Flying with Kids: 11 Great Yet Free Activities to Keep Them Amused

It’s that time again! It’s summer! And although the weather in the UK is a bit of a hit and miss, the weather abroad is more certain. So as all true Brits do we travel by boat or plane searching for a bit of sun. This is great when you are just worrying about yourself.  Flying with children can become a bit of a nightmare. How can you amuse them for 1 hour in a confined space let alone 6 or 8 and for serious sun seekers even more?

For the first time with children we will be flying this year. The flight is only for an hour but it is getting me concerned. So I have put together some ideas of how to amuse the little darlings without reaching for technology.


Flying is the perfect opportunity to sit with your little one and get a book out. There are thousands of picture books out there and maybe one on flying would be just the thing. Take time to explore the pictures and if you’re feeling particularly creative you could make up your own story for the pictures.


With the huge range of colouring books, dot to dot and sticker books out there, there’s bound to be something that will please your little one. Bring a variety of different pens, and they can explore them all without colouring your walls and floors!

Pencil games

An ideal time to teach your child about naughts and crosses, dots and dashes and a whole host of others. Be warned though, some of these can become addictive so you may need lots of pencils.

Card games

There comes a time in every parent’s life when they much teach their child about card games. I’m not suggesting you start teaching your 4 year old poker but snap and happy families are a must. There are loads of books reminding you of the rules of all those family favourites


These are great when it comes to a bit of all round entertainment. Most kids magazines have a bit of everything in them. From colouring to games, from stickers to stories they are the ideal flying companion.


Maybe for the older children but with a few hours to spare they will easily be able to master the basics of origami. From making paper planes to complicated animals this is another one that is accessible by most ages.

Looking at the clouds

Appreciating the fact that you are miles up in the sky can be a difficult concept for children to understand. Spend time looking out of the window, if you are lucky enough to have one, just looking at the clouds or ground below. What can they see? What do they recognise?

Flying with Kids: 11 Great Yet Free Activities to Keep Them Amused by Eleanor at Savings 4 Savvy Mums


We are just discovering the joys of this game with out 3 year old. Although we play colour I-spy, it works in much the same way as the traditional game. Encourage your children to really look around them, especially if it is their first time in a plane. What different things can the see? For older children you could also use the I-spy books.

Plane bingo

This involves a bit of work before you leave but is great fun, especially if you have more than one child. Create a grid with different things they might be able to see when going on a plane, pilot, blue suitcase, in-flight magazine, etc These can be adapted for the age of your children. They then have to cross them off when they have seen them. If you are feeling particularly brave you could give the winner a prize!

Having a chat

Take time during your flight to talk to your little one about what they have enjoyed so far, what new things they have seen and what they are looking forward to next. If it is their first flight you might want to tell them what will happen next. From experience I find new situations are much calmer when my daughter knows what is coming next. It is also a great time to put any fears or concerns to rest should they have any.

Travel board games

I used to love these! And yes they still exist! These are perfect for an airplane and you can get most games in travel form.

We search for hours for cheap things to do during the holidays but often forget the flight. It is easy to reach for the ipad during a long flight but these ideas are cheap, most are free or use things you will have at home. They should help make your journey more enjoyable for all around you. There’s nothing like going on holiday, especially when everyone is happy and there are no moans of I’m bored! If you have any other ideas please share them.

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