Hubs and I love to travel…especially with our toddlers! Nugget is almost 3 and Peanut is 19 months old. Since our last flight was over a year ago, I knew I had to reevaluate my 10 hour flight game plan. I needed to research (and bring) the best toys for toddlers on a plane!
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. For more information, read my disclaimer & disclosure policy.
In addition to the obvious flight aids (snacks, snacks, and more snacks), toys and other methods of entertainment are KEY to a successful trip (success being relative, LOL). Without further ado, I give you my list of…
Best Toys for Toddlers on a Plane
Traveling Tip #1: Choose toys/activities that are (relatively) mess free.
For this particular trip and with my girls being the ages they are, I decided to forgo the playdough, crayons, and anything with glitter.
Mess Free Coloring Book and Markers
I cannot tell you how much I *LOVE* these!! I hadn’t yet introduced markers to either of the girls so this was very exciting. BONUS BONUS BONUS that these are mess free, meaning the markers ONLY work on the special coloring pages. I have no idea how these work but who am I to question perfection?! The girls were fascinated, I was fascinated…even Hubs got in on the coloring action. This is a GREAT “quiet” activity. The pages are perforated for easy tearing but my two ended up sharing pages. Did I mention it’s also mess free?!
Traveling Tip #2: Limit the amount of xyz and put them in a plastic bag (that zips).
Let’s face it: it’s inevitable that you will be bending down and picking up items off the floor a gazillion times during your flight. Make life a *little* bit easier for yourself and keep the number of items to a minimum. I brought 4 markers and the girls were perfectly content.
I LOVE gallon Ziploc bags (especially this kind). (If you get the kind with the slide thing and it falls off…you’re stuck.)
Toys with Suction
**THIS IS MY FIND OF THE YEAR!!!!**
I love that I found this by accident! I was thinking of toys that would be easy to keep track of in our seats. My kiddos have toothbrushes that have suction cups at the bottom. Every night, after they are done (or even before, LOL) brushing their teeth, they run around the bathroom sticking their brushes to the edge of the bathtub, the glass door of the shower, the floor…
BAM. Toys with suction. Perfect.
I did a Google search on toys with suction and this is what came up:
I was impressed. As a teacher, I thought I had seen all the cool toys out there! I’ve never seen or heard of these. Again, I limited the number of suction toys I brought on board and kept them bagged up. OMG THESE ARE SO MUCH FUN!!!
One thing to note: they don’t really stick to the tray table (as was my original plan). HOWEVER…if you are on a plane with the headrests with compartments for iPads/phones/tablets, stick your device up there…then stick the suction toys to the screen. These toys kept the entire family (adults included) entertained for a good half hour!
Traveling Tip #3: Buy one for each child.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sharing…but in a confined space (such as an airplane) for such a long period of time (in our case, 10 hours), make sure each child has their own item. It eliminates one additional stressor from your life!
If your toddlers are anything like mine, they LOVE baby dolls and stuffed animals! Again, I limited the number we were allowed to bring (one each). Toddlers learn by observing and will mimic what you (mom or dad) do with them…to their baby dolls. Nugget and Peanut love to just hold their babies and “shh shh shh” them while rocking them to sleep.
Our baby doll collection is getting a little out of control but these two are still the crowd favorite:
Growing up, all of my dolls were blonde haired and blue eyed…I am super excited to be able to find dolls that represent different ethnic heritages for my kiddos!
Traveling Tip #4: Choose items that are small and lightweight.
Because no one wants to travel with a 6 foot tall stuffed bunny or a bag of rocks!
I wondered about this choice because I did not want to play 52 pick up on the plane! However, my girls LOVE their blocks! I decided to bring these along:
Technically, these are linking cubes (usually used as manipulatives during math class) and they are meant for children ages 5+…(that being said, always check the ages for toys, use your best judgment, and always supervise!). Nugget loves to build things with these and Peanut loves the popping sound when she pulls these apart.
Traveling Tip #5: Choose items that are quiet.
I almost died laughing when Nugget asked if she could bring this onboard our flight:
If you’ve seen the movie Moana, you know how
annoying endearing Hei Hei is. Still, I would NOT want him in my bag of tricks!
This is more our jam:
Magnetic Writing Board
Unlimited potential for fun with this one! (Love that the pen is attached!)
We have entered the stickers galore phase in the Smith household. So simple and so fun! We did foam stickers, regular, activity books…even garage sale dot stickers. Hours of fun to be had!
Traveling Tip #6: Bring media (but save as a last resort!).
When traveling, I like to use media as a last resort, when all other avenues of distraction and engagement have been exhausted.
We have (and love) these:
The tablet is perfect for toddlers–not too big, not too fancy. DEFINITELY get the protective case! The headphones are just the right size for little heads and there’s a volume control setting to protect little ears. Also, how cute are the cat ears?!
Traveling Tip #7: Handle your media issues ahead of time.
Charge your tablets the night before (and bring the charging cables). Download whatever shows/movies you want to ahead of time so you are not dependent upon Wi-Fi. Test the headphones out to make sure they work.
I am happy to report that we all survived our flights with flying colors!
Here’s wishing you a successful trip as well.