15 Best Travel Toys for Roadtrips with Toddlers
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It can be tough to keep rambunctious rugrats entertained for long car trips or family travel plane rides. Curb on-the-move melt-downs with these great travel toys and games for toddlers.
More: 3 Activities to Keep Kids From Whining "I'm Bored" While Traveling
Our Top Picks for Car Toys for Toddlers
- The Best Fine Motor Travel Toy for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Rainbow Caterpillar
- The Best Travel Toy for Toddlers who Love to Draw: Cra-Z-Art Travel Magna Doodle
- The Best Travel Toy for Toddlers who Love to Make Things Go: HABA Town Maze Magnetic Game
- The Best Travel Toy for Toddlers who Love Story Time: Dr. Seuss Audio Books
- The Best Travel Toy for Creative Toddlers: Wikki Stix
- The Best Travel Toy for Older Toddlers and Preschoolers: Scribble and Write
- The Best Travel Toy for Toddlers who Love to Color: Crayola Color Wonder Mess-Free Coloring Kit
- The Best Travel Toy for Shape Sorting: Melissa & Doug Take-Along Shape Sorter
- The Best Travel Books for Toddlers who Love to Read: Little Traveler Board Book Set
- The Best Toddler Water Pen Toy: Melissa & Doug Vehicles Animals & Safari Water Wow On-The-Go Bundle
- The Best Reusable Toddler Sticker Pad: Melissa & Doug Vehicles and Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad
- The Best Montessori Travel Toy for Toddlers: deMoca Quiet Book Montessori Toy for Toddlers
- The Best Way to Organize Toddler Travel Play: Car Seat Organizer Kids Travel Tray
- The Best Travel Buckle Toy for Toddlers: Buckle Toy - Bubbles Square
- The Best Travel Busy Bag for Toddlers: Montessori Busy Bag
What to Consider When Purchasing Travel Toys for Toddlers
When purchasing travel toys for toddlers in the car, consider the following:
- The age and developmental stage of your little one
- The activities that your toddler enjoys doing most
- The amount of space you have for travel toys in the car
- New skills that you can introduce to your toddler
How We Chose Our Favorites
We consulted with experts, parents, and kids to get the lowdown on what you need to know to choose the best travel toys for toddlers. We also tapped into their advice to find out which brands were best and easily available on Amazon.
Bright colors and turning gears make for lots of car fun for toddlers who are interested in making things move. Plus, it's all one piece, so you won't have to worry about losing any parts.
“My toddler loves this. I wanted a fun and interactive way to teach her colors, and this does an amazing job, plus so much more. She has been counting the gears and is amazed at how they turn. It also works well as a quiet time toy, perfect for our cross country flights to see our family.”
The Cra-Z-Art Travel Magna Doodle is compact and will keep kids entertained on the go. A mess-free way to doodle, the drawing board is easy to erase for hours of fun. The design will simply disappear, revealing a clean surface.
“I bought this specifically for travel and it was perfect! It's a really good size and it worked just like it needed to.”
Work on fine motor skills, matching, and color recognition while on the road. This portable maze is easy to pack and has no removable pieces, so your child can't drop or lose anything!
“Happy with this purchase. It is well constructed. The balls and several internal pieces are metal (react to the magnet) and it’s all sealed up so nothing can get lost (yeah!).”
All kids love story time. Let someone else tell the story this time. Audiobooks allow kids to follow along as they listen to a story, giving you a chance to relax or focus on the road. Dr. Seuss's audio books are read by celebrities that every parent will recognize and enjoy.
“These are seriously great stories read aloud beautifully. I listen to a lot of audio books, and this is one of the best children's audio sets I've ever heard. The stories are read aloud by great actors/storytellers. It's very entertaining for adults, too.”
Cultivate your child's creativity with sculpting on the go. Wikki Stix are bendable pieces of wax-coated string that can be shaped into letters, people, animals, and other figures. They don't take up much space and are inexpensive to replace at the end of your trip.
“First and foremost, they are truly mess-free. They are basically pieces of yarn covered in a bendable, non-chippable wax. The texture is slightly sticky, but practically no mess is left on fingers, skin, table, rug, couch, etc. Sometimes fingertips have a SLIGHT waxiness to them, but it really is minimal and COLORLESS. They can go anywhere with you and not make a mess.”
