Asia Trip: Plane Activities For Kids

My daughter, who is four years old, is already a world traveler. This past summer alone, she visited Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines! But that doesn't mean my little traveler doesn't need a bit of entertainment when we're on an airplane.

Like many parents, we can count on in-flight movies and our trusty iPad to keep her busy -- but not for long! Here are the plane activities I packed for my daughter in case she got bored during our whirlwind One Month, Three Countries trip, which involved four flights and two long drives! Half of the activities involve numbers and counting, because my daughter's preschool teacher wanted her to practice while on vacation (school was still in session at the time).

I hope this post gives all of the parents out there some ideas on what to pack for your own kids as you prepare for the holiday-travel season that is approaching fast!

1. An activity book. Singapore book stores -- like the chain Popular -- are stocked with activity books aimed at shoring up kids' knowledge of pretty much everything, including reading, counting and foreign languages. Naturally, I went for the counting-activity book. My daughter and I powered through the book together on the plane, and she loved it!

2 & 4. A coloring book and crayons. These, my friends, are a tried and true activity that my daughter will always love.

3. Fun with shapes. The great thing about storing plane activities in pencil pouches is that they last longer than zip lock bags, and you can store them to use for later! This activity involving shapes is one I put together for our move to Singapore more than a year ago. All I had to do for this year's Asia trip is pull the pencil pouch containing the activity out of the closet. Boom. Done! To make, I took thin-wooden shapes that I found at an art-supply store in the states and traced the shapes onto index cards so my daughter could match the wooden shapes to the ones etched onto the cards.

5. Fun with foreign currencies. Clearly, index cards are my friend when it comes to creating plane activities! For this one, I traced different-sized coins onto index cards and scribbled down the value associated with each shape. All my daughter had to do was match everything up! I started off giving her coins that I had in my wallet at the beginning of our vacation: U.S. and Singapore coins. By the time we headed home from our Asia trip, we had Thai, Malaysian, and Philippine coins to play with too. Besides learning about shapes, coins and their value, this activity sparked my daughter's curiosity about each coin's respective country and lent themselves to other games too (coin-hide-and-seek being chief among them).

6. Puzzles. My daughter is a huge fan of puzzles. She adored this one because it featured cute animals, and I loved it because the puzzle helped her counting skills.

Have you packed plane activities for your kids recently? What games made the cut?


  1. My kids love sticker books - the ones where the pages have the shadows and you have to find the correct sticker to stick on the shadow. They just got leapreaders for Christmas, so I think those will be going with us on long trips from now on too.

  2. May I ask where you bought those bags from?

    1. I think I bought the zipper pouches at Staples - an office supply store in the states. :)


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