Traveling with young kids or babies is an exhausting and stressful task. Whether it’s flying or a road trip, we all know that just a few hours of family travel require days and even weeks of planning, and having travel toys for toddlers is just a must.
It’s not necessary to be a genius or an expert in child behavior to know that confined spaces + unhappy toddlers = recipe for disaster.
But we can't blame them if they suffer a meltdown or have a tantrum during the journey. Being confined in a car seat or aircraft cabin for hours can be a nerve-racking and terrifying activity for anyone.
Let’s be honest, nobody looks forward to remaining seated, quiet, strapped and bored for a long time, especially our little ones.
They’re just developing their fine and gross motor skills, learning how to walk, run, play and taking a serious interest in the world around them. This means there’s bound to be some plane or car time that isn't the most entertaining.
What should you do then? You could let your kiddos loose on an iPad playing games or watching videos. But if that doesn't sound like a good option, there's a whole range of non-tech travel toys for toddlers you can choose from. They have educational elements and are specially made to grab kids’ attention and hold their interest for long periods.
Best of all, you’ll keep your little angels engaged and well-behaved while they learn.To make your life easier we’ve compiled a list of some of the best toddler’s travel toys available on Amazon. These amazing time-occupiers are baby-toddler approved and reasonably priced.
Besides our top recommendations for travel toys, we’ve shared a few fun airplane/car activities your toddlers would love. We also have some helpful tips to streamline your trip and keep the entire family in a better mood. Let’s dig into it and check them out below!
Best Travel Toys for Toddlers and Young Kids
Wikkistix Travel Set
A smart and practical toy that promotes creativity and enhances learning through hands-on involvement. Can literally be used anywhere!
Playtown Airport Flap Book
Fourteen pages with seven full-spread scenes of what happens at any airport. Fantastic hands on learning when your trip involves flying!
Buckle Toy Buddy Backpack
A soft, cushy, colorful, child backpack full of buckles to play with.
Crayola Color Wonder
Pages and pages of mess free coloring entertainment for your little one to bring out the little artist in him or her. Easy to take anywhere.
Happy Farm Educational Puzzle
Ideal for kids’ early development as it encourages fine motor skills, brain & critical thinking, memory, social skills, creativity and imagination.
Chuchik Magnetic Drawing Board
A classic magnetic drawing board that offers a quiet, mess-free way for children to practice their basic drawing, writing, counting and spelling skills.
Skoolzy Pegboard Set
Thick pegs that are easy to grab and manipulate, helping refine and gross motor skills while playing.
ABC Sticker Activity Book
An interactive workbook with more than 100 stickers, illustrations of everyday things and 12 coloring pages to help toddlers learn the alphabet, numbers, and shapes.
There's nothing better than a new toy, right? When kids travel along with the family, distraction is your best friend. If you want to keep things under control without losing your sanity during the process you should provide them with new, stimulating toys to play with.
However, it’s crucial as a parent for you to consider age, personality, learning style, and developmental stage. Be sure to find lightweight, compact options and figure out what works for your little one so you aren't loaded down with gear you don't want, and instead carry things you do.
A great travel toy for toddlers should meet certain criteria:
WikkiStix Traveler Playset
WikkiStix is the ultimate craft toy that promotes creativity and enhances learning through hands-on involvement. This product is made out of non-toxic food grade wax (like you’d find in bubble gum and lipstick) along with basic hand-knitting yarn, so it’s perfectly safe for children.
Sticks adhere to virtually any surface and can be easily lifted off and re-positioned somewhere else for endless combinations. They can look amazingly simple but the truth is that they offer hours and hours of non-stop fun.
The WikkiStix can be used to produce three dimensional creatures, animals, flowers, flat designs, shapes, outlines and so much more. They’re wax sticks but they don’t come apart so you don’t have to worry about mess. Just twist, bend, stick, and create! No preparation, no clean-up, no mess.
Wikkistix’s open-ended play sparks creativity and stimulates kids' imagination, which makes it one of the best travel toys for car rides and flights. Not just for plane and car travel activities, The Traveler is great to have along any time! If you're looking to entertain your littlies without burying their faces in a tablet or some other screen for hours, WikkiStix is definitely a must-have.
