Airplane Toys for 1 Year Old



Feb 28, 2022

Thinking about an upcoming plane trip with your 1 year old and wondering what to bring? There are certainly some ideal airplane toys for 1 year old to keep them entertained. 

airplane toys for 1 year old finger puppets
My 21 month old entertained by finger puppets and Skip Hop snack container on a plane ride to Florida

I have flown domestically as well as internationally with my children when they were one year old. Once, I had to take two toddlers, aged 1 and 3, alone back from England to the US. It is doable, if not preferable. 

The one thing that will help make the flight more enjoyable for you and those around you are airplane toys for 1 year old. Each toddler is different, but a collection of the below plane toys are bound to put a smile on your toddler's face. It does for my 3 kids!

For overall information on plane travel with a toddler read Top Tips for Flying with a Toddler.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Rest assured all products I suggest are products I have bought or would buy based on personal experience or through my network of other mommas.

Summary of Best Airplane Toys For 1 Year Old

Airplane Toys for One Year OldBenefit of ToyBest for
Skip Hop Toddler Backpack
-Toddler can carry -Hold all other toys
Independent Toddler
Skip Hop Snack Container
-Spill proof container for snacking
Hungry Toddler
Skip Hop Water Bottle
-Spill proof water bottle for plane
Thirsty Toddler
Busy Board
-Fine Motor Skill -Hand Eye Coordination -Multiple activities in one
18 months+
Melissa and Doug Water Wow Books
-Fine Motor Skill -Language Development -Counting -Discovering
12 months+
Crayola Mess Free Coloring
-Fine Motor Skill -Hand Eye Coordination -Identifying Colors
12 months+
Baby Love Books
-Language Development -Fine Motor Skill (open flaps)
12 months+
Finger Puppets
-Language Development -Imagination
12 months+
Wooden Push Toys
-Fine Motor Skill
12 months+
John Deere Teether
-Relieves teething pain
Teething toddler
First Word Flash Cards
-Language Development -Parent and Child Time
12 months+

How do I keep my 1 year old entertained on a plane?

A 1 year old will be distracted by everything going on around them. He/She will watch the people getting on/off the plane in awe and curious of their new surroundings. 

For instance, those airplane magazines located in the back of the seat in front of them, or that tray that folds up and down.  All those items should give you 5 minutes each of distractions.

However, these new distractions will not last through the entire plane ride. If you are lucky your 1 year old will fall asleep for part of the plane ride, especially if you take a night flight or a flight during your child's regular nap time.

sleeping 1 year old on plane ride
My 18 month old sleeping on an international plane ride back from London

For those times where your baby isn’t napping or distracted by their surroundings a handful of airplane toys for 1 year old might be the best distraction.

Can you bring baby airplane toys?

Of course! You will want to choose these toys strategically and limit the amount. You will look for toys that distract a one year old without making a mess or being too loud.

plane toys for 1 year old

Development of a 1 Year Old

A one year old is learning a lot in their second year old life. You will want the best airplane toys to nurture your 1 year old's learning.

CDC has publish some positive parenting tips to help with your 1 year old reach their developmental milestones. These tips include: reading, playing matching or sorting games, name objects and body parts and feeding themselves. These tips can easily be incorporated in airplane toys for 1 year old.

Things to look for in airplane toys for 1 year old

  • Quiet toys - No need to make enemies on the plane ride!
  • Toys with minimal pieces
  • Lightweight and Easy to Carry
  • Inexpensive: In case you lose it

Top Airplane Toys for 1 year old

Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

One of my rules is that all toys for each of my children while traveling must fit in their own backpack. This guarantees that each child limits the amount of toys they can bring and the backpack can be worn by them. In reality, a one year old cannot carry his/her own backpack, but wait another year and he/she can.

Skip Hop makes adorable and functional toddler backpacks in different animal characters. The backpack can now be worn by my 21 month old son. He understands the backpack is his and what goes inside of it is his. 

best airplane toys for 1 year old backpack
21 month old carrying his Skip Hop backpack and water bottle through the airport

The backpack easily fits in the top or bottom of my travel compact stroller making it easy to bring on airplane travels.

Snack Cup and Water Bottle

Young toddlers LOVE to snack. A great distraction for an airplane ride is food! I don’t like to count on buying food on the airplane as you never know what they will have and when it will be offered. 

I bring Skip Hop snack containers and fill it with a snack I know my 1 year old will like. Think animal crackers, goldfish, pretzels and chex mix. The snack containers come in the same animal character designs as the Skip Hop backpack and I llove how it all matches. 

