22 Best Airplane Toys: Baby to Toddler
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- What can I take with me when I fly with a baby?
- and how do I entertain a toddler on an airplane?
These are two of the most common questions when it comes to traveling with a baby to toddler.
Or, if you have several children, what do you bring to satisfy all these ages?
This article is full of suggestions for what to pack to keep your baby, toddler or preschooler occupied during a long flight.
I cover air travel with a baby at any stage of development up to what you can bring with you to fly with a toddler and toddler.
The best activities to take with you are always activity or coloring books. The problem is they go up, they can scratch chairs and you have to take several with you, but these Water Wow coloring books from Melissa & Doug can be used again and again and they are fun for many ages.
When choosing toys for the plane you have to pay attention to:
- the convenience of taking it with you
- the ease of use in a small environment such as an airplane seat
- and the amount of time they can spend sweet with it
I will rank the toys by age so you can easily skip to what you want to read about, but also want to give you my top tip for all my air travel :)
Ok, now you can click on the ages and toys you are interested in:
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Cutest baby toys for the plane 3 to 6 months
Traveling with a baby is a great time to travel because they eat and sleep most of the time.
Flying with a baby is probably one of the easiest flights you will take with your child.
When you fly with a baby who is between 0 and 3 months old, you really don't have to worry about bringing travel toys or books for your baby.
Chances are that you can travel well with your child and kill the time between eating and your baby's napping.
When they are between 3 and 6 months old, flying with your baby can still mean a lot of sleep (hopefully), but your baby may also start to show more interest in a few travel toys.
Your baby will probably be entertained enough by everything around her on the plane, but here are the best baby travel toys for this age:
Also read: the ultimate checklist for going on holiday with your baby
Manhattan Toy Llama Activity Book
- Thin, easy to carry
- Many activities in one
- Still fun at home too
- It crackles and there is also a beeping sound, can get annoying on the plane
One of the first things you can take with you is a nice crisp book. Remember, the most important thing on the plane is that it is easy to carry.
You only have so much space in your hand luggage and you are already left with diapers and milk.
I like this cracker book from Manhattan Toy the best because it also has some extra rings and beads to grab and play with while it is still nice and thin.
Sophie the Giraffe FreshTouch
- Small and flat
- Every baby can be sweet with it
- Not really a toy
When your baby's teeth are already starting to come through, it is useful to bring a nice teether.
Most of them are flat anyway and therefore easy to carry.
It really can't get any cuter than the products of Sophie de Giraf and that also applies to the nice teething rings.
- Can't get more portable than this
- Silicone feels nice as a teething toy
- It's a small thing and only fun for a while
- You have to be very careful with the cord
If you like it and like to travel very light (like me), you can also think of a bite chain. For example this one from Bibi4you.
That saves an item in your bag, but you can easily take it around your neck and still have something to give your baby.
Just don't forget to boil the chain in advance just like you would with other bites or pacifiers before putting it on.
Lamaze Captain Calamari
- Despite the size, it is still handy to carry with the clip
- Lots of activities for your baby to discover
- Pretty big if you also bring other hugs
If you are going to bring something bigger for your baby, it should be a cuddly toy with lots of texture.
With all kinds of different fabrics and rings and things they can enjoy themselves for a very long time.
I have already covered this Lamaze Octopus in my article about on holiday by car, and although you have a little more space to take things with you, a cuddly toy is definitely worth taking with you.
It also has a handy large ring to attach it to a ring or similar on the airplane seat so that it can hang.
Droomfabriekje made a nice video about it:
Tiny love Inspiral ball
- Small and easy to carry
- Is also a ball that can roll at the holiday destination
- Not many activities
Tiny Love Spin Ball. This is a great sensory toy. Provides a clicking sound with the balls on the inside.
Lots of different things and not too big to take with you.
The strings on the outside are great for developing the sense of touch, the colors are great and the little ones love it up to about 6-8 months.
Of course not a toy, but super handy to have with you to ensure that your baby is comfortable.
