Best Travel Toys for Toddlers: Promote Creative Play
Educate and entertain your child during long trips with these top travel toys for toddlers
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Toddlers are always bursting with energy, and they can be challenging during long road trips or when traveling in planes. Fortunately, you can channel all that energy into a toy that can keep them entertained during a trip. If you don’t want to use electronic games on a mobile device to distract them, you can use one or more of the following travel toy options in our buying guide below.
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Benefits of Travel Toys for Toddlers
- Make rides entertaining. Without something to keep them entertained, children quickly get bored during rides. Having a toy or two in your vehicle is a good way to keep your little one happy. While playing with toys, children pay less attention to the time spent in just one position, and rides become significantly more entertaining for them.
- Enhance safety. If children don't have toys to play with during rides, they mostly focus on getting parents’ attention. They talk and sing loudly and bend over their seats to catch the eyes of adult drivers. That behavior is extremely dangerous, especially because it might drag parents' eyes away from the road. Travel toys prevent that from happening by keeping kids entertained, and therefore, make rides safer.
- Improve skills. Some travel toys are not only entertaining, but educational too. Parents can choose engaging items that improve children's motor and mental skills. By solving puzzles, coloring, drawing, and doing other similar activities, children engage their little minds and learn more about the world during every ride.
Melissa & Doug
Melissa & Doug is one of the first choices among parents when it comes to children's toys. It is a company founded in 1988 and located in Wilton, Conn. The production started in the basement, where Melissa and Doug made wooden crafts and toys. The company grew quickly and is highly-favored among customers for many years. The Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad is the top budget choice on our list.
Playskool is a subsidiary company of Hasbro and is headquartered in Pawtucket, R.I. It all started in 1928 when one of the company's employees created children wooden toys to serve as teaching aids for classroom purposes. Today, Playskool produces all kinds of fun and educational children's toys. The Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Boy Plush Toy is one of those items we find perfect for traveling.
Travel Toys for Toddlers Pricing
- Under $20: At this price point, you can get simple and entertaining toys that come in a compact and lightweight design. These are ideal for parents who would like to save some space in their vehicles, and transport and store children's toys with ease.
- $20 and up: For a couple more bucks, you can get large activity sets and toys perfect for long-distance traveling. These toys keep children entertained for longer because they are more complex. They also provide more in educational terms and last for longer due to the high-quality design.
Parents know best which toys their children find entertaining and which ones they find completely dull. Children express their interests in certain activities at the youngest age. Therefore, it's best to think of what your child finds entertaining and not just go for the first item other parents recommend.
Our advice would be to pick travel toys according to your child's age and interests. If your budget allows it, you can get different toys to see which ones your child likes the most and then pick within the category further on.
We also recommend picking toys according to the traveling distance. Activity sets and more engaging items make the best option for long trips. Complex toys and games will keep children focused for longer, so they don't lose interest in the middle of the journey. For short trips, you can get away with simple toys that are easy to pack, store, and maintain.
There are a couple more things to consider when it comes to maintaining and storing toys. You might want to pick items that don't take too much space in your vehicle, especially if you have a limited storage area. However, small toys are easy to lose under seats, so consider whether you want to avoid having items scattered around your vehicle.
- Quality and Durability. It's essential to consider the overall quality of each travel toy. Children tend to toss their toys around without worrying about their durability. An item should be sturdy enough to withstand heavy use and last for a while, so you don't have to buy a new one every time you're up for a road trip.
- Maintenance. Another thing to consider is the overall maintenance each toy requires. Some items are super easy to clean, and your little one can play with them over and over again. Others are more challenging to maintain in the long run and might get stained quickly. Therefore, consider what works better for you and try to pick materials that are easier to clean.
Best Travel Toys for Toddlers Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Consider buying your toddler colorful snacks when you are on a trip. They will keep the child grounded for some time as he or she shifts from playing with the toys to admiring the snack packs.
- With toddlers, one toy is never enough. Your child may have a favorite, but small children get bored easily. Give them a few toy options, and be aware of which one they spend the most time playing with. That’s the toy you should always pack for trips.
- Ensure that all the toys you buy are larger than your fist to prevent choking. Also, avoid buying toys with small detachable parts if you have an infant who loves putting everything in their mouths.
Q: Are educational toys boring for children when traveling?
A: Educational toys are the best for keeping the little one engaged for a long time. Just make sure that the toy is suitable for your child’s age. You can test out the toy before handing it over to them, and if it’s a bit complicated for you, then chances are that it will also frustrate your child and bore them.
Q: Do airlines provide travel toys for children?
A: Carry your own toys if you are flying with your child. Some airlines may provide soft toys, but it’s never a guarantee. Also, bring an entertaining children’s book to keep kids engaged in case they get bored with the toy.
Q: Are travel toys safe for pets?
A: Some toddler toys are safe for pets. Just make sure that the toy isn’t small enough to be swallowed or inhaled. Avoid buying toys that can be chewed up into small parts or small balls that can lodge in the child’s or pet’s trachea.
Our top pick is the ALEX Discover Button Art Activity Set. It will keep your child entertained and comes with a mess-free tray that’s convenient for traveling. It also helps develop your child’s creative and hand-eye-coordination skills.
A more pocket-friendly option is the Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad.