for us on this trip. The sultanas and stickers were the most popular with AJ. The ice chips (beware of giving toddlers whole ice blocks as they can constitute a choking hazard) and simply playing with a few (empty) plastic cups and a plastic spoon took up a good chunk of time on the journey over. I found some nice, soft and chunky wind up crayons with lids that were fun to scribble with, plus taking the lids off and putting them back on again was good for at least twenty minutes! Lots of snack options proved a lifesaver, especially given AJ’s food intolerances and the fact that our budget airline didn’t allow you to book special meals for domestic flights. And I was thankful that I had downloaded a few new episodes of Playschool onto the iPad before we left as it’s a show both my girls enjoy watching and many of the on board kids TV options were more suitable for preschoolers or older children, not toddlers.
Lastly, remember to hide away a few items so there is something new for the return journey too!
Is there anything you would add to this list of suggestions for entertaining a toddler on a plane trip?
- Travel with Preschoolers: Activities for the Journey
- Make Your Own Travel Peekaboo Game
- Family Road Trips: 7 Tips for Making the Most of the Journey