2 November 2016

How to entertain toddlers at the airport

In collaboration with Trunki




Our family loves travel but lets face it, the actual act of travelling is rarely fun. Kids and waiting around is not a good combination. Here are our tips on how to entertain toddlers at the airport. We have flown dozens of times and spent countless of hours on airports, and have had much experience of entertaining our toddler in the process. So I thought I'd give a brief overview of the three main ways we entertain our child at the airport. I hope they will help! There is a giveaway too at the end of the post where you can win a Trunki - a fun ride-on suitcase for kids.



toddler pulling a toddler kids suitcase at heathrow



Prepare an activity pack


Preparing an activity pack to take with you is a good idea. I have written my top ten tips to pack for a toddler activity pack, but you can't go wrong with a kids magazine, some selected toys and finger foods, and of course a tablet or a smart phone loaded with kids apps. And even if you forgot to prepare an activity pack - you could always buy a few chosen items at the airport! 



Be the entertainer

Be prepared to be silly and inventive! The standard games can help, such as I Spy, or Move and Freeze. You could even try to compete on who moves the slowest as you are waiting for check-in or boarding. 

Another thing I find useful is to give your child a task to do. Nothing too serious, like holding passports or tickets, ha ha, we all know how that would pan out. A good idea is holding a lunch item, or carrying something equally small, or taking care of an "important leaflet" you pick up on your way.   

They can also have their own luggage and be responsible for that. 

I loved having our Trunki suitcase with us at the airport. It provided so much entertainment for my child it acted almost like a second activity pack. 

When we were queuing to check in or at the passport control, I asked my daughter to take care of her Trunki and pull it after herself. I would ask her to sit on it and ride it everytime she got a bit antsy. We did a few bus races too, with her sitting on her Trunki and me "running" next to her. I was really pleased at how sturdy her Trunki suitcase was, and how much entertainment it provided. My daughter loved her Trunki and would not stop talking about it. 



toddler looking out from airport window to airplanes

toddler sitting on trunki rideon suitcase in front of a plane

toddler standing and watching airplane at airport




What to do at the airport


At the airport there are a few activities you can do. Many airports nowadays have children's play areas - Heathrow for example has brilliant kids play lounges. Ask the staff at the airport, these play areas are often located a bit out of the way. 


Otherwise, on long stopovers we have enjoyed wandering about the airport. Plane spotting is great fun - walk about the gates and try and spot different types of planes through the windows. Many airports also have a viewing area where you can admire planes taking off. 


Shopping is another entertaining, albeit expensive activity. I am not a big fan of this as shopping is a pain with kids, however, buying them a new toy or a magazine is guaranteed to keep them entertained for a good while! 


woman chatting with a toddler at airport

woman pulling toddler on trunki rideon suitcase




Do you have any other good tips? What have you done to entertain your kids at the airport?


You might also like: 10 great ideas to pack to a toddler activity pack for travelling and  How to have an easy flight with your baby (under 1 year old)


Join the giveaway to win yourself a Trunki (whichever model is available and in stock on their website). Daily free entry, and daily tweet options to enter, alongside other options. UK entries only!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




146 comments:

  1. make up a bag for each child and get them to put things in they like for the journey, I used to do this before i went on holiday when i was younger as tradition and i loved it!

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  2. We take books to read or card games to play!

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  3. Lots of games and take some activities with us

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  4. I usually take them into a bookshop and let them choose a book, then we buy it and I read it with them

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  5. I don't have any children but would love to win this prize to donate to charity

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  6. We take a bag with various activities in - eye spy book, colouring book & crayons, book to read, music on ipod, playing cards

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  7. Lots of drinks and snacks and colouring in books.

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  8. We bring lots of activities where they can sit and read or work on something

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  9. We got rid of our trunkis when my older two outgrew them, now we have new member of the family, and I need to get another one very soon! :D Great tips. I would add check what they pack in any hand luggage, a gun shaped bey-blade incident is forever etched on my mind! :D #farawayfiles

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  10. i would take card games, comics and books :)

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  11. Some really useful tips here. I find Trunkis brilliant at airports. Mine love sitting on theirs and it's great to have something that they actually want to carry and pack themselves. I always pack sticker books, snacks, a new magazine that they've especially chosen and a couple of small toys. Thanks for linking up to #FarawayFiles

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  12. Puzzle/colouring books. Listen to music, read books. Have snacks/drinks

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  13. For all who are interested in hacking or worry about their security, we recommend to read what is flexispy and how it works.

