39 Best favourite toddler travel toys for road trip

Mum and young children in the back of a car

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In this article, I’ve curated a list of the 39 best travel toys for your toddler. 

This amazing collection of toys will ensure to make your family road trip or plane ride not only manageable but also a joyous and memorable experience for both parents and their little adventurers.

Embarking on long car trips with a toddler can be both thrilling and challenging for parents. 

“Are we there yet?”

“How much longer?”

“James is breathing my air and looking out my window!”

Hands up if you have had at least one of those statements bellowed to you from the back seat.

The open road offers the promise of adventure and new discoveries, but keeping a little one entertained throughout the journey can be a feat in itself. 

With some preparation, be empowered with an arsenal of great travel toys to make the long journey ahead enjoyable for everyone involved. That is all without screen time too. 

best toddler travel toys

39 Best favourite toddler travel toys for road trip

Fortunately, the market is brimming with a plethora of toys designed to captivate and engage toddlers during those long hours on the road. 

We’ve got you covered with the perfect distractions to turn your road trip into a delightful journey filled with laughter, curiosity, and exploration. 

Let’s dive into the world of toddler-friendly travel toys that will transform your family road trips into unforgettable adventures!

Best Toddler Travel Toys

Here are our top picks for entertaining on long trips:

  1. Magnetic Drawing Board
  2. Bookywoo Busy Books
  3. Sticker Books
  4. Mud Puppy Magnetic Puzzles
  5. Melissa & Dough Reusable Sticker Pad
  6. Water Wow Books
  7. Fidget Tubes
  8. Farm Animals
  9. LCD Writing Tablet
  10. Janod Magnetibook
  11. Buckle Toy
  12. Thinkfun -Amaze Game
  13. Felt Creations Story Board
  14. Magnetic Art Case Animal World
  15. Tender Leaf Designer Magblocks
  16. Magnetic Fishing Game
  17. Popsicle Sticks
  18. Hey Doodle Mats
  19. Fat Brain Whirly Squigz
  20. Torch and Projector
  21. Chameleon Reader
  22. Fat Brain Crankity
  23. Magna Carry
  24. Magic Painting World
  25. Magnetic Bead Maze
  26. Quiet Book
  27. Rubber Stamp Activity Book
  28. Pom Pom Posting
  29. Lilliputiens Play Set
  30. Finger Puppets
  31. Fat Brain Squigz
  32. Busy Cube Fidget Toy
  33. Threading Weaving Worm
  34. Busy Board
  35. Erasable Doodle Book
  36. Magnetic Drawing Board
  37. MagPad Dots
  38. Djeco Geoform Magnetic Puzzle
  39. Coloured Dot Sticker Set

Best Toddler Travel Toys

1. Magnetic Drawing Board

Encourage your budding Picasso to craft one masterpiece after another with a Magnetic Drawing Board Megasketcher! This magnetic drawing board includes a pointed-tip pen, a manual lever erase tool, and four uniquely shaped stamping tools, providing limitless possibilities for creativity.

We have had one of these in the family for years and three children later, it is still going strong. The stamps fit securely into the frame and is simple to use. My children have used the board for independent play and also as a board for playing teachers and the older children have pretended it is an iPad in their play. 

Tomy Megasketcher

2. Bookywoo Busy Books

We love Bookywoo Busy Books

We got our first Bookywoo in 2020 and it has been a game changer for appointments, hospital stays, traveling and play at home too. 

They are such good quality and vibrant colours are so inviting. Each page offers different tactile experiences and learning opportunities through play.

Each activity supports fine motor skill development, hand eye coordination, colour recognition, bilateral coordination and so much more. 

The books come with a handy carry bag making them easy to have packed and ready on those long road journeys. Our Bookywoo have to be one of our our best toddler travel toys and the one that is reached for time and time again.

Bookywoo busy book

3. Sticker Books

With over 500 reusable stickers, this sticker activity book, filled with beautiful illustrations, brings the natural world to life in a jam-packed and creative way.

