Best Toys to Occupy a Baby or Toddler on a Flight

So, your baby has convinced you that it’s time for them to take their first trip on a plane. While their excitement is adorable, you probably know that traveling with kids is a crapshoot at the best of times, made even more difficult by the feeling that the general expectation for babies on airplanes is to see and cannot be heard or smelled.

If you happen to be sitting next to the guy who happily jokes that the only place for babies on a plane is the wing, here are some toys and activities to keep your baby or kids busy with minimal movement, noise, and mess. as possible.

The best baby travel toys to bring

When choosing ideal baby toy candidates to pack for your flight, here are some criteria you’ll probably want to keep on your radar:

  • Lightweight and easy to pack in carry-on luggage
  • No chaos
  • Does not roll and will disappear when (not if) it is dropped
  • Not too loud and obnoxious (you know the ones)
  • Toys that will go through security (we soak some water/stuff things that might not get through)

With those things in mind, here are some of the best travel toys listed by age (0-4) to check out before your next trip!

Lamaze Clip & Go Freddie the Firefly

This sweet sensory toy is bright, bold, squishy and wobbly and includes a peep-a-boo mirror and a ladybug, teether and squeaker. It also has a clip to keep it attached to your diaper bag, stroller, or play mat so you can keep it secure as you travel to your gate and never have to worry about rescuing it from the plane floor. 0+ months. Find it at Amazon and Target.

indestructible things books

Indestructible books

The first time someone showed me these lightweight books, I was a little skeptical that they could actually withstand the destructive power of a baby, but the moment I bent, folded, crumpled and tried to tear one open, I was sold. . There are so many great stories to choose from, and they’re all very flattering and washable too. 0+ months. Find them at Amazon and Target.

Sassy Photo Album

Sassy Photo Album

This Sassy Photo Album can contain photos of the home, pets, family, or anything else you can think of. You can also cut out pictures from magazines of their favorite things to keep them entertained for your next plane ride. I’ll load a few pictures in each sleeve so I can reinvent the book if they get the pictures. 3+ months. Find it on Amazon.

Note: If you prefer to have a full content album, you can create a custom softcover photo book in Chatbooks.

soft fabric Busy Book

Busy Book

This adorable quiet book is the perfect travel toy for children six months and older. It’s easy to carry and play with thanks to its large parts, and it has many interactive pages with different materials and objects like ribbons, zippers, felt, buttons, and more to keep your kiddo entertained. Best of all, it’s machine washable, making it easy to get rid of germs when you get home! Take it here. 6+ months. Find it at Amazon and Target.

Fun Baby Tissue Box

Fun Baby Tissue Box

If you’ve ever caught your child going to town with the tissue box in your bathroom, you’ll probably agree that whoever made a reusable, cloth version is nothing short of a genius. There are many brands that make their version of this one but I liked the compact size of this one. 6+ months. Find it on Amazon.

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl

Fat Brain Toys Dimpl

Help your baby resist the urge to lick the tray table by giving them a baby version of a Pop It. The brightly colored buttons are 100% food grade silicone, making them safe to chew and fun to pop! 6+ months. Find it at Fat Brain Toys, Amazon and Target.

Fat Brain Toys PipSquigz Loops

Fat Brain Toys PipSquigz Loops

These extra-fancy rattles are a sensory teether toy that no baby can resist. The bendy, suction cup creation has three rattle rings that are safe and fun to touch and chew on and can stick to any non-porous surface. 6+ months. Find it at Fat Brain Toys, Amazon and Target.

MiniSpinny Fat Brain Toys

MiniSpinny Fat Brain Toys

The MiniSpinny makes for some great grab and go sensory entertainment. The 3 colorful propellers rotate down a corkscrew pole, and cannot fall thanks to the stoppers at each end. Flip it over to give again. 10+ months. Find it at Fat Brain Toys, Amazon and Target.

Amazon has a 4-piece Lil’ Dimpl set that can be cheaper than buying them all separately.

I know I’ve featured a lot for Fat Brain Toys but they are well made, quiet and often self-contained making them great on-the-go toys.

