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10 travel toys to use on a plane with a 4 and 9 year old

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10 ideas for toys & entertainment when travelling on a plane with a 4 and 9 year old

If you are anything like me, whenever you go out for the day, let alone on holiday, the car is packed full of things that I may possibly need and actually never end up getting out.  Nevertheless, when faced with having to pack a weeks’ worth of toys and entertainment, this did fill me with dread!  However, some careful research and planning and we ended up with enough compact resources to entertain them all week!

  1. Electronics!

No matter how you try, there is just no getting away from the need for an electronic resource.  We had and iPad, Kindle and our iPhones.  Make sure you download what you can for those moments when you can’t connect to WiFi and take earphones with you so you don’t have to listen to that PJ Masks episode for the 100th time.  These are an absolute must when you need to settle out of routine and tired children on holiday.

  • Felt Pens

A new pack of felt pens always goes down well.  This year we invested in Stablio Cappi pens – they come with an option to link all the lids together so each time you use a colour the pen doesn’t roll off on the floor – amazing!  This was a particularly brilliant piece of entertainment on the plane and when teamed up with a simple pack of plain exercise books (just like the ones from school!) they were used all week; mealtimes, evenings, alone, with friends…can’t recommend them highly enough!

  • Small Cars

We took several different sets of cars in plastic zipper wallets, this meant that each time we needed a distraction, we had what seemed liked a completely different toy and I knew exactly how many cars we had got out each time, making it far more likely we would actually bring the toys home at the end of the week!  We had a set of Hape cars, a set of PJ Mask vehicles (a current firm favourite) and a set of hot wheels.  The Hape cars were particularly good at being launched off a sun lounger which acted as a rather effective ramp!

  • Pool toys

If you don’t want to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for toys you are highly likely to leave behind anyway, take these with you!  We always take an inflatable ball which seems to come in handy both in and out of the pool.  Minimum space taken up in the luggage, maximum play value!

  • Geo Boards

I took a bit of a risk with these and aimed them at the older one, turns out, both kids ended up fighting over them and I wish I had brought two sets!  Again, I kept this in a zipper bag and the kids loved creating their own pictures or following patterns on the card that came with the board using the brightly coloured elastic bands.  Educational, cheap and easy to use, a winner all round!

  • Peg Boards

This one was aimed at the little one and again, both kids liked this.  Simple and easy, pegs in a board, make your own patters or pictures and it takes ages to put the pegs on and take them off again so keeps them entertained for ages.  The only downside is the small pegs do get everywhere so be warned, we lost several through the floor boards!

  • Books

I love books and always enjoy getting ‘holiday books’ whenever we go away.  I have a Kindle and the children have access to books on their devices but nothing beats curling up with a book.  We took a couple of new Usborne ‘lift the flap’ books for the 4 year old and they were an excellent distraction when he was nervous on the flight.  Old favourites are great but when you know you will be limited with a choice of bedtime story, new books are a must!

Why not check out our Recommendations for children’s books in June 2019

  • Stickers

Stickers are always a firm favourite.  The 9 year old still loves a ‘Sticker Dolly Dressing’ book and the little one is still working his way through an old Dorling Kindersley book we brought for the first born! 

  • Little Scribblers

These are our new favourite travel item.  Small kits aimed at Early Years children and educational and entertaining.  You can read our review of Little Scribblers here.

  • You!

There is no substitute for family time.  We always find the children love that dedicated time with us with no distractions of work our housework and we try our best to find the energy for playing with them.  Dobble and Uno are games we can now all play and are easy to pack and take out and about with you wherever you go

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