The Most Epic Travel Toys for Toddlers!

Traveling with a toddler in tow can be an adventure in itself.

Keeping your little one entertained and engaged during travel is essential for a smooth and enjoyable experience—for both you and your child. Enter the world of travel toys for toddlers, where fun meets functionality to make every trip a memorable and stress-free affair. In this blog post, I’ll dive into a selection of travel toys designed to keep those tiny hands busy, ensuring that traveling with toddlers is more peaceful. Whether you’re traveling via airplane or car, these travel toys are bound to help you, turning bored children into happier ones!

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pin for the most epic travel toys for toddlers, mom and toddler at airport

My experience with travel toys for toddlers

One of my worst road trip memories with my kids was December 2022. We were coming home from a few days away in Lancaster, PA. My oldest was almost 5 and my youngest was 18 months. The drive was a nightmare! We had so much traffic. What should have been a 4 hour drive took 6-7 hours. My kids were miserable, my husband and I were miserable…I can’t tell you how many complaints of “Are we there yet?” or “I’m tired of being in the car!” or just general cries we heard.

I hadn’t packed enough toys to keep them entertained in the car. I mistakenly thought that they’d either nap, amuse themselves watching a movie, or be content with a few snacks. Since then I’ve made sure to pack mommy must-haves for toddler moms for both my girls and our road trips have been much more successful!

40+ Travel Toys for Toddlers

Here are some of my recommendations for the best travel toys for toddlers. Grab a few for your next car or airplane trip, or use them for busy bag ideas!

Amazon Fire Kids tablet

Both of my girls have Amazon Fire 10 Kids tablets and they really come in handy. You’re able to set the parental controls that you are comfortable with. A one year subscription to Amazon Kids+ is included. My girls enjoy downloading different games, many of which are educational.


My older daughter loves her Yoto! There are over 1000 different cards to choose from – books, music, and even educational topics like the solar system. Ages 3 and up should be able to use it independently. You can also purchase headphones to give yourself some peace and quiet!

Writing tablet

Both of my girls love their writing tablets. The tablets are thin, making them easy to stash in a bag. My girls keep busy doodling, practicing their letters, and playing games like tic-tac-toe. Kids can simply press the erase button and start all over again!


My younger daughter loves her Animals MagnetiBook. Kids can match the magnets to the cards. My daughter also gets a kick out of combining the different magnets to make up her own animals. The magnets and cards all fit in a book-shaped box that is easy to carry along.

Water Wow!

Water Wow! activity books are so easy to use on-the-go. All you need to do is fill the included pen with some water. Just set the books to dry and they can be used again and again!

Busy Board book

The Freebear Busy Board book keeps my toddler entertained in the car for quite some time! It comes with many different activities – jigsaw puzzle, alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, buckles, zippers, and more. The book zips up and comes with a little handle making it easy for kids to carry along themselves.

Crayola Color Wonder activity pads

You don’t have to worry about messes with Crayola Color Wonder activity pads! The markers only show up on the special Color Wonder paper, not on skin or clothing.

Sticker books

My girls can keep themselves busy with sticker books for a long time. They enjoy creating their own scenes and get to practice their fine motor skills.

Board books

My toddler loves to page through board books. The Hello Genius series is so adorable. My daughter’s favorite is Little Monkey Calms Down. She even takes deep breaths when the monkey does!

Learn to Dress doll

The Snuggle Stuffs Learn to Dress doll keeps toddlers busy practicing their zippering, buttoning, buckling, and tying skills. Plus, your child will have a doll to cuddle with too!

Latches board

The Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches board has 6 different latches for kids to play with. Kids can also learn about colors and numbers too. My older daughter really enjoyed this toy when she was younger!

Lacing cards

My First Lacing Cards will keep toddlers busy practicing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination by moving the laces through the holes. There are many different themes to choose from, such as animals and mermaids.

Pop It toys

Who doesn’t love popping bubble wrap? I know I do! Toddlers will get that same thrill of popping with Pop It toys. They are a great stress reliever too.

Magnetic puzzle game

Toddlers will keep busy trying to move the colored balls through the HABA Town Maze magnetic puzzle. This is a great toy for practicing fine motor skills and strategic thinking.

Hand puppets

Pack a few hand puppets and your toddler can entertain you telling their own stories. I love to see my daughters’ imaginations at work with pretend play.

Kids Travel Tray

Toddlers will stay entertained on long road trips with the Kids Travel Tray. It contains a pocket to store a tablet and also comes with puzzle pages and dry erase markers so the puzzles can be done multiple times. It also has pockets where kids can store other small toys for travel.

Magnetic Drawing Board

Similar to the writing tablet, the Magnetic Drawing Board will allow kids to keep busy doodling and writing. It even comes with a few stampers to use in their designs.

Sticker Wow!

Sticker Wow! activity books are a fun and new way to play with stickers. Toddlers can use the stamper to stamp stickers throughout the activity pad.

Monkey Noodles

Monkey Noodles are a fun toy to stretch, pull, and twirl. Toddlers can also use their imagination to create different shapes and designs.

Window clings

Toddlers will keep busy putting different window clings on the car or airplane windows.

Buckle Toys backpack

Toddlers can carry around their own toys and stay entertained with the Buckle Toys backpack. They can practice using the different buckles and learn numbers while also having some independence. This is the backpack that we used for my daughters’ travel toys when they were younger.

toddler boys in car for road trip, entertained with travel toys for toddlers

Take-Along Shape Sorter

Toddlers will stay busy with Melissa and Doug’s Take-Along Shape Sorter. It has 9 different shape blocks and two different activity sides – one for sorting the shapes, and another with crinkly flaps and pictures.

