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Best Baby And Toddler Travel Toys 2023

Looking for some ideas for the best travel toys for babies and toddlers and how to entertain a toddler on a plane? We have plenty of brilliant suggestions ranging from easy compact toys you can put together from household items,  to tried and tested baby and toddler travel toys which keep boredom at bay whilst on the go!


With some epic journeys from the UK to Australia and plenty of short and other long haul flights flying with toddlers and babies under our belt, we have needed to keep our little ones occupied with a variety of toys and travel activities.

We have covered below how to entertain a baby from a few months old, to how to entertain a 1 year old on a plane, older toddlers who are more energetic and every age in between. These toys work great for road trips too!

baby playing with a travel toy in an airline bassinet

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The baby travel toys are listed first, followed by toddler travel toys. I have included some cheap and/or easy to make options too all which will help you entertain a toddler on a plane or in a car.

The majority of the following portable travel toys for toddlers have worked well for myself and other parents on many many flights and car journeys. Our review experts are fellow parents, who like myself, have traveled extensively, with different aged toddlers on various long and short haul trips. Many of them are found on the Travel with Babies and Toddler Facebook group offering helpful advice too! This guide is regularly updated with the latest toys and activities and ideas which impress us and keep even the most fidgety toddler busy and your flight less stressful.

What to look out for when choosing a travel toy.

Depending on your budget and mode of transport, look out for these features:

  • Can be used independently: If you constantly need to be interacting or operating the toy, you are going to end up frazzled and exhausted. A toy which allows you a few minutes to enjoy your inflight meal or gives you time to fill out paperwork is best for everyone.
  • Quiet: A quiet toy will make you popular with any neighbors. This includes headsets for any tablets. The rest of the plane maybe trying to sleep and do not hear Peppa Pig on repeat!
  • Compact: Toys which can be easily stowed or folded away are better when you re tight on space, especially with cabin bags allowances always reducing! Make sure the toys doesn’t have really tiny pieces though, or these can get easily lost.
  • Lightweight: Inevitably, it’s the parents who end up carrying not only their child but their toys too! For your back’s sack, pack lightweight. Multi-use toys are brilliant like stacking cups as they can be used as toy on the plane and on arrival for bath-time fun too.
  • Mess free: Please leave the Playdoh at home! Crew or cleaners need to spend longer getting it out of small crevices or removing ingrained bits from the carpet – which means delays to boarding for next flights. It’s no fun removing from the car either.
  • Does not rely on batteries or charging. There is nothing worse than running out of power or finding the charging portal is broken. Have toys packed which don’t rely on batteries or cables.
  • Multi use toys: Toys which have multi uses can save space and luggage weight. eg Snacks like the Cheerio hops and laces idea below, can be a fine motor skill activity as well as a snack. Or road play tape that can be used anywhere, from a plane tray table to a hotel room carpet.
baby and toddler playing with a puzzle toy on the plane


When babies start to become curious about their surrounding; grabbing things and interacting, then having a couple of favorite toys to help relieve any boredom or to use as a distraction really help – especially if you are flying long haul. 

Some airlines do provide a soft toy for younger babies and other inflight entertainment, but it’s best not to expect it, as it is never guaranteed.

I do go into a lot of practical and detailed information and provide flying with a baby tips which cover everything you need to know from booking to arrival; including sleeping on a plane tips, requesting baby meals, breast feeding, baby bassinets, the best seats, complimentary airport strollers and so much more. I would definitely recommend a read after you have looked through this post.

If you are concerned about other possible issues such as sleep on the plane or your kids playing up on the flight you may find the highlighted links useful too!

baby and toddler travel toys, flying with a baby, link toy being used on an airplane bassinet
A link toy is perfect as a travel toy and fits onto airline bassinets



How do I keep my baby entertained on a plane? This section is the one for you! The following travel toys have worked well for myself and other Mums.

Fidget Sucker Spinner toy

These are so portable to take with you and stick on a plane window, train window, a hotel fridge and a variety of places. Recommended for 18 months and up.

Fat Brain Toys Original Dimpl Brand Baby Toy

features 5 vibrant silicone bubbles built into a plastic frame. Simple yet brilliant; push and pop them, Poke and grab them; a perfect, portable sensory delight. `Suitable for 10 months +

Stacking cups.

