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How to Keep the Kids Busy at the Airport


Thanksgiving travel is widely considered the busiest time of year to fly. With all those crowds, lines and delays keeping the kids entertained is HARD! It can be completely nerve-wracking for parents. I should know, I’ve done my fair share of flights with kiddos alone! Don’t stress yourself out trying to walk through the airport with fussy kids on top of everything else that you’re trying to deal with. Here is how you keep the kids busy at the airport.

Pack Snacks
Remember to pack a lot of snacks. I often try to find a treat or something fun that they might not get at home. One way you can also keep them happy, after you’ve passed through the gate, is to have their meals planned out. Have a few places in mind to eat at if you have time, so you can keep your kiddos happy. I also bring an empty sippy cup and get a water or milk immediately after getting through security.

Download Apps Ahead of Time
Although you don’t want to saturate your child’s life with electronics, the airport is one of those places in which it is totally acceptable. You have lots of time on your hands and need to occupy your kids. The perfect way to do this is to download apps that you know they will like, only you want to make sure you do it ahead of time. I also make sure to run through it once or twice so I can help Jake learn the new game or activity if need be. And bring headphones for any in flight usage!

Bring Puzzles Along
If there’s anything that keeps kids busier than puzzles, no one knows about it. Bring several puzzles along with you for the airport journey. You can even laminate and cut up pictures to create your very own puzzles. Don’t want to carry pieces around? Try a puzzle app!

Busy Bags
A brilliant way to keep the kids busy at the airport is to create several busy bags. Allow them to play with one busy bag at a time while at the airport. Busy bags can have anything from blocks to books. The options are endless, anything you think will keep your kiddos busy, you can put into a Ziplock bag and bring along with you.

Favorite Movies
If you’re looking to occupy a kiddo for several hours, consider bringing along their favorite movies. It’s amazing how occupied a child can be whenever they have their favorite movie to watch. And most kids will watch the same movie over and over again if they love it enough. I find Jake will watch a movie he is familiar with much longer than something new.

Find a Window
Sometimes I opt to save the electronics for the flight when we’re seated. To pass airport time I will look for a large window where we can watch airplanes, play I spy and watch the runways.

The best part about most of these tips is that you can use them in the airport and while on the plane. Kids get really restless when they are expected to sit and shuffle for hours. When you come prepared and with a positive attitude, you don’t have to worry about how your kids will act. If all else fails, whip out the crayons and coloring books and let them have at it!


  1. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad says

    These are fabulous tips! I don’t have kids myself but have travelled with my niece and nephew, so I have a small insight into what a challenge it can be! I love the idea of Busy Bags, definitely going to be pinching that for later. I will definitely be referring back to these!

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