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14 Books for Kids: Toddlers & Early Readers Taking a First Flight

Books for Kids First Plane Flight

A few weeks ago, I took a trip with my family to Los Angeles to visit with my father and do the “Disney thing”. We had a total blast at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. Since we live in the Poconos (Pennsylvania), I clearly had a little obstacle in the way – getting from Point A to Point B. Yes, I am talking about the dreaded fear of taking a flight with a baby and/or kid(s).

My son was 8-months old when he took his first flight. It was a breeze! He was a very laid back, quiet, “go with the flow” and humorous baby. My daughter — not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to absolute pieces, but the two kids are like day and night — total polar opposites.

I was petrified thinking about how our flights would turn out. I literally had nightmares thinking about how my daughter would behave. She just celebrated her 1st birthday on January 24th, so she’s a tad bit older than my son was on his first flight, but more the reason to cry — she’s a walker and  a loud babbler.

Luckily, I am happy to report both flights were a complete and TOTAL success. Victory! My jaw dropped when we landed (each way) and I was able to release a big gasp of air I held in just waiting for a tantrum. ” Let’s see how she does next time…

And not to make this all about my daughter, but it goes without saying my son was a complete pleasure. In-flight movies are a moms best friend. Thank you, little itty bitty screen for keeping my son occupied for 6.5 hours each way. I love you, forever.

I have compiled an awesome list of 14 books for kids taking their first flight, which will give them all the details about about the airport, airplane, and what to expect while in flight. Adults may not realize what a different ‘world’ a plane could be for a kid, so introducing them to a few good books is a great tool to prepare for your upcoming trip.

Airplane Books for kids

Since my son is just about to turn 5-years-old, I knew he likely didn’t remember his last airplane ride (1.5 years ago). We read a few good books about airplanes, airports, and vacationing. We also browsed the Internet and YouTube for a few videos and images to show what the interior of an airplane looks like.

Without further adieu… I give you my ultimate, superior, exciting and educational list. Enjoy (and have a safe trip)!

14 books for kids taking their first flight!

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My First Airplane Ride Patricia Hubbell

My First Airplane Ride

by Patricia Hubbell

Full of colorful illustrations and fun rhymes for kids, My First Airplane Ride is a great book to start off your vacation! Grab a copy (available on Kindle, paperback, or hardcover) before your upcoming trip and your kids will know exactly what to expect.

“LIFTING! Whooshing! CRUISING! Soaring!/SHUDDERING! Shaking! RUMBLING! Roaring!”

Short, rhyming phrases record the events as a boy takes his first plane ride. Every incident along the way is chronicled here: packing, driving to the airport, getting boarding passes, going through security in stocking feet, waiting at the gate, etc. 

 The Noisy Airplane Ride Mike Downs

The Noisy Airplane Ride

by Mike Downs

The only part of an airplane that shook my son up about airplanes were all of the loud noises — booming, banging, and swooshing. Children can have sensitive ears, so we want to acknowledge those noises while in-flight.

This book features lots of rhymes that make it fun to learn about those strange airplane noises that a child might hear before, during, and after takeoff. The last page features a double spread that will help clarify some of the sights and physical sensations of a plane ride, from luggage loading to queasiness.

How Did They Build That Airport Matt Mullins While

How Did They Build That? Airport

by Matt Mullins

Before you board that plane, I am sure your little one is going to ask a million questions from the time you get out of the car until takeoff. Kids are curious, so you are bound to get asked questions abut the airport itself!

Although this book doesn’t quite discuss the airplane itself, it does answer any question your kid will hav about the airport. My son wanted to know what literally every door was for and what every person did as a worker in the airport. This book gives all the details your kid will need about your trip to the airport!

Airport Book Kids Byron Barton


by Byron Barton

The airport doesn’t have to be a scary place — and Byron Barton’s colorfully illustrated book can make the experience tons of fun! This title features big and bright illustrations with few words per page – making it a great read for toddlers, too!

Introduce your young reader to the excitement inside of a busy and bustling airport. From the runway to arrival, baggage and check-in, Airport is perfect for readers aged 4-8. Includes 32 pages loaded with fun illustrations. Powerful images and simple text — great way to keep your child interested and involved as you read aloud. Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Going on a Plane Book Kids Anne Civardi

Going on a Plane (Usborne First Experiences)

by Anne Civardi

Something is bound to happen when you are traveling. Kids jumping on the ticket counter, baggage toppling over, and a toy getting carried away on the luggage carousel. I love how many “oopsies” experiences the Tripp family has in this book – proves a great lesson that no vacation is going to be perfect.

Mistakes will happen, booboo’s are inevitable, and we’re only human. Very realistic point-of-view for kids to realize their trip might have a tumble and the unexpected will happen at an airport (don’t we parents know that!).

Amusing view of travel with humorous illustrations, simple text to read along, and fun situations will teach your child a few experiences they may run into during their first airplane ride.

A Day at the Airport Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry’s A Day at the Airport

by Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry has been one of my favorite children’s authors since I was a kid! This adventure follows Sally, Huckle, and Lowly on another exciting adventure. They are supposed to go sailing with Huckle and Sally’s father, but their plans on ruined when it begins to rain!

Father says that the kids will just have to stay inside and play, but their pal Rudolf von Flugel saves the day! He picks the kids up in his airplane-car and head to the airport for a great day of sightseeing. This is another exciting book full of “Scarry” experiences and laughs.

Recommended for ages 3-7. Includes 24 pages.

