We have been on our fair share of plane rides with James and Charlotte, and have learned a lot about flying with young kids. I wish I could tell you there was a magical trick or toy that can entertain toddlers for an entire plane ride, but the fact is, traveling with young kids is always going to be a shit show. Flying with kids is particularly difficult, because you’re trapped in a small space, and toddlers especially like to run around and explore. But I can say there are some travel toys you can bring on a plane for toddlers that will help make the ride go smoother and keep them busy for spurts of time, which is really the best you can hope for.
I typically am not one to buy a ton of little toys for our kids outside of special occasions, but after barely surviving some intense flights with the kids, I’ve learned the importance of investing in travel toys for toddlers. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but I highly recommend going to the Dollar Store or Amazon Prime-ing some new toys for the plane — in this case, the novelty is key. I also like to reserve some toys and rewards (ahem, the iPad) just for planes. But I always make the iPad a last reserve because a) it lasts the longest and works the best when kids are overly tired or bored and mom and dad are at the end of their rope, and b) an iPad is basically crack for little kids so you’re pretty much screwed when they lose interest in it .
We’re hoping to take our first trip since Covid began to be with family for the holidays, and Charlotte is now at that age where she is not going to want to sit still in her seat. I’m nervous enough about flying right now, even with all the Covid precautions, so I don’t want to be chasing her up and down the aisles, which means I’m basically enlisting every type of trick and travel toy in the book I can find to keep her entertained for the plane ride. I’ve been doing lots of shopping and research, and I’ve rounded up the best travel toys for toddlers and young kids.