Here’s our tried and tested seven best ways to keep young kids entertained on a flight. These will also prove useful for car rides, at restaurants and anywhere else you need to keep the kids engaged when you’re at your destination.  These are our favourites which have proved indispensable in our travels with Miss 2.

  1. Activity Books

Activity books offer the best of both worlds – fun colourful stories, plus the benefits of interactive features such as stickers, colouring pages and tasks like finding characters and answering quiz questions.  Usborne Books has such an amazing collection of activity books, they are sure to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours.  These books have cute, simple illustrations and a huge variety of topics sure to suit all interests. Stickers are a great way to keep kids busy and many can be reused and moved about the book.

Usborne Activity Books

Usborne also make great little activity packs which include 4 smaller sized books (perfect for the tray table on a plane) and come in their own carry case.  Another good option for extended trips are their wipe clean books which can be used again and again.

  1. Magazine Packs

These magazine packs provide a few different books – stories, colouring, stickers and toys all in the one pack.  They are relatively inexpensive and light to carry.  Some have great learning pages like counting and identifying alphabet letters which our toddler loves to do.  Our local supermarket always seems to have the latest Peppa Pig packs which I grab before each trip.

Peppa Pig Magazines

  1. Story Books

I always try to buy a couple of new story books and then have one ready to give for each flight.  I like to find ones where you have to lift a flap or find a character on each page as these are good to read over and over and keep kids engaged.

  1. Crayons

We love Crayola Twistables crayons which lasted for the duration of our recent 5 week trip around Europe.  We didn’t need to worry about sharpening them as you just twist them up to extend when they run low, they don’t break as they have a plastic casing and in the smaller size were perfect for little hands and for convenient for travelling.

  1. Toys

We always take the current favourite soft toys or teddies on board for each trip.  Our little one loves carrying her favourite friends in her own little backpack.  Some playdough is also a small and easy to carry toy which keeps some kids entertained for a while on the flight.  Miss 2 prefers to eat playdough than make shapes, so we usually steer clear it, unless for very short, ultra supervised burst of play!

  1. iPad

Even if you limit screen time at home, it’s worth considering an iPad or another tablet as entertainment on a flight.   It can be a real lifesaver after the novelty books, toys and stickers has run its course.  Pick a couple of favourite shows or movies and download them prior to the flight so you have them ready when needed.  Even on some international flights you can’t be assured of inbuilt entertainment units, so its worth having your own backup.  Remember to take your charger on board in case there is a USB point provided, or take an external power source in case the batteries run low at a critical time.

  1. Kids headphones

We got a great pair of Moki kids headphones from JB HiFi before our last trip which were well worth the money as they fitted our little one well and we also had the piece of mind that they were volume limited so we didn’t need to keep checking on the noise level.

See our post of Tips for flying with babies and toddlers for more ideas on having great flights with your kids!

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  • kathleen frank

    Hi! I am heading to Santorini with a 20 month old over the Holidays. Very much enjoy your travel tips–thank you!

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