Traveling with a Toddler – Activity Ideas

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On our first family flight together, I thought I was well prepared for traveling with our son (15 months old at the time). What I was not prepared for was a delay that left us sitting in the plane on the runway for 3 hours before taking off. Yikes! I now have a list for traveling with a toddler that includes plenty of activity ideas…just in case we run into delays again!

Here are a few activity ideas for traveling with a toddler that would work for both land and air travel:

  • stickers and a sticker book
  • removable window decals
  • water color (invisible ink) books
  • activity books with lights and sounds
  • magnets in a metal case (like a lunch box)
  • portable DVD player
  • small picture album of family and friends
  • favorite small toy
  • new toys that they haven’t already seen (or gotten bored of)
  • snacks
  • a book of nursery rhymes to sing together
  • small portable board games
  • small craft without a lot of pieces (like a paper bag puppet)
  • a comfort blanket or special toy
  • washable markers and colouring pages

Helpful Tips for Traveling with a Toddler:

Some other tips that may help while traveling with a toddler:

  • If you are traveling by vehicle, having someone sit in the backseat with the child can help. A little bit of interaction can help make the travel time fly by!
  • If you are traveling by air, ask the flight attendant if you & your child can visit the pilot. Many flights let children pop into the pilot’s area to say hi.
  • While waiting in an airport, let your child run around. This could help prepare them to take a nap once on the flight.
  • If you have a small blanket with you, you could create a fun little blanket fort in the car. You can bring along a little flashlight to read books in your new fort.

What is your best tip for traveling with a toddler?

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9 thoughts on “Traveling with a Toddler – Activity Ideas”

  1. Wow, a 3 hour delay on the runway? At least if you were in the airport you could let the little one run around. Stories like that make me scared to fly, even with my older kids!
    My tip is not so much fun oriented but to have lots of snacks, and maybe even something not too sugary that they don’t usually get at home. I’m not above bribery. 🙂

  2. Great tips! I still pack with tons of snacks, activities, portable dvd players and now that the kids are older, they bring their Nintendo DS which distracts them a lot.

  3. Thankfully we’ve always been lucky when flying. Last time, from TX to CO, the boys did get kind of antsy but thankfully we had the iPad and my Mac to watch shows…great life savers!! And on the road, DVDs rock!!

    Thanks for the list!


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