Flying with a child can be daunting and especially when we are talking about long flights. These days we normally resort to YouTube or Netflix as a first option to keep children entertained, and they sure work wonders but I don’t like to have my daughter watching screens for so many hours. Julia goes on long-haul trips flights at least twice a year and I want to share with you 7 ways to entertain your child on a plane that work wonders for us.

All parents know that children need activity, they need to move and the younger they are the shorter attention spans they have. So before going into how to keep children entertained be conscious of the length of the flight, you can’t expect a 2 year old to sit through a 10 hour flight, so take your kid walking around the aisles and spend some time in the back with the stewardesses even if only for a sip of water or milk. 

There’s a few airlines that are great with kids and always have something for them. This was especially the case for us with Emirates and Qatar Airways, they were very accommodating and had small surprises for Julia which she obviously loved. 
With that said here’s 7 ways to entertain your child on a plane: 

entertain your child on a plane

Play doh and plastic cutter toys

I keep everything in a little box where two tins of play doh and a few plastic toys fit perfectly. Julia loves to make play doh cakes, meatballs and shapes. One time we were stuck on a landed plane for more than 4 hours and she fed every single passenger with play doh “food”. It was hilarious she was the only passenger who has not going nuts in that plane. 

Small plastic dolls or figures 

There was a time when Julia’s favorite characters were the Swedish cartoon Babblarna, and we had them all in small plastic figures. They obviously also got fed with Play Doh. Now she has moved into Disney princesses so we also have small plastic princesses come along. In our last trip with my mom she brought Julia a zipper bag with a few plastic farm animals. These are great entertainment and keep her making up games and using her imagination. 

Coloring books and crayons 

This is a basic, I think even when I was a child it was my mom’s way of keeping us entertained, this is probably one of the ways to entertain your child that everyone uses. I make sure that the book is small enough to fit in Julia’s backpack and bring a small box of crayons that she can paint with. In the worst of the cases some paper and crayons also work wonders. 

Sticker books

I have no clue what it is about stickers that keep Julia entertained for hours. Of course that means that my purse or backpack always end up covered in stickers of all kinds, as well as my clothes and the airplane seat. But at the end of the day everyone wants a calm happy kid so I say – stick on! Lol. 

Magic drawing board

I think is this also something from when I was a child, or at least I have memories of having one. But Julia really likes drawing in a magic board and pretending to write all of our names. We found one once that was really small, like the size of a pocket book so it was perfect to keep in Julia’s back pack. 

Books to read 

Julia loves a story, especially when she is tired and is about to fall asleep so I always bring one or two books that we read one million times throughout the trip, but hey whatever helps! 

Mini kitchen toys 

This is something that we’ve used for the last two years at least. My mom found a tiny kitchen with pots and pans and she bought it for her. Now we carry it around everywhere and get served breakfast, lunch or dinner around the clock. Sometimes dinner comes in the form of play doh and it can even be served to the small plastic toys that we bring along. 

These are our must-bring 7 ways to entertain your child on a plane. The best thing, and which is a must if you’re traveling, is that they are small enough to fit in a kid’s backpack. We actually carry these things around anywhere, we go to restaurants and have a kid that can happily stay for a little longer.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other ideas on how to entertain your child on a plane. 

entertain your child on a plane
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We are a family living abroad since 2012. We love to travel with our toddler and want to share with you that traveling with kids doesn't have to be complicated no matter where you go.

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