Derived from The Big Book of Beasts, this endlessly entertaining activity book transforms the world of beasts into an interactive experience. Starting with fascinating facts, the activities encourage children to draw, color, and decorate beasts within their natural habitats, fostering engagement with the information as they play.

Kids and stickers really do go hand in hand with each other. This sticker book can inspire all sorts of story telling, imaginative play and open conversations while on the road.

The big sticker book of beasts

4. Mud Puppy Magnetic Puzzles

These magnetic puzzles come in a box of two and so many different sets to choose from! My children would choose the dinosaur, unicorn an dog designs, hands down! 

The portfolio case is magnetic too – perfect for securing the small parts while on the road. Then they can also be used on the fridge as a fun way to have quiet time activity after a busy day of sight seeing. 

Mud Puppy Magnetic Puzzles

5. Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad

Populate five reusable scenes with over 245 cling-style stickers and embark on your underwater adventures with a Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad

Spark creativity and set the stage with five glossy, full-colour backgrounds (deep sea, shipwreck, kelp bed, coral reef, arctic) that offer ample space for imaginative play. 

These backgrounds pull out cleanly, ensuring easy sharing of this exciting set. 

The kid-friendly stickers, organized by scene and suitable for ages three and older, adhere effortlessly, lift up cleanly, and can be reused multiple times, ensuring the continuous unfolding of ocean adventures.

Older children can take turns adding stickers to the scene, adding another element to a story being told as they play. 

These are great to use as props for storytelling. While you are driving, you can connect with your child asking them questions to deepen the tale.

Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad

6. Water Wow Books

Water Wow Activity books are so handy to have. Not only for travelling with toddlers but any appointment, shopping trip or school assembly. The magical pages are activated in the refillable water pen. Crisp white pages come to life with colour when the water is drawn across the page. Better yet, when the page dries, the colours fade and are ready for play again another day!

There are so many different themes to choose from. Find a water wow theme that suits your child’s current interests to engage them even more in exploring their water wow book. 

We have been using these for years. The chunky water markers are perfectly sized for developing hands and allow your toddler to develop transferrable skills such as fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and crossing the midline; all vital skills needed for handwriting, tying shoes and fastening buttons later in life.

Water wow toddler travel toys

7. Fidget Tubes

These fidget tubes are the perfect sensory toys to have close by for some quiet time. Toddlers love to watch the sparkly glitter move through the forms of the different designs. 

Turn them into games by seeing which tube settles first. 

Count together with your toddler as the colour settles. 

Which do they like the most and why?

What happens when they are shaken or tipped upside down? 

My Miss 9 used to fall asleep watching fidget tubes when she was two and three. She would lay down watching the liquids flow. Fidget toys are so useful when little hands just need to touch and explore!

Fidget tubes

8. Farm Animals

Farm animal figurines have got to be one of the best investments I have made. They are the best toddler toys, so versatile and offer so many opportunities for development. 

Making animal sounds uses different tongue and lip placements which is transferable to speech development. 

Moving and manipulating the animals supports fine motor development in small hands and coordination development, not to mention positional language and vocabulary. 

The tiny animals can be used for social stories, social skills, problem-solving skills and so much more on a long flight..

Team them up with a pat of playdough in a little container to save them sliding around the car and there can be loads of play to be had while in the car. 

Pop a “What the ladybird heard” audio book on and see where it leads your toddlers play.

This little collection of farm animals can be kept in the handy tube for travel and has all young kids needs for hours of play for the long haul and return journey.

Farm toob

9. LCD Writing Tablet

This great toy offers free drawing without the pencils! This LCD writing tablet will allow your toddler to draw to their hearts content. Using the secured stylus they can draw, keep tally on the animals they see, and experiment with pressure. The firmer the pressure against the front, the thicker the line. Younger children can explore cause and effect concepts and be amazed by what they can create.

This LCD tablet is such a versatile open ended resource!

LCD Drawing tablet best toddler travel toys

10. Janod Magnetibook

Each Magnéti’Book includes dozens of illustrated magnets, enabling your child to either recreate designs from templates or craft their own scenes and characters from their imagination.

Whether playing alone, with a partner, or alongside friends and family, the abundance of magnets offers endless possibilities for creativity. 