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  14. Activity books (colouring in, dot to dot etc). Stories etc.

    Rachel Craig

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  15. We take a sticker book or colouring books

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  16. Reading books and plane spotting.x

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  17. Books,tablet,music,portable games

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  18. Those Trunki's are adorable - wish they were around when my kids were little. Nowadays, we just need to make sure we have devices charged, movies loaded up and headphones that work for our tweens and teens. They still like snack packs though! Cheers and thanks for linking with #FarawayFiles this week, Erin

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  19. Have plenty of magazines and the Ipad

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  20. colouring, games, ipad/handheld gaming, portable dvd player or i-spy games

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  21. Tablet for the older one, colouring and activity book for the younger one.

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  22. when we go to the airport I make activity packs for my kiddies - including games like plane spotting, people spotting, luggage colour hunts, colouring and wordsearches

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    1. What a great idea! This would be great fun for older kids too :)

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  23. A little walk to hopefully tire them out.

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  24. I would walk my toddler around a lot, so that he had burnt off plenty of energy to sit for a flight.

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  25. We pre plan, take a lovely picnic, some card games, and being really honest, we take the ipad on the journey sometimes x

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  26. play I-spy and watch the planes if we can

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  27. spotting things and i-spy games and the iPad

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  28. Sweets, travel games, pad and pencil.

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  29. My Kids usually entertain themselves by doing colouring and also doing bit of people watching.

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  30. Colouring and tablet are always good for entertaining we also play games like eye spy.

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  31. Take puzzle and colouring in books and join in the activities

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  32. Colouring books go down a treat with mine

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  33. Activity & colouring in books my daughter loves colouring some games and snacks .x

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  34. Activity & colouring in books my daughter loves colouring some games and snacks .x

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  35. We play word games and eye-spy, and buy plenty of magazines for the actual flight.

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  36. ipad is usually a winner or go for something to eat

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  37. Colouring books and I spy games xx

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  38. I'm hoping that we will go away next year! My plan is to take the iPad, sticker book and a few toys to hopefully keep the little one entertained!

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  39. Eye spy, books, snacks, tablet etc

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  40. iPad with games and some puzzles books.
    If that fails, I spy.

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  41. Go on a Scavenger Hunt. Create a list of items that need to be found in the airport, from a plastic fork to rainbow-coloured sprinkles at an ice cream stand to a blue teddy bear in a gift shop to a view of the control tower. This airport game for kids can be played collaboratively or not: everyone can go together, or you can split up the kids with the adults and make a competition out of it.

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    1. What a fantastic idea, and so much fun to do as a family :) I will nab this idea for when my kid is a bit older :)

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  42. colouring , reading , playing games on the tablet, or playing in the play area

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  43. i always take some sticker book and i always find out if there is a play area at the airport, usually hidden

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  44. Magazines and a tablet are the items we usually use.

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  45. Looking around book shops and choosing a couple of books to read whilst we wait.

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  46. I would take games and books, also take them looking round the shops looking for items beginning with all the letters of the alphabet and playing eye spy

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  47. Tablet, game of cards, treat from duty free x

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  48. Travel games & card games are always good but we tend to make up silly games too

    Kelly Ellen Hirst

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  49. CLARE MUNDEN

    We've just got back from Majorca and we took a brilliant eye spy at the airport book, it was great fun

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  50. We bring card games and books and colouring

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  51. Paper and pens/pencils, so they can draw the planes they see.

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  52. They love travelling so much they dont need entertaining!

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  53. Colouring books and new pocket toys

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  54. We walk around and look out the windows, I also take colouring stuff, loads of snacks, tablets with films/cartoons on them.

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  55. iv not had to yet but hopefully taking them on their first flight next year. I would just make sure they take some form of entertainment with them.

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  56. colouring books, tablet, snacks

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  57. Watching the planes come and go often seems enough but if we're waiting around a long time the tablet or smartphone comes out which is always loaded with lots of games and videos.

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  58. That Trunki looks awesome! My youngest would love it just because it's a bus! #TriedTested

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  59. I love Trunkis! Can't wait to get one for my little man! I always take nursery rhymes and a few books with us when we travel with him, not braved a plane yet though! #TriedTested

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  60. pens and paper, books, iPad , food , puzzles :D x

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  61. Try to plane spot and draw what we see
    Lotsof colouring books and travel dized games

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  62. Rick sack with pound shop pressures pens books sweets etc

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  63. I would play them their favourite shows on the iPad

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  64. a book to read, some colouring in books.

