10 Best Airplane Activities For Kids

Ever flown on an airplane with kids?


Well, guess who is getting kicked in the back as you read this? That’s right me!

Oh, I feel for that momma who is doing everything in her power to entertain this devil child. I’ve been there, I know. Mostly when we have traveled with our 4 kids, I must say they made us proud, but of course there was the one time when child #2 went off sideways. The only way to quiet her down was to let her cry and scream herself to sleep. We wouldn’t have even been put in this situation or subjected other travelers to this most uncomfortable and annoying situation, but when you ask a travel agent from the olden days (before internet), we were put on 4 planes just to get to one place. It was the last time my husband was ever in charge of travel plans.

I do remember one time when the flight was full. We volunteered to give up 6 seats and take a later fight. This really was like playing with fire because if we did get pulled off the flight, we could be stuck in an airport indefinitely with a 3,4,5 & 7 year old. Imagine how fun that would be?


On the up side, we would be put on the next flight and given 6 free round trip tickets anywhere in the US. Score…..we could go back to Grandma & Grandpas house compliments of Northwest Airlines.

Guess what? They didn’t need us to give up seats, BUT they did bump us up to First Class. You should have seen the looks of the other passengers when teddy bears, blankies and books entered the front cabin. It was a priceless moment. All kids took their seats, buckled up and politely thanked all the flight attendants for taking their drink requests. Not always can I toot my “motherly horn”, but this was one time the kids were stellar and really showed they were capable of sitting up front with the big kids. The were served like royalty…at least giving them an option of shrimp or chicken seemed like royalty enough. At home it was one choice…that was it. No options.


On that flight, all 4 kids stretched out in the reclining seats. Their legs were so short the seats were like super large couches. They laid back, ate shrimp, drank a soda (always a special treat since we are not big soda drinkers) and watched some movie and fell asleep for the duration of the flight. I thank Northwest Airlines for providing us a memorable moment. Not all kids are bad travelers, but if you have ever tried to keep a little one occupied in a little 3’ x 3’ space, you would understand. Imagine the mother…she is more tired than you and she’s not getting a break at any time…wait…she will get a break….the kid will be so tired at landing an will most likely cry and fall asleep in the car right when they are arriving to their grandma & grandpas house.

If you are a mom traveling with kids, here are some tricks I have heard along the way. Hope they help.


1) Bring something to suck, like a Pacifier. If the child is nursing, nurse him/her or bring a bottle of water they can suck from.

2) Benedryl works, but don’t tell anyone I said that.


3) Presents. Young children love presents. Keep them occupied on long flights by wrapping everything in your carry-on bag. Small toys like dolls or cars, or even treats like jelly beans and candy will work. They’ll love unwrapping each item and it keeps them busy for long periods of time.

4) Doctor’s Kit. Pack a kid-friendly doctor’s kit with a doll for kids to explore. Load it with tons of band-aids, tape, and gauze to peel, pull and wrap for hours.

5) Stretch and Wiggle Game. Derived from a book called “From Head to Toe,” see how many body parts you can turn, wiggle or stretch.

6) Finger puppets. Small and endless entertainment. A little show is especially delightful for the 2-year-old crowd.

7) Coloring. Coloring is great, as long as it’s on paper and that’s not always easy to control; pens that don’t mark off the paper work very well like Crayola Color Wonder pads and pens. Bring other pens as well, but stick to washable pens and bring wipes to remove the out-of-bounds coloring.

8) Play dress-up on the plane with a small bag of old necklaces, bracelets, scarves and sunglasses.

9) Pop a favorite (or even better, new) DVD into your portable DVD player.

10) Co-author a book: Write down your child’s dictated story on a pre-stapled stack of paper, and ask him to supply the illustrations.

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