How to Entertain Kids on a Plane

Air travel can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be a daunting task if you’re traveling with kids. Ensuring that your little ones remain entertained and comfortable throughout a flight is no small feat.

If you’re a parent preparing for a journey, you know that maintaining an entertaining environment can be crucial to making the flight enjoyable for everyone involved.

In this article, we will explore various tips and ideas on how to entertain kids on a plane. We’ll discuss preparation strategies, interactive toys, the use of electronic devices, educational activities, and a variety of games and crafts you can use.

1. Plan Ahead

When it comes to entertaining kids on a plane, planning is vital. Here are some sub-sections to help you plan effectively:

Understanding the Duration and Timing of Your Flight

The first step is understanding the duration and timing of your flight. Knowing how long the flight will be and what time of day it is can help you determine what activities and snacks to pack.

For example, if you have a long overnight flight, pack some cozy blankets and pillows to help your child sleep. If you have a shorter daytime flight, pack some books or coloring books to keep your child entertained.

Packing a Bag With a Variety of Activities to Keep Kids Engaged

Once you know how long your flight will be and what time of day it is, it’s time to pack a bag with various activities to keep your child engaged. Here are some ideas:

  • Coloring books and crayons ─ Books are an excellent way to keep kids entertained and engaged. Make sure to pack a variety of coloring books and crayons to keep things interesting.
  • Sticker books ─ Sticker books are another excellent option for kids. They can create their scenes and stories with stickers, keeping them entertained for hours.
  • Books ─ Books are an excellent way to pass the time on a flight. Pack a few of your child’s favorite books, or choose some new ones to introduce them to.
  • Snacks ─ Snacks are a must-have when traveling with kids. Pack various healthy snacks, like fruit, granola bars, crackers, and treats like cookies or candy.
  • Travel games ─ A variety of travel games are available that are perfect for entertaining kids on a plane. Some popular options include travel-sized versions of classic games like Connect Four and Battleship and newer games like Spot It! and Bananagrams.

Planning and packing a bag with various activities can help ensure that your child stays entertained and engaged throughout the flight.

2. Bring Interactive Toys


In keeping kids entertained on a plane, interactive toys are a great option. These toys can keep kids engaged and occupied for hours, making the flight much more enjoyable.

Types of Toys That Are Ideal for Travel

When choosing interactive toys for a plane ride, it’s important to consider a few key factors:

  1. The toys should be compact and easy to pack.
  2. They should be durable enough to ride out the rigors of travel.
  3. They should be engaging and fun for kids of all ages.

Some types of toys that are ideal for travel include:

  • Coloring books and crayons
  • Puzzles and brain teasers
  • Magnetized board games
  • Sticker books
  • Play-Doh or other moldable materials
  • Small figurines or action figures
  • Handheld electronic games

Examples of Interactive Toys

Bringing a few interactive toys on your next plane ride can help ensure your kids stay engaged and entertained throughout the flight.

Here are a few examples of interactive toys that can keep kids entertained on a plane:

  • Crayola color wonder travel tote ─ This kit includes a coloring pad and markers that only work on special Color Wonder paper, so there’s no mess to worry about.
  • Melissa & Doug on the Go Water Wow! Activity Book ─ Kids can use a special pen to paint pictures in this book, which dries quickly and can be reused repeatedly.
  • The magnetic travel chess set ─ This compact set includes a magnetized board and pieces, making it easy to play chess on the go.
  • Rubik’s cube ─ This classic puzzle is an excellent option for older kids who enjoy a challenge.
  • Wikki Stix ─ These bendable, twistable sticks can make all kinds of shapes and designs, making them a fun and creative option for kids of all ages.

3. Utilize Electronic Devices

Electronic devices can be a lifesaver when keeping kids entertained on a plane. Whether it’s a tablet, smartphone, or portable gaming device, these gadgets can provide hours of entertainment. Here are some tips on how to make the most of the electronic devices on a plane:

  • Download games and apps ahead of time ─ Before you board the plane, make sure to download games, movies, TV shows, and other apps that your child enjoys. This will save you from relying on in-flight entertainment, which can be limited and only sometimes age-appropriate.
  • Bring extra batteries and charging cables ─ It’s essential to ensure your devices are fully charged before the flight, but it’s also a good idea to bring extra batteries and charging cables, just in case. Many planes have charging ports, which may only sometimes work or be available.
  • Set limits and screen time rules ─ While electronic devices can be an excellent way to keep kids entertained, setting boundaries and screen time rules is essential. Ensure your child takes breaks to stretch and move around, and consider setting a time limit for screen time.
  • Bring headphones ─ To avoid disturbing other passengers, bring headphones for your child to use while watching movies or playing games. Consider investing in noise-canceling headphones to block out the sounds of the plane and make it easier for your child to focus.

4. Encourage Reading and Educational Activities


Long flights can be an excellent opportunity for your child to catch up on their reading or engage in educational activities.

One of the easiest ways to keep your child entertained on a plane is by bringing along their favorite books or new ones for them to explore. Consider purchasing or borrowing books about the destination you are traveling to, which can help build excitement and anticipation.

5. Pack Snacks and Hydrate

When traveling with kids, it’s important to pack snacks that are easy to eat, won’t make a mess, and won’t spoil quickly. Here are some types of snacks that are ideal for travel:

  • Fruits and veggies ─ Cut up some carrot sticks, celery, or cucumber and pack them in a resealable bag. You can also pack some grapes, berries, or apple slices.
  • Crackers and pretzels ─ These are great for snacking on during the flight. You can also pack some cheese or hummus to go with them.
  • Nuts and seeds ─ Almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are all great options. Just check with the airline if you can bring them on board.
  • Granola bars are a great way to satisfy hunger and provide energy. Look for bars with low sugar and high protein.
  • Dried fruit ─ Raisins, apricots, and mangoes are all great options. Just check the label for added sugar.

