You need to be prepared with some creative airplane games for kids if you’re boarding a plane with a young family. It is possible to survive and even enjoy a long flight with children!
There is only so long a small child can sit still, hush, and read a book. After you’ve read all of your books a few times and your child is getting antsy, try out some of these fun airplane games for kids to keep him occupied.
Remember, one of the best ways to keep your child under control on the flight is to play with him. There are lots of ways to entertain children on flights. If your creative juices are running low and your patience is running thin, try these airplane games for kids.
12 Airplane Games for Kids
1. Where’s the Coin?
Hide a coin in one of your hands. Ask your children to guess which one it’s in. When they find it, they get to hide it. Or make it a challenge to hide it somewhere near your seat that doesn’t require disturbing other passengers to find. (Don’t disturb other passengers is a major rule of the game!)
2. Find the Airplanes
Help your child go through the entire in-flight magazine circling all the airplanes they can find. Then count them all together.
Have you ever actually looked at the products offered in those Sky Mall magazines on board? There are some unique and interesting items. Look through it with your little one and ask her to name her favorite product. Better yet, ask her to invent a new one and draw a picture of it.
4. Tic Tac Toe
An old fashioned game of Tic Tac Toe can come in handy when you’re trying to pass the time. Getting three in a row is fun, even in the air.
5. I Spy
Use your great detective skills and try out a game of “I Spy”. Say, “I spy something that’s (green and bumpy)” and let your child find the object on the plane. It’s probably best if you keep your spying restricted to objects within view of your seat.
Even a toddler can play this game. If she can’t quite draw pictures on her own yet, draw some things for her to guess. My kids love when I draw with and for them – even though I’m not an artist.
7. Sort It
If you happened to bring along snacks such as M&Ms, Skittles, or Cheerios, use them to sort, count, or design something. Depending on your child’s age, they can sort the candies by color or shape. They can also practice adding or subtracting. Want a better challenge? Make a design with your snack on the tray table. (Remember to be courteous and collect all of your art and math projects when the flight is over.)
8. Word Play
This game works best for children who can read and write. To begin, say a word. Then your child has to name something that starts with the last letter of your word. Next, you name something beginning with the last letter of theirs. No word can be repeated. Keep going until someone gives up or the plane arrives at your destination.
For preschoolers, choose a category (such as animals that hop, or things that are hot), and take turns naming words.
9. Guess That Tune
Quietly hum one of your child’s favorite songs. Let her guess what it is. Then let her be the hummer. If you know children’s songs with actions, just perform the hand movements without singing or humming, and see if your children can name the tune. Just ignore the curious looks you may get. It’ll all be worth it in the end.
This is a classic game for babies and toddlers and one that they’re certain to want repeated over and over and over… But you have plenty of time, right?
11. This Little Piggie
Don’t forget about “This Little Piggie”. Since you’re in no hurry, find those little piggies under the socks and shoes and tell the story of the piggies while pointing to each toe. Try changing the words of the story, too! This little piggie flew on an airplane …
Why not try a game of charades? It’s a great game because it’s quiet. Choose something you can act out while sitting. You could pretend to eat a certain kind of food, or show a type of emotion on your face. Let your child guess what it is. Whoever guesses gets to be the next actor. Once again, ignore the funny looks you may get. Those same people will thank you later for entertaining and controlling your kids on the flight.
Phew! Your plane has finally landed. And you survived. Congratulations. Are you dreading your long layover? No worries! There are lots of ways to entertain kids in the airport terminal too!
This article was included in the Carnival of Wealth.
Do you have any other airplane games for kids to suggest?