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The Best Toddler Busy Bags for the Airplane (and How to Make your Own too!)

Busy bags can be key for travelling with a toddler as your stationary newborn is now a little person who is able to walk and share their opinion with you, so airplane travel can become a little more difficult!

Some airlines provide you with a decent activity pack, like Emirates below, but if in doubt, buy or make your own. We found having some new toys and giving them out at different times can make even the 24 hours flights seem to go quicker.

Toddler busy bags are available ready-made online which can save you the time to put some together, and can also save you money as a set rather than lots of individual items.

Here are a few options for you to choose someready made toddler busy bags from the USA and the UK (with other worldwide options) and some suggestions below of how to make your own if you have a little more time!

For more entertainment ideas, see this popular and super useful and easy 35 Toddler Activities for the plane too!

Activity pack, busy bag ideas Family friendly, airlines, baby and child amenities on board your flight. Emirates entertainment, Singapore airlines, travel, Virgin Atlantic, Etihad Airways
Emirates inflight busy bag but you can make your own too.

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U.S.A & Worldwide Ready Made Busy Bags

Mom Code Toddler Travel Activities Set

Price range: Around $46.00

This toddler airplane travel essentials is an 8 piece set suitable for toddler boys and girls 3-8 years which all comes with a decent backpack. Here is what you can expect inside:

What’s inside:

  • 1 Packable Backpack
  • 1 LCD Drawing Tablet
  • 1 Magic Cube Toy
  • 1 Triangle Fidget Pad
  • 2 Reusable Sticker Books
  • 2 Mess-Free Coloring Books
  • 3 Wacky Tracks
  • 6 Stretchy String

Mini Voyager

Mini Voyager provides crafts, toys and games all in a drawstring bag and ready for travel on the go. They have fun filled sets for 1-2 years old, ages 3-4 and 5-6 years old. Inside are lots of quiet toys with plenty of stimulating and sensory items.

If you have a lot of similar items at home, then it’s probably not the best value for you, but saying that, it would cost you multi-packs to get some of the items and it is likely you would wind up paying the same amount.


Etsy

Etsy have some beautiful unique busy bags for travel for various ages.


Busy Boards

Another idea for younger children, is a travel busy board – where everything is in one place but there are plenty of activities for little hands. This Montessori Busy Board is a great sensory toy with lots of zips, buttons and games to play which are all part of a bag. The bag had enough spaces for favorite books, coloring crayons, paper, snacks and even a water bottle too!

Some other beautifully crafted magnetic games and activity sets which are perfect for kids are by Janod (also available on Amazon) We got bought the battleships and love it! Most come with travel cases too. 


See some DIY ideas below

U.K Ready Made Toddler Busy Bags

The Little Things

Price range: £14.50-£25.95

This site next caught my eye for activity bags for toddlers. Their travel kits for toddlers boast either 7 or 9 selected resources which are age appropriate (you can choose the bag dependant on the age of your little one).

What’s inside: These are examples from the long journey packs so there will be slight variations for the short and medium journey packs.

1+ bag:

  • Drawstring Bag pack
  • First colouring book randomly selected from an Usborne collection
  • Fold out book/ touchy feel book randomly selected from our Usborne collection
  • Geometric construction shapes
  • Jumping animal
  • Chunky non- toxic crayons
  • Wooden top
  • Pop up monster

2+ bag:

  • Drawstring Bag pack
  • First colouring book randomly picked from our Usborne collection
  • The Little Children’s activity book randomly picked from our Usborne collection
  • Geometric construction shapes
  • Play-Doh set
  • Chunky non-toxic crayons
  • Wooden top
  • Tilt puzzle
  • Mix and match puzzle

3+ bag:

  • Drawstring Bag pack
  • First colouring book randomly picked from our Usborne collection
  • The Little Children’s activity book randomly picked from our Usborne collection
  • Geometric construction shapes
  • Play-Doh set
  • Chunky non-toxic crayons
  • Wooden top
  • Tilt puzzle
  • Mix and match puzzle

They all include an Usborne colouring book and even come in a reusable draw string bag. Each bag has a description of roughly how long they should provide entertainment with travelling with a toddler and comes complete with dimensions to help you to know which hand luggage you can squeeze it in!

You can even choose a bag specifically for either a boy or a girl but there are also unisex options. These bags are a little more expensive with some costing around £25 depending on the age of your little one, however they look.


Etsy UK

Etsy have some beautiful unique busy bags for travel for various ages. See these ones for starters.


