Totally Tubular Toys, Games, Crafts For Travel

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It’s that season where we start thinking about vacation plans for the year. While you think about where to go, I’m also thinking about what to bring. And the International Toy Fair this week has given me lots of ideas. I noticed that quite a few toy and game makers are eschewing bulky boxes in favor of slim, easy-to-pack tubes these days and I love it.

Here are the coolest, cleverest or most fun travel toys, games and crafts that I found. Look for them to roll into stores between now and the summer. Happy packing!


Zoob tubedado squaresKids use nubby, interconnecting Zoob pieces (left) to build toys and figures they can then play with. They come in basic, neon, translucent or glow-in-the-dark colors. They struck me as harder to lose than other building pieces. Ages 6+; $11

Dado interconnecting squares from Fat Brain, are great for compact spaces like airplanes and restaurants. Plus, they stack into such a compact cube it’s hard to resist tossing them in your child’s backpack for a long trip or overnight bag for a sleepover. Ages 3 to 8; $23


alex toys knitting and lanyard kits. creativity cans from creativity for kidsAlex Toys offers lanyard, circle scarf and spool knitting kits tuck easily into your tween’s (or aspiring tween’s) backpack or totebag. (If you’re flying, beware the knitting needles in the scarf kit.) Ages 7 to 12, $13-$16

Creativity for Kids has scaled down its Creativity Cans to make them packable. With everything included and themes like Build, Stories and Motion they fill that hour after you return from the beach and before dinner is ready. Ages 4+; $10


craft & doodle travel setalex toys crayons, pencils, markersI loved the triangle crayons, colored pencils and markers in colorful Britto Tubes from P’Kolino (above). And who can resist a tubular crocodile Mess Eater that you can tuck into a bag or attach to the outside? Any age; $7-$10/drawing tools, $15/Mess Eater.

The Create & Doodle Travel Set from The Piggy Story (left) puts a handful of markers and a roll of paper in a soft tube that zips. Ages 5+; $18 

Funky “rainbow” pencils, pastel crayons and markers from Alex Toys, are in tubes that are slightly chunky, but the variety of colorsey include will keep kids happy on even the longest trip. Ages 6+; $8-$10


Blue Orange's Ring ItPurple Cow Memo GameAustralian Company The Purple Cow has put its Memo Games (left) in assorted themes – dinosaurs, animals, faces and robots – in slim packable tubes. You do need space to play, though. Ages 5+; about $12

Technically, Ring It from Blue Orange sits in a can, but it’s round, compact and pretty much made for travel (though I wouldn’t play it on a plane). Imagine the classic card game Slap Jack at a faster pace and with a bell. Ages 8+; about $13

Sand Toys

Kid O water towermelissa and doug sunny patch toysThis bright-colored water tower set from Kid O (left) is compact enough to fit in a purse or diaper bag. But the pieces, which include a sieve, water wheel and funnel, will keep little ones well occupied. Ages 1 to 4 years; about $14.

 Melissa & Doug makes these sand cups that stack for compact packing. Each one has a different molded shape on the bottom. Ages 2+, $10

dado squares

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