Backyard Games | Imaginary Airplane Ride

by , posted on March 11th, 2013 in Play + Learn, Traveling With Kids

The weather is warming up so I thought it’d be fun to break out this super cute and fun idea from the archives. I love it because it incorporates art, play and travel—three of our favorite things. Oh! And here’s a bonus idea: Pick one of our Traveling with Kids posts. Start by reading it to the kids (my kids love ‘em!). It should inspire some interesting drawings and conversations.

If you’re going all out—say for a lesson plan, party or play date—you could even include snacks from on the region. Have fun with it…

A new season arrives and it’s rife with adventure. Four friends fueled by their imagination gather in the backyard and embark on a sightseeing adventure. For your child’s next playdate, gather some easy-to-find materials for an imaginary plane ride to anywhere.

UPPER LEFT: “It’s a hula girl at the beach!” she exclaimed. “She’s dancing next to the big palm tree. Did you know Hawaii has volcanoes?”

1. Supply each child with a 10” by 14” piece of paper, a cardboard suitcase template and some blank stickers made from pre-cut sticker paper. You can find blank sticker paper at most office supply stores.

2. We wrote the names of various picturesque locales on popsicle sticks. The kids each drew one (like drawing straws), and were sent off to draw the scene outside their “airplane window.”

3. Packing is an important part of any trip—even an imaginary one. Have kids decorate their travel gear with handmade travel stickers. On the reverse side of the suitcase they can draw what they’d pack for the adventure.

4. Next hang the 10” x 14” sized plane window pictures on a string and line up the chairs. We used bamboo poles but six foot garden stakes would work too. The plane is ready to fly.



5. For longer flights that require a snack, we created a little suitcase snackbox. You can find boxes like ours at a local craft store. Simply cut out a handle in the lid and fold it up. We loaded ours with juice boxes, popcorn, pretzels and mini sandwiches.

You and the kids don’t have to travel far to have a great adventure. With a little imagination, a trip to anywhere can happen right in the backyard.


Photographs by Dave K. Cooper

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11 Responses to “Backyard Games | Imaginary Airplane Ride”

  1. Gina @connectingfamilyandseoul Says:

    March 11th, 2013 at 11:37 am

    My son is just loves to pretend that he’s packing a suitcase and going in his car. I can’t wait to change it up a bit and take him on a flight in the backyard! Thanks for sharing this idea!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    You’re welcome Gina! Does your son have a suitcase he plays with or does he have an imaginary one? So cute!

    Gina @connectingfamilyandseoul Reply:

    He sometimes uses a small book bag on wheels and other times it’s imaginary. He has to have one all of the time! :)

  2. Rebecca Cooper Says:

    March 11th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    LOVE this!! :)

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Rebecca!

  3. Carla Says:

    March 11th, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I love when I see an idea that makes ME want to play, this looks so fun!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    We all had fun with this one—parents included!

    Kirsten Reply:

    I have SUCH vivid memories of this particular adventure. SO cute. And they were big in literally just the blink of an eye. *Sigh*….

  4. Mrs. Pear Tree Says:

    March 13th, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Wow. I remember reading this when you originally posted it and thinking, I must do this some time, when my kids are old enough, which is, of course, FOREVER away! And now, suddenly, my two are about the same ages as yours were at the time and my head is spinning, wondering how that happened! Anyway, thanks for the reminder because I still love the idea and might just try it out this spring break :-)

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Time FLIES, doesn’t it?!

  5. Adventures in Learning | Living(room) Global: Morocco Says:

    November 4th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    [...] another travel at home idea… -imaginary plane ride -Islamic Art [...]

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