Travel Memory

If your kids enjoy playing Memory, then I’m sure they will love Melissa & Doug’s Travel Memory Game! It comes with 7 different double-sided game cards, and kids can either test their own memory or play the game with someone else.

Play-Doh Create ‘n Go

Play-Doh’s Create ‘n Go sets come with 4 Play Doh colors, 3 tools, and a storage container making it easy to pack and take along. Toddlers will keep busy making their own creations.

Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix provide many hours of fun for toddlers. They can be bent and formed together to make different designs.

Pipe cleaners

Similar to Wikki Stix, pipe cleaners are another fun item to bend, twirl, curl, and wrap into different shapes and designs. Toddlers will keep their fingers busy for a while!

Lift the Flap books

My girls love interactive books, such as lift the flap. Life the Flap Numbers is adorable and educational too. Toddlers can learn more about numbers.

Activity books

Melissa and Doug’s What Should I Wear? book is a fun activity book for toddlers. It comes with a removable dress-up doll, 6 different scenes, crinkling pages, and flaps!


The LEGO DUPLO building set provides endless amounts of building opportunities for your toddler. The blocks come in a toy storage box making the set easily portable too!

Gear toy

The Playskool Explore ‘N Grow Busy Gears toy includes 11 interchangeable gears that spin, and play music and sounds providing hands-on fun for toddlers’ little fingers. It also has a convenient handle, making it easy for toddlers to carry along themselves.


The Dress-a-Bear toy is another toy that allows toddlers to practice their dressing skills. The clothes are fully removable and provide opportunities for toddlers to velcro, tie, zipper, button, buckle, and snap. It’s also an adorable comfort toy.

Take-Along Sorting Barn

The Melissa & Doug Take-Along Sorting Barn toy comes with 10 different wooden animal toys that fit into the holes. It also has a handle making it easily portable.

Take-Along Tabletop Railroad

My girls have loved playing with the Melissa & Doug Take-Along Tabletop Railroad. It contains 17 wooden pieces and the storage case unfolds to create a playing surface with built-in tracks.

Pop tubes

Pop tubes are travel toys for toddlers that are so much fun to pop, crinkle, pull, and stretch. They even make some unique sounds. 

Liquid timers

Toddlers will get mesmerized watching liquid timers! My girls love them! I even find watching the different colors so relaxing.

Toy cars

Hot Wheels are great travel toys for toddlers who like to play with cars. This set is an assortment of vehicles in different colors.

Crayola Color Wonder Fingerprint

The Crayola Color Wonder Fingerprint set is a mess-free way for toddlers to do some finger painting. It comes with 5 different ink colors that only reveal their color on the special Color Wonder paper.

Lacing Apple

Toddlers will keep busy practicing their lacing and sewing skills with the Lacing Apple toy. As they thread the caterpillar through the holes in the apple it will look like the caterpillar is eating it!

Sensory Trio Fidget Tubes

My toddler loves playing with the Sensory Trio Fidget Tubes! Each tube targets a different sense – listening to the falling beads, watching the swirling glitter, and feeling the weight of the falling sand.

Double Doodle Board

The Crayola Double Doodle Board keeps toddlers busy with two different drawing sides. One side features a sealed gel surface for mess free doodling and the other side has a reusable drawing surface for washable crayons.

Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog

My toddler was obsessed with Spike The Fine Motor Hedgehog when she was younger! Kids build fine motor skills by fitting the quills into the back of the hedgehog. The quills also fit inside the hedgehog making the toy easily portable.

mom entertaining toddler on plane with toddler travel toys

Why pack travel toys for toddlers?

Packing great travel toys for toddlers can be an absolute game-changer for the following reasons:

  • Engagement and entertainment: No one wants to hear a toddler complaining in the back seat! Toddlers have short attention spans and can get bored easily while traveling so packing some travel toys for toddlers can keep them entertained.
  • Learning opportunities: Many travel toys are educational, such as shape sorters, activity books, and games.
  • Distractions during transitions: Travel usually involves long waits, so having travel toys on-hand can distract toddlers, making the travel experience more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Comfort: Traveling can be overwhelming for toddlers so bringing along some travel toys can provide some comfort and security.
  • Encouraging independence: The majority of the travel toys I shared above encourage independent play, allowing toddlers to entertain themselves while you attend to other tasks.

How to pack travel toys for toddlers?

Packing travel toys for toddlers does require planning. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose travel-friendly toys that are versatile and likely to be used more than once.
  2. Use a separate bag for your toddler to keep the toys organized and easily accessible, such as a small backpack.
  3. Pack some of your toddler’s favorite toys to provide some comfort and familiarity.
  4. Choose a mix of interactive toys to keep your toddler engaged, as well as quiet toys for when noise would be disruptive.
  5. Ensure that toys are appropriate for your toddler’s age, such as avoiding toys with small parts.
  6. Pack diaper bag essentials such as snacks and drinks alongside the toys for easy access.
  7. Rotate toys throughout travel to help prevent boredom.
  8. Pack toys that are light and compact and be mindful of space limitations during travel.
toddler and kids at airport with bags packed with toddler travel toys

Traveling with toddlers can be smooth and enjoyable.

The journey of traveling becomes much smoother and more enjoyable when you pack some travel toys for toddlers. These toys not only keep toddlers engaged and entertained but also encourage learning and independence while traveling. By packing a selection of favorite toys in a dedicated backpack, you can transform potentially challenging moments into more enjoyable ones. So, whether you’re embarking on a road trip or airplane flight, don’t forget to pack these essential travel toys.

Happy travels!

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