- Bright red carry case
144 WikkiStix in 16 colors; 8 inch in length
12 page activity book of ideas and illustrations
2 fun activity sheets with sheets with connect-the-dot designs
QR code with even more instructions
Colorful I.D. sticker to personalize the case.
Wikkistix Travel Set
Fun and practical, it develops imagination and coordination.
Wikkistix are fun, educational and develop motor skills of young kids. While they are recommended for kids 3 and above, 2 year olds will enjoy them as well with adult supervision.
Sticker Activity ABC: Over 100 Stickers with Coloring Pages
It’s an interactive workbook with more than 100 stickers, illustrations of everyday things and 12 coloring pages to help toddlers learn the alphabets, numbers, and shapes.
Offering a combination of puzzles, coloring, activities and stickers, Roger Priddy’s Sticker Activity ABC also encourages hand-eye coordination and development of problem-solving skills.
Your little ones will love learning the alphabet as they find the stickers and match the outlines, answer the different questions, and color the pictures in this interactive book.
It makes for a great travel toy, as it fits easily in a bag and can keep your baby busy on the road or during a flight. Pictures are mostly of real life images rather than drawings, which make it easier for a kid to identify and memorize them.
- 109 Stickers composed of 26 letters, 8 numbers and 75 random pictures representing each letter of the alphabet
- Illustrations of each letter’s example
- 12 coloring pages
Sticker Activity ABC
Learn about letters, numbers, animals while having fun
Sticker books have been around for a long time and they have been tested and proven to be very useful. They provide a lot of entertainment, and while there are more than 100 pages in this book (enough to keep your little one busy for days on end) we don't really like the fact that the stickers are not reusable.
Buckle Toy "Buddy" Backpack
Soft, cushy, colorful, and chalk-full of buckles to play with – what more could you ask from a toddler’s travel toy? Your little guy or gal will be obsessed with this vibrant toy-backpack for more than just its cuddling-potential- it’s also incredibly engaging!
With lots of child-friendly buckles, zippered pockets to play with and decorative shapes and numbers, your little angel will be able to develop fine motor skills, improve their color recognition, problem solving skills, and even work on their hand-eye coordination.
The size of the buckles is 11" x 8" which ensures your baby can hold them comfortably and adjust them while he/she grows up. You can easily clip them onto strollers, diaper bags, car seats, and shopping carts too.
Let your munchkins feel like a 'big kid' and carry their own toys, books or snacks (instead of you having to haul everything). It's literally the cutest thing seeing them holding all their supplies on their back. And don't worry if it gets dirty...its surface washable.
Definitely one of the best toys for travel! No doubt this lil’ buddy will keep your kids engaged and engrossed for long time wherever they might be.
- Child-friendly buckles in a variety of clasp styles
- Easy glide zipper pocket decorated with numbers and shapes
Buckle Toy Buddy Backpack
A backpack that acts as a toy- smart for travel.
The Buddy backpack is a smart toy. It will not only be a source of entertainment while traveling, but your little one will also feel like a grown-up when he realizes he's carrying stuff like mom and dad. A win-win toy at an affordable price!
CHUCHIK Toys Magnetic Drawing Board
A classic toy and a must-have when traveling with toddlers! CHUCHIK Magnetic Drawing Board offers a quiet, mess-free way for your children to practice their basic drawing, writing, counting and spelling skills. If you're looking for other means of feeding your munchkins’ creative impulses without getting them crayons or ink masters, this board will be a definite hit.
The large 15.7" Magna Doodle Writing pad comes with a 4-Color Travel Size Sketch Board that can fit in any luggage or hand-bag. This is great especially for parents on the go who are constantly looking for new ways of keeping their kids engaged and happily entertained during a family trip.
Are your children abusive with toys? No problem! CHUCHIK drawing board is built with double layer of high quality plastic which means that even if your kid steps on it, sits on it or throws it on the floor it will not break easily.
Also they've improved the board's eraser bar and made it work smooth so it'll not get stuck halfway or make you swipe it back and forth several times. Your little ones could do it by themselves without asking for your help every time they want to erase the board.
Definitely recommended to any parent who wants a sturdy drawing board that will keep their little one busy.
