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The Best Travel Toys For Toddlers

Updated on December 21, 2014

How To Choose the Best Travel Toys for Toddlers

The top tip I would give to anybody taking a toddler on a long journey is bring lots of travel toys for toddlers to keep them occupied.

The best travel toys for toddlers will engage your toddler for a long time without the need to move around a lot. Take small but familiar toys that they currently love and you know they play with for a long time. The attention span of toddlers isn't long (depending on their developmental age it's 1 to 8 minutes). So take lots of different small travel toys so you can swap them over often. Also, take something completely new which they will enjoy playing with and will grab their attention.

This article suggests the best toys and equipment to take with you on a long journey and gives tips on keeping your little one occupied. There are also ideas of what I've done to occupy my own children with toys and other distractions on long trips.

So what are the best travel toys for toddlers?

Travel Toys For Toddlers - Travel Tote

Lauri Toddler Tote
Lauri Toddler Tote

This is a great travel toy for airplanes although it can be used in other modes of transport as well. It's quiet so won't disturb other passengers and is educational too. The toddler Tote promotes color and shape recognition, concentration, fine motor and eye-hand coordination. Toddlers can find the right shapes to go in the holes or sort the shapes by color and size. This is one that keeps toddlers occupied while engaging them completely.


Portable DVD Players for Toddlers

Portable DVD players can be an absolute lifesaver when taking young children on a road trip or on an airplane. We used one when we took our son (who was then 18 months old) on a 3 hour flight. My 18 month old son had to sit on my lap for 3 hours as he didn't get his own seat so it was a lifesaver. It kept him still and occupied until he fell asleep. Here is my top choice portable DVD player.

If you're interested in getting a portable dvd player check out this article on the best portable dvd players for kids

Philips PD9030/37 9-Inch Portable DVD Player (White/Black)
Philips PD9030/37 9-Inch Portable DVD Player (White/Black)

I think this is a good choice of DVD player for the following reasons:

- a long battery life - up to 5 hours!

- A good sized screen at 9 inches.

- built in stereo speakers or use with headphones

- has a USB port and supports lots of different file formats so you should be able to save movies from your computer to a USB and play them on your DVD player.

- Also comes with a car adapter so you can charge it in the car and comes with an AC adapter too.


Toddler Laptop

Toddler laptops make great travel toys. They will keep toddlers occupied for ages and most have educational activities such as games to help learn letters and numbers. Pick one which offers lots of different activities and stimulation so your toddler doesn't get bored. If you are able to sit next to your toddler on your trip you can play the activities and games together too.

LeapFrog My Own Leaptop, Green
LeapFrog My Own Leaptop, Green

Features of this laptop include 6 learning activity stations to explore the alphabet, pretend play, music, animals and computer literacy. You can also personalize e-mails for your toddler and choose and download songs from a custom playlist.


Magna Doodle

Toddlers love magna doodle (when my son and niece were about 2 years old they absolutely loved it). There are some which come in travel size so they are compact and easy to carry. They provide the opportunity to draw without having to find crayons and paper which have been dropped underneath car or plane seats.

Fisher-Price DoodlePro Travel, Blue
Fisher-Price DoodlePro Travel, Blue

This magna doodle is sized just right for travel.

The pen is attached by string so it won't get lost and it has a carry handle too.


Travel Aquadoodle Bears

Travel aquadoodle bears are great for road trips and plane journeys for toddlers. You fill the doodle pen with water and start drawing on the white part of the bear. The bear changes color with the moisture and changes back as it dries so you can draw over and over again. Mess free travel fun for toddlers who love to scribble and a cuddly toy too!

Spin Master Aquadoodle Pet Bear
Spin Master Aquadoodle Pet Bear

Fill up the pen with water and draw on the white part of the animal.

When the water dries up the drawing goes away and toddlers can start their drawing all over again.

A great little bear to put in your travel bag.


Wow Activity Books

Fill up the water pen and then color in the pictures. The pictures come up in bright colors.

They include 4 reusable water reveal pages, 4 play and learn pages and 1 water brush or water pen depending on which one you buy.

This is mess free coloring and you don't have to worry about crayons being everywhere and loosing them.

Buckle Toys

Many toddlers can be obsessed with buckles and therefore these buckle toys make perfect travel toys for toddlers as there are no loose parts. You may need to unsnap the buckles for your toddler but they will love doing them up again and again.

Some buckle toys have extra things to do, like matching colors and zippers.

BUCKLE TOY "Bucky" Turtle - Toddler Early Learning Basic Life Skills Children’s Plush Travel Activity
BUCKLE TOY "Bucky" Turtle - Toddler Early Learning Basic Life Skills Children’s Plush Travel Activity

Bucky the turtle has child friendly buckles down the front, numbers 1-10 on his tummy, 6 shapes on his shell, and a zipper down the middle of his shell that opens to carry other toys. This toy is great for kids who love to try and buckle their own high chair, stroller, and car seat. Bucky helps to satisfy a toddlers curiosity about buckles, while still having the educational value that kids need.

