Travel Essentials: Toy Planes Offer Inflight Entertainment

 In Travel Tips

I’ve got a dirty traveling mom secret. I bring very little for my kids to do on a plane. So far my oldest, Dek who is 3, is more than happy to steal my Kindle Fire to play games and watch movies no matter how long the flight is. He knows he can only do this on a plane and he takes full advantage. His little brother’s inflight entertainment consists of something to chew on in between naps and a few snacks.

But what to do during takeoff and landing? You know that time when you can’t use electronics.

I found early on that the process of flying captivates Dek. We walk through security, put our stroller in the “belly” of the plane before we board, and hunt for our seats together. He HAS to have a window seat so he can watch all the action as our plane is prepared, and he loves the rush of taking off and landing. His little fingers still get bored while we have to wait to turn on our electronics. At first I tried coloring books, a new toy, snacks, even singing songs and telling stories, but nothing held his interest. Last year I finally realized my solution was staring me in the face.

Mount Rainier

In my travel arsenal is a small bag of toy cars from the movies Cars and Cars 2. There are also a few small planes of various shapes and models. I handed Dek one of his small toy airplanes, and grab one for myself. We pretended to take off, land, do loops in the air, and any other hilarious things we could think of doing with our airplanes while we waited to take off, and again in those awful minutes that you have to turn off all electronics before landing. Really, that is the worst part of my flight.

Having a plan to keep my boys busy and engaged means I have a happier flight, and so does everyone else on our flight. Those little planes have been a routine part of our journey for over a year now. I’m happy to report we have only lost one plane in all that time. Fingers crossed we don’t lose anymore. Just in case, I’ll be buying at least 2 of his favorite one in the future. Fewer headaches when I have a crying kid that lost his “super fast airplane” on an actual airplane.

What’s your go to toy when flying?

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Showing 9 comments
  • My 5 year needs nothing more than the ipad, headphones, water and a snack! And probably a book while we take off/land. My 2 year old is trickier, but she loves sticker books and crayons, so those are what we bring. I agree at a certain point you can get away with less!

  • Kiera

    Great idea. My child has done well with coloring books, stickers, etc. but it’s a lot to deal with on a plane. I think I’ll have to try the cars and planes idea!

  • Crystal

    Yeah, we are an electronic family. We haven’t been on a plan in a year and a half, but for all our European road trips we never leave home without the iPad and iPods loaded with movies and new games. When they were little, I bought of made busy kits for the kids on long flights. They were awesome!!

  • Alyson

    Same here, we avoid taking toys, they end up on the floor. My two are always happy to just talk, or look at books or soak up the whole new environment before the inflight entertainment starts.

  • Cheryl

    We don’t take many toys with us as we fly at night during bed time so all we have are their loveys. If they REALLY need something to play with we make puppets out of the barf bags. LOL. They love it! 🙂

  • Charu

    I love your Walking on Store! I was considering having one on my site but there will be a version of it. Great idea to not take toys for kids but let them play with stuff they find on the planes….

  • wandering educators

    Great tips!!

  • Ann

    Anything plane related. He also likes inflight magazines.

  • Sally@Toddlers on tour

    Cars have always been our favourite. Preferably Duplo ones. 2 activities in one. First build the car and then drive it over every available surface. Duplo has the advantage of being only a couple of pieces to build the car so you don’t have many pieces to loose. They also don’t fall apart easily like Lego.

    My other great find has been jigsaw or sticker books. Another 2 activities in one. Just choose a jigsaw book with only a 4 piece jigsaw on each page -less pieces to loose.

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