Stacking Cups. Little ones love putting things in them and taking them out again. I particularly liked this bath set from Munchkin. which is neatly stacked for hand luggage and ideal for in and out of water. We found these cups were great to play with in a bath or a pool at the destination too.

The cups are in bright colours so the have an educational element to them too as little one can learn the colours and develop their fine motor skills when stacking them. They also have the option of being stuck together to form a caterpillar and for pouring water with different perforations. These were definitely one of our go to’s for travelling. For more information see here.

Montessori  Mobi Zippee

The Zippee is a fairly quiet multi-sensory silicone activity toy for babies 18 months plus. Pull the cords from side to side to hear and feel the various sounds and vibrations the cords make. With the sound of an aircraft white noise this wont disturb other passengers. it’s BPA free, Phthalate Free, Food Grade Silicone. Easy to clean (warm water or top rack of dishwasher). Bonus is it makes a great fidget toy for older siblings too!

Melissa And Doug’s Take Along Shape Sorter

Melissa And Doug’s Take Along Shape Sorter. A popular game for little hands and one that is easy to transport whilst traveling. It does have pieces which could drop, but this is useful for little ones to play with in the more secure airplane bassinet or at your destination.

melissa and doug shape sorter travel toy

Includes a padded case with 2 activity sides and a take-along handle, plus 9 shaped, textured blocks in various colours. For more information see here

Sassy Ring-O-Links Teethers.A firm favourite since she was a tiny baby and she still loved them as a small toddler.  The bright colours engage and provide visual stimulation, whereas the links have different textures on which appeals to babies sense of touch.

Sassy Ring O Links Teethers make a great travel toy for babies

All linked together they can be used as a rattle, or separately as a teether. Another very versatile toy. They work brilliantly on airline bassinets and are ideal for travel car seats too. For more information see here.

link toy being used on an airline bassinet, best travel toys

Buckle Toy

My 1 year old LOVED this buckle toy whale  and it kept her so busy. So many people have sung its praises to me after purchasing it. I firmly believe it’s one of the best travel toys for 1 year olds and often buy it as a travel gift for friends with little ones.

The Buckle Toy Whale has several buckles to do up and a zip mouth. The only issue is once they master the buckle, you may get asked a few times to unbuckle it, until they discover that skill.

Nonetheless, it has easily occupied her for over 30 minutes – a minor miracle! Now it’s a firm favourite on all our journeys, car included.  It’s one of the best toddler toys for airplane use, because it is so quiet. For more information and for other buckle toys, see here:

Travel toys, Buckle Toy Whale- ideal for keeping toddlers and older babies busy on a flight or long car journey.

Good Night, Teddy

Soft cloth book. One of my favourites is Good Night, Teddy. Available from Amazon. My 7-month-old loved watching me taking the teddy out and putting him in a different place on each page.  A great interactive and educational book. For more information see here.

Find The ..’ book series

Some favourite books include the ‘Find The .. series  Lots of things to spot on each page and a complete classic. Both have loved this book so much that I had to buy two copies due to over use!

Find the Duck - great book for babies and toddler when travelling.
Find the Duck

and also the Julia Donaldson ‘Lift the Flap’ series. Fox’s Socks, Hide and Seek Pig etc.  Again lots of things to spot and fun lifting the flaps to see who is hiding.

The pictures are by Axl Schelffler and are so engaging. It’s easy to see why these books are so popular with young children. Both of mine loved them from an early age and now the older one reads it to my youngest. Win win! For more information on this and others in the series, see here.


I’ve frequently been asked, ‘How to keep a 1 year old busy on a plane?’ and “What toddler airplane activities do you recommend?” Unlike babies,  toddlers, need a little more entertaining! Good ideas for travel toys for toddlers on airplanes include toys which are quiet, practical, hands on and mess free!

The same applies for toddler toys for the car – unless you can handle the tunes or noise!


Travelling with a toddler on a plane or with an older baby who may need some entertaining on the go? Below, you will find my tried and tested travel toys for children on flights and car journeys.

When your toddler doesn’t want to sleep and needs to be occupied, toys help and having some activities up your sleeve help keep the peace! The following travel toys have worked well for myself and other Mums. I highly recommend wrapping some of the smaller items in paper and tape as this provides extra entertainment for your little one and their inquisitive fingers. (Obviously not practical to wrap loads if you have several tots – but a couple of small surprises for all really does help in moments of need!)

