Top Things to Pack to Keep A Preschooler Entertained During a Long Flight

It is hard to believe that our big India trip is less than two weeks away! I feel like I have been planning for months, but have so much to pull together at the last minute!  One thing that I wanted to make sure of was that I had plenty of activities for our 4 year old daughter to do during our 30+ hour travel time to India.  Like most kids her age, she LOVES to play with the iPad, and she will be allowed generous amounts of iPad time throughout our journey, but at some point, the battery will die or she will get bored of it, even though I will be loading all fresh games the day before, so I wanted to be prepared!


I found a great preschool sized backpack, by The North Face, called Happy Camper.

I chose this backpack for the following reasons:

  1. That she would be able to carry it herself
  2. That it have a chest clip/strap so that the straps wouldn’t fall off her shoulders
  3. That it not be too small to hold all of her activities

This backpack is perfect for our trip – and I’m sure it will last through preschool and kindergarten too!

So once I had the backpack nailed down, I had to figure out what to fill it with.  All of these things are new to her and will be a surprise, which I hope will ad to the fun factor, and help hold her attention for more than just a few minutes!



Top Row: Three different mini activity books, stickers
Middle Row: Lalaloopsy Magnetic Fun Paper Dolls, 3D Origami Sea Animals (from the Dollar Tree), Doc McStuffins Sticker Activity Playset (from the Dollar Tree)
Bottom Row: A sewing craft (with plastic “needle”), Runway Scratch Art Set, Melissa and Doug Paint with Water Book

Pictured with the backpack at the top: An iSlate Dry Erase Case with a set of dry erase markers and crayons inside, and a report cover holding several printable Octonauts coloring pages – so that she can use the dry erase markers on the clear plastic cover and color the pages over and over again.

Below: 3 Leap Frog Workbooks


I will also add a small tub of play-doh, some individually packaged snacks, a surprise stuffed animal, crayons, a surprise set of Gup Speeders (she’s a huge Octonauts fan!), which I will give her one by one throughout the journey, and a custom mini photo book that I designed, with fun “Octonaut” activity pages – I’ll have to try and share that once it arrives in the mail!

All in all my strategy for traveling on such a long flight with a preschooler is lots of new & surprise lightweight activities and snacks that can be contained in her own bag (so that I’m not fumbling through all of our carryon bags looking for her stuff!) The iPad is a little too heavy for her bag (and I don’t trust her to carry that through the airport!) so we’ll keep that safely tucked in with our laptop until we get on the plane.

Up next, what I’m packing to entertain a 12 month old!  This one is MUCH harder than packing for a 4 year old – let me tell you!  If you have any ideas or suggestions – I’m all ears!  What activities or toys would you pack for a toddler and a preschooler for a long international flight?

One thought on “Top Things to Pack to Keep A Preschooler Entertained During a Long Flight

  1. madhmama

    Excellent!!!!!! I will keep this in mind, we may go to India with our daughter in the Fall when she will be 2.5yrs old. I am nervous for the flight already!

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