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Gift Guide: 11 Top Travel Toys Your Kids Will Take Everywhere

Gift Guide: 11 Top Travel Toys Your Kids Will Take Everywhere

The best travel toys are compact, easy to pack, incredibly engaging and enough to keep kids entertained more than once or twice.

Here are 11 travel toys that I love and that are popular with my readers are b repeatedly. They’re all fun play items in general, and are particularly ideal for travel.

There are items for babies and toddlers, preschoolers, school-age kids and even tweens

Tip: How many toys you should bring with you when you travel depends on your child’s age, interests and how far you’re traveling. Toddler attention spans max out at 20 or 30 minutes, so variety and novelty are important. School-age kids can engage for an hour or more in an activity they like.

I hope your kids will love one or more of these as they get older.

More Kid Fun on the Go:
Here are building sets, arts & crafts and puzzles that travel.
Plus, books to make your kids curious about the world

11 Travel Toys To Keep Tweens, Kids & Tots Happy In Cars, Trains & Planes

1. Fortune Tellers for Tweens

Make your tween’s day with this Fortune Teller-making kit from Klutz.

This paperback has tear-out sheets tweens can fill in however they wish, and then follow instructions (if they need to) to fold them into fortune-tellers for them and their friends.

A reader found this and I really wish I had come across it a few years ago.

Ages: 10 to 13YO

fortune tellers
wikki stix

2. BYO Wiki Stix, Everywhere!

I discovered Wikki Stix when a waiter in a kid-friendly restaurant handed my kid a 5-pack with the children’s menu.

My readers with school-age kids love them, too, especially this travel kit, which comes with 144 sticks in a wide range of colors, an ideas book and a reusable palate where they can use the sticks to draw. Plus a case to carry it all!

I used to buy 2 dozen 5-piece packs and I’d stash them everywhere: my purse, glove compartment, carry-on, my kid’s backpack.

Just remember that they’re wax. Like crayons, it’s best not to leave them on a window sill or in a hot car.

Age: 7 to 10YO

3. A Magical Magnetic Pen & Tablet

I was startled by how popular this simple update on the old Etch-a-Sketch is with my readers.

This Playskool Magnatab is fun for school-age kids who like to tinker.

A magnetic pencil pulls metal balls to the surface of the pad to make whatever letters and shapes they want.

And they can lift the pen up, so no weird lines will criss-cross their drawing.

Age: 6 to 10YO

play foma dots

4. Sensory, Crafty Fun Anywhere

These sticky playfoam dots look like they might get everywhere. But they don’t and are actually a perfect travel toy.

At the toy show where I found them, school-age kids, including my own, were playing with them non-stop.

Kids love the way these moldable dots feel in their hands and they can shape and manipulate them in different ways than they do clay or Play-Doh.

Readers are buying this party pack of 20 because it lets you bring a few colors with you anytime you’re on a plane, in a car, at a restaurant or anywhere away from home.

Age: 5 to 9YO

5. Unfold Fun With a Playhouse Book

The eeBoo Koala Cozy Cottage Pop-Up Playhouse Book is another amazing reader find I wish I could take credit for.

Folded up, it’s as thick as your average picture book. Open it up, and you have a four-room cottage where a koala can have adventures with bear, tiger and penguin friends.

Ages: 4 to 7O

eboo playhouse

6. Travel Playsets That Really Can Travel

Most “travel” dollhouses aren’t actually all that portable. But Playmobil has a line of Take-Along play sets that really are small enough for kids to take with them to a relative’s or a vacation house.

Choose from City Life sets like this classroom that will fit on an airplane tray table. There’s also a compact fire station, grocery store, or pirate island, among others.

Each one comes with two or three play figures and accessories.

Age: 4 to 7YO.

playmobil classrooms
mudpuppy magents

7. Magnetic Boards For Boys & Girls

These Mudpuppy Magnetic boards are making a comeback thanks to themes like Good Night, Good Night Construction site.

The metal case comes with four scene boards and 25 magnets boys and girls can use to act out scenes from the book or their own imagination.

The other ten sets include Girl Power, Rockets and Woodland Ballet.

Ages: 3 to 6YO

8. Reusable Sticker Books Never Go Out of Style

Sticker books and sticker scenes have gotten me through I don’t know how many long dinners and traffic jams.

These FancyWhoop reusable sticker books come in sets of six; ideal if you have a few kids or just one kid and a very long drive ahead.

Choose this set or one that’s more nature-focused, with dinosaurs, a farm and ocean animals.

Ages: 2 to 4YO

6 sticker books
animal cars

9. Animal Cars That Go Where You Do

We had a blue hippo on wheels that was one of our best toddler travel toys; it went with us everywhere.

Toddler-aged Tiny Traveler would play with it in the shallow end of a hotel pool, on the floor of the hotel room or even on airplanes.

So I see why readers are buying this Animal Car Team. Every time you fly you can take a different pair, so your toddler never gets bored.

They’re small enough that you can take them all if you’re road-tripping.

Age: 1 to 4YO

10. Suction Kupz That Grow With Your Kids

Fat Brain’s Suction Kupz are great travel toys because they can be played with in so many different ways as babies turn into toddler and then preschoolers.

Nest them, squash them, stack them, just for starters. My toddler would have spent a good amount of time putting tiny items like Goldfish crackers into the various cups, pouring them out and switching them around.

They can be impromptu bath or beach toys, too, making them one of the best travel toys for preschoolers. And their slim profile fits easily into a travel bag. So you can take them anywhere.

And you’ll want to take them everywhere.

Age: 1 to 4YO

stacking kupz

11. Baby’s First Travel Toy

I’m a fan of Fat Brain and these three baby toys are unique and designed well.

Dimpl is small enough to pop into a diaper bag or purse and it gives little fingers brightly colored half-spheres to poke and push around.

It’s getting more popular with my readers every year.

Age: Up to 18 months


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11 of the best travel toys for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kids. my kid and my readers' kids have loved them and yours will want to take them everywhere they go.