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  65. Watching planes take off, reading books, and activity book.

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  66. Lots of Snacks & things to keep them Busy!

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  67. When my children where younger I had to travel through seven airports to get to Australia! They each packed a bag of toys, games etc that they wanted to take but I have to say the very best thing we packed where skipping ropes. We found a good spot at the airport to skip and away they went!

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    1. Brilliant - and what a great way to let off some steam if you can't run around!

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  68. Books travel games, colouring and snacks

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  69. I would definitely be taking some snacks and drinks as well as some handy travel games! For the older kids maybe a handheld games console such as a Nintendo DS or a tablet perhaps.

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  70. Travel games are good and plenty of reading matter

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  71. we play i spy ! also love watching the planes or looking round the shops, all the kids have activity packs whereever we go that have snack and colouring bits in

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  72. i think there is lots to do now at airports but we usually like watching the planes x

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  73. magazine, tablet and colouring book

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  74. I don't travel very much with my God-Daughter but when I have she is very content reading & playing I spy games

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  75. We pack them busy bags with lots of fun things in to keep them busy and their favourite snacks

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  76. I think I would have to find a flying game on the tablet for them.

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  77. For me it would be the iPad to be honest because it doesn't take up much space and you can fit a lot more on there than you could a physical game with lots of peices.

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  78. Snacks, colouring things & iPads lol x

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  79. it has to be an ipad or notebook

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  80. Ispy, magazines and pen and paper games.

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  81. Meal in one of the restaurants, ipads, dominoes, quiz books

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  82. Ipad and snacks seem to work for my 3 year old

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  83. Colouring books/reading books and maybe some travel games

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  84. Find lots of games to make up like eye spy.

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  85. have some fun spotting games; depending on the age of the child how difficult you go.
    Have several different books, colouring in, activity books for them to look at or do.
    Remember that if you show you are stressed and tired, the kids will react!

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  86. When I go to the airport with my children I take lots of games, books & snacks to keep them occupied.

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  87. I have found that playing games such as eye spy a good way too distract my youngest.Also plenty of snacks and a colouring book helps a lot

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  88. Sticker books are always good for entertaining mine

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  89. I make then an activity bag full of treats games and books to entertain them on the journey

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  90. Play card games (@PeanutHog)

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  91. We let them choose a few small, light items such as toys or tech to bring with them after warning them there is often a wait.

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  92. Puzzle books and the grandchildren all have ipad

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  93. We take an activity book, crayons and plenty of finger foods

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  94. Plane spotting is always a good activity

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  95. My son just usually listens to music or plays on his tablet. We often have a meal at the airport and we usually check in online so we don't queue for too long.

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  96. Plane spotting!

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  97. Most have a play area for the little ones nowadays with a ball pit and the like so we head straight there.

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  98. Top Trumps are a favourite with my kids.

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  99. I would entertain them with colouring books, magazines and books, films and games on phones or tablets and snacks x

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  100. Books comics and activity books also eye spy is great game

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  101. I told my daughter she could choose a magazine from the shop. Choosing the magazine took about 30 mins and then all the bits in it covered the airport and flight too!

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    1. I do this too - it is a great way to keep kids occupied and excited :)

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  102. show them all the amazing things and talk about what they do as well as watching the planes xx

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  103. by showing them all the cool airplanes!

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  104. Watching all the planes take off and activity books usually does the trick.

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  105. We've not braved a flight yet, but I would say lots of books and snacks x

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  106. Lots of games n sticker books

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  107. I would take a colouring book & pencils, entrainment for hous!

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  108. colouring books help a lot for my little ones x

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  109. Book and plenty of them and when that fails good old I Spy

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  110. We were expatriates for over 20 years so our kids did lots of long haul travel. At the airport we used to like to play i-spy, or else we used to make up round-robin stories about some of our fellow travellers - could we spot who was a secret agent, who was a criminal mastermind, and so on, and then each of us had to add a line to the story to explain what they were doing at the airport and whether they were on their way to or from some exciting adventure. Our fellow travellers would probably been horrified at some of the plots we came up with, but it's a really good way to spend time.

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    1. This is brilliant - what a fun way to spend time as a family and helps kids grow their imagination and story-telling abilities too! I will keep this in my back pocket for when my kid is a bit older :)

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  111. Colouring and Sticker books are always good, and some snack :D

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  112. we pack lots of fun games and drawing bit

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  113. We read stories

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