20 Fun Ways to Entertain a Young Child on a Long Haul Flight

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Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by Suzy

Are you looking for Fun Ways to Entertain a Young Child on a Long Haul Flight? Here’s 20 carry on ideas for your young child. Most of the products below are what we will be packing in our little boy’s hand luggage bag. I will post an update as to which items he loved the most when we get back from our jolly’s to Florida.

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After doing a lot of research it would seem that newer toys and games entertain them for longer. If you are on a budget then make an allowance for a few new things pre holiday. Once you are on the plane bring one out at regular intervals and never until they are bored with what they are actually playing with.

It is very tempting to let them play on the iPad for the whole flight or watch the inflight movies. I certainly don’t have the battery life for that. Nor would I even want his eyes fixed on something for so long. That does not mean that the iPad won’t be making an appearance.

#1 – Tablet

Fill your tablet up with new games and download videos and films. Certain films on Amazon Prime can be downloaded and watched offline. You can also download programs from BBC iPlayer. These only last a few days after first watch so make them worth their while.

Most of Jamie’s games are learning games such as ‘Phonics play’ ‘Alphadecks’ ‘Hairy letters’ ‘Meet the Alphablocks’ He also loves ‘Myplayhome’ and Arctic’. If anyone has any app recommendations for a 4 year old please let me know. We sometimes have CBeebies play island downloaded however it eats up memory.

#2 – Headphones

The one thing you don’t want is for everyone else on the plane to hear what your child is watching or playing. So a comfy set of children’s headphones is certainly recommended for the flight. They are also available in pink and blue. They are also Bluetooth which I think is essential for a young child as Jamie is bound to forget that he’s attached.

#3 – Camera

This camera is really fabulous for kids. I can’t begin to tell you how many times Jamie has dropped his and it’s still in mint condition. He loves it and literally takes photos of everything and anything. We will be putting his camera in his hand luggage as I’m sure he will keep himself entertained by taking photos of the seat, the floor, his lunch….you name it!

Don’t forget to buy a camera card to go with it. Make sure you check the spec as it takes the smaller micro sd cards. It also has games on it and they can add all sorts of things to the photos that they take.

OK, that’s the more expensive products we will be taking, what about the fun and creative items?

Ideas #4-19 – Creative Products

#4 & 5 – Dot to dot books can keep kids entertained for ages. Ditto for mazes. If you’ve never tried them with your kids it’s worth a purchase.

#6 – Scratch magic note cubes are great fun. There are 125 notes in a cube including a wooden stylus. You simply write a note or draw a picture on the note and the bright rainbow design underneath shows through. Novel and fun to do.

#7-9 – Galt toys have some lovely little travel packs. There’s foil art, travel mosaics and velvet pictures.

#10 – How about some colouring packs with no mess? These wonder markers from Crayola only work on the special paper in the pack. Perfect if you’re worried about your kids writing all over the plane.

#11 – If your kids love colouring then we love the carry-along colouring sets that you can buy. They are lightweight but still come with many mini sheets to colour in. There are even some crayons included in each pack.

#12-13 – Learning games are also great for planes. The packs are small and provide your child with an alternative to crafts and art. We love mini sets from Orchard Toys.

#14 – One word for you ‘stickers’. My boy loves them and will happily spend a long time sticking stickers to various things. I suggest you buy a blank pad of paper, let them draw in it for a bit and then produce the sticker sheets for them to add to their creations. You can buy some lightweight sticker sets containing over 700 stickers. We love them!

#15 – Or you can get colouring books which include activities and stickers.

#16 – How about some finger puppets for some imaginative play?

#17 – Airport playset? Jamie has this and loves it and it is small enough to go in his bag no worries. It’s a really fun set and very appropriate for a flight on an aeroplane.

#18 – We love these twist crayons!

#19 – And don’t forget a pad of plain paper.

#20 – Hand Luggage Wheeled Bag

Last but not least don’t forget that your little one will need a bag to put it all in. This is small enough to go on as hand luggage and it’s really easy to wheel around. There are plenty of designs to choose from such as Frozen, princesses, Spider-Man, Paw Patrol, Minnie Mouse and more.

We bought a Trunki for our son which he loves wheeling about. And yes this makes the list because kids love bags and sometimes just taking things in and out can be fun. He’s spent the past two days at home wheeling it about.

A few more essentials and ideas

Don’t forget to pack your child’s favourite soft toy in their hand luggage. Our son has always loved having his on board with him. You can’t always be guaranteed that the snacks and drink trolley will be passing when your kids are feeling hungry. So don’t forget to pack some forever snacks such as a big box of raisins, a tub of blueberries and/or some crackers and cheese.

A lot of these ideas above are re-usable or long-lasting so they will also be great while you are on holiday. Whether it be in a restaurant, down by the pool or a bored moment while you are trying to chill out. Also, be prepared for lots of games of I-Spy. It’s great for killing a bit of time.

If you are going on a long car journey soon I can recommend this great post by Emmy’s Mummy with top tips for keeping the kids entertained on a road trip.

Disclaimer: My post contains affiliate links. This means I will receive a small profit if you purchase anything. This will not cost you any more than the price at Amazon.

If you are looking for advice for making flying easier for your kids…and yourself…don’t forget to check out my post full of tips – Top tips for surviving a flight with a young child – yes we survived

3 thoughts on “20 Fun Ways to Entertain a Young Child on a Long Haul Flight”

  1. Hello,
    Thank you for the lovely tips. I will be traveling with my almost 3 year old and needed some ideas.
    What type of headphones and camera? Sadly none of the pictures/links are showing up for me.
    Thank you,
    Happy M of 3

    • oh gosh how strange. I’ve just checked and I can see the images and links. That’s very odd. It’s the Kiddizoom camera and this is the amazon title for the headphones Volume Limited + Wireless Bluetooth Kids Headphones, Termichy wireless/wired Foldable Stereo over-Ear headset with shareport and Built-in Microphone for calling, children Bluetooth Earphones for smartphones PC music gaming. White thanks for your comment


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