Travel Toys For Kids Of All Ages: Our Top Picks for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Traveling with kids can be a joyous adventure, but let’s face it, it can also be a bit of a challenge. Keeping little ones entertained and happy during long trips is crucial for a smooth journey. That’s where travel toys come in! They can be a real game-changer, ensuring everyone (including you!) enjoys the ride, whether by plane, train, or automobile.

Benefits of Travel Toys

Travel toys are more than just distractions; they offer a range of benefits that can significantly improve the travel experience for both children and parents. Here’s a closer look at why travel toys are so essential:

Keeps Kids Entertained

One of the primary benefits of travel toys is their ability to keep kids entertained. Long journeys can be tedious, and children often get bored quickly. Engaging toys provide a fun distraction, helping to pass the time more enjoyably.

Whether it’s a coloring book, a puzzle, or a fidget toy, these items can capture a child’s attention for extended periods, making the journey seem shorter and more pleasant.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Traveling can be stressful for children, especially when they are out of their usual environment and routine. Travel toys can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, helping to reduce anxiety. Familiar toys or comfort items like a favorite stuffed animal can provide emotional support, making children feel safer and more secure in unfamiliar settings.

Encourages Creativity and Imagination

Many travel toys are designed to stimulate creativity and imagination. For instance, drawing pads, magnetic building blocks, and storybooks encourage kids to create, imagine, and explore new ideas. This not only keeps them busy but also fosters cognitive and creative development, turning travel time into an opportunity for growth and learning.

Promotes Learning and Development

Educational travel toys can provide valuable learning experiences on the go. Toys that incorporate letters, numbers, shapes, and colors can help reinforce what children learn in school. STEM kits, for example, introduce basic scientific concepts in a fun, hands-on way. Travel toys can also enhance fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving abilities through interactive play.

Minimizes Behavioral Issues

Boredom can lead to restlessness, irritability, and behavioral issues during travel. When children are occupied with engaging activities, they are less likely to exhibit negative behaviors such as tantrums or sibling rivalry. Travel toys help maintain a calm and peaceful environment, contributing to a smoother and more enjoyable journey for everyone.

Enhances Family Bonding

Some travel toys, such as travel-sized board games or card games, encourage family interaction and bonding.

Playing games together can create shared experiences and memories, strengthening family relationships. It also provides an opportunity for parents to engage with their children in a fun and meaningful way.

Encourages Independence

Travel toys can also foster a sense of independence in children. By giving them their own set of toys and activities to manage, kids learn to entertain themselves and develop self-reliance. This is particularly beneficial during solo playtimes on long journeys, where children can take control of their entertainment and feel more grown-up.

Provides a Break from Screens

In an age where screens are everwhere, travel toys offer a healthy alternative to electronic devices. While screens can be useful, especially during long trips, it’s beneficial for children to have non-digital activities. Travel toys encourage hands-on play and creativity, providing a balanced mix of activities that don’t rely on screens.

Facilitates Social Skills

Some travel toys, especially those that involve cooperative play, can help children develop social skills. Playing games with siblings or parents teaches kids about sharing, taking turns, and teamwork. These social interactions are crucial for emotional development and help children learn how to navigate relationships with others.

Adapts to Different Travel Modes

Travel toys are versatile and can be adapted to different modes of travel, whether by plane, train, or car. Compact and portable toys are designed to be used in confined spaces, making them suitable for various travel environments. This adaptability ensures that children remain entertained and engaged, no matter how they are traveling.

How to Choose the Best Travel Toys

Choosing the right travel toys involves considering several factors to ensure they are both effective and safe.

Age Appropriateness

One of the most critical factors is age appropriateness. Toys that are too advanced or too simple for your child can fail to engage them properly. Always check the recommended age range on the packaging.

Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount, especially with younger children. Ensure that toys are free from small parts that could pose a choking hazard and are made from non-toxic materials.


Portability is another essential consideration. The best travel toys are compact and easy to pack, making them convenient to carry without taking up too much space.

Our Top Picks For Travel Toys For Different Age Groups

Now, let’s explore our top picks for travel toys, specially curated for different age groups, ensuring that kids stay entertained, engaged, and happy during any journey.

Travel Toys for Infants

Clip-On Stroller Toys

Toys designed to attach to strollers, car seats, or carriers. They often feature bright colors, crinkly fabrics, and small mirrors to captivate infants’ attention without the risk of them dropping or losing the toy.

