On many long-haul flights with two little ones, I was often asked: “How do you employ a 1-year-old on an airplane?” And “What activities for toddler airplanes do you recommend?” Unlike babies, toddlers need a little more entertainment, but still have a short attention span.
Practical suggestions for travel toys for toddlers (especially airplanes) including Toys that are quiet, light and dirt-free! There is no need to spend a lot of money as everyday items can often be a lot of fun.
The same applies to toddler toys for the car – unless you can handle the melodies or noises!
Discover our suggestions for the best toys when traveling with toddlers
The following travel toys worked well for me and other mothers. I highly recommend Wrap some of the smaller items in paper and tape This provides additional entertainment for your little one and his curious fingers. (Of course it’s not practical to pack loads if you have several little things – but a few little surprises for everyone really help in moments of need!)
Here are some of the Top travel toys for toddlers in 2020 with many specific aircraft activities also for small children:
1. Wikki Stix
Wikki Stix are suitable for older toddlers from 3 years of age, although you will probably make all the different shapes! Made from wax and yarn, no glue is needed, so no mess.
There are also some great science packages with planets and volcanoes, etc. for older children. Perfect for entertaining children while flying, in the car for a road trip, a hotel room and all kinds of family trips. For more information, see Here.
A friend recently recommended this wooden thread block, which is ideal for developing fine motor skills quiet travel toy. For more information, see Here,
4th My busy books
My busy books – These are very inexpensive activity boxes with a story, 12 characters and a folded play mat for role-playing. While the play mat is too big for an airplane or public transport, playing with the figures is still fun. Once at a destination or a flight delay, the play mat can come out.
Not an obvious one, but bear it with me. My one and four year old love Duplo. The Number train iIt’s easy to pack and fun too. (We just threw the box away to make packing easier and split the parts up). We actually bought it on one of our trips and kept bringing it back because it was so successful. More information and prices see Here,
Parts can obviously fall on the floor of a car or plane, so we decided to use only a few parts from this set on the plane, and saved the rest for playing at the destination. If you’re staying in a hotel room, villa, or Air BNB that doesn’t have a toy, it can be invaluable to bring some toys for moments of boredom or rest.
Messy free coloring books and pens. “Magic” pens that only show the color on the special coloring book and not on clothes, seats, etc. For more information, see Here,
These similar from Melissa & Doug Water WOW look funny and educational too! Just make sure you empty the pen out of the water before safety, or put it in your clear plastic bag. For more information on the Water Wow set, see Here,
Great reusable coloring in mats that only use a water pen. Once they have dried out, you can use them again.
8. Sweet necklace with Strawberry laces and cheerios,
I also liked this activity that my friend suggested: some Cheerios or muesli with ring shape and sweet tip. Good for fine motor skills and the kids like to make and eat them too. It also takes a bit.
9. Everything from a Save $ or £
Save £ or $. We also really liked these little cut out people to wear and the cardboard tube / paper cup figures. There’s a lot of arts and crafts there, which means you can mug that Airplane loo for more cups to use.
10. Paper dolls with stickers tiger, Lots of stickers to design your own paper chain.
11th Farm in a can,
Farm in a can was so popular with my daughter from the age of two, It has small parts (especially the 3 ducks), but it is such a compact toy that came in handy to have in my pocket and flog in the event of a flight delay.
It was also great for them to play and be stuck in a hotel room or relax with jet lag during their vacation. It is also often used at home. More information and alternative “toys in a can” can be found at Here.
Triangular crayons like this one Melissa & Doug. Not Roll away in an airplane or train tray table! Genius!
The Imaginetics magnetic board opens up and creates a scene with characters and accessories that stay on the board!
The photo above shows construction sites, but there are also dinosaurs, pirates, ballet, mermaids and many other options for boys and girls.
Another idea for younger kids is a travel board – where everything is in one place, but there are plenty of activities for little hands. This Montessori Busy Board is a great sensory toy with lots of zips, buttons and games all part of a bag. The bag had enough space for favorite books, colored pencils, paper, snacks and even a water bottle!
14. Other popular travel toys for toddlers
These have been played so often on all modes of transport and are an integral part of it for us. These are brilliant for imaginative game – Armrests become mountains, tray tables become streets and seat belt traps!
CHEAP TRAVEL TOY IDEAS
15. Sticky Notes – Children love to peel and stick them on. The same applies to plasters / plasters.
16. You can also do it dolls from the Ön-board medical bags or paper cups if you feel creative! It’s amazing what you’ll do on a 15-hour flight!
17. The humble balloon! We always put a few in our luggage to inflate them in the hotel room for a catch game.
18. Colored rice in a tic-tac or similar plastic container for a small rattle
19. An old spice jar and pipe cleaner can do a great fine motor activity that is also quiet!
20. Small pom poms and a plastic tub with a lid with holes – babies and toddlers love to “post” things, so posting the pom poms can take some time.
21. Use some old baby towel covers to make a sensory toy or lift the flap toy as above.
Do you have any other cheap travel toy or DIY travel toy suggestions? Let me know below!
MORE travel toys ideas & travel games for toddlers
24th Fuzzy felt or similar
26th Interactive apps – See my separate post on apps,
27. Magnetic board games
28th finger puppets
29th Busy toddler bags are also available online Here are some options to choose from and some suggestions on how to make your own!
BEST TRAVEL GIFT IDEAS FOR BABIES AND KIDS
I am always looking for travel gifts for my children and my husband – since he also travels a lot to work. I recently made a list of useful and fun travel gifts for babies, toddlers, children, mothers and fathers. Here you will find ideas for birthday or Christmas presents!
Did I miss any top travel toys that worked for you? What is your favorite travel toy? Please comment below so I can add them.
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