You might be heading away on your family travels soon, leaving work and school behind you. But before you get to your destination, there is the airport. Airports might mean long boring waits for children, so why not make the wait educational? Tinkerer has created some fun ideas to make the wait at the airport STEAM for your child. So, pack your bag, grab your passport and let’s go to the airport!

Photo Scavenger Hunt

What you’ll need: a phone/camera

Game length: 15-20 mins

How to play: A scavenger hunt is when you run around trying to find items that have been hidden. However, this game has a little twist you only need to take a photo of your items. This game is best to play in teams, with at least one adult and one camera in each team. Make a list of things that each team needs to take a photo of. Set a time limit, for example, 20mins and meet back at the gate. You can assign points to each object before the hunt begins, and you can dock points for a late return.

How is it STEAM: This game is about finding specific data and recording the data found. This is an important skill to develop for science experiments. 


Where in the World?

What you’ll need: The departures board

Game length: 15 mins or more

How to play: Stand in front of the departure board. One player picks a location and keeps it a secret. The other player has to guess where they are going. This game can be tailored to discuss telling the time or geography.

How is it STEAM: For younger learns, asking them to guess locations based on the flight time can be an excellent way for them to practice reading the 24 hour clock. For older learns, asking questions based on geographic features, historical

 facts or cultural attributes, is a good way to discuss and revise facts they already know, and learn some more through the game. 

Airport Alphabet

What you’ll need: a pen and paper

Game length: 30 mins or more

How to play: In this game you need to make a list of things you can see around the airport, starting with the letter ‘a’ and then continuing through the alphabet. For example, a: airplane, b: backpack, c: chairs. This is the easiest version of the game. To make this game more difficult for older children, you can add restriction such as listing only food items, or only objects of a certain colour.

How is it STEAM: For younger learners, it revises the alphabet and helps with spelling. It also helps them to sequence items. For older learners, it helps them to identify and categorise objects within boundaries and limitations.

Traveller Tally Chart

What you’ll need: a pen and paper

Game length: 30 mins or more

How to play: Watch the travellers pass by. This is great to play if your flight is delayed. Make a tally chart using the pen and paper. The child has to look for specific items as they sit and watch the travellers pass by. For example, people with a neck pillow, people drinking coffee, people using a computer, every time they see a traveller with the description, they make a mark in the chart. Or it can be more specific such as luggage type, or luggage colour.

How is it STEAM: Using tally charts is an important skill to learn, children need to know how to use these at school. Also, recording data accurately is crucial for science and geography experiments. Furthermore, after they have made their tally chart, they could draw a bar chart showing the results. They can also draw comparisons by assessing the data on the two flights on the outbound and return flight, or keep their data for the next trip they go on. 


Melting Ice 

What you’ll need: a cup of ice, watch/stopwatch app

Game length: 5-10 mins

How to play: Get some ice from the food court. Each person puts one cube of ice in their mouth and times the amount of time it takes to melt. Do not crunch the ice only use the warmth of your mouth to melt the ice. This activity is short, but you can play multiple times.

How is it STEAM: This activity is all about heat, conduction, and transforming states of matter, so there are lots of science concepts to discuss in this game. The child can also track the results by using a stopwatch. They can observe the varying time the ice takes to melt.


Taking Flight

What you’ll need: a pen and paper

Game length: 20 mins or more

How to play: Find an area in the airport where you can sit and watch the planes fly. Your child can make a tally chart of the different planes that fly. Another way to play would be timing how often an airplane leaves the airport. This can be interesting, especially if they play at different airports some airports might have planes every min, others every 5 mins.

How is it STEAM: This activity encourages children to track data over time. From this, they could make graphs and charts. They can also use their data to compare and contrast for other trips. They could also have a journal for travel, which shows the frequency of planes, trains, buses for wherever you are travelling.  


We hope this fun games add some learning to the your time at the airport. If your children enjoy planes and want to learn more about flight then have a look at our Plane Launcher box in the Odyssey line.

Follow the link to find out more:

Have a good trip!


Written by,

Rebecca Clifton


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