thread: Toddler Travel Activities on a Plane?

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    A Pirate Ship
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    Question Toddler Travel Activities on a Plane?

    We are going on a holiday! Ds will be 23 months and wondering what we can take on the plane trip to keep him happy. He's VERY active and things only occupy him for 'so long' iykwim. He will be running ALL over the plane lol Heaven help the air hostess on that flight So I've thought of the basics...



    Colouring in book & crayons
    Stickers and extra paper
    Activity book with magnets
    Small toys like plane, train, cars etc
    God bless the iPad! There will be puzzles and movies/ABC2 shows on that
    Small books

    I'm mindful of taking toys that make sounds as they might annoy other passengers BUT would ds running around the plane or crying annoy them more What do you all think?

  2. #2
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.
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    Playdough, god bless playdough!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
    Adelaide, SA
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    hmm, i'm not sure playdoh would be great on a plant, bit messy!

    Lots of books!!

  4. #4
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    is it a long trip or short one?

    we did a plane trip in feb with DS who had just turned 2! had no idea how he would cope as he is usually very active and doesnt sit still for long. the stewardess gave him a little plane pack with multi coloured pencil, book and 3D glasses. he also slept thru take off too!

    good luck and you will be fine

  5. #5
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    DS flew a lot when he was that age although the flights were quite short. The take off and landing is pretty exciting for them and the other times we would buy one of those little packs of cheese and crackers that you can get on planes. It used to take him the rest of the flight to eat it.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2007
    Melbourne
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    Toddler Travel Activities on a Plane?

    We travelled when DS1 was 22 months & DS2 8 months... Never will I do it again with two sitting on our laps! Anyway I packed heaps of little things, new things that if he didn't like I could throw out during transit. He actually liked playing with the TV remote on the plane the best and the things that came with the food tray! So don't take anything to big or expensive as no doubt the disposal cups will entertain more.

    Big W had great stuff for $1, $2 like small packets of farm animals, small toy helicopters... These worked well and a couple of handy manny sticker books which he liked at the time. He spent ages putting the stickers on his drink bottle. Emirates also gave us free kids stuff.... We were long haul 26 hours to Italy!

  7. #7
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    Jan 2008
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    Whatever you do get to keep him busy, try and keep it out of sight for a couple of weeks beforehand, same with his trusty faves that you plan on taking, so they are like new again once you're on the plane.

    I took a bag loaded with things, and honestly, the dvd player was the winner for us most of the time, along with pop corn.

    Under 2's normally fly free unless you buy a seat, so he will be on your lap. When you check in I highly recommend asking if there are any spare seats, and if there are, if they are able to block out a seat for your DS next to/in between you two. We had excellent luck over Christmas and managed to get a blocked seat on all 4 of our flights, and it was a godsend!

  8. #8
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    Thanks teresa, it's 5 hours and it's not during his nap time on the way there although on the way home he will nap not long after take off

    Sunny you beautiful woman I agree with Jaycee.... I'm not sure how playdoh would go on the plane? It may be a bit messy, but no more messy then food I guess. And he doesn't have a seat allocation as he's under 2 so he could play with it on my lap using dh's food tray thingo and we can keep it under control. you know what? I think it's a great idea now I think of it Thanks

    I've just been online looking and got some ideas... I bought a felt board that has tracks on it and trains etc to stick on it and he can also use the track for the toys I'll tack.

    I also found something called a felt snake where you cut up shapes and put a slit in them and then sew a button onto a piece of ribbon then they can thread the shapes onto the ribbon. I don't have any felt but I have fleece I can do it with.

    human bean yes everything will be new, I think that's important We have already selected seats when buying the tickets but will ask on check in if we can be moved if there are 3 seats in a row.

    thanks krysalys and milka, I missed your posts! krysalyss isn't food grat to keep them busy! milka thanks hon I will check out Big W. Everything will be pretty small and cheap I'd say
    Last edited by Cherished; May 31st, 2012 at 02:09 PM. : note to humanbean, and others

  9. #9
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    Dec 2007
    Victoria
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    For the love of your own sanity, do *not* take anything with pieces or bits. They will get dropped and you will have a **** of a time trying to keep it all together.
    Who are you flying with?
    I've flown a lot with the girls, and TBH, less is more. You can't get things in and out all the time, getting up and down, and with them on your lap, there is NO space at all. So a few books, popup or tactile ones are good, some colouring crayons (no lids, no broken leads ) and a colouring book, plus the food they serve and some DVDs or cartoons on your iPhone are fabulous.

    TBH, not sure why you would be comfortable with a 2 year old running around a plane...unless you are joking, which I have totally missed! lol Turbulence happens, they fall, the floors are filthy and it is really inappropriate. Take them for a couple of walks to stretch their legs, and they always like standing up on you and looking around, but just letting them loose is a bit dodge, imo.

    Anyway, You should find that is enough. Once you factor in the 20 odd mins for ascending and descending, when you need to be settled in your seat, and they will most likely bee feeding from breast or bottle to alieviate the ear issues, plus sleeping, which may happen whether nap tiem or not as the white noise of teh plane can be soothing, and time for eating and snacks and nursing, there won't be a lot left.

