Travel Play Ideas for Kids – Toys for Flying

Travel Play - Flights with kids - Flight toys - plane journey - top 10 toys

We’re in the process of trying to organise our first holiday on an aeroplane. Floss, our daughter, has problems with gluten and dairy and even a small amount of contamination can give rise to issues, so travelling abroad isn’t quite as straight forward as we’d like. Anyway, enough about that, we’d need a whole separate website for that story! I’m a planner, so part of getting us ready and prepared is thinking about what we would need to take with us. Let’s face it there’s not much space for toys for flying, but you need them. Therefore, it’s really important that the toys are compact, have multiple uses and hold attention well.

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Travel play - play dates - eating out - travel toys - flight ideas - fine motor - small world - dinosaurs - threading - modelling - beeswax - tiny land

Essential to think about – how will you get the toys for flying there? It’s not like when you can take a car and pack it and a roof rack box full! You need to think carefully about luggage constraints as you’re going to need these things in your carry on bag. Check, do your kids get a luggage allowance too? Are they able to carry the bag themselves? I’ve heard great reviews about Trunkis and I’ll definitely be checking them out before we travel. If not a Trunki then we’d certainly take Floss’s little bag that we normally take out and about as she’s able to carry this on her back herself.

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Top 10 Toys for Flying

Here’s my top toys for flying. Some we already have and some would be on my list to get when we do travel. A mix of favourites and new toys help to let children feel safe in strange environments and excited by the new.

1. Pencils, Paper, Postcards – Triangular pencils won’t roll off the tray so easily. Taking a few postcards with you to write to family and friends on the flight is great for purposeful writing. Little ones can draw a picture and older children can write about their time on the plane.

2. Magic Paint Books and Magnetic Boards – These are great, just a little water for the magic paint books and you get lots of entertainment. We love magnetic boards as well for drawing.

3. Stickers – We’ve got a great little set of reusable stickers that have different themes that I rotate round. I’ve also made my own reusable stickers by laminating either a picture from a magazine or a drawing Floss has done and then using standard stickers on it. That way you can re-position them as you like.

4. Books – Favourites, new, place specific books. You can get mini versions of lots of books now. One of Floss’s favourites is a mini Gruffalo’s Child book that I found. Amazon is a good place, but also The Book People for mini collections.

5. Magnetic Puzzles – We make these ourselves with magnets we’ve got at home on the lid of a tin, but I really love the look of the Janod shapes and seasons magnetic books for something new for toys on a flight.

More Plane Journey Ideas for Kids

6. Busy Bags – We’ve made our own of these before and I’ll be posting a little more about these soon. We’ve also bought some of these fabulous busy bags from My Busy Bots, Floss is a HUGE fan of these – if you want take a closer peek inside check out the full review here.

7. Beeswax Modelling – Doesn’t get sticky like playdough and plasticine can and is really compact. It smells delicious and has a real calming effect. Perfect to be in the toys for a flight category!

8. Small World Play Tins – Could be a tea set, characters from a story, finger puppets, a Lego tin with a base plate attached, special gems or a set of mini planes. Here’s a link to a couple of cute little DIY small world set ups that would be perfect for plane travel. There’s also quite a collection of DIY play tins on our Pinterest Travel Play Board. I’d definitely be trying to pack Floss’s Gruffalo puppets as she adores them. New toys for a plane journey are great, but packing away a few favourites can really help to settle your child.

Shelfie - early years - toddler play - Preschooler - Grimms - Grapat - Eric&Albert - books - stories - Wooden Toys - Construction - Stacking- Mindfulness - Puzzles - Colours - Rainbow - Matching - Language - Words - Loose Parts - Farm Animals- Stories - Mushrooms - Story Stones - Small World - Feelings - Emotions - Number - numeracy - Books - Stories - Hape - Grimms - Grapat - Lanka Kade - Gruffalo - Eric & Albert

9. Card Games – I’m sure you’ve got your favourites – we love snap games, Uno, Dobble, Monopoly Deal (or just Mom and Dad – it’s a serious game in our house!) , 50 Things to Do on a Plane for older children.

10. Electronic Devices with Headphones – We take a tablet with films and carefully chosen apps when we’re out and about. We actually use Daddies headphones (not cheap), but they can cancel out a lot of the background noise that can get too much for Floss. We’d certainly take them on a flight with us as I used to wear them when we flew to reduce noise on the plane.

Top Tip

As with toys for car journeys (link here to car journey post) always hold a couple of bits and bobs back for the return journey. Something new and exciting will help!

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Helpful Reads

Here’s a couple of really useful blog posts I’ve found for travelling on a plane with kids.

Toddler on your lap – top tips – link here.

Toddler flight travel. I love the acronym S.A.S. – Snacks, Activities and Sleep Aids. Well worth checking out – link here.

Jen from Mamasden has also done a great post on what she’s just taken away on holiday with her three lovelies. Check out the post here.

Next week we’re preparing for a hospital stay with Floss, so that will be our theme. Ideas would be good for a short trip away too. If you’ve got any great ideas to share then please DM on Instagram or email For more travel play ideas check out our other posts in the series

Play Dates Travel Play Ideas

Car Journey Travel Play Ideas

Travel Play - Flights with kids - Flight toys - plane journey - top 10 toys

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