Amazing Airplanes Machines Tony Mitton

Amazing Airplanes (Amazing Machines)

by Tony Mitton 

Join the fun animal crew for a fun and exciting flight! Follow them through the airport terminal to the flight deck. Easy reading and fun illustrations to read along. Learn how a plane flies, safety rules, air traffic control, and in-flight entertainment. Poetic rhymes keep the little reader excited to see what happens next!

“The flight deck’s where the captain/ and copilot do their jobs./ They both know how to fly the plane/ with all its dials and knobs”

This action-packed book features a final page full of labels and descriptive definitions of all plane and airport parts. Recommended for ages 3-5. Available as a hardcover or paperback.

Flight 1-2-3  by Maria Van Lieshout

 Flight 1-2-3

by Maria Van Lieshout

Let’s count all the things we will see on our airplane adventure: 1 airplane, 2 luggage cars, 3 check-in counters — and more! This book uses familiar signs seen throughout an airport as a great introduction to numbers and how they work in the real world. Learn symbols and signs, what they mean and who needs to use them. Label each symbol with words for things like check-in desk, escalators, baggage claim, arrival and departure.

Recommended for preschool and up, Flight 1-2-3 includes 40 pages in its hardcover edition, but you can also grab a digital copy for your Kindle!

My First Trip On An Airplane Parker Victoria

My First Trip on an Airplane

by Vic Parker

Part of a “Growing Up” series, My First Trip on an Airplane is a simple read full of subjects that parents forget just how scary and stressful these new experiences can be. Children see the airport much more differently than we do and this book gives a great view for kids to visualize how they will see the airport and airplane as opposed to our perspective.

Features 24 pages. Recommended for ages 5-7.

Airplane Flight Lift-the-Flap Adventure

Airplane Flight!: A Lift-the-Flap Adventure Board Book

by Susanna Leonard Hill 

This adorable lift-the-flap board book features adventurous and colorful illustrations that take your child on an exciting airplane ride. Suitable for ages 2-5, Airplane Flight! lets your little one lift 10 fun flaps throughout the book to make the reading experience a true interactive in-flight trip!

What Happens at an Airport Amy Hutchings

What Happens at an Airport?

by Amy Hutchings

Meet Carlos and his mother as you follow them through the airport and read all about their experiences during takeoff. Learn about the airport workers, flight attendants, baggage handlers, and pilot!

Fun book recommended for ages 5 and up. From the “Where People Work” social studies series (Weekly Reader Early Learning), Amy Hutchings provides a great viewpoint from a kid taking his first adventure into the great unknowns of an airport and into the airplane!

First Time on a Plane Experience Sticker Storybook

First Time on a Plane (First Experience Sticker Storybook)

by Parragon Books

Available as a hardcover book (only), First Time on a Plane is an engaging interactive story for your young reader. Read right along with the story as you create fun elements within each of the scenes. Solve the puzzles as you learn all about this new experience you are having aboard an airplane!

Your child can fill in a certificate that is included in the back of the book, too! Show it off to friends and family members as ‘proof’ of your journey to the airport. Includes fun stickers to really create a fun learning experience for your first time flyer!

My Plane Book Smithsonian Board book

My Plane Book (Smithsonian) Board book

by Ellen Kirk

Recommended for ages 2 and up, My Plane Book is perfect for toddlers through kindergarten aged children. Features a short description of airplanes and goes into a bit of history, too! Learn about where the cockpit and wings are located. See photos of which planes were used in World War I. Real start to finish board book full of great facts and fun!

My Airplane Ride Scrapbook, Learning Log

My Airplane Ride: Scrapbook, Learning & Log Paperback

by Jason Gansen

Last, but far from least, My Airplane Ride: Scrapbook, Learning & Log is a fantastic way to help your child document his entire journey from takeoff to landing! Available for Kindle or paperback edition, I love the idea of providing a companion for your child that they can fill with their travel memories and adventures.

Your child can record all the flight details in the back pages, ask for autographs from the pilots and flight crew (love this idea!), and keep it with them for years to come! On top of documenting their journey, your child will also get a great in-depth explanation about all of those sights and sounds while on-board an airplane.



My name is Nicole Napolitano and I am a full-time professional parenting blogger and work-at-home mom of two adorable and vivacious children (boy - 6 & girl - 2.5). I decided to develop MamaNYC in 2010 shortly (1-month) after transitioning from work-a-holic Internet marketing pro to the shoes of a stay-at-home mom (bored!). As a dedicated business manager for over 9-years, I was determined and positive that I would once again be a successful business woman -- whether or not I had a diaper bag tagging along! I am a New York City native, but relocated with my husband and our two kids to sunny Los Angeles in the summer of 2014. Leaving everything behind was scary, but it's time to make new memories. My interests include web design, Internet marketing, product development and research, SEO, movies, friends, and spending time with my family.

6 thoughts on “14 Books for Kids: Toddlers & Early Readers Taking a First Flight

  1. What a fantastic collection of airplane books for kids! I really like the last one best – My Airplane Ride: Scrapbook, Learning & Log – What a great idea for a child to scrapbook the memories of their first flight!

  2. These look like great books, I’m going to pass this onto my niece. She will be taking her 15 month old son on his first plane ride next month, so I think she’ll find this very useful! Thank you!

  3. I can remember reading Richard Scarry’s A Day at the Airport to my son. My son went on his first plane trip when he was six month olds he did great. We used to fly to Ct twice a year and never had a problem knock on wood.

  4. It always helps to prepare kids for new and different experiences. Those look like some very good books for this.

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