27 of the Best Travel Toys for Toddlers 2024

Sharing is caring!

If you are reading this post, you are likely about to embark on a trip with a toddler. That is a brave move, and it is so worth it! We have traveled with our three kids (all under four years old), and it’s a wild, exciting time. Unsurprisingly, the most difficult part is the getting there (and getting home). So I’ve taken the time to find the best travel toys for toddlers. These are good for planes, trains, and automobiles.

I’ve chosen to leave out any activities that involve screen time because things of that nature are easy to come by. I’m not against using screens for travel (even though I am a bit crazy about screen time otherwise), but it’s nice to have plenty of alternatives. Not to mention, some toddlers won’t stay entertained by a screen if you’ve got extremely long flights or long car rides.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.

What Makes Great Travel Toys?

Before we dive into the actual best toys for travel, we should explore what makes a good toy for travel. There are a lot of things to consider when searching for the perfect travel toy.

Quiet

If you are taking a plane ride with your toddler, you don’t want the toys they have to be especially loud. People on planes want some quiet (although loud-ish toys are probably better than screaming children). But quiet toys that keep your child engaged are a great way to make everyone happy! And even if you are in your own car, the same toy loudly banging or clanging over and over again is less than desirable!

Not Messy

Toys that are messy don’t mix well with travel. I mean who wants kinetic sand ground into the car, or play dough smashed into the seat in front of you? No one wants that, so my list of the best travel toys will not include anything of the sort.

Not Too Big, Not Too Small

You need to think about the size of toys when traveling. If the toys are too big, they won’t fit in your carry-on, or in your trunk. Honestly, you are going to want a whole bag of toys so that is another reason to keep them small! If the toys are too small, they can be choking hazards.

Not Too Many Pieces

With your child buckled into a car seat (or on your lap for a plane ride), chasing after itty bitty pieces is a big hassle. Dropped pieces can also cause tears, so the fewer pieces, the better!

Independent

If you are the one driving, or if you’re traveling with multiple young children, independent play is ideal. Toys that your child can use and play with on their own are helpful.

Entertaining!

Obviously, these toys have to be exciting! If you buy and bring a bunch of toys that your child doesn’t care about, then what’s the point? The following are some of my personal favorite travel toys, along with some new finds that are well-reviewed.

Using These Toys Well: A Few Tips

Get a Variety

Kids will be kids and that means they are going to get bored quickly. Even if you have great toys, you will need a variety to keep them entertained for the long journey ahead. Be sure to bring different types of toys, from an activity book to busy boards.

Save Something New for the Trip

It’s really fun to give your kids new toys that you know they will like to get them excited about the trip, but it’s a good idea to keep some of the toys as a surprise that they get to open during the trip. The novelty will help keep them entertained for longer.

Bring Old Favorites

Although this is a list of new toys to get your child, some of the best toys are the ones your child already loves. Bring a few of their favorites because having choices will help make the long haul more enjoyable.

Don’t Reveal Them All at Once

Once you get on the road (or take to the skies), don’t let your child have free reign with the travel bag. Give them a few choices, but keep some of the novel toys behind so they don’t go through all of the things too quickly.

Additionally, keep at least one or two toys completely out of the travel bag until the return journey. Saving a few for the ride home is necessary because your child will likely be extra tired and out of sorts on your way back home. Having a few new, fun toys on the way home can be a lifesaver.

Have Snacks

When in doubt, give your child a snack. Road trip rules are that your child can have way more snacks than usual. It’s okay to be more dependent on snacks as you travel than in normal life. Go for a balance of healthy snacks and a few treats. If you’ve been a parent for long, you know a snack can go a long way!

Best Travel Toys for Toddlers

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the list of the best toddler travel toys! Keep in mind that some of these are for younger toddlers, and some are for older toddlers. Some of the toys might even be great for your little one and their older siblings.

Busy Book

This quiet book is one of my very favorite toys for traveling for a variety of ages. My one year old will mess with it, my three old will try several of the mini challenges, and even my newly turned five year old wants to try to solve all of the little puzzles. It’s an engaging toy that happens to also help your child develop their cognitive skills and their fine motor skills.

Wimmel Books

I LOVE these books and so do my kids! These books are mostly wordless search and finds. They are like “Where’s Waldo”, but there are multiple “Waldos”. Each of the main characters (there are over ten in each book) has their own story that weaves through the book that your child can put together in the pictures. Be sure to shop around for different Wimmel Books so your child gets one that interests them most (farm animals, cars, and the zoo are just a few options).

Pull String Toy

This fun little toy is especially great for young toddlers and their small hands. They get to work on their hand-eye coordination and explore cause and effect as they move the strings, push the buttons, and spin the rings.

Little People Airplane

If you are flying on an airplane, it can be fun to have your toddler engage in imaginative play with their very own airplane. This is a great toy for while you are en route to your destination, but it can also be fun to play with once you are back at the hotel room.

Fidget Tubes

These little fidget tubes are the perfect size for little hands and your toy bag. Children love to shake and rattle these things as they explore how they work, and how they can impact what happens inside the tubes.

Water Wow Activity Book

Water Wow Activity Books by Melissa & Doug are another favorite toy at our house! It’s a great way for your little artist to get creative, while also keeping supplies and mess to a minimum. All you need is the book, the pen that comes with it, and a bit of water. I love that since it just “writes” with water, it doesn’t write on anything else!

