Kids First Trip on a Plane

Updated on July 22, 2010
L.W. asks from O Fallon, MO
11 answers

Hello everyone! I have a question regarding our up and coming trip we are taking to California. The trip is a 4 hour flight and it will be the first time both of my kids have been on a plane. My daughter is 4 and my son will be 3 next month. Could you give me advice on what I should take for them on the plane? My husband and I were thinking movies will be good for them so we are taking the dvd players but I am sure there is much more advice out there so any thoughts would be much appreciated! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone! I wanted to thank you for all of the information with the kiddos traveling. My kids did awesome on their first flight and they enjoyed it so much with all of the little things they had in their backpacks and thought they were so cool rolling their backpacks in the airport like everyone else. They each got a window seat and loved looking at everything outside the plane. We are on our travel day back to home today and they are both looking forward to another plane ride.

It was actually funny when we landed at LAX my daughter thought we were still in STL because the planed and the trucks all looked the same at the airport.. She thought we just went in circles. We have been laughing about it all week long.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions and ideas. They were all very much apprecated and did the trick!!

Featured Answers



answers from Phoenix on

If either of the kids are 'active', I would suggest bringing the car seat on the airplane (aircraft approved ones, 5 point harness). They kids seem to know they have to stay in their seats when in a car seat and it is easier to nap in.

More Answers



answers from Austin on

My kids (6,4,2) just went on a plane trip of about tat same length of time. I ended up going to The Learning Express store, which I have found to have the broadest selection of "plane friendly" toys. I get them the invisible ink coloring books/pads, their are magnetic type "scenes" with corresponding magnets or resealable stickers to manipulate on, of course, paper and crayons, etc. We also took the dvd player, so that helped. They were really interested in the take off and landing, looking out the windows, so believe it or not, that will keep them interested for a while. Keep things in their packaging and don't let them see the "toys" until they are in the air. Again, all about maximizing the time with the new stuff. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We love the crayola color wonder products- no mess!



answers from Chicago on

we packed each of the kids and then later the grandkids a backpack with some things to do. the dvd players are good but make sure you bring ear phones. sometimes there are people who complain about the movie noise even when its not loud. books, coloring books with colored pencils. skip markers as they can make a big mess if dropped unnoticed. snacky stuff like gold fish etc. if they have an electronic game like gameboys etc those are good. we got each kid a game and didn't let them see it till take off and also a game that we knew they loved that was an old favorite. movies are good if they either love them or haven't seen them. old disney ones are good. books on tape/cd are good also. good luck have fun.



answers from San Francisco on

Here are some ideas for things to bring to keep them amused on the airplane.



answers from Detroit on

Hi L.
I have been flying to Europe with my kids since my eldest was 7 weeks old.
I always take a small backpack each for my kids and let them choose some of the toys they want to bring, also crayons and coloring books, anything that you know will help keep them occupied. They won't be able to use the dvd's during take off or landing.
Definitely take snacks for them so you know you have something to eat that they like. With drinks it really depends on the airport as to whether they will allow you to take drinks through security. I have been told ok at one airport and had the same drinks confiscated at another. Now I just take empty water bottles and fill them at a drinking fountain when i get through security.
My kids are 5 and 7 and I still take a change of clothes for both of them, just in case of spills or even vomitting on take off or landing (yes that has happened with them both of them at some point).
i also take something for them to suck on during take off and landing to help with the pressure in their ears.
Although I don't tend to use wipes very often now I always take them on flights, never know when I might need them for an easy clean up.
Good luck and have fun.



answers from Kansas City on

You have great suggestions below. In addition, i will usually try to get a new trinket or toy, something small for packing, but new so they will be occupied by it for the trip. I got my little guy two new hot wheels and he played with them the entire trip (mcuh shorter1.5 hours).

Good Luck!



answers from St. Louis on

If you take the DVD player don't forget headphones. Also if they have a Leapster or any handheld game. Any books or games that they like you could take as well. Of course, you are limited because of the carry on - you can also try a Magna Doodle. Good luck.



answers from St. Louis on

They will likely need to wear headphones for the dvd player even if nobody complains (we have NOT found flight attendants to be child friendly)...if they don't like headphones, the dvd player can be a bust. Last time we flew we brought baby einstein videos since my daughter still likes them and sound isn't important (it's just music). Crayons and markers may get dropped and will roll backwards in the plane...there's no room to reach down for them. We're traveling next week to CA too (except we couldn't afford the direct flight, so it will be a LONG day)...I've got some sticker books, etc, (even stickers and blank notebook can keep them busy) we'll bring the leapster and some new games and the DVD player for as long as the battery holds out. Books to read. Small snacks like raisins can keep them busy a while. My daughter likes the aquadoodle books where the picture appears when you color with water. I still need to check out the dollar store to see if anything looks promising. Small games like UNO etc if they play them....if they are like my daughter, they'll burn through the backpack pretty quickly. Then she's in daddy's hands...mommy's on vacation :)



answers from Phoenix on

For my daughter ( who is almost 4 and has fkown cross country 3 times) I have a back pack for hwer with some stuff and then my carry on with other stuff with the following inside

DVD player
Coloing book or activity books
1 or 2 toys of choice depending on size
Cuddle animal and blanket (it gets cold on the plane)
Snacks (fruit snacks, granola, lolly or gum for take off)
You can bring juice and sippy cup (no spill) they just check it. I brought apple juice because I couldnt find after security check and her drinking helped her ears pop.
My ipod with kid friendly games on it

Thats pretty much it, sounds like a lot but none of it is very big and it didnt fell overwhelmed to carry. My daughter had a small back pack that she got to carry so it made her feel special and lighted my load a little. Hope this helps :)

edit: and depending how well your 3 yr old is potty trained maybe a pullup, cause if you cant get out of your seat and they have to go and cant hold it it could get messy.



answers from Denver on

a couple of books, some games, the dvd player will likely be your best tool- I would recommend a brand new highly desired movie- or the type of movie they ask for over and over and over and over again... =D

snacks- don't count on the stewards to provide snacks... last time I flew they wanted movie theater prices for snacks!! eep!

and talk to them about what the plane ride will be like and how long it will last- and bring some gum or something to help them pop the pressure in their ears on landing and take-off.

Good luck!

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