BuckleyBoo BuckleyMonkey 18" Brown
BuckleyBoo BuckleyMonkey 18" Brown

Each BuckleyBoo teaches babies and toddlers visual matching, small motor coordination and problem solving as they match brightly patterned ribbons and configure 5 different types of plastic buckles. An internal motion activated chime will delight young ears as little fingers buckle their way to mastery. Aged from 18 months.


Alex Car Valet

ALEX Toys Artist Studio Car Valet
ALEX Toys Artist Studio Car Valet

This is a great little bag to take with you and your toddler when traveling. The fold out desk is a great surface to color and draw on. It features two removable zippered pouches to store crayons, snacks and other travel necessities. Put in crayons and different small toys between different trips to keep kids occupied on long journeys.

Attaches to the rear of the front seat and folds down for easy access to supplies. Fold and zip up when finished.


Books for Toddlers

Taking a couple of favorite or new books can be quite handy. It's especially good if you want to keep them entertained and occupied but quiet at the same time (for example when you're on a plane or other public transport).

Check out the I Spy book below.

I Spy Little Animals
I Spy Little Animals

These are great little books when you are traveling with older toddlers. Toddlers can join in with the book and say what they spy in the pictures.


Magnetic Toys

Magnetic toys seem to be popular with toddlers to take to occupy them while traveling.

I think this is because they are very quiet toys and toddlers seem to be quiet when they are playing with them. Therefore they may be a good choice for airplanes or other public transport. Some of the bigger magnetic toys would be better to just keep in the car as you won't want to transport anything too bulky.

The pieces are magnetic, therefore stick to the board and are less likely to be lost but I think you still have to be careful not to loose the pieces when travelling.

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game and Puzzle With Wooden Ocean Animal Magnets
Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game and Puzzle With Wooden Ocean Animal Magnets

"Catch" the magnetic fish with the special magnetic wand. Then put them back where they belong.

Melissa & Doug Joey Magnetic Wooden Dress-Up Pretend Play Set (25+ pcs)
Melissa & Doug Joey Magnetic Wooden Dress-Up Pretend Play Set (25+ pcs)

Dress "Joey" as a policeman, fireman, superhero, knight, construction worker or pirate. Or you could mix and match.

Melissa & Doug Hide and Seek Farm Wooden Activity Board With Barnyard Animal Magnets
Melissa & Doug Hide and Seek Farm Wooden Activity Board With Barnyard Animal Magnets

Behind each of the 9 hinged doors on this charming barnyard scene is a delightful, magnetic animal. Learning about animals while improving memory and fine motor skills


Magnetic Mazes for Travel

There are lots of magnetic mazes which are great for travel because you don't have to worry about losing the pieces.

They include the bead mazes below which I think are good for older toddlers. You have to use the magnetic wand to guide colorful beads through the maze. Some of them involve using the wand to sort beads according to color or number so are educational too.

They're should fit in a backpack and are quiet so won't disturb other people.

Sticker Books

Sticker books can be a good choice for older toddlers. My son used to love stickers and there are some nice sticker books you can work through with a toddler on a plane or train trip.

Giant Sticker Activity First Words
Giant Sticker Activity First Words

Contains over 600 stickers

The giant sticker book has hundreds of essential first words and pictures for children to learn and recognise. Arranged in everyday subjects, it helps children develop a wide vocabulary and understanding of the world around them.


Finger Puppets and Puppet Books

Finger puppets are great for plane travel. They're small and can easily fit in your pocket. They're inexpensive too. You can get them out and use them to make characters for your toddler. Do a show, play peek-a-boo, use them with a funny voice - let your imagination entertain your toddler! Older toddlers can also have a go at using the finger puppets.

You can also get finger puppet and puppet books. My own son who's currently 19 months loves these. Read the story while using the finger puppet to illustrate.

niceEshop(TM) Cute Velvet Animal Style Story Time Educational Finger Puppets Set with niceEshop Cable Tie
niceEshop(TM) Cute Velvet Animal Style Story Time Educational Finger Puppets Set with niceEshop Cable Tie

10 animals - perfect for telling a story, making animal noised, pretend you're on a farm and lots more. Fits in your bag easily too.


Almas Designs My Baby Doll

Alma's Designs My Baby Doll Play Bag
Alma's Designs My Baby Doll Play Bag

This is a great options for toddler girls or boys who love dolls.

One side of the tote acts as the doll's bed, The other side holds her dresses and accessories.