Soft Books

    Soft books are a fantastic travel toy for infants. They are lightweight, easy to pack, and often come with interactive features like crinkly pages and squeakers that can captivate a baby’s attention.

    Rattles and Teethers

    Rattles and teethers are great for keeping infants entertained while also soothing their gums during teething. Look for options that are easy to clean and safe for chewing.

    Baby Mirrors

      Safe, shatterproof mirrors designed for babies. These mirrors can be attached to car seats or play areas, providing endless fascination as babies begin to recognize their reflections and explore facial expressions. They are also great for Tummy Time on the go!

      Travel Toys for Toddlers

        Water Wow Books

        Reusable water-reveal activity books. These books come with a refillable water pen that reveals colors and images when used on the pages. Once dry, the colors disappear, allowing for repeated use. Perfect for mess-free, quiet play.

        Mini Doodle Boards

        Compact magnetic drawing boards that allow toddlers to draw and erase repeatedly. These boards are lightweight, easy to carry, and provide endless creative possibilities without the need for paper and pens.

        Threading Toys

        Large beads or shapes that can be threaded onto a string. These toys help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and they are easy to pack and manage during travel.

        Portable Shape Sorters

        Compact shape-sorting toys with various shapes and holes. These toys engage toddlers in problem-solving and cognitive development while being conveniently portable.

        Fidget Toys

        Small and handheld, fidget toys are are perfect to help calm and focus toddlers. These toys are easy to carry and provide a tactile distraction.

        Travel Toys for Preschoolers

        Travel Magna-Tiles

        Portable sets of magnetic building tiles that come in various shapes and colors. These tiles stick together easily, fostering creativity and spatial awareness while being easy to transport and play with on the go.

        Reusable Sticker Pads

        Sticker pads featuring reusable stickers and themed scenes. These pads allow preschoolers to create and recreate scenes, promoting imaginative play without the mess of traditional stickers.

        Mini Figurine Sets

        Small sets of favorite characters or animals that can fit in a travel bag. These figurines encourage imaginative storytelling and role-playing, keeping preschoolers entertained for hours.

        Lacing Cards

        Sturdy cards with holes for threading laces through. These cards help improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and they are easy to pack and use during travel.

        Travel Toys for School-Aged Kids

        Audiobooks and Storytelling Devices

        Devices like Toniebox or Yoto Player that play audiobooks and stories. These devices are perfect for providing hours of listening entertainment, fostering a love for reading and storytelling.

        Travel Card Games

        Travel-sized versions of popular card games like Uno or Go Fish. These games are easy to carry and can be played anywhere, providing entertainment for the whole family.

        Sketch Pads with Colored Pencils

        Compact sketch pads paired with colored pencils or markers. These sets allow school-aged kids to draw and express their creativity during travel, providing a quiet and engaging activity.

        Travel Toys for Tweens

        Puzzle Books

        Books filled with puzzles, crosswords, and brain teasers. These books challenge tweens’ minds and keep them engaged for long periods, making them ideal for travel.

        Handheld Electronic Games

        Small electronic devices with a variety of games. These games are perfect for keeping tweens entertained and can be easily stored in a backpack or carry-on.

        Miniature Construction Sets

        Travel-sized construction sets like Lego kits. These sets come in compact containers and include all the pieces needed to build various models, encouraging creativity and problem-solving.

        Closing Thoughts From Me

        Adding a variety of travel toys for different age groups can significantly enhance the travel experience for kids and parents alike. By packing a mix of engaging, educational, and entertaining toys, you can ensure that each journey is a pleasant adventure for the entire family.


        What are some eco-friendly options? Look for toys made from sustainable materials like wooden puzzles, organic cotton dolls, and reusable sticker books.

        How can I keep travel toys organized? Use small, clear storage bags or containers to keep toys organized and easily accessible during travel.

        Are there travel toys that can help with learning new languages? Yes, consider electronic language learning devices or bilingual books that introduce new languages in a fun way.

        What travel toys are best for calming anxious children? Sensory toys like stress balls, fidget spinners, and weighted lap pads can help calm anxious children during travel.

        Can older kids help choose their toys? Absolutely! Involving older kids in selecting their travel toys can ensure they are engaged and excited about the items they bring along.

        Avatar photo

        Stevie Harper

        I have 2 beautiful children and a passion for all things positive parenting. I created this website to share information and recommend products and services that have helped me as a parent.

        More to Explore