Family life

14 ways to keep your kids entertained on the plane

We’ve all seen that toddler losing it in flight—hey, travelling can be boring. We asked you, our Today’s Parent editors and some seasoned travellers (who are also parents) to share their tips for flying with kids. Here’s what they came up with.

By Today's Parent
14 ways to keep your kids entertained on the plane

Photo: iStockPhoto

14 ways to keep your kids entertained on the plane

01Water colouring book

I love those colouring books that come with one water-marker, because it’s simple and less messy. And toys that suction onto the tray table! — Claire Sibboney, Today’s Parent Editor


Water colouring bookPhoto: Melissa & Dou via The Bay

02Fun for the whole flight

We packed a new item for each hour of our flight. This includes magnetic travel games, colouring books, word search, Imaginext figures, Lego figures, and a sensory bag for the littlest one. — Andrea Linthorne Mugford


14 ways to keep your kids entertained on the planePhoto: Stephen Joseph


03Activity book

Photocopy an assortment of colouring and activity workbooks so you can throw them out instead of schlepping the book around with you after the flight. — Kim Shiffman, Today’s Parent Editor


Activity book for childrenPhoto: My First Little Busy Book Coloring Adventure

04White board markers

I took a 1″ binder and filled it with activity pages and colouring pages all slotted in plastic sleeves. We take white board markers and an eraser and I let them draw on the plastic. That way they can colour and recolour the same pages as often as they want and the markers wipe off. — Sarah Anne Ng


Dry Erase MarkersPhoto: Dry Erase Markers


For toddlers, puffy stickers from the dollar store are a great pick! Because they’re thicker, kids can peel them off the backing themselves, but it still takes them time to place each one. I toss about 10 sheets, a mini pack of construction paper, and a box of crayons or markers in my bag, which has saved my sanity on epically delayed flights. — Katherine Handcock


Puffy Farm StickersPhoto: Melissa & Doug


06Window cling

Window clings are a safe and fun toy for kids to play with on the plane. — Amy Valm, Today’s Parent Editor


Alphabet shaped gel window clings, for babiesPhoto: Alphabet and Shapes Gel Window and Wall Clings


I feel like some parents still don’t know that you don’t need Internet for Netflix—just download movies onto your tablet before travelling. — Kim Shiffman, Today’s Parent Editor

Scene from the movie MadagascarPhoto: Netflix

08Photo album

A small, flexible photo album with pictures of all important people in their life. It kept both my girls busy for quite some time! — Elyse Genesse


Photo books on the groundPhoto: Minibook



The way to my daughter’s heart will always be her stomach. Rather than feed her one big meal during a flight, I pack tons of smaller snacks that can be doled out little-by-little. I recommend picking things that require effort to eat, like apples or corn on the cob. — Simone Olivero, Today’s Parent Editor

Photo of apple slicesPhoto: iStockphoto

10Washi tape

I let my kids play with a roll of washi tape on our last flight. They were quiet, and it was easy to clean up before we got off so we weren’t leaving a mess for the flight attendants! — Sharon Durrell


Alphabet A-M washi tapePhoto: Alphabet A-M washi tape

11New toys.

New toys are essential. We brought our 18-month-old daughter finger puppets, stickers and the Crayola no mess coloring books and markers. — Julia Silvestri Wong


Mess free colouring book for kidsPhoto: Colour wonder activity set



You can buy little mini Transformer figurines from the dollar store—they come in a small bag and you don’t know what you’re going to get. Opening one every 30 or 60 minutes really helps. (They also have Thomas and LEGO Mini figures.) Also, a mini tub of Play-doh and plastic animals or dinosaurs to tromp in it. — Ariel Brewster, Today’s Parent Editor


Different colour of Play-DohPhoto: Play-Doh


This may be a choking hazard depending on the age of the kid (so proceed with caution), but mints can be a great distraction. Likely, your little one doesn’t get to enjoy this treat much so they will be so excited to have it (and constantly ask for it!) and the sucking will help them pop their ears during take-off and landing. — Alyssa Ashton, Today’s Parent Editor


Lifesaver mintsPhoto: Lifesavers

14I spy books

Being a tablet-free family, these are life-savers. — JoJo Roxs


I spy bookPhoto: Scholastic Reader

Read more: Flying with your baby doesn't have to be a nightmare Tips to survive flying with a toddler 10 tips for flying with kids

This article was originally published on Jun 25, 2018

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