Great for imaginative play. Take the doll's clothes off and dress her in a different outfit. Then have fun playing with the doll!


Touch and Feel Cards

My First Touch & Feel Picture Cards: First Words (MY 1ST T&F PICTURE CARDS)
My First Touch & Feel Picture Cards: First Words (MY 1ST T&F PICTURE CARDS)

Another good quiet activity for travel.

These have excellent reviews. They are a set of cards which toddlers can explore with their hands as there are different textures to touch.

They are great for encouraging communication with example questions to ask about the card, it's picture and what it feels like -so you'll never be stuck for something to do.

I think these would be particularly good for airplane travel when you're sat next to your toddler or they are on your lap - it's a nice quiet activity to do together.

Really small and compact to fit in a travel bag too.


Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

Traveling with a toddler can be challenging but prepare well and follow these tips for an easier journey.

  • Don't run out of snacks and drinks. Have plenty of small snacks for emergencies. Raisins, dried fruit and small packets of sweets are all great snacks which can fit in your hand luggage.
  • Bring lots of travel toys and things to keep them amused and entertained. Consider wrapping up a couple of new toys and giving them as gifts during the trip - this can give them something to focus on when they get a bit restless.
  • A portable DVD player is a life saver for long road trips and air travel.
  • Bring wipes to keep them clean.
  • Blankets and travel pillows are good to keep toddlers cosy when they need to get comfortable and sleep. Blankets are also good to play peek a boo!
  • Get organised. Have a bag for snacks and one for toys and know where everything is so you have it to hand when needed. Also, have a bag for rubbish to minimize mess.
  • On roadtrips take plenty of breaks and get your little one moving around before they have to sit in the car again.
  • On airplanes - get a window seat if you can so they can look out of the window.
  • Think about the timing of your travel. Can you travel during early morning, naptime or evening/nighttime so that they will sleep most of the journey
  • If you are travelling in the afternoon/evening take them to the park in the morning and really tire them out so that they will be less restless during the trip.

Another Tip for Keeping Toddlers Entertained

When we took our first son away on a plane when he was about 2 1/2 we also took our iPhone which ended up being a great way to entertain and occupy our son.

He loved playing games on our iPhone and this used to keep him occupied for ages. Obviously you have to supervise them closely when using it but there are lots of educational and fun games for the iPhone that are suitable for toddlers.

Do you have any suggestions of great travel toys for toddlers. Please add any comments and feedback below.

Suggestions on great travel toys for toddlers

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Some great ideas here. I don't have any young children but I sure wish these toys were available back in the 1960s when my children were young.

    • SuperBusyMama profile image

      Amanda R 

      4 years ago

      Enjoyed this lens. I will have to look for some of these!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I'll purchase of this kinds of toy when I will be visiting Island on next months.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My family and I will be going on a long flight next month, so this lens came just in time, I'll take note of all the advice.. and bring lots of toys for my baby.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I love the gifts on a trip idea! I wish I thought of that when I was flying with my toddler!

    • ShantelWallace profile image


      4 years ago

      Do you want to find out the Travel deals and steals? What's is your email? send me an email

    • chrisilouwho profile image


      4 years ago

      great ideas, thanks!

    • QualityKidsToys profile image


      5 years ago

      The toddler lap top and the DVD player are probably going to keep the little one's attention the longest IMO. Thanks for the good ideas and reviews!

    • MoreThanAMama profile image


      5 years ago

      Awesome list! I have a variety of toys in my car for my 2yo, but none like these. I'll have to invest in these ideas.

    • Pipa-bipa profile image


      5 years ago

      Haha, I recognize this - iPhone turned out to be the best entertainment :) Tell me about it! All these toys are great but there is nothing like deleting apps and widgets on mommy's smartphone. Fiddling with my Samsung touch screen is the only thing that can keep my younger one silent when riding a taxi, for instance. But the rest of the toys are good too, took notes of some. Thanks for the info :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great collection of travel toys.Thanks for sharing this post.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great one !!!

    • mcajaclyn profile image


      5 years ago

      Great selection of toys! We love putting on kids cds and sing:)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Movies are great, no spill, no drop, no fuss type toy.

    • iijuan12 profile image


      5 years ago from Florida

      We love using finger puppets and doodle boards for car trips.

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      5 years ago

      Great choice of travel toys for toddlers. I found it good to hide the toys so they would not know what to expect.

    • takkhisa profile image


      5 years ago

      Great selection of travel toys for toddlers :)

    • Isabellas-cabin profile image


      5 years ago

      I used to use the DVD player. It worked out great in getting my kids entertained, but it really was bad when the cord came uplugged one day and I did not know it! Ugh talk about screaming kids!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great suggestions of travel toys for toddlers.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image


      5 years ago from Central Florida

      This is an awesome list of toys to keep toddlers occupied. We definitely pull out the interactive book iPad apps, but sticker books, magna doodle, and new books have been big hits for our family's travel too.

