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Best Baby And Toddler Travel Toys 2024: Our Must Have Tried and Tested Picks for Keeping Little Ones Entertained on the Go

Looking for some ideas for the best travel toys for babies and toddlers that encourage creativity and how to entertain a toddler on a plane? Check out these toys we have used over and over for both of our girls on multiple long haul flights and at our destination too!

These include puzzles that foster exploration and adventure, keeping them engaged during the journey. Hi, I‘m Carrie and ex flight attendant and parent of two, who have flown since they were 11 weeks old long and short haul, and all those toddler flights and beyond! We’ve experienced plenty of flights with babies, toddlers, younger children even 24 hours flights to Australia!

We have plenty of brilliant suggestions ranging from easy compact toys like puzzles that feed their imagination, toys you can put together from cheap household items, to tried and tested baby and toddler travel toys to buy – which keep boredom at bay whilst on the go!

Best of all, these travel toys and activities fuel their creativity and pursuit of adventure, and have all been carefully researched before using them on our flights. They are also great for your destination and at home too.

Just some of the many travel toys we have used.
Just some of the many travel toys we have used. See even more below!

BEST BABY AND TODDLER TRAVEL TOYS 2024

Why trust our reviews? 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 puzzles, toys and travel activities that harness their imagination and learning. We have personally used many of these items and for the ones we haven’t other readers or friends have recommended.

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 travel toys and activities work great for road trips too!

Some of these suggestions are sensory travel toys that instigate exploration, whereas others are more educational, screen free, or creative play without the mess – like imaginative puzzles. Best of all they are quiet!

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 of 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.

baby and toddler travel toys, flying with a baby
Links are so useful on a bassinet.

Our review experts are fellow parents, who like myself, have traveled extensively and used many of these travel toys ourselves, with different aged toddlers on various long and short haul trips. Many of our well travelled parents can be 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.

Our girls with various toys when traveling!

Brilliant Travel Activities and Toys For Babies and Toddlers 2024

Do let us know what worked well for you!

TRIED AND TESTED TRAVEL GAMES, TOYS and ACTIVITIES FOR BABIES 2023

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 parents when flying with a baby and when out and about. From technological gadgets to basic yet fun toys, we have managed to find a balance.

These baby travel toys have been tried and tested on long and short haul flights. Attention spans usually run low, but these, small, lightweight and durable toys can help keep little ones entertained. Music and kid- friendly technology. Read on to see the activities which have worked for our family on many long haul and short haul flights.

BEST TRAVEL GAMES, TOYS and ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS 2023

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.

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.

TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH TODDLERS

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 2023 with plenty of specific plane activities for toddlers too.

Sweetie necklace with strawberry laces and Cheerios.

Travel toys, toddler toys

I also liked this screen-free 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 for small hands, eating in to your flight time.

Anything from a $ or £ store

toddler toys

The £ or $ store is your friend when it comes to cheap entertainment on flights! Every few weeks brings new items. We 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/restrooms for more cups to use.

Paper dolls with stickers from Flying Tiger are a lot of fun that older toddlers can manage independently. Stickers and sticker books have always been a hit with my girls; and with these there are lots of stickers to design your own paper chain of paper dolls. Stickers like these also make great travel toys for toddlers in the car as you have a little more space.

toddler toys
stickers on a plane travel toy

CHEAP TRAVEL TOYS IDEAS FOR TODDLERS AND BABIES

  • Post it notes – kids LOVE peeling them off and sticking them anywhere. Same for band aids/plasters or sticker books. If they do get stuck on to the plane tray table or elsewhere like my toddler enjoys doing, they are easy to remove.
  • 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! Yes, I may have done this once or twice!
We always pack a balloon for play in the hotel room
We always pack a balloon for play in the hotel room.
  • 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 is great for a cheap travel toy option.
  • As pictured above the sweetie necklace with strawberry laces and Cheerios has always been a hit with my two girls.
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 – many babies and toddler love ‘posting’ things, including ours, so posting the pom poms can while away some time on a long flight. We used a baby sock and a hair tie around the bottom of the bottle to make it easy to empty them out and start the game again.
baby travel toy which is sensory. Use a baby wipes lid
  • For a train journey and on a flight, I made these cheap sensory baby travel toys in case boredom struck. Just use some old baby wipes lids and some fabric, foil, feathers or anything tactile to make a sensory toy or lift the flap toy like above.
  • 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

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.

TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH BABIES

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!

BEST TRAVEL GIFT IDEAS FOR BABIES AND TODDLERS

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 Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.  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.

If you have enjoyed this post and found it useful, here are some ways to get further useful helps and tips!

1. Join our friendly TRAVEL WITH BABIES and TODDLERS Facebook Group herewhich includes lots of ideas & tips for travel with little one, no matter where you live in the world!

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 Thank you for your support as always. 

20 − two =

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

Kavitha

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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