Flying with a Toddler

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Flying with a toddler is no picnic, but it is worth it! I love family vacations and sometimes we want to fly to see my family in Arizona, but the airplane ride can be hard once your little ones are mobile. I am going to share with you how we entertain our little toddler on the airplane.

First, I have heard it said that flying with a toddler is not actually part of the vacation… and I have to agree. Keeping your toddler entertained on the plane is a good amount of work, but it is a lot easier when you have lots of things for them to do!

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Kaden loves books, so I pack a few. I pack a couple small books that he likes to hold and flip through himself and also a few of his favorite books that he likes me to read to him, like Where’s Spot?, Little Blue Truck or Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

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Kaden is in a phase of loving all the stickers. He is entertained for awhile just putting the stickers on you or on himself. He will also stick them to his backpack! They take awhile to pull off the sticker sheet, which buys you some time. Sticky notes and little cheap dot stickers are perfect for flights too!

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I pack a few chunky crayons and a regular sized coloring book. I used to pack a tiny coloring book, but then I realized that he had more room to color on the seat back table. The big coloring book helps to keep him on the paper, and less on the table. Kaden could sit and color for quite some time, so this activity is really wonderful!!

Our friends gave us a water pen coloring book that we bring along as well! It is perfect for flights because you can’t write on anything but the paper. The pen fills up with water. They use the water brush to paint on the pages, watching the colors appear before their eyes. This is a big win for Kaden!

Window Stickies

You know those sticky shapes that stick to the windows? You find them in the dollar spot at Target often! If you get a window seat, this is a great activity for kids, or you could just pack a stack of Post it notes! I know it seems silly, and so simple, but they love to put sticky notes on the window and peel them off again.

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Pom Pom Play

Recently I was given a hand lotion, and I kept the small box for Aaron to make a travel sized activity for Kaden. It finally broke after many flights, so I used this box from my makeup to create an easy DIY travel activity. I cut holes in the top of the box and filled it with pom poms. When we are on the plane or at the airport, Kaden empties the pom poms and then pushes them individually through the holes in the box. It is endless play! See the tutorial here.


Snacks are always a good idea! I like to get the corn puffs from Trader Joes!! They are one of Kaden’s favorite snacks and he rarely gets them, so when we fly, they are a fun surprise!

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I bring a little play-dough clip on with a cookie cutter for Kaden just in case. We use this a lot at restaurants while we are waiting for food, too. He loves it! I found this little container at the dollar spot in Target and replaced the play-dough with my homemade play-dough. It’s just a little more edible. Click here to see my homemade dough recipe.


Kaden loves to draw and paint on my iPad! I have the iPad pro and he loves to use Procreate to draw and color! He will do that for awhile on the plane as well. I am looking at downloading some fun apps for him to try out. So far, the only one that has been successful is a balloon popping app. He thinks that one is pretty fun!

Who am I kidding? We don’t go anywhere without Cocomelon downloaded on our iPad. It is the last thing we pull out on the airplane. We want to entertain Kaden as long as possible without technology, but sometimes you must! Three hours is a long time for a toddler, so after he has tried all of his activities, we pull out the screen time.

There you have it! Those are our go-to items for flying with a toddler. I would love to hear what else you pack for your toddlers! There are so many creative ideas out there! Happy travels, friends!

Traveling with Toddlers
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