    • carolweez profile image


      5 years ago

      Some of these products showcased on your lens works wonders. We all know how important it is to keep the child occupied whilst trying to concentrate on the driving. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree plan a trip for the entire family is not so easy, to have some of theses toys can help!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens, i like what you did in your lens.. terrific idea. thank for sharing, with this toy...a long travel makes short.. toys are helpful for babies on travel.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Many Indians are vegetarian, so theres a fabulous choice of vegetarian food. If you do eat meat, make sure its well cooked. If in doubt, eat at a place that's packed with locals.

    • bueler lm profile image

      bueler lm 

      6 years ago

      Great lens. I have been thinking about this for my kids and just how to take a long trip when they are young. This helps answer the questions I had.

    • jasminedessy profile image


      6 years ago

      You are the best for making lens this travel toys, We do have same interest about toys and games, especially educational toys. come see my lens too !!Thanks

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 

      6 years ago

      Great information. I have yet to have children yet, but I am collecting information for when I do. Great lens.

    • OrlandoTipster profile image


      6 years ago

      These tips are great for families traveling to Disney with toddlers.Thanks fr sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes! Awesome lens.

    • eTravelSense profile image


      6 years ago

      Such a great and detailed lens! It's so important to keep the kids happy when travelling. The last thing you want is to be scowled at by everyone around you for your screaming child!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This information is priceless. When can I find out more?

    • Ashly Rain profile image

      Ashly Rain 

      6 years ago

      Great ideas! Nice.

    • MayaIxchel profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like your post.Please like my post.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Squidoo Angel blessed - this will make travelling with kids a lot easier.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @dellgirl: ~~Blessed by a Squid-Angel~~

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Great lens, thank you!

    • iijuan12 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      Great ideas!

    • moanaparker lm profile image

      moanaparker lm 

      6 years ago

      Beautifully presented lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful ideas for 'Travel Toys for Toddlers'. These are sure to come in handy for anyone travelling with toddlers.

    • PeacefieldFarm LM profile image

      PeacefieldFarm LM 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the great ideas! We will be traveling soon with our two young ones.

    • Allendo profile image


      6 years ago

      wish more parents get some of these toys and keep their kids busy on long flights!

    • Rymom28 profile image


      6 years ago

      So glad I found this lens, bookmarking now! We are going to go on a long plane trip and I wasn't sure what to get for our little boy. Thank you!

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 

      6 years ago

      Great tips! Nice lens.

    • ChenB profile image


      6 years ago

      Knowing how to keep youngsters pacified during a long trip is essential for enjoying said trip. This lens offers many good tips through games and toys to do just that.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Lots of good tips and toy suggestions. Believe it or not, when my oldest son was this age his favorite travel activity was post-its and twist up crayons :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    • DailyRogue profile image


      6 years ago

      My little one loves sticker books. It really keeps her busy so I just keep several of them in the car.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great tips. I This will ease me when I will travel with my 2 years old infants. Hope to see more of your lenses.

    • MindPowerProofs1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Activity books and aqua doodle are my favorites. Thanks for sharing

    • CanadaRed LM profile image

      CanadaRed LM 

      6 years ago

      When I take my family on a road trip i find books and a portable DVD player are great things to keep the kids busy.

    • robertsugar lm profile image

      robertsugar lm 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for this. I will consider what to buy next time for my little daughter.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Lou1842, I saw your news. Glad to read your news. It's fabulous post. I can suggest all lens user visit this lens once who looking for Best Travel Toys for Toddlers. want to read more news from your site. waiting for your nest post. The website offers exclusive information related to best airline tickets/a> and last minute flights. Best of luck Lou1842. have a nice day

    • profile image


      7 years ago

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    • soloibiza profile image


      7 years ago

      Travel toys are perfects

    • JulianSagan profile image


      7 years ago

      I wish I read this lense before I traveled with my toddler! It was an international 10 hour flight, and it was a challenge to keep my boy entertained the whole time, but we made it! Portable DVD player is definitely a great investment for long trips...

    • tourism-india profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice information for travelers. if you want latest flights deals for Atlanta destinations.Flights to Atlanta

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      If you ever get a chance to check out Park City Utah or Destin Florida you must do so. Both are amazing vacation destinations!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting information...Carnaval de Barranquilla

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lot's of great ideas! We all know how bored kids sometimes can get when traveling.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent post. My best buy was a dual screen DVD player for the car. But after 5 hours of In the night garden it drives you crazy :)

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      8 years ago from California

      having done many trips with little ones I found this very well done, and love your choices for travel toys :)

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 

      8 years ago

      useful one


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