5 DIY Ideas to Keep Kids Busy (and You Relaxed) on a Plane

Keeping kids entertained when you're 30,000 feet above the ground is easier than you think, but there's no need to cram your kid behind a video game.

Do-it-yourself activities are a great way to bond with your child, and personalize their play time. The following are 5 simple DIY things that will keep kids busy on a plane, so you can relax and focus on your trip.

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1. Dry Erase Book

Erase book

There's no better way to keep your child at play than with a homemade toy that they can personalize. A do-it-yourself dry erase book is a project that is simple, cheap, and quick to put together.

You'll only need a few items (which you can get at any office or craft supply store), like a 3 ring binder, page protectors, and a set of dry erase markers.

You can also include enlarged and lightened photos of your family and friends, that your kids can draw silly faces on. They'll be entertained for hours, and the best part? There's no mess! Cleanup is a snap, and the binder can fit perfectly in any carry-on bag.

2. Busy Wallet

Busy wallet

As a parent, it should be no surprise that kids can get into stuff, and almost everyone has fallen victim to having their wallet sorted through at one time or another. If you have an old one you're getting rid of, why not turn it into a "busy wallet" for your tot?

This toy is perfect for a plane because it stores so easily, and leaves minimal mess. You can fill it with anything you want, but the following are a few simple suggestions:

- Pretend credit cards (you can use old gift cards or business cards)
- "License" which can just be a picture of your little one
- Stickers
- Fake coins and bills (if they are past the choking stage)
- A small pad of paper
- Ruler 

Since kids usually get told "no" for touching, this is an ideal way to keep them amused and away from your real wallet.

3. Mr. Potato Head Play Mat

Mr. Potato

This is one guy that never goes out of style! The Mr. Potato head play mat is a great toy for whenever you need to keep little hands quietly occupied.

Just like a book, this craft can be played with anywhere, including the tight cabin of an aircraft! Make sure you use stiffened felt (for the mat) and attach it to a clipboard for a little stability.

If your child has another character they prefer, no problem! All it takes, is a little imagination.

4. Popsicle Stick Puzzles

Popsicle stick puzzle

Although this may seem like a counterintuitive activity for a plane trip, this type of puzzle only contains 6 pieces (large popsicle or craft sticks), that are hard to lose. You can let your child draw their own picture on the sticks, or choose one from a magazine or printout.

All you need is a little glue for this craft, and some tape to hold it together (for when you are applying the picture). Once it dries, the puzzle makes for a stimulating toy your tot can take on the plane, anytime.

These can easily be zipped in plastic baggies, and stored in a carry-on pocket, for instant entertainment.

5. Letters on the Go

Letters on the go

Crafts can be educational too! Learning-on-the-go is a great way to teach your kids, while engaging them in fun activities. This simple DIY project only requires scissors, a paper plate, and a marker.

You can label the plates with letters and shapes that kids can then use to identify objects in their surroundings. Similar to the classic "I-spy" game, it teaches them their alphabet, and other simple concepts, while keeping them busy and engaged.

This craft is incredibly easy to store for a plane trip, and can be placed inside a notebook or magazine, for safe keeping.

Keeping children quiet and entertained during a plane ride can be one of the most challenging tasks in parenting. These 5 simple DIY crafts will not only allow you to spend more time with your children, it personalizes their play time, and lets you stay rested and relaxed during your trip!

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