Traveling — especially flying — with kids can be difficult. You’re either stuck in a plane or stuck in the airport for your next flight. And long layover flights can drag, especially for kids.

Here are some brilliant airport games for kids and other activities to get out some energy before the next flight.

(Psst…check out KCL’s toy deals for cheap entertainment your kids will love.)


1. Pack an inflatable beach ball.

If there’s no set children’s play area at your airport, blow up a beach ball and let them get some energy out between flights.

Just make sure to find an area with no crowds that is out of the way from people in a hurry, or you might get angry looks.


2. Create an airport scavenger hunt.

An airport scavenger hunt is one of the best airport games for kids. Make a list prior to your trip of items you can find in an airport. Be sure to mix it up — you don’t want them to get through it super fast — and have them check the items off as they find them. Some suggestions:

  • I love NY T-shirt
  • Person sleeping
  • Starbucks cup
  • Pink shoes


3. Check the airport website for play areas.

Lots of airports have areas dedicated for kids to get out some energy. For example, the St. Louis, Missouri airport has a small area with a miniature size play airport for kids.


4. Bring activity books and a pack of crayons.

Coloring books and puzzle books are great entertainment anywhere and they don’t take up much room. Have a small pack of crayons on hand and let them go wild.

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5. Ride the trains or trams through the airport.

If you have a long layover flight and are running out of things to do at the airport, take the airport tram from one concourse to the next. Just make sure you’re back at your gate with plenty of time.


RELATED: 19 Road Trip Activities to Help You Win at Parenting


6. Pack window clings and camp out by one of the large windows.

Set yourself up by one of those giant windows in the airport and pull out window clings for your children to play with.


7. Google your airport to see if it has any unique features.

Some airports have some really cool attractions right inside. For example, Chicago O’Hare has a 72-foot high brachiosaurus skeleton model in Terminal 1.

The Denver airport has a gargoyle that will sometimes mysteriously call out someone for oversize luggage, large hats or even a restaurant order.


8. Never underestimate the power of a simple game of I-Spy.

I spy with my little eyes…we all know the game. It’s simple but effective.


9. Bring along a deck of cards and teach them new games.

Pick easy games like Go Fish or War so they don’t take long and you can easily switch to other games when you get bored of one.


10. Pack homework so you don’t have to worry about it when you get back.

Nobody wants to have to do homework when they get back from vacation. Instead, bring it with you and help them get it done at the airport.



11. Bring plastic eggs with little treats to reward good behavior.

When they do something nice for someone or act nice in a stressful situation, reward them with a surprise egg. You can fill them with small chocolates, little toys or even a few skittles.


RELATED: 25 Southwest Airlines Hacks That Will Save You Serious Cash


12. Play the travel version of the alphabet game.

One person has to name a city our country starting with the letter A, then the next person has to do the same thing with the letter B. The game continues until you make it all the way through the alphabet. Make round two harder, by not allowing any repeats.


13. Make a cozy fort for your kids to snuggle up and take a nap.

Bring a cozy blanket along with you and drape it over a chair and some luggage to make a small fort. It gives your kids a perfect spot to lie down and take a nap, or play clubhouse with their siblings.


14. Bring stickers and a notebook — it can be that easy.

Sticker books are one thing all parents should have with them at the airport!


RELATED: 21 Sanity-Saving Hacks for Flying with a Baby or Toddler


15. It’s okay to let them have a bit more screen time.

You might be careful of how much screen time you let your kids have at home, but vacation can be a different story. Give them more time so they can entertain themselves at the airport by watching movies, playing games or using drawing apps.


16. Bring a new toy, but don’t show it to them until you’re on your layover.

New toys are always exciting. Make sure they don’t know what it is until you’re stuck in your layover, and then bring it out to entertain them for hours.


Want more ways to entertain your kids on your next vacation? Check out some of our favorites!


UP NEXT: Check out more of KCL’s favorite travel tips!


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