12+ Easy ways to entertain a 1 year old on a plane

Entertaining a one-year-old is challenging. Entertaining him on a plane is extra! If you are planning a trip, then here are a few 1 year old travel activities you can do and use on the plane.

To survive this flight gets prepared by taking a few activities with you. I asked the community and here are some suggestions that have worked for other moms.

Tips for Flying with a Lap Toddler

  1. Pick the right flight and time.
  2. Maximize your chances of getting an extra seat.
  3. Bring a wide variety of snacks.
  4. Walk the aisle.
  5. Bring a baby carrier.
  6. Don’t stress the nap.
  7. Bring non-electronic entertainment to keep little fingers busy.

How do I keep my 1-year-old busy on a plane?

Keep him busy, entertain, and with a lot of different options to offer. Here are the best 1 year old travel activities you can prepare ahead of time (some you don’t need prep) to entertain your toddler on a plane.

Traveling is hard for babies and one year olds. Let's make this time entertaining and fun with these easy and fun activities you can do while on the plane.

Box of Tissues

Box of tissues. My son loved pulling them out one by one. We’d stuff it back in and repeat.

Get Real Toys

Go to the dollar store and buy remotes, keys, and a key chain, strings, beads, a flashlight, etc…just random adult things because toddlers for some reason hate kid toys

An Empty Container with Bottle Caps

Toddlers love to take things in and out of containers. Grab a plastic container and fill it up caps that he can pour, add one by one, and get creative.

1 year old travel activities


Some kids love the idea of peeling post-its one by one. You can let him play like that, or you can also add a few post-it’s to the front table, encourage your toddler to remove each post-it one by one.

Window clings

Let your toddler take the window seat and let him play and stick the window clings all over the window.

Water cup and Napkin

In a plastic cup, usually provided during the snack time, pour a little bit of water. (about 1/4 of the way). Shred a napkin in long stips and allow your toddler to drop the napkin stripes on the water. Throw away when done.

Quiet Books

Quiet books have become super popular and provide fine motor skills that usually require concentration. These can get very expensive so if you have a trip ahead of time, check out these busy book sheets form our one-year-old learning workbook. I have printed copies ready to use or PDF.

1 year old travel activities


If you have an older one-year-old (18months+) you can take some store-bought or homemade playdough. I have found more success with playdough when you add toys or materials to play with. Utensils entertained M for a long time the first time we played with playdough.


Circle stickers (the ones you use at garage sales) are easily found at the dollar store and are easy to peel out. Raised stickers are also fun and easy to peel for little hands.

Magic Doodle Pad

One mom suggested a magic doddle pad, she said it was a big hit with her baby. If you don’t have this at hand or don’t want to purchase just get some paper and markers.

Stacking Games

You can get little plastic shot glasses from the supermarket for stacking.

Craft Cubes

Craft cubes are my favorite travel toy. I used them for a long time to entertain Manny when we were on-the-go. We stacked them, we decorated them with stickers, we drew on them with markers.

Easter Eggs

These might be hard to find if it is not Easter but if you find them (Amazon has them) you can take a few and add a few surprise elements inside. You can add some mini erasers (the dollar store has some with really cute shapes and designs) or you can buy other small toys. I bought a squishy toys ones from Walmart that came in a surprise ball. It kept him entertained the whole trip to Chicago last fall.

Finger Puppets

Babies and toddlers love rhymes. Older one-year-old toddlers like to wear the finger puppets themselves while younger ones like to listen to the songs and watch the puppets dance.

Spice Container with Q-tips

Inserting Q-tips in a spice container requires a lot of concentration. This simple game kept Manny entertained for a long time. Next time you ran out of a spice, wash it and keep the container.

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Snack Container

Ran out of snacks during the trip? add some pom-poms or cotton balls to the container and keep your little one busy as he takes them in and out of the container.

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Magic Color Books

These Sesame Street or these dog design magical papers have the paint embedded into the sheet and the color gets activated when it reacts to the water. For traveling (I did it in the car) use Q-tips to paint. Less water is better with bumpy rides.

1-year-old travel activities do not have to be hard to set up or bulky, just try some of them along with our One-Year-Old Learning Binder for easy and fun entertainment during your travels.

Recommended next: One Year Old Learning Binder