Time to Fly

Nothing says adventure like a plane ride and we love adventure. How do you stay entertained while traveling on a plane? Our strategy is to pack our carry on full of more options than we think we will need and hope for the best. Ruby has her own backpack that we pack full of stuff and I stash one or two little things as a back up just in case. I also stash a few new things in my suitcase for the return flight. We have about 10 flights under our belt, so she is familiar with the routine and asks for me to give her another “activity” when she wants something new to do.

Walking through the airport with a backpack full of goodies

Here are a few simple ideas and I know there are a million options. (just look on Pinterest)

Play Foam
I bring one or two packs of play foam to play with on the tray. This is a fun thing to bring on the plane because it can be smooshed or you can build with it but not make much of a mess.

Water Wow Books
All you need to do is fill your water brush up with water once you get through security and you are all set for in-flight entertainment. Ruby has a few of these.


Play Doh
I bring one can of play doh to play with on the tray. It is an easy thing to ditch after the flight if you are not a fan of “airplane cooties”.


Magicolor Books
These markers only color on the special pages in the coloring book which makes them perfect for using markers in tight spaces. Ruby had never used one until a flight and she was a big fan and she ended up coloring longer than I think she ever has in her life. I think that is key for airplane entertainment. One or two things that are new and novel can go a long way


Notepad and a Pen
It sounds simple but I will admit that Ruby is generally offered crayons, markers and colored pencils. Using a pen is a fun novelty and thus led to a chunk of time spent entertained.


Peeling and sticking stickers provides endless amounts of entertainment. We stuck stickers on ourselves and to paper in our notebook. I prefer larger stickers that are easy to peel off because Ruby can do it herself with little assistance. Very small stickers can be frustrating.

iPad and Headphones
I usually add a few new shows, books, and games to keep things interesting. We have a fun pair of headphones that we travel with.

Snuggly Things
Something to snuggle can help you calm down when you get nervous during a flight. Ruby likes to mother her dolls so I packed a small doll. I also packed a thin blanket that she could wrap up in or that she could wrap her baby in. It was thin, easy to pack and a favorite.

Airline snacks are seriously overpriced. I stock our bag with our regular snacks and a few fun things that we don’t have every day like gummy snacks. We pack an empty water bottle and fill it once we are through security.

Wikki Stix
I love to have these stashed in my purse as a back up. We didn’t end up using these on our last flight but I pulled them out when we were at a restaurant and they provided entertainment for several kids. They are sort of like sticky pipe cleaners that you can bend and stick together in endless ways. I have also packed a few pipe cleaners or chenille sticks as they are called today, with the same idea in mind.

What do you pack for flights that have been big hits?


4 thoughts on “Time to Fly

  1. Have you ever heard of Colorforms? They have been around for about 60 years. They are plastic shapes that stick to almost any smooth surface. I loved them when I was a kid.


  2. All great ideas, Michelle! I like chunky wooden beads to thread onto big paperclips (that was good when she was 18-30 mos.), magnetic paper dolls, a mini magnadoodle, a memory game, and threading board. I also always carry lots of plastic bags for trash or wet/soiled clothes, an extra set of clothes for each of us (more important when she was smaller, but still handy) and a muslin for spills and messes.
    We’ve got a long flight back to MI in August so will definitely be using some of your tips!


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