This airplane bed from Deryan ensures that your baby always has a soft place to lie down and get some sleep and it also easily folds up for a feed.
We had bought one and taken it with us on our flight to Bonaire, but had not used it at all. It seems useful but I advise not to buy this. Just lying with you is also fine.
Toy for the plane 6 to 12 months old
When traveling with a baby in this age bracket, they are especially interested in playing with the stuff on the plane.
The bags, leaves, cups and buttons on the chairs.
It's all new to them too.
In all likelihood, your baby will be like that and will be most interested in their environment on the plane, including the safety card, seat buckle and sun blind.
Other passengers can be quite exciting too.
Peeking through the seats is a great game (if you can find someone interested in connecting with your baby on the plane).
Or take them for several "walks" down the aisle.
Air travel with a baby doesn't have to be complicated.
But there are certainly times when they could use a little extra distraction, and I have some suggestions for easy-to-carry toys here.
Another extra tip: buy toys especially for this one travel so that they have never seen it and can focus their attention on it for an extra long time :)
Fat brain toys dimpl
- Amazingly flat considering the bubbles
- Very fun to play every time
- Edge of the toy came off a bit after a while
Toys for getting to know different shapes and structures are very good for this phase and they also love to fiddle with them for a long time.
But the disadvantage of these types of toys is that they are often a bit bigger to carry, not with Fat Brain Toys.
This flat Dimpl from Fat Brain Toys is a very nice alternative because it is easy to put in your bag.
The bubbles have a fine texture that is fun to grab, and it is also good for the cause and effect development of your baby, because as soon as the bubble is pressed on one side, it pops up on the other.
Our son loved playing with it on the plane when he was 1 year old. He has also played with it a lot at home until about 3 years old, so a great replayability.
Tegu pocket pocket
- Handy soft carrying bag so that the blocks don't bump into other things in your bag
- small package
- It's only a few blocks so after the plane not so much fun unless you buy more
My little one loves to play with blocks and especially to grab one and crawl around the room.
This is of course not possible in the airplane and stacking will also be too easy. But, then there are the Tegu magnetic blocks.
There are a lot of different packages, but by far the most convenient for traveling and because of the large blocks also the most suitable for this age is the pocket pouch.
You can stack all kinds of shapes with it without it falling.
Read more about it too in our article on the cutest magnetic toys here
Fat brain toys pipsquigz
- Fun to suck on and stick with
- The parts are small, easy to put in the bag between things
- Sticking is still a bit difficult in this age but they grow with it
Another nice one from Fat Brain Toys, these are Pip Squigz.
They are a kind of rattles, but with the handy extra addition that you can stick them on smooth surfaces, such as a chair in front of you, or a folding table in the airplane seat.
Nice to be able to entertain your baby for a while while you watch them try to grab it, hit it or of course just hold it and suck it.
Fool First Friends
- Nice figures and even a pilot for the flight
- Easy for the little ones
- As with many dolls, it's only fun when you have more
These adorable toys are perfect for the baby. They're also small, but not too small, and there's something about the soft clicking noise that makes the toys that babies love.
And there are tons of them, from this cute bear to monkeys, lions, an elephant and even dolls like a real pilot before flight!
stasher Silicone travel bags
- Handy to take their snacks with you
- Silicone bag is reusable
- You have to bring a dirty bag to the hotel or apartment to clean there
Snacks are also a great way to entertain a baby on a plane and are also one of our top tips for traveling with a baby.
It is best to bring along airplane snacks that last a long time to eat, such as baby breadsticks.
You can of course easily take everything with you in resealable plastic bags, but you might want to consider this Travel Stasher Bag.
It is made of silicone, not plastic and is therefore reusable and a lot better for the environment.
Xrten Gyro Come
- Handy system ensures that you can not spill
- You probably won't use it again when you get home
The slightly older baby will also want some real food and if you know how to handle food and plates from home, you may want a more convenient solution for the plane.
