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Out of all the aspects of traveling with kids, the plane ride is always the biggest hurdle for me. I don’t know about your kids, but mine cannot sit still. Like, they are always moving. And to add to that, they are always begging to go outside. They would just live outside in the yard if they had the choice. So, putting them in a small space for hours without any chance to run around is always an adventure.
While my almost three-year-old can cuddle up with his iPad and blankie for most of the flight, even that gets old for him after a while. And don’t even get me started on my 1-year-old. Nothing keeps his attention for long enough. So, I’ve experimented with many different toys to get through the many flights that we’ve been on.
I’ve put together a list of the most successful toys that have worked for my energizer bunnies. Check it out and try some on your next flight!
newborns (birth – 3 months)
By far the easiest age to travel with. All they want to do at this age is eat and sleep. To make it through a flight with them, you don’t need much.
doodle and co pacifiers
If your baby likes the pacifier, these are the ones to get for the plane. When they want to use it, you pop the nipple out and put it in their mouth. If it happens to fall out, the nipple pops back into its bubble automatically!
noise cancelling headphones
These are lightweight and comfortable, and keep noise at a minimum. I used them on the plane when they were this tiny (this was the only age they would actually keep them on) for peace of mind. They also are great for fireworks, loud music, etc. so they’re not overwhelmed by the new sounds.
dr. brown's bottles
The best bottles. They also have a nipple venting addition that slows the milk flow (which helps with colic and gas!) and they don’t leak. Both my boys only liked these bottles.
The KEY to traveling with a little one. They snuggle up next to you and fall asleep easily and you have your hands free. Once they’re a bit older, you can turn them around so they can see the outside world.
babies (4 months – 12 months)
By far, the hardest age to travel with. They understand the world a bit and they want to explore it. All they want to do is move and look around. They refuse to sit still. This stage by far takes the most creativity. The good thing about this age is they most likely still take good naps which gives you a break from entertaining.
Like popping bubble wrap in a baby version. You push on a bubble and it pops back. Every kid that sees this wants to play with it. Major crowd pleaser.
An exact replica of my iPhone that my kid is so obsessed with. The phone plays songs, flashes, it even rings the same as my phone!
Spinners with suctions to attach to the back of the tray table. This keeps a kid’s attention for a while.
These double as a plane toy and as a bath toy!
Bright and great for motor development, it comes with shapes of different textures that kids can pull in and out of the bin. Using it as a rattle is also a hit!
stasher snack bags
Not a toy, but once they’re eating, snacks are a MUST to bring on the plane. These reusable bags are made of silicon so they’re sturdy and easy to clean. They also come in many fun colors!
Extra thick and the perfect size for little hands, these books have cute rhymes and bright colors. My 1-year-old gets so excited to lift the flaps himself.
toddlers (18 months – 3 years)
At this age, it gets a little more manageable. They’re interested in tablets, and they can do more heads down activities like coloring or sticker books.
Large gel stickers that come in all kinds of different shapes. Stick them on the window or on the tray table. You can use them a few times before they lose their stickiness.
A Montessori inspired sensory board, it has a wide range of levels from Velcro to buttons and buckles.
Push Pop Bubble Fidget Toy
Bubble wrap, the toddler version. These come in different colors and shapes and are rows of tiny bubbles to pop. My kid told me he loves this toy 20 times while he played with it the first time!
Water Wow books
Perfect for kids that are still learning how to color. These are reusable coloring pads that show color when they are wet. Kids just use the water pen to make the colors appear.
A book full of stickers to use to fill out a scene. The stickers can be pulled up and moved around too!
Pipe cleaners for kids. They bend into all kinds of shapes on their own, plus the pack comes with a activity book to use as stencils, and a connect-the-dots play packs.
Not only do they not roll off the tray, but they are easier for kids to hold.
No explanation needed! The fire comes with all kinds of apps, books, and videos that you can download plus you can add other apps like Netflix.
Do you have any of these toys? Others that you love that aren’t on the list?
Let me know in the comments!