Five Best Travel Toys

These carry-on-friendly toys keep your toddler occupied on road trips and airplanes.

By Emily Solberb

Five Best Travel Toys

As any parent knows, if there’s an ideal time for your toddler to be quiet and entertained, it’s during travel. And keeping kids busy often means finding the right toys. Travel toys should be easily-packable, low on bells and whistles—ideally, no batteries needed—and if possible, educational in some way. 

Here are five of the best travel toys for keeping little ones busy and learning, even at 30,000 feet.

Cute digital camera

Sometimes it’s important to look at the world from a child’s point of view. Recommended for ages three and up, this digital camera empowers kids to tell the story of their trips through their own lenses. With this adorable bear-shaped model, kids can capture and customize images with frames, filters a timer and selfie mode.

Note that there is a small learning curve with figuring out how to use the buttons, but a little bit of practice will have your junior photographer on their way in no time.

child holding up kidamento camera

Five Best Travel Toys

Magnetic building set

Magna-Tiles are a crowd-pleaser for kids of all ages. Because they’re magnetic and this particular set isn’t super big, these are a much more portable option than other blocks, making them ideal for travel when small pieces are likely to get lost. Not to mention, the opportunities for creativity and open-ended play are endless. This particular set comes with four safari figurines, so your child can easily create their own story and build a fun savannah-themed environment no matter where you are.

Magna-Tiles on the floor

Five Best Travel Toys

Hand puppets

Help your kids grow their imaginations with these brightly-colored hand puppets. Kids love to make up their own stories and fairytales and these puppets are the perfect inspiration for interactive play when they are strapped into car seats next to each other. These come in a variety of colors and animals, are hand-knit with GOTS-certified organic cotton yarn, don’t have any harmful and detachable parts, and can be used from six months on.

Giraffe hand puppet

Five Best Travel Toys

Finger puppets

These cute finger puppets are a one-stop shop for creativity and imaginative play. Each set has four fuzzy friends—a bee, an owl, a ladybug, and a butterfly. And if fluttering creatures aren’t your child’s cup of tea, you can also choose from other animal themes like Splashers or Explorers

4 finger puppets sitting on display on a piece of wood

Five Best Travel Toys

Lacing cards

This set of lacing cards comes in six different designs and helps encourage hand-eye coordination, motor skills, color identification, and dexterity in children three and up. Printed on thick, sturdy board, they are perfect for kids who are antsy for something to do while on the go. Plus, they're great preparation for learning how to tie shoelaces.

Girl sitting on the floor playing with lacing cards

Five Best Travel Toys

Author: Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom of two, and fierce advocate of women supporting women. The goal of her writing is to help others feel less alone in their parenting journeys, and she isn’t afraid to share the hard parts of her own. You can find more from her over on Facebook and Instagram at Shower Arguments with Emily Solberg.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings, images and prices are accurate and items are in stock at the time of publication.

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners

I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.