The snack containers are perfect plane toys for 1 year old, when tipped upside down nothing will fall out. There is a flexible inside that stops food from spilling out, but allows for kids to reach in and pull their snack out. The container also has a snap-top lid and is dishwasher safe. 

I also pack the Skip Hop water bottle. My 1 year old’s mainly drink water and milk and when traveling I always have water available for them.

I love how the Skip Hop water bottle fits nicely on the side of the toddler backpack and again matches the animal theme. The water bottle has a slidable cap to close the bottle when not in use.

Busy Board

Busy Boards works as great airplane toys for 1 year old. The compact flat board has many different activities to keep a year old busy. The busy board fits easily in a toddler backpack and lightweight.

This plane toy for 1 year old features 25 activities that harbor fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This busy board can be used for many years as your toddler starts learning more concepts, such as telling time and the alphabet.

Busy Boards would also be great for a car trip!

Melissa and Doug wow water books

A mess free painting option comes from Melissa and Doug. A 1 year old closer to 2 will be able to hold the painting brush (filled with water) and brush over the pages of the water book. A child closer to his first birthday will be entertained as you paint and reveal the colors and objects appearing on the page.

Each water book comes with four pages to paint. Melissa and Doug offer a variety of themes from safari to princess to under the sea to entertain your little one. Once you paint over a section of the page the page comes to life in color as well as uncovering hidden pictures. 

Crayola mess free coloring

If your 1 year old likes to color, a perfect airplane friendly option comes from Crayola. They offer mess free coloring via markers that only work on their special paper. You can buy different paper with different themes and continue to buy more over the years.

A 1 year old won’t be the best at coloring, however it is important for their fine motor development. You can sit and color with your young toddler on the plane and it might be fun for you too!

4 Pack Baby Love Books  

1 year olds are rapidly expanding their vocabulary. A good way to introduce new words is through reading. A simple baby book will go a long way for your 1 year old’s development.

All my kids LOVED the Baby Love books and their first words came from these books. It comes in a pack of 4 books with each book having 6 pages. Each page features a chunky and sturdy flap that is designed for little hands. 

The four books have different themes; Animals, Things that Go, Colors and First Words. My 21 month old can now say all the words in these four books. I endlessly read these books over and over to him. My 3 year old also can recite these four books!

Other books 

Of course other books are great for 1 year olds. I like to bring a current favorite of my 1 year old when traveling on the plane. That ranges from Dr. Seuss beginner books to farm animal books to books about bikes

Whatever book is the right size and loved by your 1 year old will work!

Finger puppets

Who doesn’t love finger puppets? They are small, cheap, extremely lightweight and come in all different designs. I love the animal finger puppets for a 1 year old, it helps them learn the animal names and can be used to tell stories. 

On an airplane I use them to mostly make my little one laugh. I have the dog, sheep, or cow kiss their cheek, nose, or eye. I hide one and then play peek-a-boo or practice the different sounds the animal ones make.   

Wooden push car toys

A wooden push car is a great lightweight option to pack for the airplane. The slightly bigger design than a match box car is easier for a 1 year old’s hand and less likely to be dropperd from their fingers.

A little one can push the car on the tray, drive the car up your arm or simply hold it and spin the wheels. My 1 year old’s have always loved playing with wooden car toys and as an added bonus, they are great to play with at a hotel or airbnb as well.

Teether toy

A younger 1 year old will most likely still be teething. A vibrating teething toy might be the perfect plane toy, especially if a tooth is breaking through. Or you might have a very mouthy 1 year old, (my second son was) who loves to mouth objects.

The John Deere Corn husk is a great teether. When you bite down on the teether it vibrates to massage the gums. The vibrating aspect adds fun for your little one. 

Flashcards with pictures of objects they are learning

Big flashcards are great for airplanes. Just like a book, flashcards help introduce and teach new words. Flashcards of colors, shapes, animals, numbers are all great for a 1 year old. I would suggest you, the parent, hold the cards as you show the pictures to your baby.

A toddler closer to 2, he or she might be able to tell you what the picture is showing. My 21 month year old will recognize many of the animals and colors on our flashcards. He gets very proud of himself when he gets it right!

Free ways to entertain your 1 year old on an airplane

  1. Let them walk up and down the aisle (if the seatbelt sign is not on)
  2. Let them look through the airplane magazine
  3. Sing nursery songs softly to your child
  4. Use a small blanket/burp cloth and play peek-a-boo
  5. Teach them the words for their body parts and point to them on yourself and them
  6. Open and close the window if you have a window seat

Looking for best plane toys for a 3 year old? Check out my article Plane Toys for 3 Year Old.