As your toddler is making their character, you can ask them questions to develop a personality and build a story. Connection time as a perfect solution to a otherwise long journey.

Magnetti book

11. Buckle Pillow Toy

Our buckle pillow toy is similar to our taggie from when the kids were babies but levelled up! 

Once your toddler has mastered fastening and undoing the buckle they will love this soft toy. 

Match the colours or make combinations giving those young hands a great work out. If they are up for the challenge, try timing them or count to see how long it takes for them to undo two buckles, then three and then four. 

Given that the buckle toy is plush, it can be easy squished in amongst your luggage easily. Your buckle pillow can be secured through a strap on your carry on using the buckles so that it not get lost while still being accessible too.

Buckle Pillow Toy

12. Thinkfun -Amaze Game

We were lucky enough to find our Thinkfun Amaze at our local op shop. All three kids love it and it has been in a staple in the car for months. 

There are different challenges to be had as marked on the back and calibrating is easy enough for the children to do themselves. 

While the older children play with it intentionally, my 3 year old loves using it as his ‘iPad’ and loves moving the pen through the maze.

I love how compact the board is and the handy string keeps the wand secure and safe while on the road. 

While it looks simple enough, there is loads of cognitive development, logical thinking, problem solving and coordination practise happening while playing. Amaze games are great road trip toys.

Thinkfun Amaze

13. Felt Creations Story Board

Open ended felt boards are so handy to have in the car. They are light weight and compact making them great for travelling on planes too. 

These come with the storyboard backboard along with characters and themed buildings and objects to help guide a story telling experience for your toddler. 

Why not start with just a few characters and then add the rest for the return trip?

There are so many themes available. Find one that aligns with your toddlers current interests to help keep them engaged in play.

Felt Creations Story Board

14. Magnetic Art Case

MierEdu magnetic art cases are all ready for play on the go. The little box is perfect for keeping the pieces together and the pop up top is magnetic. It really is all complete and ready to play. 

There are lots of themes to choose from from animals, vehicles, fairies to dinosaurs, dress ups and geometric shapes. 

My oldest loves setting up the scenes while my middle one loves chatting as she plays, creating stories as she goes. 

MAgnetic Art Case

15. Tender Leaf Designer Magblocks 

Solid wood magnetic blocks, featuring warm and cool colours, comprise 8 pieces with concealed multi-directional magnets. Tender Leaf designer magblocks come with a printed drawstring bag perfect to have slipped into a travel bag for play while away. 

These opened ended blocks are perfect for play while traveling. The strong magnets support build while in moving vehicles which is perfect for keeping your toddler engaged in construction play while on the road.

Tender leaf magblocks

16. Magnetic Fishing Game

Take a break from window watching and engage in a colourful adventure game of magnetic fishing.

This magnetic fishing game, which includes 2 fishing rods and 12 different fish to catch, assists in developing your child’s observation and coordination skills. 

The box doubles as a pond to keep all the fish in place while on the road. 

Magnetic Fishing Game

17. Popsicle Sticks

Okay so not a toy but pop sticks or popsicle sticks from dollar tree or craft shop are worthy of a mention because they are so versatile and the best thing for open ended play! Post them into a container or team them up with a pat of play dough on a flat surface travel tray for some open ended construction sensory play on the road or in the air.

18. Hey Doodle Mats

Hey Doodle Mats are perfect for colouring, wiping down and then colouring some more!

Learn the names of our furry, feathered, and slimy friends, count dinosaurs, colouring breakfast foods, dancing with fairies while practicing writing the alphabets, learning numbers, exploring shapes and so much more. There is a Hey Doodle for everyone.

Then you can do it all again by simply washing off the colour. Carry a damp cloth in a zip lock bag or use a baby wipe.

Hey doodle mat

19. Fat Brain Whirly Squigz

Launch your little explorer into a delightful sensory adventure with Whirly Squigz

Each Whirly Squigz is crafted from 100% high-quality silicone, offering vibrant colors, a pleasant touch, and a teething-safe design perfect for older babies and toddlers.