Keep Em Quiet

Price Range: £13.99-£19.99

What’s inside:

The contents will be varied dependant on the age range you specify before ordering.

  • Toys
  • Activities
  • Crafts
  • Educational items
  • Books
  • Learning activity workbooks
  • Puzzles
  • Games
  • Collectables
  • Healthy snacks

The website notes this before ordering which is good to know:

“Whilst we will try our best to ensure it contains different items to your outbound pack, some items such as felt tips & other generic well liked items might be duplicated, on the whole it will contain different items though! “

Keep Em Quiet are a popular company to use when considering activities for a road trip with a toddler. Their website is comprehensive and easy to find what you would like and meets the needs of your children.

You specify the specific age of your child, the length of your journey and can add additional bags at a very small extra cost. The toddler travel activity packs range from £13.99 to £19.99 and are full of hand-picked activities by their team of Mums and Dads.

This portable activity kit for toddlers comes in its own drawstring bag so your toddler can even carry it themselves throughout the airport or open and close it independently to retrieve their goodies. These bags can be shipped worldwide too. There is lots of great feedback from parents using these bags who are saying how easy they are making car travel, holidays abroad and have been spoken of as the best busy kits for toddler.


Busy Boards

Another idea for younger children, is a travel busy board – where everything is in one place but there are plenty of activities for little hands. This Montessori Busy Board is a great sensory toy with lots of zips, buttons and games to play which are all part of a bag. The bag had enough spaces for favorite books, coloring crayons, paper, snacks and even a water bottle too!

Some other beautifully crafted magnetic games and activitty sets which are perfect for kids are by Janod (also available on Amazon) We got bought the battleships and love it! Most come with travel cases too. 

DIY Busy Bags for Toddlers and Pre-schoolers

There are pre-made options busy bags for toddlers like those above and also pre-made busy bags for pre-schoolers if you’re lacking time or perhaps have left it to the last minute to make your own.

However, DIY busy bags for toddlers, one year olds and older, are easy to make and there are lots of places to purchase the best toys to keep a toddler busy on a plane

First of all, you need to consider the bag itself. How big do you want this to be? Does it need to contain anything else such as your child’s tablet or cuddly toy? Amazon sell waterproof drawstring bags which are available in various colours for less than $3/ £2 or you could recycle a rucksack that you already have at home.

This makes it easier for your little one to carry, or to hang off the pushchair when they get bored of doing that!

The contents can be as general or as specific as you like; many of the ideas of toys to keep toddlers busy can be themed but are just as effective when generic.

Places like Poundland and $ stores and supermarkets often have lots of themed bits in their party and toy aisles and it sometimes can be the ad-hoc purchases which your little one likes the most.

cereal necklace out of cheerios and a strawberry lace

Include travel snacks too! We love this simple strawberry lace and Cheerio activity – a snack and toy in one!

Next, you need to choose some activities to add. Here are some options for you.

Wooden lacing toys

  • Amazon, Melissa and Doug, and Baker Ross boast a large selection of good quality versions of this. You can pick animals, food, clothes to name but a few of the shapes available. These will keep little fingers busy, are mess free and reusable so the fun never ends!

Board Book and Finger Puppets:

  • These board books can easily be picked up on eBay or Amazon and can provide lots of entertainment and education for your toddler. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a win for toddler road trip toys! The books are usually full of key vocabulary and even real pictures, and the finger puppets can be used for a variety of role-play chat and story-telling with or without the use of the book.

Biscuit cutter puzzle:

  • You may find you own a selection of these amidst your baking bits in the kitchen but otherwise, these can be picked up cheaply in charity shops, Amazon, your local supermarket or pound/dollar shop. They keep little hands busy, you can name the colours and shapes and talk about the changes of sizes. Little minds are creative so I’m sure they could come into play with the finger puppets mentioned previously. 

Dominoes:

Drawing pad and stickers:

  • Endless possibilities with this for all sorts of inventive games. These are easily found and poundland have some great themed options for you to choose from.

Mini wooden puzzles:

  • Mess free, usually have large pieces which are easy to hold and difficult to lose and your little one will enjoy completing it independently. Melissa and Doug which can be purchased on Amazon, are great examples of puzzles appropriate for little hands.

Playdough and cutters:

Alongside these fun activities, just have a browse through your nearest PoundStretcher and look for little toys which could provide some road trip entertainment for toddlers. Remember, sometimes the simpler ideas are better with textures and sensory experiences or look for toys which match their current interest. 

Girl on a plane with her travel busy bag activity pack

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