A baby anti-spill food bowl like this one is really great!
Airplane toy for your toddler (12 to 18 months old)
It should come as no surprise that traveling with a toddler on an airplane is completely different from traveling with a baby on an airplane.
The more mobile your little one gets, the more time you spend entertaining your child on the plane.
You can get all our tips for flying with a toddler here. And don't worry, this phase won't last forever.
The key will be to have enough airplane activities for your toddler to go through and choose from.
A long flight with a toddler who is between 12 and 18 months old can be the most intimidating age to fly with a child.
At this age, the concentration is still quite short and they are very active.
For this age, some of the best airplane baby toys are simple toys that can be easily put down and taken back as they will want to switch toys every time.
Reading has always been a big part of your child's development and it is nice that it continues when you travel.
Books with lots of pictures to talk about are a great way to entertain a toddler on a long flight.
I think a book about flying while you are going to fly is a very nice idea and this book by Kaatje is a very nice book to read for this age:
Buckle Toys Buster
- Different buckles keep them sweet for a while
- Easy to hang and out of the way
- Quite big to take away
They like many different toys, right? And it should be easy to store and retrieve for when they're suddenly done with another toy.
That's why hanging hugs are so much fun.
Especially this Buckle Toy Buster has a lot to offer because you can easily buckle it on everything and click it off again and your toddler can try the same with all the buckles that are attached (it is one of the best toys to take with you on vacation).
Is he ready? Then you just let it hang for a while.
Melissa & Doug On the Go WaterWow! Activity Books
- Paint without spilling
- Very nice to do over and over
- You must have water with you
- Paper and brush break fairly quickly in toddler hands
These coloring books from Melissa & Doug are great travel toys for a 1 year old child.
Not only do they work with water (i.e. very little mess) but they are also reusable.
There are many different variants available, so you can always bring a bunch with you to offer some variation in theme.
Toy for the plane for 1,5 to 2 years
Traveling with toddlers between the ages of 18 and 24 months you will find that the attention span for watching short shows will pop up, which is great news for flying with a toddler.
This means you can take a break every now and then!
eyelike Reusable Stickers
- Easy to carry
- Lots of fun, both in plane, hotel and at home
- You have to be a little careful with taking them off so they don't break
Of course you are not going to take real sticker sheets with you on the plane. You will never be able to get them off the seats again and then you will leave the staff with them.
But there are very good alternatives to stick reusable stickers in the supplied book, or on the chair or window with these sticker sets.
There are many different variants available.
Crayola Color Wonder
- Color only comes on Crayola paper, not on the airplane seat
- Easy coloring
- When paper is colored it is finished
Coloring pages are great fun in any situation where a child has to sit for a long time.
The disadvantage of taking markers with you is that you have the chance that they will also daub other things while you are just not paying attention, such as an airplane seat or the table.
A pencil is a bit better, but there are other options.
The Color wonder coloring pages from Crayola are a very good alternative because the markers only work on the paper of the coloring book itself.
Again, there are many different variants available.
The themes are for slightly older children than the Water Wow coloring pages by Melissa & Doug and coloring with markers is a bit easier than with the water marker that comes with it.
But here the paper can only be used once, so it's gone.
Toys on the plane for toddlers 2 to 4 years
Toddlers can play better on their own and get started with fantasy games.
That is why it is nice to bring things that they can enjoy for the time being.
Janod magnetic book
- Handy travel case
- Magnets stick well
- Still a lot of little pieces that can get lost
- Box shows wear quickly
For a long-haul flight, it is absolutely good to look for somewhat larger activities for the plane.
I love the idea of magnetic scenes to act out and came across the French brand Janod and their Magnetibooks.
I think these are great, especially since they teach the little ones about matching and developing creativity and imagination.
There are a number of different packages available and the best part is that they are both travel cases and play trays at the same time to reduce the amount lost during the flight.
The game comes in a quality hinged chest, made to look like a book.
