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12 screen-free activities to keep kids busy on plane journeys

These plane activities foster creativity and improve fine motor skills

Kids' screen-free plane activities
Katherine Robinson
Senior Lifestyle Editor
Updated: 8 June 2023
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I’m a mum-of-two who lives in a different country from most of my family members, so plane journeys with little ones are a regular occurrence. I know how tempting it can be to just give them a tablet to keep them occupied, but I’m here to tell you: there is another way!

There are so many cheap and creative activities that you can throw in the hand luggage that will pass the time in a creative way.

We’re talking sticker books, colouring, magnetic travel games and much more - plane activities that won’t break the bank, will foster creativity and problem-solving, and help improve their coordination. Plus crafting builds confidence and lets kids express themselves.

I’ve compiled a list of the best ones, and they’re all under £17 and with speedy delivery - definitely worth bringing along on your next plane journey to keep them busy!

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    Kids travel games

    3-in-1 Travel games pack

    This handy set contains three games that are perfect to play on the plane. There’s a guess who-style game, a connect 4-style game and a pop-and-hop game with a spinnable dice that’s impossible to lose

  2. 2/12

    Reusable sticker book

    Melissa & Doug reusable sticker book

    Is there a kid in the world who doesn’t love stickers? This sticker book is even better because it’s reusable - just make sure they don’t stick them all over the plane instead! Other book themes available include dress-up, princess castle, vehicles and my town if they’re not into animals.

  3. 3/12

    Tangram magnetic set

    Magnetic tangram puzzle set

    The Tangram puzzle is an ancient Chinese traditional intellectual game that’s still around today. With this travel-friendly set, you get three sets of magnets and a book with 240 puzzle challenges that will keep them occupied for hours!

  4. 4/12

    FLYTE 18" Midi Scooter Suitcase - Luna The Unicorn

    FLYTE 18" Midi Scooter Suitcase - Luna The Unicorn

    Though it isn't an activity per se, this fab kids' scooter suitcase deserves an honourable mention in this article as it was make your journey 10 times easier. I'm speaking from experience here - we have the unicorn version and my six-year-old absolutely loves it. It's a great little hand luggage to store everything she needs for the journey, and getting through the airport is a breeze with her on three wheels. It's available in a range of colourful animal designs if unicorns are not your kid's thing.

  5. 5/12

    Dot it sticker activity book

    Dot it sticker activity book

    Stickers again, but this time, you use the dots to make pictures. There are eight princess-themed scenes to complete and 500 different coloured stickers in the pack. There are also packs available featuring Unicorns, animals and dinosaurs up for grabs

  6. 6/12

    Orsen writing tablet

    Orsen writing tablet

    This screen won’t turn them into a YouTube zombie! It’s a doodle pad where they can let their imaginations run wild, practice writing or even have a game of noughts and crosses.

  7. 7/12

    Monster and Alien colouring book

    2-pack colouring book

    If you do want an old-fashioned colouring book, this two-pack is fab - you get one monster and alien book and one dinosaur book for less than £3.50.

  8. 8/12

    Crayola no-sharpen crayons

    Crayola no-sharpen crayons

    Since you can’t take a pencil sharpener on a flight, you’ll need a set of crayons that you won’t need to sharpen. These are perfect, and have every colour in the rainbow and then some!

  9. 9/12

    Children's activity book

    Children’s activity book - mazes, puzzles and other activities

    This is a great little book, packed with mazes, puzzles, drawing, colouring, dot-to-dot, spot the difference and plenty of other activities

  10. 10/12

    Paw patrol water wow book

    Melissa & Doug Paw Patrol water wow book

    No need to stress about bringing pens or crayons, just fill the pen with water before you board the plane. Brush the pen over the pages and watch the colour magically appear. And the best thing? Once the pages dry, you can reuse it and start colouring again.

  11. 11/12

    Peppa Pig sticker book

    Peppa pig paper projects book

    Especially for fans of the famous cartoon pig loved by so many kids, this Peppa Pig activity book has six pages of scenes and three pages of reusable stickers so they can recreate their favourite scenes from the series.

  12. 12/12

    Lace and trace activity set

    Melissa & Doug lace and trace activity set

    Kids will enjoy lacing the coloured thread in and out of the holes in the double-sided farm animal panels. This is a great one for improving fine motor skills and hand to eye coordination.


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