Hold them, explore their unique contours, give them a good chew to soothe one year olds sore gums…

Then, attach them to any smooth, flat, non-porous surface—such as a lunchbox lid, tray or window—spin them, and… WHOOSH! – They go around and around, faster than the eye can see!

Whirly Squigz

20. Torch and Projector

Transform your walls and ceilings into a wildlife spectacle featuring animals, dinosaurs, pirates and so many more themes with a Projector Torch. It can be a delightful bedtime companion to add a touch of fun to sleep, especially when sleeping in an unfamiliar place.

The torch comes with three slide discs, encompassing 24 vibrant photographs. 

Easily swap and change slides by pulling back the plastic flap, inserting the chosen disc, and rotating it to view the stunning color images, projecting up to one meter wide. 

Adjust the focus effortlessly by turning the lens head.

They are good toys to team up with eye spy, letter hunts and shape hunts while on the road or waiting at the airport.

Projector Torch

21. Chameleon Reader

The Chameleon Reader empowers children to independently “read” with its audio reading system. It turns every book into an audio book.

When Chameleon Reader touches the chameleon stickers in your books, it activates the audio, making it compatible with all your books.

The Chameleon Reader combines sound, pictures, and text instantly, fostering increased engagement for children.

Enjoy screen-free play with this fantastic tool. You can be driving and your child can listen to a story in your voice (or Grandma’s) along the way.

Chameleon Reader

22. Fat Brain Crankity

Arrange the colourful gears to match challenge cards with this folding, clicking puzzle. Although for toddlers its all about arranging the gears on the board and loving the way they interact.

Crankity encourages the development of visual-spatial skills, critical thinking, and logic, rewarded with the satisfying click as the gears fall perfectly into place – It also doubles as a great fidget toy!

Fat Brain Crankity

23. Magna Carry

Your little one can create a new scene every time they play with their Magna Carry

After finishing, the pack-up becomes super fun with the puzzle on the case where they match the magnet pieces!

Magna Carry is highly portable, easy to carry, and a great way to play for play at cafes and during travel.

We got our first Magna Carry when Miss 9 was a 2 year old. She loved setting up all the little designs and I loved how all the pieces stay securely on the magnetic carry case. 

Magna Carry

24. Magic Painting World

Reveal illustrations over and over again as you become a magical artist with each brush stroke using Magic Painting Worlds.

Prepare to go by simply twisting out the blue canister on the magical water brush, filling it with water, and then twisting it back in. Gently paint across the 4 illustrations included to unveil a whole new world of fun that can be explored repeatedly. 

When your scene dries, it returns to white, concealing your magic world so you can keep playing over and over again.

Moreover, each picture features things for you to find and count as you paint, adding even more fun to the activity. It’s a perfect creative pursuit for home, cafe-play, and traveling.

I personally like the size of these compare to water wow. The larger size encourages wider arm movements which is great for gross motor while confined to travel seats.

Magic Painting World

25. Magnetic Bead Maze

There is so much learning to be had with this adorable Magnetic Maze Puzzle. Your toddler uses to magnetic wand, which is secured to the board by a neat string, to manipulate the coloured beads around the board. It is perfect for developing fine motor skills, colour recognition, visual tracking and so much more. The bright colours on the board are so inviting too. 

I love how the small pieces are all secured within the frame. No little balls rolling around the car with this maze board.

Magnetic bead maze

26. Quiet Book

Quiet books inspire so much play and are a perfect road trip toy. 

These interactive fabric books bring all the fun and excitement of travel to life for the curious little ones in your life.

They are designed to help little ones enhance their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and sensory processing through interactive play. 

The activities involve practicing skills such as buckling, zipping, popping, lacing, velcro’ing, and buttoning. 

With 10 interactive pages, the book encourages hands-on learning in areas such as colour recognition, numeracy, problem-solving, self-care, picture and word recognition, and much more.

Quiet Book

27. Rubber Stamp Activity Book

All in one activity books are so useful when out and about. 

Create numerous garden-related pictures in this delightful rubber stamp activity book using the six colourful inkpads and rubber stamp shapes. 

