7 Top Toddler Plane Activities and Ideas [How to Entertain a Toddler On a Plane]

Are you wondering how to entertain a toddler on a plane? Check out these 7 toddler plane activities and ideas!


Are you wondering how to entertain a toddler on a plane? These toddler plane activities & ideas should help!

Toddlers on planes.

Three words that strike fear into the heart of any peace (and quiet) loving traveller.

We’ve all been there: the dreaded seat in front of a young, bored, and energetic child. The constant kicking on the back of the chair, the hands in your hair, the piercing cries and shrieks borne of tiredness and discomfort…

Long-haul flights can become a struggle.

More than anything, though, I feel sorry for the parents!

It’s not their fault that their child has tons of energy and no way of expending it. I can’t imagine having to entertain a tiny hyperactive person for hours on end in a tight, confined space, while simultaneously trying to keep their behaviour in check.

So, in a bid to help, I started wondering exactly how to entertain a toddler on a plane. I did some digging, compiled my findings, and then set about writing them up into the coming post.

Tired of the tears and tantrums? Looking for the best ways to keep a toddler entertained when you’re airborne?

Read on for 7 essential toddler plane activities, tips, and tricks for doing exactly that!

7 Toddler Plane Activities, Ideas, & Entertainment Strategies!

Here we go then: a selection of ideas to keep your toddler entertained on the plane. I hope they come in handy when you’re next airborne:

1. Plan Toddler Plane Activities Ahead

If you’re reading this, then you’re off to a good start.

It means you’re thinking ahead about how to make an upcoming flight (with a toddler in tow) more manageable.

Unless that is, you’re already at the airport, at the end of your tether, and desperately looking for something that’ll make a difference. If that’s you, then keep reading! The coming tips will prove more beneficial.

For everyone else, planning ahead is what’s going to make the biggest difference.

You know how quickly your toddler’s attention shifts. That means you need enough toddler plane activities, distractions, and ideas to keep them entertained throughout the entire flight.

A colouring book and pack of sweets just won’t cut it!

Try having something new up your sleeve to bring out every quarter of an hour or so. For a 2-hour flight that means having up to 8 ways to entertain your toddler on a plane, all lined up and ready to go.

Think magazines, coloring books, downloaded videos and games, smartphone apps, favorite toys, stories…and so on. Bring it all along to keep them happy.

2. Bring a Screen Full of Top Plane Activities for Kids

Tablets, phones, laptops…You name it, and with something to watch on the screen, most kids will be like a moth to a flame.

On long-haul flights, you’ll probably have in-flight entertainment, which is going to be a massive help. Simply find a favorite kids’ movie, plug in the headphones and settle down. With your toddler(s) happily entertained, you should get a good bit of rest too.

Without in-flight entertainment, though, it’s up to you to provide something similar.

Having a tablet or smartphone with downloaded videos/films/games is sure to keep your toddlers happy and make your life 10-times easier.

You might also like this post about the advantages and disadvantages of travelling by aeroplane! Check it out!


Having a long list of toddler plane activities up your sleeve is sure to make a mighty difference on future flights!

3. Bring a Trunki Full of Toddler Travel Activities

The results are in:

Trunkis are a winning addition to any trip to the airport with a toddler.

We’ve all seen children rolling, pushing and propelling themselves around the airport terminal on these clever little contraptions. Now’s the time to invest in one for yourself.

Sure, they won’t be much good in the plane. But you’ll count your blessings you have one before and after the flight itself.

When you’re in queues, waiting to be called, and just generally in limbo at the airport, the Trunki becomes a life-saver. It makes boring waits that bit more palatable.

Better still, the strap means you can pull your toddler along like a glorified husky dog on the long walk to the gate!

4. Reward Good Behaviour with Gifts

In my limited experience, kids seem to love nothing better than getting gifts.

The promise of receiving one is often enough to get their behaviour in check. Likewise, the potential of missing out on a gift can do the same.

Think about taking along a selection of small presents to give your child in return for being well-behaved. It doesn’t have to be much- something like candy, small wind-up toys, or a sticker book would be fine. Heck, you could even take their old toys and wrap them up as if they were new!

Give them a gift whenever they’ve been good for a reasonable length of time. It’ll re-inforce what they’ve been doing well and, hopefully, make them more inclined to keep it up.


Having a Trunki full of toddler travel activities would be a great way to kill two birds with one stone…

5. Travel Activities for Toddlers: Leverage the Window Seat

Okay, so you can’t rely on this one for the entire flight.

But you should definitely make the most of it if you or your toddler are sat next to the window. Let’s face it, there’s nothing more exciting than looking at the earth from the air.

Your child will be fascinated by seeing what’s out there- especially on take-off and landing. Point out particular landmarkss, big forests full of trees, buildings, or any other sight of interest. Get them to tell you what they can see too! It’s a great way to kill 10 minutes or so at the beginning and end of any flight.

6. Always Bring Snacks When Traveling with Toddlers on a Plane!

There’s no easy way to say this:

Sooner or later you might need to bribe your child.

When they’re climbing over the seats, kicking peoples’ chairs, and causing a ruckus all-round. It’s time to bring out the snacks.

The exact snacks you bring along to regain control of your toddler is up to you. Some parents opt for prized treats, full of sugar, like sweets and chocolate. The promise of receiving such snacks is sure to bring a toddler to attention.

It’s tricky though. Too much sugar and the problems are only going to get worse! Adding sugar to a child who’s already hyperactive is asking the trouble. It might be best to keep these kinds of snacks for times of real desperation.

Things like raisins, fruit snacks, and crackers can also do the trick.


Sleep is surely one of the best activities for toddlers on planes! Bringing a blanket and pillow will help make it happen.

7. Bring a Blanket and Pillow (Top Toddler Travel Ideas)

Having a blanket and pillow helps in numerous ways.

Pillows, for example, are fantastic for helping young children sit more comfortably and see out of the window with greater ease. Then, when it’s time to sleep, they’ve got something nicer to rest their heads upon.

Blankets are great for comfort too- especially if your toddler has a special blanket they always take to bed. It’ll provide a sense of familiarity in an otherwise novel and stimulating environment. It’ll help them settle down and fall asleep with less of a struggle involved. It might also be a valuable source of comfort for soothing any nervousness you child had about the flight.

Exactly How to Entertain a Toddler On a Plane

In my experience, children and long plane journeys aren’t exactly a match made in heaven.

Endless amounts of energy and an exciting new experience meet a confined space with grumpy seat-neighbours. It’s a recipe for trouble.

Flights with toddlers on board can be a challenge for everybody- especially the parents! Knowing how to entertain a toddler on a plan can make all the difference. Hopefully, the toddler plan activities, tips, and strategies in this post will help do exactly that.

Now it’d be great to hear from you!

What tricks do you use on flights to keep your young children entertained? Drop a comment below!