Travel toys save my sanity in the car. We make a fairly regular 6-hour drive to visit grandparents and we’ve been doing that for 4+ years now. So I have tried a number of different travel toys to entertain toddlers, preschoolers, and now a kindergartener.
Some of our favorite travel toys have been in the airport, but most are selected with hours-long road trips in mind. That’s not to say that these travel toys wouldn’t also be great for a plane trip, just that I don’t have as much experience there!
Road Trip Car Tips for Travel Toys
We keep a few simple travel toys in the backseat all the time and then we do a toy rotation right before any big trip. My preferred storage for travel toys is a back-of-the-seat organizer and I like to keep smaller toys and sets of items in these zipper pouches. In addition to those items for organization, I also keep cookie sheets in the car. That may seem like an odd inclusion but hear me out. They serve as a lap desk for play, they have edges to keep things from rolling off, they are easily washable for things like slime and playdough and as a bonus feature, they are metal, thus great for magnetic play!
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- Rotate and Slide Puzzle
- Old Cell Phones (keyboard phones are the best in my experience but any old phone seems to entertain them! I’ll attach a dummy phone I found online but seriously check with your family members, they likely have one saved somewhere!)
Art & Sensory
- Arrons putty – a good slime adjacent option that I find isn’t as messy
- Sketchbook and novelty art supplies (Gel Pens, Color Change Markers, MultiClick Pen, Honestly I like most anything from Ooly)
- LCD drawing board
- Magic Painting and water brush pen
- Wipe and erase mazes
- Wipe and erase books
- Reusable stickers
- Sticker Mosaics
- Hidden Picture books
- Busy Board Book
- My Big Wimmel Book – my busy day
- Poke-a-Dot board books
- I Spy Books
- Look Inside Lift the Flap books – My Body this is a particular favorite but we love a bunch from this line
- Full Color Omnibus Comic Books ; My Little Pony anything your kiddos are interested in is the key here but my girls have spent HOURS looking at these
- 1001 Things to Spot
Travel Toys Grow and Change with Your Family
I stand by the travel toys that I have listed above both of my girls have loved and still play with them regularly!
Depending on your kid’s personal preference and your family’s preference (can you tolerate a talking toy in the back seat for hours on end?) you will find some travel toys that you love and use for years and some that you love for a while and then you outgrow them. Both types of travel toys have their merits and when it comes to a road trip and keeping everyone sane in the car I say use whatever works!