- Large 15.7" Magna Doodle Writing pad
- 4-Color 6.9"Travel Size Magna Doodle Sketch Board
- 4 Magnetic stamps
Chuchik Magnetic Drawing Board
A classical toddler game with helpful innovations
It's a new version of the classical etch-a-sketch with some improvements and all the fun. It's sturdy, easy to use, and while we love how mess-free and simple it is it may not be as entertaining as some of the other toys.
Playtown: Airport (revised edition): A Lift-The-Flap Book
Do you have a plane ride coming up and want to get your kiddos prepared for the experience? Then this is the book for you! They’ll be fascinated as they learn how an airport works in this highly detailed, illustrated board book.
The book is fourteen pages with seven full-spread scenes: outside the airport, inside the terminal, workers getting the plane ready, boarding the plane, arriving at the destination airport, types of planes, and much more. The age range is 2 – 5 years, but it's appealing enough to engage older children.
Each busy scene is packed with people to meet and things to look for and find, plus there are over flaps (8 – 10 per page) to lift and a fold-out scene at the end showing the cross-section of a jumbo jet. This is especially great for kids who are going to travel on plane or who like airports.
There is no “story” but each flap has a sentence explaining what’s going on and the characters are repeated on each page so you can follow them through their trip if you choose to. The book also does a great job with awareness. There are men and women doing all the jobs, people of all colors, abilities, sexual orientation and age represented throughout the book.
One of the best airplane travel toys for 2 years old children you should invest in!
- 14 pages with seven full-spread scenes
- A giant fold-out cross-section of a passenger jet
A brilliant book for any family vacation that involves flying
This book is brilliant. Our son Teo loves it and so do we, as it keeps him excited and entertained at the airport and one the plane for hours on end. Definitely one of the smartest sources of entertainment that can be bought for traveling toddlers today.
Happy Farm: Educational Game
The Happy Farm Educational Puzzle is ideal for kids’ early development - encourage fine motor skills, brain & critical thinking, memory, social skills, creativity and imagination. Kids before kindergarten easily match colors, as they stack and nest the hook and loop into each other.
Picnimix Puzzles come with an easy-carrying plastic case which stores all the waterproof pieces and allow you to conveniently take them on the go. These pieces also make for resourceful and convenient travel toys for twins, as they can be shared and played in group.
Early childhood educators and occupational therapists highly recommend this eco-friendly game to kids aged 2+ for sorting, color recognition, alphabet and letter learning.Happy Farm Puzzle pieces are suitable for lessons given by specialists in childcare centers or for educating children at home.
- 8 playing card guides and 24 Hook and loop fastener backed pieces.
- Sturdy plastic carry case included. You can easily store a few more toddler toys for the car ride or plane trip and take them along with you almost anywhere.
- Playing tips and instructions in 5 languages (EN, DE, ES, IT, FR)
- Easy to clean puzzle - made from non-tear polypropylene, all pieces are highly durable and can be easily wiped clean.
- This educational farming game contains many small parts (32 in total)
- The game is best played under the guidance of an adult
Happy Farm Game
Great fun for travel and at home
A great educational game for kids around two years old and older. It does have many small pieces that make it less practical in tight situations (economy airplane seats) and adult supervision, but it is very educational and fund for little ones.
Skoolzy Peg Board Set
While they’re a bit easier to misplace than some of the other vacation toys for toddlers on this list, these building pieces provide lots of opportunity for creativity.
For infants, it can simply be a case of encouraging spatial awareness, as he/she learn how to place the pegs into the holes (they have a good size for little hands so it won't take too long).
For toddlers - they can do everything from making patterns on the board to grasping small objects and placing them in the holes, just to name a few.
The thick pegs are easy to grab and manipulate, helping with fine and gross motor skills while playing. On a long flight, just flip down the travel tray and start stacking—it can keep your kids busy for a good long while, especially if you’re willing to join in on the fun.
In the car, it works well as a lap toy and keeps children playing on their own, so you can actually focus on driving
The downloadable peg board activity guide also helps the parent and child get more out of the toy. It includes good toddler's learning activities and fun games. You receive it via email as a PDF file after purchase.
- 1 Orange foam peg board (8.5"), it has a total of 25 evenly-spaced holes.