Generate imaginative ideas, from filling a pond with fish and adding seedlings to a potting shed to printing moles peeping out from molehills—this book is brimming with creative possibilities.

If gardens are not inspiring for your toddler, there are other themes available too! Remember to play by your child’s interests to ensure they invest in the play. 

Rubber stamp activities garden

28. Pom Pom Posting

Not really a toy but certainly worthy of a mention. Save two little containers, pop a hole in the lid of one and pom poms in the other. Your toddler can poke the pom poms into the hole in the lid. If you think the pom poms are a risky material, save for when supervised for easy play away from home. 

All three of my children have done this activity and it never ceases to amaze me how such a simple activity can captivate them for a long time.

29. Lilliputiens Play Set

This Alice Fox Family Family Lilliputian’s Play Set is beautifully soft and snuggly. The plush characters each have their own little pocket to slip into for travelling. The scroll doubles as a play mat with outdoors scene on one side and snuggly beds on the other. 

The playlet is perfect for imaginative role play. Your toddler can act out the adventure they are on using their little fox family puppets. This family can be used before your road trip to act out what is going to happen. Social stories can be very useful to demonstrate what is happening so that young children may understand, and furthermore, what will happen next. This can offer them security when out of their normal day to day routine. 

Alice fox family Lilliputian's play set

30. Finger Puppets

Finger puppets are a perfect travel toy. Children can get lost in story telling and song singing with these versatile props. They are small and light weight enough to have in their travel bag and can inspire so much play. 

Act out a favourite book or bring the puppet to life asking your toddler what their little friend likes about the trip so far. Take photos of the puppet at each stop and create a little story book of the puppets travels when you get home. If you have multiple children, share them out for a story telling jam!

I love the little frog set with its zip up pouch. Its such a good choice to keep all the finger puppets safe while travelling. 

Taras treasure speckled frog felt finger puppet

31. Fat Brain Squigz

Squigz are so much fun! They sucker onto each other as well as any smooth surface. From car windows, lunchboxes, water bottle, to glossy colouring book covers, so many surfaces can be transformed into a Squgiz play ground. 

Squigz are essentially building suckers or different colors, and shapes.

Squeeze two together, the air escapes resulting in a vacuum which holds them together. Little hands can then pull them apart before reattaching them again. 

Sort them by colour or shape. 

Build monsters, bridges or buildings. 

Your toddlers imagination holds the limits to their Squigz play. They are so versatile. 

We got our first tub a couple of years ago and they have been the perfect toy to suit the tree children’s different development levels. All three children love them! Mr 3 loves joining the colours together. Miss 6 loves suckering them around the house to make a treasure hunt and Miss 9 enjoys the sound they make when they are pulled apart.

Fat Brain Squigz

32. Busy Cube Fidget Toy

Imagine a busy board but compact in a cube. This 7 in 1 Busy Cube Fidget Toy is just that. With a combination of attachments on each face of the cube, this little fidget will have little fingers exploring, experimenting and learning all at the same time. The favourite element for us has to be the fidget spinner. This little cube is a great option for older kids too.

bust cube fidget toy

33. Threading Weaving Worm

A delicious-looking bright red threading apple with 13 smooth holes and a green leaf appeals to hungry worms. Teach your kids to assist the string-attached caterpillar in eating the apple by threading around.

Playing with the caterpillar with its yummy apple will also be fostering the development of their fine motor skills and enhances hand-eye coordination. Whether at home, on a plane, or during a car ride, this activity can keep children patiently occupied for hours. The apples slim design is compact enough to slide right into your toddlers travel bag.

threading apple

34. Winmax Busy Board

Winmax busy board serves as an excellent learning toy with 15 activities and 6 themes, including letters, numbers, shapes, colors, weather, and animals, making it ideal for toddlers. 

Engaging in activities like tying shoelaces, fastening buckles, working with zippers, using magic tape, and understanding clocks, these busy boards allows children to conduct 15 toddler activities. 

This Montessori toy not only keeps toddlers entertained but also facilitates learning in math, spelling, and the development of essential skills while playing with the different activities. It proves particularly beneficial for the development of fine motor skills, finger dexterity, and cognitive abilities, making it suitable for children of all abilities.

