Toys for Kids on Airplanes

Toys for kids on airplanes are a must.

Airplane travel can be boring even for grown ups. Children and small spaces don’t do well together for long periods. This means it’s important to keep them interested and busy. Not only so they have a good trip. But so you and the other travelers do too.

The hard thing about picking toys is that are suitable for an airplane – small and light. You can’t take up too much luggage space. But these toys also have to engage your child.

The best toys are age-appropriate for your child. They should be compact, light and easy-to-carry. They should also be mess free.

HANDY TIP: For younger kids it’s best to ration the toys and give them our gradually during your flight. Give them a new one when you think they are getting restless. You can also use them as a reward for good behavior. This keeps them interested for longer than if you hand them everything at the start of the trip. Also don’t let them play with the new toys before you get on the plane. Letting them play with them before will make them “old” and boring to your child when you need entertain them most.

Warning about Electric Games and Planes

An electronic game is probably the first thing you thought of if your child is school age. Electric game devices can be good for keeping kids amused. But make sure it has an earpiece to keep things quiet. Otherwise it can annoy other passengers sitting close to your child.

Magic Ink Books

Magic ink books are good for keeping kids quiet on an airplane. They have a novelty feel to them to keep your child interested. They are full of fun activities to keep them busy. There are also different types to suit children of different ages. They come in both puzzle books and magic paining books.

Lacing Cards

These are a fun activity for preschool children. Because they are a “sewing” type of activity they need concentration. This will keep your child’s mind off being stuck in a seat for hours. They give children a feeling of success when they finish. They can also be reused by unraveling the thread so they can do the activity again.


Games are a good choice for school age children. (Some games are also good for preschool kids.) You can get mini versions of popular games that make good toys for kids on airplanes. Magnetic mini games are especially good. The trick with games is to look for ones with peices that aren’t easy to lose. Or be prepared and put the game in something that will stop the pieces from being left behind.

But you don’t have to stick to popular and well known games only. There are lots of games to choose from that are fun and excellent for plane travel because of their size.

Less known games are also a good idea to keep kids busy. Games like this have a new, novelty feel for them. You can keep these secret until the right moment when you need to distract your child.

This Caterpillar Dice Game (on the left) is a colorful dice game for children 4 years and up. It’s small too so it’s easy to pack in a carry on bag for plane travel.

Plane related games are another idea. There is only one I know of the Richard Scarry Airport Game (on the right). This is a game that preschool kids can play. It should not be too heavy but are a few around. But the size might be a problem (it’s 10.5 x 2.5 x 15.8 inches).

Creative Activities

Don’t forget creative activities like art and crafts too. These can keep kids busy and provide something different to games and other toys.

The Anti Coloring Book series is wonderful to keep kids busy. They are coloring books that encourage imagination and creativity. They are good for sparking kids interest at times when they might not be feeling creative because they are cramped and bored on a plane.

There’s about six books in the series so there are lots of activities for kids in these. This page (on the left) is a page from an Anti Coloring Book. The instructions for this activity are: ‘A group of explorers found a rare bird deep in the jungle. They sent back this drawing of the bird sitting in a tree’.

Other types of art activities that are good for kids on airplanes are things like the Fisher Price Doodle Pro, Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote and Pocket Etch A Sketch.

No mess craft kits can also keep kids busy on the plane. Sticky Mosiacs can be a good choice for school age kids. There are also easy ones for preschool age kids. These will keep kids busy and don’t need glue so are a low mess craft.

Safe needle crafts are also good to keep girls busy.

Sticker Books

Kids love sticker books and they are a low mess activity for them on the plane. Because sticker books are light and easy to carry it’s a good idea to have two or three on hand for the flight.

Pretend Play Toys

Pretend play doesn’t always need a lot of space. There are plenty of toys that children can pretend with sitting on a plane. Look for things small mini figure sets. A mini airplane for pretend play is a great idea for plane travel. Also think about finger puppets and small Playmobile sets too.

Play Boards

These are light and easy to carry for plane travel. Kids also love them. Not just to put the pieces on the board but for pretend play too.

Puzzle Play

Puzzles can keep kids busy for ages. They usually keep them quiet and focused too. Most jigsaw puzzles won’t work because they need too much space. Some can also be too heavy. But there are other puzzles for school age kids that are perfect for airplane travel.

Novelty Toys

Finally don’t forget novelty toys for kids on airplanes. These are perfect to bring out to give a child who has been on a plane for too long and is getting restless. There are lots of choices about. It’s best to go with novelties that are light, easy to carry and don’t make noise.