Be prepared with travel toys for younger kids to reduce the number of times your children say “Are we there yet?”
Size matters when it comes to travel toys.
When choosing toys to pack for travel, consider how much space they will take up versus how much time your kids will spend playing with them.
I have four children of all ages, and we have traveled by airplane, car, train and boat. This list of toys has been tried and tested on our family vacations.
Here’s a list of my favorite travel toys that are worth packing for a trip with younger kids.
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.
Best Travel Toys for Younger Kids
A travel size doodle toy is fun for anyone over age 1.
The kids like to give ideas for mom and dad to draw, then laugh and erase it, and do it again.
You can use it for tic-tac-toe, Pictionary, practice letter writing, and more.
The versatility of this toy makes it perfect for traveling.
Magnetic Play Sets
Children can play with their favorite paper dolls or story scenes sitting in their seat with less mess since the magnets keep the pieces together.
It’s the perfect travel toy because the small parts don’t get lost.
Triangle Crayons and Sketch Pad
Triangle crayons are a MUST when traveling. They stay in place and don’t roll off the tray table on the plane or lap tray in the car.
One of the best uses of drawing pad paper while traveling is to draw a little “play place” for kids to use to play with their toy cars or animals.
Draw a farm or jungle scene for them to play with small animals, or draw some roads to drive cars on. This not only entertains the kids while they watch me draw, they can then play with it with their toys, and it can be left behind after.
If you have a pen in your purse, you can also do this on the back of a paper place mat in a restaurant. It’s a great way to entertain kids in a restaurant as well.
Water Wow Pads
Yes, you can paint while traveling in an airplane or car!
Kids love this no-mess painting water-reveal pads.
Simply use the pen to color, let the page dry to erase the pictures and color it again and again.
The chunky-sized water pen stores neatly in the front cover making these spiral-bound books the perfect travel activity for kids.
Reusable Sticker Pad
Keep little fingers busy while traveling with stickers. Find a reusable sticker pad that can be used over and over.
The vinyl cling sticker material means no more peeling paper stickers off airplane tray tables, car seats and windows at the end of the ride!
Watch out! These smiling animal finger puppets will provide fun and imagination during a long car or airplane ride.
And not just for your child!
Quiet Busy Book
A busy book is the perfect travel toy to keep kids entertained.
Find one that fully zips closed so pieces don’t get lost.
Electronics and Headphones for Kids
If your child is willing to be entertained by a DVD player or tablet, bring it.
You can easily get a cheap tablet under 100 dollars, or go up to $500 if the budget allows.
Let the novelty of being in the car or on the airplane work it’s magic before pulling out the electronics.
Consider buying a new movie or show because the novelty will last longer, even in a new setting. And make sure you have pre-downloaded everything in case there is no wi-fi.
You’ll also want to invest in kid-sized headphones. I recommend over-ear headphones for kids. The folding ones are very convenient for packing in a carryon.
Do NOT buy expensive headphones for young children. They won’t appreciate the sound quality, and trust me – the expensive ones break just as easily.
FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES
- Family Travel Destinations
- Family Road Trip Items to Pack
- Flying with a Baby & Toddler
- Breastfeeding Tips for Traveling with a Baby
- Tips and Gear for Taking Baby to the Beach
- Gear and Tips for a Day Hike with Kids
- What to Pack for a Day at Disney with Kids