Fat Brain Toys Whirly Squigz

Fat Brain Toys Whirly Squigz

Babies and adults alike will have a blast with Whirly Squigz, which are food-grade silicone fidget spinners. There are three colorful spinners with two, three and four petals and a suction cup on one side. They stick well to a window on a plane, tray, or tabletop. 10+ months. Find it at Fat Brain Toys, Amazon and Target.

Buckle shark toy

Buckle Toys

These fun toys come in a variety of shapes and styles but all of them come with buckets that can be clipped and unclipped. Not only is it a great way to keep littles entertained, but it also helps develop their fine motor skills. Get to know your child on this one, however, there is a fine line between focus and frustration with toys like this. 12+ months. Find them all on Amazon.

Mobi Zippee

Mobi Zippee

This silicone activity toy has textured cords that make a pleasant (not too loud) sound and vibration when pulled from side to side. It’s easy to handle and a little messy, which we all know is a favorite for this age group. 18+ months. Find it at Target.

My First Crayola Double Doodle Board

My First Crayola Double Doodle Board

If your older kids love to color but you don’t want to pack away their entire coloring book collection, the Double Doodle Board is a fun alternative. One side has a sealed gel surface for mess-free doodling and tactile play, and the other has a reusable drawing surface to use with the included Ultra Clean washable crayons. 2+ years. Find it at Amazon and Target.

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet

If you’re okay with the usage time, download some videos your child will love ahead of time, along with headphones so your fellow passengers don’t have to deal with an emergency episode of Cocomelon. If you’re looking for some engaging apps to add, Peekaboo Barn and Baby’s Musical Hands are two fun apps they’ll probably enjoy. 2+ years. Find it on Amazon.

farm Melissa and Doug Poke-a-Dot Book

Melissa and Doug Poke-a-Dot Books

These sturdy board books are great for kids ages 3 and up, and include buttons to press and pop and count on each page. Each poke can make a different clicking and popping sound, depending on how they are pressed. There are many different themes, like oceans and fields, and even books featuring popular characters, like Blues Clues. 3+ years. Find them at Amazon and Target.

Match the UP Memory Snack Tray

Authentic Fred Match UP Memory Snack Tray

Any parent will tell you that a snack in hand takes about 1.7 seconds, and takes up a lot of room in a diaper bag when you’re trying to keep your child fed and entertained throughout the flight. This Snackle Box Memory Match UP game is very clever, I wish I had thought. Older kids love making a game out of their snack, and as a bonus, it can last up to the minute mark. 3+ years. Find it on Amazon.

Remember: If you’re looking for a straightforward snack container, I like the melii Snackle Box. All compartments are visible so you can see what you’re getting.

Water Wow Books

Water Wow Books

Water Wow Books bring the magic of painting without any of the fuss. Just fill your “paintbrush” with water, and get ready to reveal the images underneath. These books can be used over and over again and have different themes. 3+ years. Find them at Amazon and Target.

butterfly clings to the window

The window clings

Get some themed window clings and let your child go crazy over the plane window (you have to give them the best seat in the house to do this, though). Use the clings to make up stories and different pictures to mix things up. 3+ years. Find them on Amazon.

Sticker books

Sticker books

Sticker books are another fun activity that kids of all ages love. There are some cute options out there with themed pages that kids can add and remove stickers to create different scenes. I love what Melissa and Doug does because the books are nice and compact. Just make sure none of those stickers end up on the head of the grandpa sitting in front of you. 4+ years. Find them at Amazon and Target.

Painter's Tape

Painter’s Tape and Post-it notes

Finally, a cheap and easy travel hack is some Post-Its or Painter’s Tape. They’re both handy for stick-and-go activities for an impatient kid who digs peeling it (you know these kids). Just make sure to peel everything off and put it away when you’re done so the flight crew doesn’t have to deal with it. Also, remember that these require more supervision than age-specific toys – nothing like eating a ball of tape on a transatlantic flight.

A smooth ride for air travel with babies and toddlers

Most parents would probably agree that flying with busy babies is not for the faint of heart. However, being prepared with new activities, toys and snacks is a great way to avoid hunger and boredom, which we all know is a no bueno combo at the best of times.

With your Mary Poppins bag full of tricks, and the universe on your side, you might get lucky and get your baby to sleep after takeoff, but just in case you can’t, you can consider yourself prepared to ride in the air.

See also: Tips for Flying with a Baby (Free Packing Checklist)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button