Toddler Activities for the Plane, Train, and Car

Traveling this year may look a little different for some as plans get canceled and rearranged. But, if you’re still going to get away, it’s important to have toddler activities for the plane, train, or car to keep kids busy. It not only passes the time for them, but activity ideas for kids can lessen the number of times you hear “are we there yet?” We’re all on board with that!

Check out These Fun Toddler Activities to Keep Your Little One Occupied

If you’re traveling by plane or train, you’re going to be limited when it comes to the size of activities you can bring and their noise level. When you’re taking a road trip, you can bring along some bigger items and they can make a little more noise when choosing activities for kids.

Lift-Flap Books

These are a good choice no matter what mode of transportation you choose. Your toddler can bring along some favorites or you can buy new ones before your trip. Buying new ones may be the better choice. This way, it will be something new and will keep your child’s attention longer.

Lift-flap books are a great idea because they’re lightweight, don’t take up a lot of room, and are quiet. Kids can play with them alone or you can interact with them. 

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DoodlePro Trip

Here’s another activity that can be brought along on any trip. The DoodlePro Trip is easy to throw in a carry-on bag so kids can play with it on the plane. The special pencil is attached so you don’t have to worry about the kids dropping it or making a mess that would occur when using finger paints or crayons with a piece of paper. Kids love art activities, this is a fantastic way to make it mobile. 

They can draw, practice letters, or just doodle which generally increases their motor activity. When they’re done, they can easily clear the screen and start over. This is a good pick because, unlike regular paper and crayons, they’ll never run out. They can keep drawing and creating as long as they want and increase their fine motor skills. 

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“I Spy” Game

This toddler activity never gets old if you’re taking a road trip. You may have to explain to your toddler how this game works. But, once you do, they should get the hang of it. With toddlers, you can keep it simple, like “I spy with my little eye something green.” If you’re in the car this should go quickly because they likely will spy a tree which is green. Keep it going with other simple things to find along the way.

Little Figures and Dolls

Let your child’s imagination flow as they play with little figures and dolls. These can be dinosaurs, mini action figures, or small dolls. These can be brought along on any trip. Just make sure they don’t drop any along the way. You can easily throw these in a bag when you’re on the road.


Throw these in your bag and have them handy for any part of your trip. Whether you’re on the plane, train, or in the car, your child can take imaginative play to the next level with WikkiStix. They can create anything they want, take it apart, and recreate. This process can continue until you reach your destination. These are inexpensive boredom busters as your kids are waiting to get there.

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Busy Books

These can be electronic or made from cloth. Either way, busy books are great toddler activities that can keep your kids occupied while you’re in transit. If you’re in the car, the electronic books that tend to be noisier will be good. But, if you’re on the plane or train, you’ll want to opt for the books that don’t make any sound. Your fellow passengers will thank you.

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Make a Puppet

If you’re on a plane or train, making a puppet is perfect for your toddlers and preschoolers and have a little puppet show while you’re en route to your destination. You’ll want to do some prep work with some household items before you go because you don’t want to have an arts and crafts aisle in your bag. 

You can do all the messy stuff at home and bring along some sticky googly eyes or a marker to draw the face. Any other decorations you’ll want to do beforehand. But once you put the finishing touches on your puppet, you can have a little show during your trip. This is also fun for when you get to your destination and the kids have some downtime at your hotel or wherever you’re staying.

Movies and TV Shows

While you don’t want your child staring at a screen during your entire trip, sometimes a movie or a television show can help to keep your child quiet. If you’re on a plane, a tablet and pair of headphones can become lifesavers.

Put on a favorite program and a pair of headphones and your child should calm down for a bit. Sometimes they even fall asleep while they’re watching. You can limit their tablet time so that they’re not spending all their travel time on these.

The next time you’re planning a trip, bring along these toddler activities to make getting to your destination just as fun as the vacation itself.

Looking for additional toddler activities to prepare for traveling? Check out this post about swim lessons for your little one or this one about traveling with your toddler in general.

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