Matchbox-sized toy airplane entertains toddlers during flights

At Amazon: Toy Jet Plane
At Amazon: Toy Jet Plane

This simple hack might make all the difference the next time you're flying with toddlers. From Keryn Means at Walking On Travels

When flying with toddlers pack a small toy airplane, no bigger than Matchbox car size, for your child to play with during take off and landing.

It's a great distraction for nervous fliers as you roll the plane down their legs to show them how the plane takes off. For more experienced child fliers you can throw in some loops, jumps and twists.

Our kids are part of the digital age of tablets and smart phones, so this trick is especially good when all electronics must be turned off and they need a little distraction.

This is one of those hacks that's deceptively simple. "Toy plane while flying" seems obvious, but there's more to it. Think of the learning that can happen during conversations about flight or airplanes or engines. For older kids, you could combine toy plane fun with the maps at the back of the in-flight magazine for a relevant geography lesson.

The context is what makes this hack, I think.

Parents of toddlers: what's your most effective distraction during takeoff and landing?

More: Hacks for air travel with kids

And: Tons of tips for all kinds of family travel in the Travel + Getting Out archive


  1. Nicole says

    Back when we were flying with a toddler, she wasn’t allowed gum at that age. Breaking out gum for takeoff and landing was distraction enough!

  2. Anjali says

    I take out the camera during take-off and landing. My daughter loves watching her own pictures and videos (!) and I haven’t (yet) been told to put the camera off.

  3. Lauren says

    I always brought a small lollipop for each kid that they could have once the plane started moving. It kept them swallowing through takeoff and it was a great distraction since they never got lollipops otherwise.

    Also, pack a few extras in case you end up delayed after the plane has started moving or your kid drops it on the floor!

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  5. says

    Ik denk dat uw perspectief diep is, het is gewoon goed doordacht en echt fantastisch om iemand die weet hoe je deze gedachten neer te zetten zo goed te zien.