Games for Kids to Play on an Airplane

Jennifer Betts
Kid on an airplane

Getting on an airplane with kids can be rough. Even if you have the iPad stocked with movies and games, they can still get bored. Conquer that boredom with some simple games that will keep them interested and quiet. It's a good thing if you can add learning games into the mix as well.

The Alphabet Game

This game will work for kids of all ages and is similar to the license plate game in a car. While it won't keep them occupied for hours, it will take them 10-15 minutes to exhaust their lists.

  1. Start with A.
  2. The kids should find as many things on the plane that begin with A that they can. This includes the airplane itself.
  3. Move on the next letter all the way to Z.
  4. If you have 2 or more children, they should try to come up with more words than the other person. For example, one comes up with 5 A words while the other comes up with 6. The one with 6 is the winner of the round.

What's That Sound?

This game is interesting because kids have to keep quiet and listen to the other sounds on the plane. Since it requires them to listen quietly, you can expect them to be entertained for 10 or so minutes.

  1. Quietly listen to the sounds of the plane for about 30 seconds.
  2. Say, "I hear a sound that sounds like…" trying to describe the sound. For example, I hear a sound that goes click, click, click on the floor. This could be a stewardess walking down the aisle.
  3. The child has to guess the sound.
  4. Let the child describe a sound to you or another child.

We Will See

This game is for those kids that are sitting next to a window seat or by a window and can see out. Since the view out the window is always changing, you might be able to stretch this game out to 20 minutes.

  1. You or your child should look out the window for about a minute. Notice the way the landscape changes and common features.
  2. One person starts first by saying, "In (blank) seconds, we will see …" You should describe some type of landscape feature (city, mountains, etc.).
  3. Quietly, count together.
  4. If you see the feature within the specific timeframe, you get a point.
  5. The first person to 20 points wins.

Snack Races

Snack time is always a fun time on flights. However, you might just let your children play with their food a little to keep themselves from bothering the people behind them. This is a relatively short game, only about 5 minutes, but it can be fun.

  1. You will need a snack and a tray to play.
  2. Each person lay a snack on the tray (peanuts, pretzels, etc.)
  3. Without hands, (use the motion of the plane and breath) race to move your snack to a specific point on the tray.
  4. The first snack on to the "finish line" wins.

Packing Memory Game

Enlighten your flight with a word and memory game. And the sillier the words get, the better. Since you can go on until they get bored, this game can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

  1. Start with the statement: "In my suitcase, I packed….".
  2. The first person will start with one item. For example, 'In my suitcase, I packed pants.'
  3. The next person will add on another item. For example, 'In my suitcase, I packed pants and a shirt.'
  4. You will keep adding on items until one person messes up the order.
  5. The one that remembered all the items gets a point and you start over.
  6. The game goes to 10 points.

Remember using words like toilet, sink, leprechaun, unicorn, etc. can add fun for younger kids.

Other Fun Games

Maybe you have access to printables or electronics on your flight. If so, you might give these games a try.

  • Many of these memory games can be modified for riding on an airplane.
  • If you have access to WIFI, you can give these kid-friendly online games a try.
  • You can also modify these driving games for kids on an airplane.
  • If you are looking for something a bit more tangible, you might print out these printable games beforehand and slide them in your purse.

Flying High

Sometimes all the electronics in the world won't cut it on a grueling flight. Therefore, having some simple, easy to play games up your sleeve can be a lifesaver. While these games don't require any equipment, they will keep your little ones entertained for at least a few minutes.

Games for Kids to Play on an Airplane