The best part is that they the lightweight and compact design of the busy board enable children to easily carry it in a backpack, allowing them to take it anywhere they desire. It serves as an excellent travel companion for car or airplane activities, keeping little kids and big kids busy and quiet during long journeys. They really are amongst the perfect travel toys

Winmax busy Board

35. Erasable Doodle Book

The Erasable Doodle Book set comprises a 14-page drawing pad, 12 coloured pens, and 2 wet cloths. The Reusable Drawing Pad not only aids in improving intelligence, imagination, and drawing skills but is also easy to clean.

The 12 washable colourful drawing pens can be effortlessly wiped off with a wet cloth, or baby wipe, and a convenient collect pocket is attached for quick pen storage. A must-have for road trips with kids, this drawing book, measuring about 22cm x 22cm, fits perfectly in children’s backpacks. Whether in a restaurant, car seat, train, or airplane, kids will enjoy spending hours with this travel-friendly doodle book.

Erasable doodle book

36. Magnetic Drawing Board

Another classic that has lasted the test of time. Magnetic drawing boards have been round for years and for good reason. 

They are a perfect mess free option for toddlers who are keen to get drawing. Your walls, and your hotel room walls, will be safe from scribbles. 

We have had this model since Miss 6 was 2 and it is still going strong. 

We have used to for free play, stamping and as a score board. The older two use it as a checkout screen while playing shops and as a whiteboard when playing teachers. It is so versatile and great for long car rides!

37. MagPad Dots

When I became a parent this was one of the best toys that I craved to find from my own childhood. Even to this day I remember so clearly exploring the magnetic attraction between the wand and the buttons. It holds so many memories! 

I was thrilled to discover that they are still available now to this day. That certainly says a lot about the popularity of the toy!

MagPod dots uses a magnetic wand to lift coloured dots within a sealed unit where they can be positioned within little wells to create designs. There are some templates they can follow or embrace the freedom of creating their own designs on long road trips.

Magnetic drawing board

38. Djeco Geoform Magnetic Puzzle

Have fun exploring and manipulating shapes on the magnetic case with your Djeco geo form magnetic puzzle

The Djeco Geoform Set includes 42 vibrant coloured magnetic pieces for creating various imaginative designs. 

Use them on any magnetic surface, such as a fridge, or within the magnetic carrying case provided. 

The set comes with 24 idea cards illustrating possible creations with the pieces, along with a wooden magnetic storage case. Perfect for toddlers who preferred structured play appose to open ended play. That being said, transform each corner to a holding pen and you have a diy shape sorter activity. See where this extension of play can lead your child.

Deco Geoform magnetic puzzle

39. Coloured Dot Sticker Set

Sticker are so handy for travelling. Peel off the backing sheet for younger toddlers to make it easier for them to peel the stickers themselves. 

This coloured dot sticker set has fun sheets for your child to add the stickers too. These dot books come with a whopping 484 stickers and are great for fine motor skills and colour recognition. 

We have used these so many times over the years. The kids love them! Older toddlers can take care positioning each sticker on the page to complete the pictures. Even if the stickers are not placed in the right spot, children still get such a sense of accomplishment when they are done.

Coloured dot sticker set

Best Toddler Travel Toys

That all being said, a alongside all the toddler travel toys, never under estimate the power of a coloring book and some crayons. 

New toys are fun and exciting but so is singing, playing travel games and making memories. 

The last thing I would like to share is a reminder that it’s not all about just getting to the destination. 

The memories of the journey hold just as much value. There are glimmers ands magical moments in the steps getting there and the best way to embrace the hard times that will inevitably come is to search for the fortunately in each unfortunate situation. Even if you are listening to a Peppa Pig audio book on repeat for two hours.

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Post Written by

Dani is a busy mum, pre-service teacher and and founder of Play Inspired Mum. Her goal is to inspire creative play ideas, encourage the love of reading, offer tips to make your household eco friendly and remind you that you are not alone on this wild rollercoaster of a journey known as parenting! She loves houseplants, giant chunky cookies and all things play based, incorporating learning experiences into every day!