Here are some of the top travel toys for toddlers in 2021 with plenty of specific plane activities for toddlers too:

Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix are suitable for older toddlers from age 3, although it will likely be you making all the different shapes! Made out of wax and yarn, there is no glue needed, so no mess.

There are some great science ones with planets and volcanoes etc for older kids too. Wikki Stix sets are perfect travel toys for toddlers on plane, in the car for a road trip, hotel room and all kinds of family travel. For more information see here.

Wikki Stix travel game for kids
Wikki Stix are mess free and a great creative travel toy

Loobani Wooden Cheese Activity Toy

A friend recently recommended this wooden threading block which is great for developing toddler and baby fine motor skills – plus it’s a very quiet travel toy. For more information see here.

Wooden cheese fine motor skill travel toy

Nutty Toy Pop Tubes

Nutty toys Pop Tubes Sensory Toys can connect together to form different shapes and words. They are textured and a great sensory fidget toy. The tubes stretch and help improve fine motor skills, motor planning & hand strength. Recommended for kids age 3+

Gel window stickers or gel clings

Gel Window stickers or gel clings are reusable, mess free and very handy if you have a window seat on a plane, or even for road trips in a car or coach. These are better for older pre-schoolersFor more information see here. If you cannot find any window stickers or don’t have a window seat, then stickers, bandaids, post-it notes are another option for cheap toddler travel games.

gel window stickers - travel toys
Gel clings for the plane or car!

Montessori Quiet Book for Toddlers

The Quiet Book by deMoca is a set of reinforced fabric pages tied into 9 activities for your toddler,
with all pieces tethered to the busy book to avoid losing pieces. Perfect for plane journeys and road trips!

 My Busy Books

My Busy Books are great travel activities for kids. These are very good value activity boxes with a story,  12 figurines and also contain a folded up play mat for role play. Whilst the play mat is too big for a plane or public transport, the figurines are still fun to play with. Once at a destination or a flight delay, the play mat can come out.

This is all very compact and easy to pack in your hand luggage making them ideal travel toys for toddlers. We have a Paw Patrol, Frozen, Trolls and My Little Pony one!


Duplo Number Train

My one-year-old and four-year love Duplo. The number train is easy to pack and fun too. (We just discarded the box for easier packing). We actually bought this on one of our trips away and then kept bringing it along as it was such a success. For more information and prices see here.

Pieces can obviously drop on the floor of a car or airplane, so we opted to just use a couple of pieces from this set on the plane and saved the rest for playing with at the destination. If you are staying in a hotel room, villa, or Air BNB which doesn’t have any toys, bringing a few toys for moments of boredom or quiet time can prove invaluable.

Duple number train - best travel toys

Crayola Color Wonder

These similar ones by Melissa & Doug Water WOW also look fun too and educational! Just make sure you empty the pen from water before security or add it to your clear plastic bag. For more information about the Water Wow travel toys for kids, see here.


Tomy aquadoodle water mini mats.

These aquadoodle sets are some of the best toddler toys for airplane entertainment. They have re-usable colouring in mats, which just use a water pen. Once they have dried out, you can reuse them again.

This is a great idea if you are packing travel toys for 18 months and older. We used this Peppa Pig ones a fair few times! For more information see here.

Travel toys, best toddler toys Tomy mini water aqua doodle mats
Tomy Water mats make great airplane toys

Sweetie necklace with strawberry laces and Cheerios.

Travel toys, toddler toys

I also liked this activity my friend suggested to add to my selection of toddler travel toys: some Cheerios or any cereal with a ring shape and a sweetie lace. Great for fine motor skills and the kids like making and eating them too. Plus it takes a bit of time.

Anything from a $ or £ store

£ or $ store. We also really liked these little cut out people which you can dress and the cardboard tube/paper cup characters. There are plenty of art and crafty bits in there, meaning you can raid the aircraft loo’s for more cups to use.

toddler toys

Paper dolls with stickers from Tiger. Lots of stickers to design your own paper chain which also make great travel toys for toddlers in the car as you have a little more space.

toddler toys

Farm in a Tin

Farm in a Tin has been SO popular with my daughter from the age of two. It does have small parts (especially the 3 ducks)  but it’s such a compact toy, which has been handy to have in my bag and whip out if there has been a flight delay.

It’s also been great for her to play with whilst away on holiday and stuck inside a hotel room or winding down with some jet lag.  Even at home it’s played with frequently, making our list as one of the best toddler travel toys for 2 year olds.  For more information and alternative ‘toys in a tin’ see here.