6. Pack a List of Airplane Jokes

When keeping kids entertained on a plane, humor can be a lifesaver. Packing a list of airplane jokes can be fun to pass the time and keep the kids laughing.

Here are a few airplane jokes to get you started:

  • What do you call a plane that’s always on time? Plainly.
  • Why did the airplane go to the doctor? It had a terminal illness.

You can find more airplane jokes online or create your own. Write them down on paper or print them, and bring them to the plane.

Not only will the jokes keep the kids entertained, but they can also help ease any anxiety about flying. Laughter is a great way to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

7. Comfort Items and Clothing


Bringing a comfort item can help your child feel secure during the flight. This could be a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy. Make sure it’s something they are familiar with and that they can easily access during the flight. You should pack a spare if the original gets lost or left behind.

Other Tips

Here are some other tips to keep your child comfortable during the flight:

  • Pack a travel pillow and blanket for added comfort.
  • Bring noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to help block out noise.
  • Encourage your child to take breaks and stretch their legs during the flight.
  • Pack snacks and drinks to keep your child hydrated and satisfied.

8. Engage in Conversations and Storytelling

Engaging kids in meaningful conversations can help them learn and grow while keeping them entertained during the flight. You can talk to them about the journey, the destination, or other topics of interest.

For example, you can ask them about their expectations for the trip, what they are looking forward to, and what they are most excited about. You can also talk to them about the different landmarks and attractions they will see at the destination or about the different cultures and traditions they will experience.

9. Use Workbooks and Activity Books

Regarding entertaining kids on a plane, workbooks and activity books can be a lifesaver. These books are designed to keep kids engaged and focused on a task, which can help pass the time and reduce boredom. Here are some different types of workbooks and activity books you can consider:


Math workbooks can be a great way to keep kids entertained and learning at the same time. Look for books appropriate for your child’s age and skill level, and consider bringing a small calculator to help with more complex problems.

Logic Puzzles

Logic puzzles are another great option for keeping kids engaged and entertained on a plane. These types of puzzles can help improve critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.


Crossword puzzles are a classic choice for keeping kids entertained on a plane. Look for books designed for kids, with simpler clues and easier puzzles.

Word Searches

Word search puzzles can be a fun thing to do to pass time on a plane. Look for books that have a range of themes and difficulty levels so that you can find something appropriate for your child.

Coloring Pages

Coloring books and pages can be a great way to keep younger kids entertained on a plane. Look for books with various themes and characters that your child will enjoy.

10. Pack Mini Board Games or Card Games


When keeping kids entertained on a plane, board, and card games can be a perfect option. They are small, portable, and can provide hours of fun. Here are some tips for packing and playing mini-board games or card games on a plane.

Many popular board and card games come in travel-sized versions, making them perfect for plane rides. Some examples of travel-sized games include Uno, Connect Four, and Monopoly Deal. These games are slim enough to fit in a carry-on bag or backpack and can be easily pulled out during the flight.

When choosing games to bring, consider your child’s age and interests. Younger children may enjoy games like Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders, while older children may like strategy games like Settlers of Catan or Risk.

11. Bring DIY Craft Kits

DIY craft kits can be a lifesaver in keeping kids entertained on a plane. They offer a fun and creative outlet to keep kids occupied for hours. Here are some suggestions for small, mess-free DIY craft kits perfect for plane rides.

Suggest small, mess-free DIY craft kits

  1. Coloring kits ─ Coloring books are a classic way to keep kids entertained, but why not take it up a notch with a coloring kit? You can put together a kit that includes a coloring book, colored pencils, and a pencil sharpener. To avoid messes, consider using Crayola Color Wonder Markers and Paper, which only work on special paper and won’t leave any stains.
  2. Sticker kits ─ Kids love stickers, so why not create a sticker kit? You can include a variety of stickers, such as animal stickers, alphabet stickers, and glitter stickers. You can also have a blank notebook or paper so kids can create sticker scenes.
  3. Pipe cleaner kits ─ Pipe cleaners are versatile craft materials that can create many things. You can put together a kit that includes a variety of pipe cleaners in different colors, as well as some googly eyes and pom poms. Kids can use the materials to create their creatures and characters.
  4. Origami kits ─ Origami is a fun and challenging craft that can keep kids occupied for hours. You can assemble a kit with some origami paper and instructions for basic origami shapes, such as cranes and boats. You can also have some YouTube video links for more advanced shapes.
  5. Jewelry kits ─ For older kids, a jewelry-making kit can be a fun and creative way to pass the time. You can assemble a kit with some beads, an elastic cord, and instructions for making simple bracelets and necklaces. You can also include more advanced materials, such as wire and pliers, for older kids who want to try more complex designs.

12. Try Audiobooks and Podcasts


If your child is not interested in watching movies or playing games on a plane, try introducing them to audiobooks and podcasts.

Audiobooks and podcasts can be a great way to keep your child entertained while improving their listening and comprehension skills. They can be a great way to introduce your child to new topics and ideas, such as science, history, and current events.

And there you have it! A dozen tips to ensure your little sky adventurers stay amused and comfortable from takeoff to landing. We’ve talked about planning, toys, tech, snacks, and even some learning thrown in. Comfort items? Check. Humor? Absolutely. Interactive games and creative DIY kits? You bet! And let’s not forget the power of audiobooks and podcasts to enchant young minds.

Traveling with kids doesn’t need to be turbulent. With a bit of preparation, your flight can become a time of joy, discovery, and even relaxation. We hope these tips make your next journey lighter and livelier. So, fasten the seatbelts, and let’s embark on a fun-filled flight! Happy travels!

About Nina Smith

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