20+ best tips, tricks & ideas for flying with a toddler

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 Flying with a toddler?  Try these tips, tricks and ideas to make your trip easier!

20+ Best Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Flying with a Toddler | simplykierste.com

I recently took my newly-turned two year little girl on her first plane ride. She joined her sisters and me for a girls’ trip out west, and none of us could wait to go!  I’ve flown plenty of times before, but it had been awhile since I had a toddler with me since now there are eight of us, we do most of our family traveling by car.

I think toddlers are in general the hardest age to travel with, but especially flying.  Not that they aren’t perfectly adorable in every way, but they are at a age where they want to be down, running, and moving, and a plane is probably the most limiting.  When you’re in a car, you can stop and stretch little legs and take a break, but that’s just not always possible on a plane.  That said, to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for both toddler and parents, it’s good to have a game plan, and plenty of tricks up your sleeve for the trip.

For our own trip, I had a few new ideas I wanted to try, and some others I had done in the past, but I also asked my awesome Facebook readers for their ideas.  They did not disappoint, and I knew I wanted to share them with all of you! When it comes to entertainment, obviously you can’t take everything, or try every single idea, so I suggest choosing ones that you think your toddler will enjoy the most, or what they might need the most, and start there.

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ENTERTAINMENT IDEAS:

These are ideas for things you can pack for entertainment–to keep those little hands busy! Some affiliate links included.

-Make a Cheerio or Froot Loop necklace for them to wear and eat! I LOVE this idea–I would probably make more than one!

Dry Erase Activity Books: I made these for my kids a couple of years ago, and they love them just as much today as they did then–and so do I.  You can easily erase with baby wipes, and they can color the pages over and over!

-Stickers, Post-it notes, plane tape, etc. Have notebooks for them to put their stickers on, so they don’t go on the seats or windows.

-Box of paper clips: they can string them together

-Color Wonder markers and paper: I LOVE not worrying about markers!

-Quiet play items: pipe cleaners and a bag of foam beads or pipe cleaners made into rings to thread onto yarn or twine

-SNACKS!!! Oh my goodness, can you ever have enough snacks?  I always pack more than I think I’ll need, no matter how we travel. If all else fails, bring out a snack. :)

Melissa & Doug Sticker Pads:  My kids adore these sticker pads, and play with them all the time.  The only downside is that they’re a little on the bigger side, so they may not work if you are limited in space when you’re packing bags.  However, if you can fit them, they are wonderful, and entertain for hours!!!

-Calculator: This is so brilliant.  What is it about calculators?

-Dum-dum suckers:  I like these because they’re smaller in size, and even though they can be a little messy, they usually are great for getting a toddler to quiet down or for distraction when you need it.

-Dollar store items:  Bring along items they haven’t seen before, and ones you won’t worry about if they get ruined or lost!

-Headphones & Portable DVD Player:  We just bought a new portable DVD player that we love. It’s light, super easy to put into a diaper bag or backpack, and the screen swivels.  It was perfect for not only the plane, but for our looooooong layover. I’m excited about being able to use it for any of our trips in the future, not just flying.

-Coloring books & crayons: Good old-fashioned coloring books and crayons will always be on the list! I like to out crayons in a wipes case for easy traveling!

-Starburst candies–they take a long time to unwrap and eat. :)

Magnetic Tins:  My kids love these, and they are perfect for little hands. Since it’s magnetic, they stay in place, and it closes up neatly for storage.

Finger Puppets:  These are so fun, and pretty small, making them easy to pack!

Clipboard–wipes case that holds crayons: Often it’s easier to have a hard surface to play on.  Yes, the airplane trays come down, but sometimes those aren’t available or convenient.  If you can fit a clipboard in your bag, it’s something to consider.

Keep reading for “Items to Bring”…

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About Simply Kierste Design Co.

Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and focuses on simple ideas and projects to make a house a home! When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.

6 thoughts on “20+ best tips, tricks & ideas for flying with a toddler

  1. Oh my goodness thank you for this post!

    The cheerio necklace idea is brilliant. as well as many others. Ill be flying with my 21 month old in March and am definitely nervous. Last time we flew she just nursed the whole time and this time I fear she will want to run and play. This is going to help so much.

  2. Agreed, this entire list is brilliant! Thank you for this post – already feeling more prepared for what I feared would be a 4 hour wrestling match with my little monkey. :)

  3. Amazing tips! Thank you so much for writing this. It will be helpful for our upcoming trip with my 19 month old 😊

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