Your child can practice drawing simple shapes by tracing the light with her finger. When she's mastered the first levels, she can graduate to writing upper and lower-case letters. The fun learning games help reinforce letter recognition and pencil control, and the portability makes it a great toy to bring along on a trip.
“This is an amazing product! Wish I could give it 10 stars! My four year old is learning so fast with it!”
Your little one can color and be creative in the car without also coloring the car seat and your back seat! Parents love this toy for mess-free creativity.
“I bought this for my 2 year old after her recent obsession with coloring. The twistable crayons were no longer making the cut after she used expo markers one time. Unlike expo markers, I can confidently let her color with these without constantly watching her because they only work on the special paper.”
Older babies and toddlers love shape sorting. This Melissa & Doug Take-Along Shape Sorter comes in a soft bag, so little ones can safely play with it in the car and keep their little hands busy.
“Our son loves shape sorters and we were looking for one that could travel with us. So far this fits the bill as it is the only one that zips shut to ensure no pieces are lost.”
Board books are the best for family travel. Little hands can easily flip pages in a quiet book, and you don’t have to worry about paper cuts. The travel theme is exciting for toddlers who are taking long trips.
“Love this little book set. Each book is only 4 or 5 pages but the pictures and colors are bold. My 2 month old likes to look at the pages and they seem easy to clean if anything happens by accident. There aren't a ton of baby books dedicated to traveling or different cultures but this book set is a great intro. And it's a good price for 4 books.”
Toddlers and preschoolers love to use a water pen and coloring book -- especially when they get to color vehicles as they travel in one themselves. These fully non-toxic coloring books are completely mess-free, and little ones love watching the color come to life.
“My daughter thoroughly enjoys these books. We keep one in the car if she gets bored as well as the other 2 in the house for quiet playtime. Very neat idea and the pages dry out back to plain so you can use them over and over again.”
This is the ultimate activity book for preschoolers and toddlers with oversized stickers that are reusable for hours of road trip sticker book fun. Young children love setting up different scenes with creative sticker placement choices. There’s no mess and it’s also a wonderful quiet time activity.
“The stickers are actually reusable, unlike other products I have purchased in the past. The backs are not actually adhesive, and do not stick to anything but the paper scenes(so zero threat to your car windows, clothes, and house!). They are also not easily torn!”
Car rides are the perfect time for toddlers to entertain themselves by working on learning shapes, snaps, zippers, and buttons. This Montessori quiet book has it all. Parents love that it is soft to avoid little boo boos.
“My daughter LOVES playing with this in the car, and it keeps her just as occupied as the annoying noisy battery-powered toys. And what a reprieve it has been!!”
This kids travel tray is the ultimate way to set up your toddlers, preschoolers, and even older kids for hours of fun family travel. Kids can easily eat on the tray, draw, watch shows on their tablet, and play without making a mess. It provides parents with a space to organize everything young children might need for a long car ride.
“I love how beautiful and well made this tray is! It has been a wonderful addition to our car rides. It gave my kid a clean surface to eat and play on.”
This soft learning activity toy is great for quiet play time in the car. Parents love that it helps young children develop hand-eye coordination and other motor skills. This problem-solving toy is ideal for passing hours in the car.
“This thing has been a lifesaver! My 18-month old loves buckles. She plays with the ones on her stroller, car seat, and booster seat. We recently flew to visit some family, and I ordered this as something for her to play with on the plane. She loves snapping the different kinds of buckles and likes to point out the eyes, nose, and mouth on the front.”
This is the perfect carry-on bag for toddlers who are traveling by plane or car. It is the ideal size for little bodies to carry, and it provides hours of busy board fun right on the backpack itself. Toddlers also love having a fun way to carry their own toys and snacks when they travel.
“My son is obsessed with this backpack. The very moment he saw it he was so excited to see it and he started playing with it right away! He wants to bring this backpack with him everywhere he goes.”
Looking for more toy recommendations for babies and toddlers? Check out The Best Car-Themed Toys for Toddlers.
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Charise is a Travel Planner and founder of Experience the Dream Travel, specializing in family and Disney holidays.