Airplane Must-Haves for Kids

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Our vacation is booked and we’re heading to San Diego, California!  Total travel time?  6 hours 20 minutes.  No sweat, right?  (don’t laugh)  I’ve been busy collecting things for the boys carry-on bags and I’m determined to get off the plane and say, “That was fun!  Now let the vacation begin!”  Meanwhile, here’s what we will exhaust on our 6 hour plane trip:

10 Airplane Must-Haves

Travel Games

2 games that all kids LOVE!  Both of my boys enjoy playing ‘Hungry, Hungry Hippos’ and ‘Candy Land’ and will be so excited to see the travel versions!  (Shhh, its a secret!)

Travel Tangos

I purchased 2 of the 3 Magnetic Travel Tangoes and know my kids will have fun make animal & object puzzles!

Flash Cards

There are so many different kinds of flashcards for all age groups- Find a package that your child doesn’t have and would love to look through for a few minutes! I bought our boys ‘Transportation Flash Cards’!

Gnarly Teeth

I mean seriously, how fun are these?  I’m thinking I can even sneak a pair in my mouth if one of the kids has a melt-down on the airplane.  It would completely shock them & shut them up; they’d have to start laughing!  If not, I’m in big trouble.  You can find Gnarly Teeth in Gag gift stores or!

Glow Bracelets

When in doubt, play with glow sticks! I got a couple packages and know this will kill at least 30 minutes!

Finger Skateboards

I found a package of 6 in the Party Section of Target.  I immediately thought of my husband (who at times, is like a 3rd kid) and know him & the boys will have a blast!  They have finger toys for girls too like rings, doll finger puppets, etc.  Raid the Party Section!

Foam 3-D Kit

This is more for Rocco’s age (he’s 4) but I know Roman will love to help and watch too!  This is a craft that will take time which is always a good thing on a plane trip!  I purchased our Pirate Ship at Target for maybe $7.99 and they also have a castle for girls too!

Mess-Free Fingerpaint & Paper

I know this will be a hit with my 2!  Mess-Free and you’ll maybe need a few wipes for after the activity!


My boys LOVE these books by Jane Tolen and Mark Teague.  They have a handful of them already but I plan to pick up a few new ones that they haven’t yet read!


I haven’t decided which DVD’s to bring with us on our trip.  Peter Pan will most likely make one of carry on bags but I could use your help on this one!  I don’t want to bring CARS since they’ve seen it a bazillion times… Help!

There you have it!  With these 10 airplane must-haves, time is sure to pass you by on a long travel day! From playing games and building puzzles… painting pictures and crafting pirate ships & castles… reading new books and watching a great movie; it will be easy as pie!  And just think, I’m not even including the many times our kids will eat, drink and take a bathroom break!

Safe Travels!


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  1. One more recommendation: Prepare them with what to expect! Kids act up during travel because their routine is totally up-ended. They are barraged with an onslaught of new experiences (airport security checks, all those buttons on the plane, and the noise!!!). They don’t really know how long six hours is, but you can explain it as “It’s the same as 12 Barneys (while in the back of your head, you are grateful for the flight over 12 straight episodes of “I love you. You love me…”).” Showing them photos of a plane cabin and talking about how liftoff leaves an exciting feeling in their tummy will all help. Our daughter used to do the “liftoff sequence” from the Little Einsteins. She would pat her lap as the plane taxied to the runway, get faster as we picked up speed and yell liftoff as she raised her hands in the air. She never once complained about her tummy or ears or cried over the sensations. Have a fabulous trip!

    • Angelique says:

      Thank You SO much for these recommendations! You are definitely right – preparation for ALL is key!!! That’s such a cute store about your daughter too – thanks for reading and offering up these great suggestions!

  2. Hey Angelique! I stumbled upon your blog entry from vB because I have been thinking of travelling again with Jacob. He is a year old now and definitely more active than when we traveled with him across the world from Manila to US when he was 6 months old.

    Though he’s still at the stage where he can basically entertain himself with anything around him, the thought of having to sit him down in a small space shared with a hundred of people scares the heck out of me! Maybe we’ll try a short distance first before travelling 16hrs again. 😀

    • Angelique says:

      Hi Roxi! Thanks for coming by! Don’t let travel scare you with Jacob – I’m sure he’ll do great with you by his side and a bag full of things he’s never seen before! 16 hours is a looooooong time though so I understand wanting to try a short distance first! If you want, check out our Facebook page for updates on how the traveling goes! I hope to post status’ about how AWESOME they were! hehe

  3. Sarah says:

    What great ideas! :)

    I was eyeing that no mess finger paints. I have been thinking about doing finger paints with the boys and while we aren’t going on a family trip, this would be GREAT fun for now! :)

    Also, love all these fun things for any long car trips we may venture on. Thank you! 😀

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