Each book contains:
- Cards and magnets (Vehicles Magnetibook has 18 cards and 50 magnets, Crazy face Magnetibook has 12 cards and 67 magnets)
- Magnetic scene / background in the lid of the box
- Box itself has a magnetic closure to keep it closed
The MagnetiBooks are for kids between the ages of 3 and 8, but I say some of them are easy fun from age 2.
There are many different MagnetiBooks to choose from.
You can copy the pictures on the cards with the magnets or you can get creative and make the craziest things yourself.
My favorite is therefore also the crazy faces Magnetibook.
In the Crazy Face magnet book there are 12 cards and 67 magnet pieces.
This one is also slightly more suitable for younger children because there are not too many different types of pieces.
Things like eyes and mouths are easy to spot and stick in the right place.
Create your own crazy face or there are 12 crazy face pictures to recreate.
SES Leather Laces
- Tying shoes requires concentration and is a good distraction when they are scared
- Good for motor development
- Not every child likes this for a long time
Great for developing fine motor skills, but also just super handy toys for toddlers on airplanes.
It can be used over and over again and requires quite a bit of their concentration.
Leather tying from SES is a lot of fun because you learn a lot from it and if you can take it out of the box and put it in a resealable bag. Then it doesn't take up much space at all.
The shoe can sometimes break when you put it in the bag or take it with you, which is why it does not score so high on durability.
Ravensburger Aqua Doodle Travel
- Draw without mess
- Easy to erase and start over
- Not every child's imagination is enough to draw
Handy portable and reusable drawing tablet. Here they can draw themselves, instead of just coloring in a coloring page like with the Water Wow and the Color Wonder.
This is a great idea if you're packing travel toys for ages 2 and up.
Airplane toy for toddler 4 to 6 years
Now that they have a little more concentration than a few months ago, they can also sit for a while at an activity.
Here are fun toys that are easy to carry to put them to work.
Melissa & Doug Scratch art
- Can they be focused on it for hours
- Without colors, it doesn't make a mess
- Once scratched it's gone
The easiest thing if you want to get them drawn without making a mess is to have them scratched instead of drawing.
Sratch art is a fun activity for children without the chance of them smearing a chair.
This scratch art by Melissa & Doug is a bit more extensive, making it really suitable for toddlers, but there are also smaller cards for younger children.
With the stylus they can scratch the cards nicely and watch the rainbow colors appear underneath.
A perfect travel toy for pre-schoolers on airplanes that will hardly take up space in your bag!
Wicki Stix Traveler
- Get creative without clutter
- Lots of different things to do
- Many children need some help on their way
Wikki Stix is suitable for older toddlers and preschoolers from 3 years old. Made from wax and yarn, no glue is needed, so no mess.
Perfect for keeping kids entertained while flying, in the car for a road trip, hotel room and all kinds of family travel.
BONUS ESSENTIAL: an iPad!
I know, I know, you don't want to be one of those parents with a digital babysitter. But that's not what an iPad on a long haul flight is to your toddler.
It is a wonderful, amazing, God-given resource for keeping everyone healthy.
Trust me, if your toddler has had enough of being overwhelmed by airport security and check-in desks and the hustle and bustle of the airport and sitting still in an airplane seat and popping their ears, you'll need an iPad.
Don't rely on the airplane entertainment on a long haul flight with your toddler.
Sometimes it suddenly turns out that the entertainment for the children is not properly programmed and that there was nothing to watch or play.
Or they just don't have that favorite show where your child suddenly doesn't want to watch anything but that.
Forget the headphones and a case and don't forget this: if you have more than one child, a headphone splitter is something you can't just do.
We have here's everything you need to know about iPads for kids.
Are you allowed to bring toys on the plane?
You are allowed to bring toys on the plane, as long as they fit in your hand luggage. Only be careful with liquid things and gel toys because they are not allowed on the plane.
Perhaps a bit redundant now, but I noticed that many people still have this question so it is good to answer it specifically.
Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?
Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.