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 the entire trip. If you don’t want to use electronic games on a mobile device to distract them, you can use any of the following travel toy options in our buying guide below. 

  • Best Overall
    ALEX Discover Button Art Activity Set 
    Summary
    Summary
    A colorful toy with chunky buttons that snap in place to complete pictures.
    Pros
    Pros
    Improves hand-eye coordination and motor skills. Promotes creative thinking. Includes a convenient storage tray. It offers hours of artistic fun. Fits in a handbag or backpack.
    Cons
    Cons
    It may not come with spare buttons. Potential choking hazard. There’s no cover for the tray.
  • Best Value
    Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad
    Summary
    Summary
    An extra-large sticker activity pad with removable and colorful backgrounds. 
    Pros
    Pros
    Affordable. Features five colorful backgrounds. Educational. Keeps your child entertained for long periods of time. Promotes creative play.
    Cons
    Cons
    Small stickers. The backgrounds are easy to rip off. The stickers may fall off the pages.
  • Honorable Mention
    Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Boy Plush Toy
    Summary
    Summary
    A soft toy for kids aged two and up, featuring five getting-dressed activities.
    Pros
    Pros
    Adorable and snuggly toy. Toddler-friendly size. Teaches kids how to dress up. Machine washable. Easy to carry around. Difficult to lose. Mess-free.
    Cons
    Cons
    May frustrate the child if they can’t unbutton the doll. Can't be propped up. May have a funny scent when unboxed.

Tips

  • 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. 

FAQs

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. 

Final Thoughts

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