- 30 pegs (2") - 6 colors (5 each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple).
- 1 Skoolzy drawstring backpack (12" x 8")
- Downloadable parent activity guide for the toddler toys
Develops the mind and body connection.
Perhaps one of the most challenging games it means it is also one of the most entertaining. The biggest drawback though is the abundance of loose pieces, which may be an issue when flying.
Crayola Color Wonder
Forget about the hassle of spending a long time cleaning up after drawing time! With a regular coloring book or paint, things can get messy quickly and you'd have to interrupt the fun before your kids were done cleaning up.
That’s never an issue with this mess-free Crayola pad since it works with Color Wonder Markers, Paints, and Stamps only. They can be in the back seat of the car, out of reach, and no marker will get anywhere.
The pens only work on the special coloring paper, so children can color over and over without any chance of ruining a seat back or car seat. Plus, the set fits easily into a bag for the plane and is perfect for entertaining kids during takeoff and landing, when they need to be quietly in their seats.
- One 30 Page Color Wonder Tablet of coloring fun for use with Color Wonder products
Crayola Color Wonder
Mess free painting for hours on end.
Every kid likes to paint, and the Crayola Pad is fantastic because of its portability and mess free entertainment. Definitely a source of entertainment from a top brand.
Now that you have a better idea of the kinds of travel toys for toddlers that are available, you may be wondering how you should approach picking the right one.
This next section will provide you some guidance.
Tips for Keeping Toddlers Happily Entertained While Traveling
- Bring along some toys, not just one or two. Children prefer variety and novelty, especially those who are prone to get over-excited.
- Surprise your little munchkin with a new toy, just for your trip. Toddlers are likely to be most entertained by a toy they haven’t seen before.
- Look for toys with a little bit of action required. You want to keep your baby as entertained as possible without going wild.
- Choose noiseless toys - especially if you're flying- so fellow travelers can rest, too.
- Search for easy-to-clean materials, so you can quickly wipe off the gunk toys may accumulate if food or liquid spills on them.
Buyer’s Guide: Age Range
Best Travel Toys for 1 Year Old Kids
When it comes to finding travel toys for a 1 year old baby, you’ll want to go with the ones that are simpler, yet still engaging enough to keep them entertained. 1 yr. Old babies love soft toys they can cuddle up to them on longer journeys.
Moreover, if they have been designed with bright colors, your little angel will be able to start learning about different colors from an early age.
Recommendation: any toy that lights up or makes sounds would be perfect.
Travel Toys for 2 Year Old Kids
2 year old toys should be challenging enough to keep them occupied for large blocks of time during travel.
Recommendation: any kind of toy that causes them to use their problem-solving, motor skills, or hand-eye coordination.
Travel Toys for 3+ Year Old Kids
We advise going with toys that encourage early learning when buying a travel toy for 3 year olds. Part of the reason is that they help to develop your toddler's knowledge on numbers, shapes, and math.
Recommendation: any kind of toy that can improve their problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. Make sure they remain fun to ensure that your toddler will be engaged while on longer journeys.
Buyer's Guide: How Are You Traveling?
Travel Toys for Toddlers on Airplanes
When you’re on a flight, there're other people around you. Best airplane toys are mess-free and don’t produce any sounds. Too much noise could disturb other passengers around you.
Recommendation: think about the size of the toy and pick something that you can easily put in your small travel bag or purse to make the plane journey hassle-free.
Travel Toys for Long Car Rides
Finding travel toys for the car gives you more freedom to pick from the list in this review. The ones that make sounds and have light up effects would be great options since there aren’t other people around that would be disturbed.
Recommendation: travel games for toddlers in the car can be more stimulating for your child’s audible and visual learning skills.
Other Ways to Entertain Your Kids When Traveling
- Imagination Games
- Word Games
There are plenty of great travel toys for toddlers out there, and some of them are brilliant and educational. Traveling with toddlers is the ultimate challenge and knowing how to make it a bit smoother can really help in the long run.
Be sure to take a look through all of the pros, cons, age recommendation, and what makes each toy stand out before making a decision.
Our favorites from the list are the Playtown Airport book (Teo can't have enough of this book), the Wikkistix and if you're traveling with younger kids the Buddy backpack is great too.