Flying with kids is hard. But, we are here to help! We have created a list of the best hacks for flying with kids to share with you.
I’ve had my fair share of flying long haul flights with children screaming directly behind be the entire. flight. As annoying as it was, I get it. There’s only so much a parent can do sometimes, and you’re doing your best! Flying is stressful and sometimes scary for adults, so it is understandable that kids feel the same, if not more.
I’ll be honest, we don’t actually have any kids, yet. So how can I even write this post that I know nothing about? Well, we have both worked in special education for about 15 years between the two of us, with all ages and disabilities and we’ve seen some crazy stuff! While we may not have kids of our own, it sometimes feels like it, spending all day, every day, with the same group of kids.
Side note: if you are a special needs parent and need support or advice, feel free to reach out! Nothing you say will shock us, I promise you that!
Anyway, we have come to learn through trial and error the types of activities that keep kids occupied for the longest amount of time. I have put together this list of some unique activities that hopefully your child will enjoy! I also tried to come up with ideas that don’t require you to pack too much, because we all know what a hassle that is when flying!
If you yourself start to get bored on the plane, we got you covered too! Here are some unique ways to pass time on an airplane, for adults! Keep reading for more on the best hacks for flying with kids!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I just think this portable tray table is so awesome and is a top airplane hack with kids! It has so many pockets and compartments to keep all your child’s stuff together and not rolling around under the seats throughout the whole plane.
It even comes with a small carrying case, making it perfect for travel! Your child will love having their own play station, with all their toys and activities in reach. You won’t be reaching into your bag to you their toy for the 100th time this hour, since they will have it all right there!
It even holds their iPad, and has a sturdy desk for coloring or eating their favorite snacks. You could even use this in the car, or just at home on the couch! Amazon has tons of varieties of these trays, so if you don’t like this one, there are plenty more to choose from varying from different colors, characters, and themes! Have your child pick out their favorite one!
These are also great to use during long road trips, or even just on the couch at home! Your child will love having their own little work station, and something that they can organize and use how they please.
Amazon Freetime Unlimited
If your child is an iPad fanatic (let’s face it, who’s isn’t?!), you need Freetime Unlimited. It is an all in one subscription that gives your child access to kid-friendly games, educational books, movies, TV shows, and more!
There are even parental controls available, giving you more control over what your child is using. You can even set time limits! It is only $2.99 a month, and your first month is free!
There are 3 separate age groups from 3-12, giving you options depending on your child’s age.
Click the image to learn more about this awesome program and get your 1-month free trial. It is perfect for keeping your child occupied on the airplane (or anywhere for that matter) while having comfort knowing the material is age-appropriate!
This is definitely a top airplane hack with kids, and you can feel comfortable letting them use it!
Everyone knows just how difficult it is to sleep on an airplane. But, with this top airplane hack with kids, your child will be sleeping in no time!
This inflatable footrest is sometimes used by adults too, but it seems to be more useful for kids. The footrest gives them some extra room to lay down, making it much easier to get comfy and fall asleep!
It fills the gap between the seat and the tray table, for optimal laying down space! There is no pump and is super easy to blow up using just your mouth.
Blow this baby up, wrap them in a blanket, and you’ll be golden! Maybe even get them some noise-canceling headphones to help with the loud noise of the engine or unexpected sounds.
Parents, if you need help with how to actually sleep on an airplane, we got you covered!
Neck pillows are one of those essential items everyone needs on a plane. But, wouldn’t it be more fun if it were an animal?!
Amazon has tons of animal neck pillows, so look around and choose your child’s favorite animal, or have them pick out their own! They will love having a neck pillow that dubs as a cute stuffed animal and can be a great surprise to help get them through their trip.
This one even folds into a stuffed penguin, so they can use it as a pillow or a stuffed friend to keep them calm on the airplane! This is a perfect top airplane hack with children, giving them something cute to sleep with, and hopefully (for your sake) falling asleep!
While you’re at it, why not pair the animal neck pillow with an animal sleeping mask (because you’ll be desperate for them to fall asleep!). Pick out their favorite animal, or match it with the neck pillow.
Have a little fun, take their picture with the eye mask on, and have them pretend they are that animal! Hopefully, with their comfy pillow, footrest, and darkness, they will be able to get some zzz’s.
We discussed personal health pouches in a previous post for adults, as a way to feel refreshed and re-energized for surviving long flights. If you are doing this, chances are your child will want to join as well!
These animal sheet masks are perfect for kids to help them relax and unwind. Plus, they have fun animals on them, perfect for some quality selfie-taking! Your kids will love picking out an animal to wear, and feeling relaxed as their skin softens. This is a great way to pass some time, while also getting some parent relaxation time in as well!
You will have fun giggling with your child looking at each other in these silly masks. Take some pictures to remember the moment!
Kids love stickers. Why not bring some on the plane? These window clings can be used for playtime on the airplane window (or even at home in the bathtub, walls, refrigerator, or car windows!). You won’t have to worry about the stickers getting stuck on the window- they peel off easily and get be reapplied many times!
Amazon sells these stickers in all kinds of sets- marine animals, trucks, princesses, you name it! Your kids will love being able to plaster stickers all over the plane without you needing to yell at them!
Let’s face it- sometimes you just need to stick a lollipop in your kid’s mouth for a moment of peace! But, there’s no need to feel shame about giving your child all the sugar. These healthy lollipops are anti-cavity and actually clean your teeth! They are sugar-free, vegan, and contain no artificial ingredients.
You might also like these vitamin C lollipops, to secretly boost your child’s immune system on the germ-ridden airplane.
These suckers come in a variety of different flavors, you might find yourself sneaking one too! These are a great top carry on item, for emergencies!
Plus, these must be good- they were made by a kid!
If you have a child who loves to color, you need these triangular crayons. Just take a moment to think about using regular round crayons on an airplane.
The constant rolling due to turbulence, crayons rolling under the seat, and asking your backseat neighbor to pick up the crayon for the 3rd time.
Save yourself some stress and give your child crayons they won’t need to worry about dropping. Plus, triangular crayons are great for kids learning to appropriately grip a writing utensil!
Another best hacks for flying with kids is moon sand! If there is anything in this world kids love, it’s getting messy. Give them this opportunity to feel like they are being messy, without the worry! Kinetic sand is amazing, and I would play with it all the time with my kids at work. It is an awesome sensory item that makes little to no mess!
Pack some moon sand in a small container before flying, and you will be good to go!
- Go to the dollar store before your flight, and wrap up a few toys. You can pull these out during the flight when your child gets really bored!
- You can never have too many snacks!
- Bring an extra pair of clothes: for you! You never know…
We hope you enjoyed reading top airplane hacks for kids. Flying with little ones can be difficult. Make sure you are prepared! If you have anything else to offer our fellow parents, please leave a comment below! We would love to hear from you!