Triangular crayons

Triangular crayons like these from Melissa & Doug,  don’t roll away on an airplane or train tray table! Genius and one of the best toys for toddlers on planes!

triangular crayons travel toy
Triangular crayons are genius!

Imaginetics Magnet Board

The Imaginetics magnetic board opens up and creates a scene with characters and accessories that stick to the board!

The Imaginetics magnetic board opens up and creates a scene with characters and accessories that stick to the board! The photo above construction sites, but there are also dinosaurs, pirates, ballet, mermaids and lots of other choices for boys and girls. Travel toys for toddlers #familytravel

The photo above shows construction sites, but there are also dinosaurs, pirates, ballet, mermaids and lots of other choices for boys and girls.

Another idea for younger children, is a travel busy board – where everything is in one place but there are plenty of activities for little hands. This Montessori Busy Board is a great sensory toy with lots of zips, buttons and games to play which are all part of a bag. The bag had enough spaces for favorite books, coloring crayons, paper, snacks and even a water bottle too!

Other favourite toddler travel toys

Mini figurines;  such as the Happy Land characters from the Early Learning Centre (UK) or the  Fisher Price Little People.(Worldwide) or small toy animals and dinosaurs.

These have been played with SO much on all modes of transport and are a firm staple for us.  These are brilliant for imaginative play – arm rests become mountains, tray tables become roads and seat belts traps!


  • Post it notes – kids love peeling them off and sticking them. Same for band aids/plasters.
  • You can also make puppets out of the on-board sick bags or paper cups if you are feeling creative! It’s amazing what you will do on a 15 hour flight!
  • The humble balloon! We always put a few in our luggage to inflate in the hotel room for a game of catch.
  • Coloured rice in a tic-tac or similar plastic container for a small rattle
  • As pictured above the sweetie necklace with strawberry laces and Cheerios.
toddler travel toy made out of a spice jar and pipe cleaner
  • An old spice jar and pipe cleaners can make a great fine motor skill activity as some quiet airplane toys for toddlers.
toddler travel toy wuth pom poms and a plastic bottle
  • Small pom poms and a plastic tub with a lid with holes in – babies and toddler love ‘posting’ things so posting the pom poms can while away some time.
baby travel toy which is sensory. Use a baby wipes lid
  • Use some old baby wipes lids to make a sensory toy or lift the flap toy like above make great baby travel toys.
  • You can buy role play/painter tape or road play tape here from Amazon. It is ideal as it doesn’t ruin furniture and can be used anywhere, making cars and road tape perfect toys for toddlers on airplanes.

Have you any more cheap travel toy or DIY travel toy suggestions? Do let me know below!

MORE Airplane Travel Toys Ideas & Travel Games for Toddlers

  • Stickers
  • Interactive Apps – See my separate post on Apps.
  • Magnetic boards games
  • Finger Puppets


I’m always on the look out for travel themed gifts for my kids and my husband -as he travels quite a bit for work too. I’ve recently complied a list of useful and fun travel presents for babies, toddlers, kids and mums and dad’s. Have a look here for ideas for birthday or Christmas presents!

Have I missed any top travel toys that have worked for you? What your favourite toys for travel? Please do comment below so I can add them.

Don’t forget:

  • Have you remembered any items you need to help your baby or toddler sleep on the plane?
  • The above are available at the time of writing from and  Please let me know in the comments if a toy was invaluable for your flight, train or car journey and the age of your baby or toddler.

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twelve + 14 =

Monday 19th of September 2022

What is the "string" in your sweetie necklace? I can't find anything on google.

Carrie Bradley

Monday 19th of September 2022

Hi, it's a liquorice strawberry 'lace' sweet/candy

Morocco tourism

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

very useful site with good guidelines !! worthy job


Tuesday 5th of November 2019

Wow, that's a wonderful list. The best toys for 1 year olds are something that will keep them entertained for hours and also develop their essential skills at the same time.

3 Otters

Tuesday 30th of July 2019

Thank you for all the tips. We are planning travel by road and hopefully these toys will keep the kids occupied. ?

Qhouse kids

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019

Thanks for sharing such an informative post..we are taking a 18hr long plane journey and looking to find some new toys i can get to bring out on the plane to hopefully keep my daughter as entertained as possible.. you have saved so much of my time thank you.,

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