Holiday booked, packing done, but then dun dun dun… reality sets in and it dawns on me I have two ‘Under 4s’ to entertain for the duration of the flight… including one wriggly infant strapped to my waist. I never really had a sense of dread when it came to travelling with just Hugo as he was easily entertained with the iPad or Kindle or I knew if all else fails, I could keep him awake before the flight and he’ll definitely fall asleep on the plane. He can sleep absolutely anywhere.
Remy isn’t like this though. He’s not like this at all. He refuses to be hoodwinked by electronic devices for more than five minutes; instead, he’d much rather be on his feet up and down the aisles with me or Ayman sheepishly chasing after him. He pretty much never falls asleep in other places that aren’t his cot or car seat even if he is super tired. I love him to bits but he’s a right handful!
I’m trying to not let this put us off going on holiday – especially to places further afield – but at the moment, if I’m being honest, it does a little, I’d rather keep to places with a maximum flight time of three hours.
Before we went to France a month ago, I popped a post up on Instagram asking for recommendations to keep babies and toddlers entertained on a flight and I was flooded with so many amazing recommendations that I had to share.
So here it is, these are your recommendations. I’ve tried to put links on everything but literally just used Amazon to keep things easier but you might be able to find them cheaper elsewhere. Some answers were very similar so hopefully the ones I’ve included below are all different and offer some great tips that might work for you:
- Laralovesparis: Stacking goblets that double as bath and pool toys, little cars, rubber animals that are perfect for the pool too and great entertainment.
- Welliesandlove Small wooden trains that they can link. Water colouring book, the water changes the colour on the book but no mess or stains just water. Playmobil carry ark (small) with animal stored inside and a ramp. Small bag with animals and cars in to use on plane.
- Hello_kathryntaylor We filled a lunchbox with small little toys, like cars and animals for H and he just sat there going through them all. Good for making lines of toys on car seats and tables.
- Hunters&Heels Bro Monetessori activity cheese lacing toy for travel, Rory loved it on the plane and still loves playing with it at home too!
- from_diamonds_to_dummies Flying Tiger do lots of small inexpensive pieces to entertain the babes, need to go into store to buy.
- Sarah.bloomfield.x Small duplo set, an old wallet with old credit cards (a good half hour entertainment on the plane), colouring book, stickers, aqua doodle mat and just a few other favourites in luggage. Plus all the non toy toys and heard good things about ‘keep em quiet bags‘. Have just bought some tegu which looks perfect for travel.
- TheKeanes Plastic animals finger puppets… we went away for over three weeks and they were loved in the pool, bath, plane and restaurants. We also got a ‘keep em quiet pack‘.
- Lauraadkininteriors Small building bricks which fit into handbag, especially great for lunch and dinner tables. Small cars are always a hit too!
- Jennaemitch Just been away with my little boy – stickers!! Tonnes and tonnes of stickers. Pack of 50 plastic animals from B&M bargains about £5 – he spent loads of time playing with them and didn’t matter if they got lost unlike his ones at home that are more like £10 per animal.
- Kateoneaddone Jellycat books, they’re so easy to squish into the bag, my little boy loves them!
- Lilly_ollie_and_me Baby Einstein ball – God send for the plane, you stuff sensory scarves into the ball and they pull them out. The colours make them tired and the ball also has a rattle in it too. When he’s on holiday he’ll play with the scarves too, dancing, peek-a-boo and hide in hands etc. Wet wipe plastic case and get him to pull the wipes out. Play dough too! Check out Play Horaay she’s amazing!!
- Laura_and_the_land_boys Stacking cups, small things that open and close that you can hide things in (my 15 month old was entertained on a plane for at least an hour with a kinder egg with a sparkly pom pom in it!). Fill an old purse with old cards you don’t need (points card etc) as they love pulling them out and putting them back in. Little animals from pound shop, toy / vehicles, couple of duplo blocks they can push together and pull apart.
- Shahji_shopaholic Melissa & Doug latches wooden activity board
- Baileyandthebabies Reusable jelly stickers, loved placing them on the plane window.
- Borninmay2015 Sticker books, travel colouring pads, small tub dinosaurs.
- Rah_chan Small cheap Lego pieces that my 1.5 year old could build and open as new on holiday / plane. He loved them and could go in water too!
- Mercer7official check out KEEP THEM QUIET, perfect for travelling!
- Mamawombat Magnet blocks! They love it, very creative, don’t take too much room, easy to take away!
- Sheree Little cars, mine can play for hours with them and decathlon do brilliant mini basketballs!
- Theamygirl Scribbler (magnadoodle) my little girl loved it!
- Stephaniebarrell These books are fantastic ‘let’s pretend’, ‘Let’s pretend on the farm’, they come with thick puzzle pieces. We also took crayola colour wonder, the pens don’t mark so perfect if they accidentally draw on something else.
- Edinburghapartmentrenovation We got our little boy a little tea set that wasn’t too bulky, he played with it lots on the 9 hour flight and then enjoyed using it by the pool filling up with water and pouring. We also took a tiny umbrella fold buggy in our suitcase and he played with it endlessly, taking his dinosaur teddy for walks.
- Someone also mentioned Mr Potatoe head games but didn’t capture the person who suggested it.
Wow what an amazing list!! Thank you to everyone for all your fabulous ideas, I know they definitely helped me prepare for our recent travels to France even though the flights were only 1hr 40mins each way.
After reading some of these I popped a little shopping basket full on Amazon and hoped I’d opted for the right things for my boys.
Other things that I’d personally recommend are:
- Snacks, snacks, snacks and more snacks! If your children are anything like mine, eating keeps them super happy and content. I took some Bear Nibbles fruit yo-yos, Pom Bears, Quavers and other small packets of nibbles that takes them longer to eat with as minimal mess as possible.
- We took the Amazon Fire Kids tablet for Hugo too.
- Loaded the iPad for Remy with downloads from CBeebies and fun apps for babies / toddlers, sometimes this is the only thing that works and gives us adults a bit of breathing space.
- We took a mini money toy chest and filled it with treasure and odd bits like cars, animals, coins etc. I have to say I think this was Remy’s favourite activity putting the money through the slot, opening the lid and doing it all over again. This isn’t the one we have but it’s something like this. One of these here might be good as an option too.
- We took books and bought some kids magazines for Hugo at the airport too which he had fun choosing.
I really hope you have found all these ideas useful and if you have anything to add then please leave in the comments section below!
Thanks so much for stopping by and if you are travelling with a baby or toddler soon, then I wish you safe and happy travels, you’ve got this!
Lots of love