    HTH! I have done most of my flying solo with the girls, so learnt the hard way about taking too much

  10. #10
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    Feb 2008
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    I'd recommend picking up a small whiteboard (A4 size) from a newsagent or stationers and then you have a drawing board and a magnetic play board.
    A set of whiteboard markers and some magnets and you are set!

    You can also buy magnetic printer sheets from stationers and print out things to play with on the board. Dress up dolls, thomas train pictures, cars and roads, pictures of family members etc. Google images should bring up all the pics you could want. Then once cut out you can make pictures, stories etc and you don't loose the pieces cos they are magnetic! If DS has a favourite story you could photocopy images from the book onto the magnetic paper and tell the story using the pieces and then have him play with them after.

    If DS also has a favourite puzzle you can stick some magnets onto the back of the pieces to use on the whiteboard and save loosing them. At the same age, my dd loves a puzzle of teddy bear parts (heads, arms/torso and legs) that you can mix and match to make different outfits with each bear head having a different emotion. She loves it and it would work really well as a magnet set too. She loves acting out the faces, very entertaining.

    Also, google "toddler busy bags" for heaps of other awesome ideas…

    ETA: Human Bean's suggestion
    Whatever you do get to keep him busy, try and keep it out of sight for a couple of weeks beforehand, same with his trusty faves that you plan on taking, so they are like new again once you're on the plane.
    Is spot on. Nothing like the thrill of the new or the not seen in recent weeks.

  11. #11
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    Aug 2006
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    I agree with Limey about keeping the "stuff" to a minimum. Crayons & small colouring book is good. Those ones you get with a single texta that goes on invisible then reacts with the paper to make colour are good, small too. But the thing I was going to suggest was a miniature magnadoodle. They are travel sized, usually have a clip, the pen thing is attached, and it can be drawn & erased over and over and over again. Handy afterwards in the car too.

  12. #12
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    I still think playdoh is ok, no messier than food really, its quiet to play with & tactile. Ticks all the boxes for me. If you use a food tray you'll be sweet. And anyway, i'm sure the price of your ticket includes the services provided by the airline (which would include cleaning of the carpetted flooring).

  13. #13
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    YAY, just got back from the discount variety stores and got loads of cool stuff. New things for the trip there and other new stuff for the trip home.

    Sunny I got a 8 pack of mini playdoh's they will be fun for ds an dh to make stuff with and it's interactive as you say and it will occupy him for a while

    Marydean I got a mini travel magnadoodle thingo and another type which is flat and plastic, same concept but a bit different.

    Jackrose awesome ideas, thanks so much!

    Lime, no I wasn't kidding about ds running all over the plane.... but supervised! dh would be right next to him and unless I've come across like a crazy person on BB over the last few years I'm not sure why you would have thought that we would let a 23 month old child run free by himself around a plane? I'm not sure if you've just got me on a bad day but seriously what kind of mother do you think I am? We gentle parent our son and if he doesn't want to sit on our lap and wants to explore the plane then that's exactly what we will let him do, we aren't going to restrain him and he scream his head off instead or be distressed.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2007
    Victoria
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    He will be running ALL over the plane lol Heaven help the air hostess on that flight


    I'm mindful of taking toys that make sounds as they might annoy other passengers BUT would ds running around the plane or crying annoy them more What do you all think?

    You asked the question. And I'm sorry, but the first part of this quote, about the hostesses needing to watch out and him RUNNING ALL OVER THE PLANE sort of came across as if, well I don't know, you were going to let him RUN ALL OVER THE PLANE. Call me weird, but since you said it, I just took that to be what you ACTUALLY meant.
    I certainly didn't deserve the aggressive and rude tone of your reply. Thanks though. I certainly was not rude in my post, I was offering some perspective because YOU ASKED THE QUESTION.
    I'm sorry I bothered.

  15. #15
    Rach83 Guest

    Pay for a seat for him. The extra room is a necessity. I don't know any 2 year olds that will sit on someone's lap for more than 20mins.

    Do u have an iPad? Download some fave movies and games.
    Last edited by Rach83; May 31st, 2012 at 06:35 PM.

  16. #16
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    Apr 2006
    Perth
    4,203

    We let our girls stretch their legs - a couple of laps or so walking up one side and down the other is great, with a few minutes in the little wide sections at the back near where the kitchen/prep area is and toilets etc. LS is right though with turbulence sometimes being a problem - I was holding my DD at the time but another LO was wandering with her mum when we hit an airpocket. The poor little thing went cannoning into the edge of a seat and cut open her lip. Nobody was being a negligent parent, it was just one of those things, but still not nice to happen to her.

    We've learnt the hard way that taking your own headphones for the kids is great, rather than using the plane ones which are generally way too big for their heads. The range of movies and cartoons for kids is incredible, and while it drives you nuts because they want to see bits of EVERYTHING, it does tend to keep them occupied. I also found that my kids napped even though it wasn't their nap time - the hum of the plane is great for that.

    My biggest tip is for you and your DH to take a spare change of clothes (or at least a shirt) for yourselves as well as your LO. We've both had the pleasure of being covered in vomit from travel sickness, and if its 20 minutes in with no clothes to change into its soooooooooo ick.

    Have fun.