Travel Puzzles for Every Age Kid
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Few things absorb a child’s total attention like a good puzzle. So you’d like to bring them with you in the car or on the plane. But all those pieces–egad! Well, here is a roundup of puzzles that travel well. Some are great for in-transit; others offer some versatility that will keep kids entertained at your destination for a good chunk of your vacation.
Plus, there are travel puzzles here for almost every age.
For Older Kids
Imagine combining a 3-D puzzle with the concept of a ship in a bottle. This is FlipStir, a puzzle that’s locked in a jar. You solve it by moving the pieces into the right order using an enclosed wand. I’m not sure whether the challenge lies in the puzzle solving or the dexterity to manipulate the pieces—maybe both. There are four puzzles and two levels of difficulty.
Ages: School age to tween
For Your Suitcase
The Purple Cow has Fairy Tale puzzles with 24 to 70 pieces that come in a compact, travel-friendly tin. If the company made them magnetic and included a foldable magnetic pad, these would be the most perfect travel puzzles, ever. As they are now, their compact tins make them handy to throw in a suitcase for that rainy beach day.
Crocodile Creek’s 24-piece double-sided puzzles offer two for the price of one in a relatively compact box, and at a price that makes it no big deal if you all the pieces don’t make it home.
Ages: preschooler through school age.
Price: $6 and $4, respectively
For Your Tote
MudPuppy offers Pouch Puzzles in a variety of themes from Under The Sea and Forest Friends to Robots and Tea Party. Or try one inspired by Keith Haring or Eric Carle drawings. With only 12 pieces in their own zipper pouch, I would have tossed one or two of these in my bag for restaurants, planes or just about anywhere we might face a bout of boredom.
Crocodile Creek has 12-piece mini puzzles with gender-neutral animal and transportation themes.
Not as flat as the pouches, but perfect to toss in a diaper bag or backpack.
Ages: Toddler to preschool
Price: $11, $10, respectively.
Block puzzles were made for travel because the pieces are easier to keep track of, you get six puzzles for the price of one and kids can build with the pieces, too!
MudPuppy’s block puzzles (above) are big enough for small hands, but not too heavy to tote around and it’s hard to resist its Little Prince and Eric Carle themes as well as the usual animals and fairies.
Crocodile Creek’s three block puzzles come in Faces, Build a House and Zoo themes. They are slightly larger than some of the others, but still totable, I think, and probably the best for building.
Age: Preschool to Kindergarten
Price: $15, $16, and $8-$12, respectively
Puzzle and Play
This is less a puzzle than a mystery, but Playmobil Fi?ures have the potential to occupy kids for a while. Buy a “girl” or boy” pouch in a wide variety of themes, put the figure together to learn what it will be, then have the figure and accompanying accessories to play with. Just remember to pack a ziplock or pouch for the pieces.
Age: Early school age
Flipzles are perhaps one of the most cleverly designed toys I have seen in a while (created by a mom, of course). They are two-sided wooden puzzles, with a play-scene on the wooden frame underneath. Some of pieces double as play figures and scenery pieces. So you have two puzzles and a play set—and it comes with it’s own zip-up carry case. Sold yet? Scenes include a castle, rescue station, farm and pirate ship.
Age: Toddler to Kindergarten