Tonie Box

The Tonie Box is definitely more of an investment that can be used for this trip, the next trip, quiet time at home, and whenever else your child begs for it (mine often do!). It literally can be hours of entertainment. It’s a small audio player that is paired with little figurines that tell stories and sing songs. There are tons of characters to choose from (all the princesses, The Incredibles, Pete the Cat, and TONS more) and each character has about 45 or more minutes of entertainment packed in.

You can also get your child headphones to go with it if you are on a plane, or want some peace and quiet in the car.

Bluey Magnetic Set

If you’re like most people with small children, you and your family probably love Bluey (most people do!). This cute magnetic board and set allow your child to play with their favorite characters. Although this set has more pieces than I typically like for a travel toy, the fact that it is magnetic means way fewer problems.

Drawing Tablet

These drawing tablets are another family favorite for long road trips. They are mess-free and allow for lots of creativity. You simply push the button on the bottom to erase the creation and start fresh! You can use it over and over again.

Mess Free Coloring Book

Toddlers are at a great age for coloring, but it can get a little out of hand with the mess sometimes. When you are traveling, this coloring book is amazing because it comes with markers in five different colors that only color on this type of coloring book. It’s as good as it sounds!

Busy Bag

This little bag has it all! There’s a place to store snacks or other favorite toys, and tons of buckles, snaps, and more to entertain your little traveler. I love this combination of functional bag and entertainment!

Spinner Toys

These little spinner toys are so cute, with their vibrant colors and little creatures. Spinning something over and over again can be really fun for a little one. The best part is they can be suctioned to the windows or the airplane tray table.

Sticker Set

Stickers are way too much fun when you are a toddler. If you’re like me, I shy away from them at home sometimes, because they can end up all over my house (in my hair, on my sock, stuck to the dining room table), but on road trips, the kids can get unlimited access! This kind of goes against my advice for only bringing things that won’t get everywhere, but stickers can take up a lot of time. So it might be worth it! The choice is yours! If you go for it, they will have so much fun using all of these cool, puffy stickers. Just give them some paper, and let them go wild!

Magnetic Drawing Board

This drawing board is a fun way for your child to occupy their time in the car. They can draw with the pen or use the shapes to create. I also love that this magnetic drawing board has colorful pictures rather than black ones.

Fidget Toys

These little pop and stretch robots are awesome travel toys because they can be used for creative play or enjoyed simply because of their ability to bend, stretch, and stick. Stick them to the window or the tray table.

Poke-A-Dot Book

I love a good book and these Poke-A-Dot books check a lot of boxes for me. They are engaging because of the poppers, they have bright pictures and simple stories.

If you need more ideas on how to pick good books for your toddler, check out my post here.

Reusable Stickers and Pad

Reusable stickers are a big win for traveling. These cute little scenes come with tons of stickers that can be placed on them and moved around again and again. They are the perfect size for travel and can be entertaining for hours!

Play Steering Wheel

This might be one of my favorite road trip toys on the list because I love the idea that your little one will be in the back seat pretending to drive right along with you (or whoever is driving). This little steering wheel has awesome buttons, levers, and of course a steering wheel.

Busy Bug Toy

This cute little bug has tons of ways to play: pulling, pushing, turning, and more. This fun toy is great for problem-solving skills, as your child figures out how all the parts move and make sounds.

Sensory Board

This travel size sensory board comes with all types of buttons, switches, and levers your child can play with. In the car or on the plane we often have to tell our child “Don’t touch the buttons!” but not this time! Their tiny fingers will love exploring this crazy board!

Buster Square

The Buster Square is a cute, soft toy that features six different types of buckles for your child to tinker with. It’s a quiet toy that helps your child with fine motor and cognitive skills.

Magnetic Puzzle

This little magnetic puzzle is so cute, especially since it is travel-themed. Your child can use the magnetic pen to guide the balls around the board. They can work on their color recognition and fine motor skills by guiding the different colored balls to their corresponding houses.

Take-Along Shape Sorter

Shape sorters are good fun and perfect for developing a whole bunch of different skills. I like this one because it is specifically designed to take with you!

Window Clings

Whether you are in the car or on the plane, window clings like these can be really fun! There’s something that feels mischievous and exciting when your child gets to put things on the window! There are a few different sets depending on how many you want to get: dinosaurs, zoo animals, or farm animals. The choice is yours! But whatever you go with, your child will be entertained!

Suction Cup Giraffes

These little giraffes are just too cute to pass up! They can stretch, bend, twist, and connect! Your child will enjoy playing with these colorful little fidget toys!

Busy Cube

This is one of those really fun sensory toys that has tons of ways your child can interact with it. There is a spinner, a rocket, a wheel, and a plug. That’s a lot of action, making it perfect for those long trips!

Travel Snack Pack

Having plenty of snacks on hand for your little one is a must on long trips. You don’t want a hungry toddler who is stuck in a confined space. That’s just asking for disaster! This cute little snack pack is perfect for giving your child a variety of snacks, and it comes in different colors.

Well, I sure hope you found one (or more likely, a bunch!) of toys for your upcoming travel. Don’t worry, it might be crazy, but traveling with kids is so fun! Seeing the world through their eyes can be magical. Hopefully, these toys will make the traveling easier! If you have other toys you love for travel, drop your ideas in the comments!

1 thought on “27 of the Best Travel Toys for Toddlers 2024”

  1. Love this list! Traveling with toddlers can be challenging, but having engaging bouncy toys for toddlers on hand makes all the difference. These toys not only entertain but also keep them active and happy during long journeys. Thanks for including such a valuable resource! #bouncytoysfortoddlers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *