Best Baby And Toddler Travel Toys 2018
Updated August 2018.
All items have been bought by me and tested on long haul flights of 12 hours and more. This post does contain some affiliate links, which will cost absolutely nothing to you. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Looking for some ideas for the best travel toys?
You are in the right place. In this post you will find tried and tested travel toys for children on flights and car journeys. The baby travel toys are listed first, followed by toddler toys. Included are some cheap and easy to make options too. For ideas for older kids, try my post on the best travel games for kids
You may also find my post on best travel apps, useful for the flight too.
Tips for travelling with toddlers
- The following travel toys have worked well for myself and other Mums. I highly recommend wrapping 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!) They are available at the time of writing from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Work is in progress to make an age-appropriate list. 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.
- For more detailed and practical travel tips see here.)
Best Travel Toys For Babies
Tiny Love Spin Ball. This is a great sensory toy. Makes a click clack sound with its moving segments and also has a mirrored inside. The bobbles on the outside are great to develop the sense of touch, the colours are great and my little one has played with since about 4 months and at a year still loved it. For 6 months plus. For more information see here
2. 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.
3. Melissa And Doug’s Take Along Shape Sorter. A popular game for little hands and one that is easy to transport. It does have pieces which could drop, but this is useful for little ones to play with in the more secure airplane bassinet or a the destination. It 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
4. 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. 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! For more information see here.
5. Buckle Toy Whale. My 1 year old LOVED this 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 a 1 year old! 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 too! Nonetheless, it has easily occupied her for over 30 minutes. A firm favourite on all our journeys, car included. It’s one of the best toys for an airplane because it is so quiet. For more information and for other buckle toys, see here:
Soft cloth book – Good Night, Teddy
6. 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.
7. 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!
8. 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.
Best Travel Toys For Toddlers
For toddlers, a little more entertaining is required. Good ideas for travel toys for toddlers on airplanes include toys which are quiet, practical, hand on and mess free! The same applies for toddler toys for the car – unless you can handle the tunes or noise. Here are some of the top travel toys for toddlers in 2018:
1.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. Perfect to keep kids entertained when flying, in the car for a road trip, hotel room and all kinds of family travel. For more information see here.
2. A friend recently recommended this threading block which is great for developing fine motor skills – plus it’s very quiet! For more information see here.
3. 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 the destination if in a car or coach. These are better for older pre-schoolers. For more information see here.
4. My Busy Books – 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, the play mat can come out. This is all very compact and easy to pack in your hand luggage. We have a Paw Patrol, Frozen, Trolls and My Little Pony one!
5. 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.
6. Mess free colouring books and pens. ‘Magic’ pens which only show the colour on the special colouring book and not on clothes, seats etc. For more information see here.
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 set, see here.
7. Great 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.
Sweetie necklace with strawberry laces and Cheerios.
8. I also liked this activity my friend suggested: 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.
9. £ 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.
Paper dolls with stickers from Tiger. Lots of stickers to design your own paper chain.
10. 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. Even at home it’s played with frequently. For more information and alternative ‘toys in a tin’ see here.
11. Triangular crayons like these from Melissa & Doug, don’t roll away on an airplane or train tray table! Genius!
Other favourite toddler travel toys are the mini figurines; such as the Happy Land characters from the Early Learning Centre (UK) or the Fisher Price Little People.(Worldwide) 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!
Cheap Travel Toys to Help Entertain.
- 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.
- 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.
Have you any more cheap travel toy or DIY travel toy suggestions? Do let me know below!
More Travel Toys Ideas
- Fuzzy Felt or similar
- Melissa and Doug reusuable stickers.
- Interactive Apps – See my separate post on Apps.
- Magnetic boards e.g Imaginets.
- Finger Puppets
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.
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