Traveling Soon? Here’s What You Can Bring to Keep Your Little Ones Occupied While in Transit!

While the idea of traveling with your littles and making core memories as a family is wonderful, we can’t dismiss one of the things that make parents nervous about being in transit with young kids: the challenge of keeping them content and occupied the entire trip!

If you’re one of these parents, this article will hopefully ease some of those worries – we’ve rounded up some toys and items, along with practical tips, to lessen any fussiness or restlessness that can occur. Read on!

Traveling Soon? Here's What You Can Bring to Keep Your Little Ones Occupied While in Transit!

Items you can bring along for your littles

Busy Books and Busy Toys

To keep little minds and hands engaged, why not bring along a handful of busy books and busy toys? These items provide plenty of activities and materials that your tots can do from the comfort of their seats. You can choose from various themes and topics and curate them according to your child’s current interests. Some even cover life skills, such as as tying shoelaces and locking and unlocking with a key!

The best part is that they can partake in the same activity over and over again as the materials are usually designed to be reusable and open-ended. Here are a few of our favorite finds!

Alphabet Tracing Book
Life Skills Book

Stickers and Sticker Books

When have stickers ever NOT gained a young fan? Contrary to the idea of just “sticking” them on something and being done with it, stickers can actually open the door for imaginative play.

I personally bring a pack of unused stickers with me every time I have to bring my son to an event. He doesn’t even want to stick them on anything – he just pretends that they are actually characters, and he creates stories out of his imagination and gets immersed in his little world for a long time.

Pro tip: When buying stickers, prioritize reusable ones or those that come in a sticker book so that your kids can create different stories and worlds – plus, they’re easier to store! Here are a few favorites from our arsenal.

Themed Reusable Stickers
Themed Stickers

Audio Box Players

For those who are willing to splurge, there are audio players for kids that you can bring anywhere with you. The most popular ones are the Tonie Box and the Yoto.

These cute boxes (which you can customize to your child’s preferences as well!) provide hours of storytelling, keeping your story-loving child immersed while in transit. They usually come loaded with some basic stories, but you can buy additional stories as well to widen your child’s audio library.

Pro tip: Get your kid some cute headphones as well to keep the sound to a minimum!

Yoto Player
Tonie Box

Doodle Boards

For kids who love creating art, doodle boards are the perfect travel companion! Most of these are mess- and fuss-free, so you can easily pack one in your carry-on ready for your child to use as soon as you’re safely settled in your seats. Here are some great finds!

LED Drawing Board
Magnetic Drawing Board

Watercolor and Finger Painting Books

Who says you can’t do water play while in transit? Travel watercolor books are the perfect way to work on your kids’ fine motor skills without the need to wipe and clean up. These books usually come with a watercolor pen, which you simply need to fill with water. Yes, no need for actual paint – the water brings out the colors in each picture to simulate painting! Another option is to go for a mess-free finger painting activity. Here are a couple of  recommendations.



Water Drawing Book

Easy Finger Painting Activity

Window Clings

Sometimes, all you need is an airplane window and you’re all set for a fun activity. Window clings are a great way to entertain young kids during a flight! Purchase a pack (or two) of these, keeping in mind what your child likes, and keep them on-hand for when boredom and restlessness strike. Here are some nice window clings we found to give you an idea!

Vehicle-Themed Clings

Themed Playmats

If you’re going to be staying in a waiting area and your child is getting restless, some floor activities may do the trick! Pack a playmat that you can place on the floor for them to play on. There are lots of designs available – from alphabets and shapes to roads and neighborhoods!

Pro tip: Bring along complementary small toys that can accompany the activity. For example, if you have a neighborhood-themed playmat, bring a handful of cars or play people that can encourage imaginary play.

Construction-Themed Playmat

DIY Snack Bento Boxes

Sometimes, it just boils down to great snacks. Grab a cute bento lunch box and fill them with your child’s favorite snacks – we guarantee your kids will love it! Here are a few ideas on how to execute your snack box.

Snack Bento Boxes

Tips on Keeping Your Tots Occupied While in Transit

Engage them with questions that encourage curiosity.

The simplest thing you can do sometimes is spend time observing the environment with them. If it’s their first time at the airport, you can point out interesting things around them and asking them what they think. You can also try encouraging the power of choice by pointing out two or three different things and asking them which one they like (don’t forget to ask them why!). If they’re interested in how something works, you can take the time to explain it to them as well.

Play (a few rounds of) I Spy.

“I Spy” is a tried-and-tested way to keep kids entertained. It also encourages attention to detail and keeps them busy trying to find whatever object or item you’re describing.

Find a play area and let them have fun.

Depending on your mode of transport, you may end up in a waiting area, which can understandably get boring for kids if they stay in the main space. You can do some early research to check if there is a kids’ area where you’ll be waiting for your transport and make plans to give them some time there to expend their energy.

Let them help you.

Sometimes, we think that letting them assist us with tasks drags it out and adds to the hassle – but there’s nothing little ones love more than helping out and feeling that they matter! You can assign age-appropriate tasks for your tots to encourage a sense of responsibility and increase their confidence – it could be as simple as letting them look for an important sign, or carrying their own little backpacks. It’s a great way to develop life skills!

Got any more tips to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!


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