Flight busy bags

We recently went on holiday to Southern California. We went to visit family who live in San Diego and it turned into something of a holiday of a lifetime with trips camping in the desert, to Disneyland, legoland, San Diego zoo, sea world and lots of other fun touristy places. 


One thing that was on my mind alot before we went was the 11 and a half hour plane flight with a 3 year old and an 18 month old (who was sat on my knee the whole way)! I think I read pretty much every blog and list out there of what to take for toddlers on a plane.


I decided to make some flight busy bags to keep the kids occupied on the flight. I made a list of all the suggestions I found online, but in the end I found the best way to decide what to take was to dig around the house and look for random stuff we already had (and then add a few extra things). I decided the stuff in the bags didn’t have to be super exciting or original – it just had to keep them occupied for a while. 


I separated all the stuff I collected into 9 bags and then added snacks to each bag. The plan was to have a bag an hour, and then hope they slept/watched tv for at least some of the time! In reality I didn’t need so much stuff as Bobcat was really happy to watch Cars on the tv screen, and, although Little Monkey only slept for about an hour on the flight out, she really loved just walking around at the back of the plane. I was still definitely glad to have them with me though – I knew I had options if they did start getting restless or if we had been delayed, and I was able to use some of the bits whilst we were away in the car and hotel, as well as on the flight back. 

So in case you need some inspiration of what to take on a long-haul flight for toddlers, the full list of what I took is at the end of this post. If I was going on a short-haul flight I think I would just take one bag with these things in:

  • Sticker book 
  • Playdough
  • A set of small animals/characters 
  • Cars 
  • Mini tape measure
  • Calculators (they make great pretend phones)
  • Card game (we like happy families and dobble kids)
  • Small Books
  • Wallets with coins/monopoly money in
  • Post it notes and pens
  • Balloons (for in the airport)

I didn’t choose to avoid small things – I just took things I didn’t mind getting lost as I decided the risk of loosing them was worth it. I actually bought a lot of smaller figures specifically for travelling as they took up less space in the bag (the My Busy Book series is good for this and you can often get them cheap on eBay)

For anyone who wants inspiration for a longer journey here is the full list of what was in each bag:


Bag 1

  • Sticker books
  • Rainbow writing pad
  • Pencils
  • Bag of ribbons
  • Animals
  • Bag of magnet toys
  • Pom bears
  • Crackers


Bag 2 

  • Book
  • Colouring pad
  • Crayons
  • Calculators
  • Pill box filled with Pom poms
  • Mickey Mouse happy families card game
  • Mini Frozen characters 
  • Mini cheddars
  • Snack bars


Bag 3

  • Toy cars
  • Make a sock puppet set (mini craft activity left over from the front of a comic)
  • Button snake
  • Colour lids (2 baby wipe packet lids stuck together with coloured celephane between them)
  • Fabric squares in a pot
  • Mini Mickey Mouse characters 
  • Fruit wonder
  • Yoghurt covered raisins


Bag 4 

  • Book
  • Finger puppets
  • Post it notes
  • Highlighter pens
  • Find the zebra in the zoo book (a simpler where’s wally type book for children)
  • Key ring chain
  • Mini Tape measure 
  • Pill box filled with cheerios, raisins and shreddies
  • Blueberry wafers


Bag 5

  • Sticker book
  • Combs
  • Wallet with coins and cards (I included gold painted poker chips as coins, old store cards and Monopoly money)
  • Glow in the dark stars (stored in two baby wipe lids stuck together)
  • Double kids (we are just at the stage of identifying which two animals are the same on each set of cards)
  • Wiki sticks
  • Wild animal mini figures
  • Pom bears
  • Yogurt raisins


Bag 6 

  • Playdough
  • Small soft toy giraffe
  • Pretend binoculars 
  • Hair curlers and sponges (sponges have holes cut in middle so curlers can go through)
  • Mini Disney princesses 
  • Snake game
  • Crackers
  • Snack bars


Bag 7

  • Book
  • Find the shark in the sea
  • Pipe cleaners 
  • Mini Dominos
  • Coloured foam teddies
  • Linking shapes (in another wipe lid container)
  • Plasters
  • Mini “friends of Mickey Mouse” figures
  • Pill box filled with cheerios, raisins and shreddies
  • Mini Cheddars
  •  Yoyo fruit snack


Bag 8 

  • Book
  • Mini Thomas the Tank Engine figures
  • Soft balls
  • Tin foil and bubble wrap (for wrapping other toys in etc)
  • Mini butterflies (in wipe lid container)
  • Yoghurt raisins
  • Snack bars


Bag 9 

  • Paper people 
  • Felt tip pens
  • Mirrors
  • Pipe cleaners with beads in matching colours
  • Mini toy lizards (in wipe lid container)
  • Large coloured buttons (in wipe lid container)


I also had a smaller pencil case with some toys in case of a delay at the airport. This bag contained:

  • Disney princess happy families card game
  • Soft balls
  • Finger puppets
  • Blue painters tape
  • Balloons
  • Mini farm animal figures
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