Quick and Easy to Make Travel Game for Toddlers: Photo Puzzles

For a while now, I’ve created quick photo books for Bergen (2 years old) to look at, talk about, and flip through when we travel.  The photo albums have especially come in handy on the airplane when we need plenty of distractions, but don’t want items that would take up a lot of space.

For our last plane ride across the country to visit family and friends in the Southeast, I decided to take Bergen’s love for photos a step further and make things a little more interactive.

Quick and Easy to Make Travel Game: Photo Puzzles | WildTalesof.com

1. Choose & Print Photos.

  • Either portrait or landscape orientation will work.  I picked photos that have two clear subjects so when cut in half, it was easy for Bergen to figure out the two pieces that go together.
  • All the photos I chose had Bergen pictured, plus another recognizable person or animal (mom, dad, good friends, etc.).

2. Cut Photos in Half(ish)

Using a paper cutter, I chopped wherever it made sense to divide the photo. Scissors would do just fine too!

3. Mount Photo Pieces

Once I had my pieces cut I mounted the photos using index cards and scrapbooking tape, and trimmed where needed. This step has given the puzzles some extra sturdiness, helping them last a lot longer than I thought.


  • For older kids, you can make the game more difficult by dividing the photo into more pieces.
  • I also found it best to choose recent photos of easy recognizable places and events.
  • Don’t choose photos that you aren’t able to make more copies of/print again!
  • 7 to 10 photos offers a good variety without being too overwhelming.

The pieces can be stored in an envelope of ziploc bag.  Once ready to play, simply spread them all out, and work together to match! Naturally, we like to talk about what’s happening in the picture too. It’s a fun way to reminisce and celebrate all the fun adventures we’ve had as a family.

How do you keep your kids occupied on the airplane?

Share your ideas in the comments! 

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11 thoughts on “Quick and Easy to Make Travel Game for Toddlers: Photo Puzzles

    • Thanks, Mae! Yes, I’ve been meaning to get one of those for Bergen. Thinking that would be a good “new toy” for our next flight to Phoenix. Do you guys have any trips coming up?

      • We don’t. We traveled for Thanksgiving and are staying home for now. Hopefully this summer. We have family in Phoenix, so we are hoping to make it some time this year.

  1. One of our recent favorites for occupying our boys on the airplane is toy catalogs. They will flip through them for an hour and talk about why they want each and every toy. You can recycle the catalogs (or loss them) when you arrive. We also bought child sized headphones so they can watch movies on a portable DVD player on longer flights.

    • I love the catalog idea! Definitely going to remember that for our next trip. Funny you mentioned that as we were just looking at a catalog that came in the mail the during dinner yesterday….Bergen was so occupied by it that he wasn’t eating a thing!
      Yup, kid-sized headphones are a must…we are still working on getting B to keep them on, but he’s getting better.
      Thanks so much for adding your suggestions! Where are you guys headed next?

      • The kids and I are heading to Turks & Caicos for 5 days in early Feb. My husband just started a new job so he doesn’t have any vacation time yet. It will be my first time flying with both boys solo. Wish me luck!

  2. Pingback: Best Travel Toys for Kids of All Ages!

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