Travel Toys and Activities - for the PLANE

Recommended Toys/ Activities/ Games from PSP Members from over the years that are easy to pack and provide hours of fun guaranteed keep the little ones occupied when travelling on the plane!

Looking for toys and activities the CAR? Read our Road Trip Diversion tips here.

  • Travel Magna-doodle (no paper, and you can erase it and draw again).
  • Model Magic by Crayola is brilliant.  It is like playdough, but doesn't stick to fabric.  You can make white Model Magic any color by using Crayola waterbased markers.  Model Magic does dry out after a day, so you can always finish your session by making a palm print and giving it to whoever you're visiting as a momento.  It can be purchased at drug stores in multi-packs which are very small and can be stuck into a diaper bag as a "silver bullet.”
  • Stickers and sticker book
  • New coloring books and crayons in a ziplock bag
  • Wrap new toys (99 cent stores are filled with inexpensive options) to open on the plane
  • Bring a glue stick and some pictures from magazines that you have pre-clipped. (Or scour the Sky Mall!)
  • Bring a portable DVD player or laptop and watch some movies on long flights
  • Ice-- Depending on age, a cup of ice can get you through at least 10 minutes.  Ice (with the holes) and a stir-stick make a great game (again, as long as they are old enough not to poke themselves in the eye).
  • Play "I spy":  Open a magazine and play... "I see a watch!"  "I see a lady in a fancy dress!"  "I see an airplane!"
  • Books!
  • Some kids adore being given a dash of cookie decorations -- the teeny tiny multi-colored balls.  Put them into a little plastic or paper cup from a deli or from a sample of something. Your kid can eat them one at a time - an activity good for about 20 minutes at a go. (Lick the finger, stick it in, lick the finger, stick it in.)  It is a trivial amount of sugar, since your child will eat maybe 1/4 tsp over 20 minutes.
  • I give my daughter the airline magazine and a pen and suggest she draw beards and mustaches on all the pictures of people.  She loves it because she's not allowed to write on books, so she thinks she's getting away with something.
  • You could also use the magazine for other activities -- find one of each letter of the alphabet and cut them out and paste in order on a paper, for example.
  • Bring blank notecards and markers and stickers and have the child make cards to mail people.  Especially apt for holiday-period trips.  The office supply store on 7th Avenue between 8th and 9th Street has lots of stickers in different themes, and you can buy just one of each if you want.
  • For toys/entertainment, try a cup with just a little water. Or a coffee cup (empty!) with a cover if the airline has them. Opening and closing is endless fun.
  • We blew through an hour on a recent flight with a pack of sticky-notes.
  • Melissa and Doug makes great reusable stickers, and window decals can be fun too. 
  • Poke-E-Dot and Water Wow books are great, but so too is a full box of Kleenex. 
  • My kid likes to pinch (ouch) so we bring along some clothespins - she thinks it is hilarious when we pin things to her and she can take them off.
  • Someone suggested pompoms in a water bottle which was genius. We brought a ziplock baggie of pompoms and after we finished one of those little half-bottles of water from the flight service let him push them into the bottle one by one. He loved it.