Tried and tested selection of travel toys for road trips and toddler toys for the car to pass them time on your family road trip.
Our family loves car trips. With the kids, we have road tripped around places as diverse Ireland, Uthah, the South West of the US and the South Italy and over time we have learned a thing or two about road trip games and pastimes.
After some trial and error, we have finally fund what works!
This is our selection of tried and tested kids’ travel toys for road trips and toddler toys for the car.
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Did you know? We also have a handy family check list for road tripping with kids here!
Table of Contents
Best travel toys for 1 year olds
If you have a little one, the travel toys that worked for us included:
You probably already have sensory toys already at home and they are perfect as travel toys too.
Our kids’ favorite are those with a mix of colors, textures and materials that keep their sense of sight, touch and hearing stimulated.
Top tip! Unless you are sitting in the back seat of the car with them, attach the rattle/toy to the car seat so it cannot fall on the car floor and get dirty!
Find this cute moose and more of its friends here.
Touch and feel books
Our kids adored the ‘That’s not my….’ book for toddler series and we always had them with us on road trips too.
The books have different textures and colors and they are perfect to keep them entertained in the car.
They are made of easy to wash material too so you don’t have to worry when you need to give them a good wipe clean.
A theether / activity ball
A theether or an activity ball in safe to chew material is a good travel toy for a one year old as it doubles ups as teething relief and entertainment.
For the car, make sure you opt for a model that doesn’t have hard to clean nooks and crannies and consider stocking up on more than one, should one of them fall (it will!)
Finger puppets are magical for little kids and can be the perfect road trip toy, especially if you can sit beside your child or you have an older sibling who can help do the show without you having to test backwards!
Road trip toys for 2 year olds and 3 years olds
When looking for travel toys for 2 and 3 year olds you can add to the ideas above a few more:
Shape sorter for toddlers
Our children always loved shape sorters and we found some cool one suitable for the road too.
This padded shape sorter for toddlers by Melissa and Doug is lovely and can keep them entertained in the car and in the hotel
Travel doodler / magic board
Magic boards are wonderful on road trip as they are a mess free travel toy toddlers can use for hours and it makes no noise!
We found these to be exceptionally good when trying to entertain a toddler and an older sibling as they can create together!
A magnetic maze is for us THE best travel toy for toddlers ever! No mess, no noise, no bits that can fall off and great at keeping them entertained and quiet, we love it as a road trip toy but it is also one of our favorite for flying with a toddler.
Road trip toys for kids 3 and up
Very few things entertain our kids as much as colouring books.
They do a lot of colouring in school and the adagio ‘inside the lines, no white spaces’ has quickly become one of their favourite mantras.
We normally accompany them with a stack of good stationery that the kids keep in their very own backpack for ease of access.
Sticker books are a great alternative to colouring ones as, unlike colouring pens and crayons, stickers do not roll on the floor, a definite plus!
They com in several varieties, suitable for kids small and big, you can find many here.
A travel journal
While I love keeping our travel memories on the blog, when it comes to the kids nothing beats a good old paper travel journal.
They are a wonderful activity for evenings on the road and can be good fun on the car too as looking out the window becomes a quest for the net thing to write on the journal!!
Travel edition games
- Travel Monopoly Games – yes, there are several and it’s worth taking the time to pick the best one for you!
- Guess Who
- Connect 4
All have travel editions and they are perfect for evenings in a hotel
Card games are fabulous toys for road trips! Uno and Spot it are family favorites and are perfect for evenings on the road
This one comes with a warning: unless you have one per person (including one for each adult) you will be fighting with your kids over who should have the next turn!
The cube can be a frustrating game for very young children but my 6 year old shows incredible concentration whenever playing with it which is a nice change from the often frantic pace of apps and video games
Books Motion sickness can be a problem when travelling by car and reading can trigger it.
In this case, audio books can be a good alternative: there are many available for almost all ages and with stories of different length – they are a great way to have a break from kids’ music that, let’s be honest, is often a far cry from the road trip compilations we used to listen to when travelling in pre-kids years.
You may fee binoculars do not belong in a list about toys for road trips however, they are a great travel toy and not just when you are at your destination.
My kids love to keep theirs around their necks while travelling (check that the straps are child-friendly and can easily come undone) and occasionally use them to look out of the car window but more often they use them to look at each other!
They love to see how little things appear is you look in the binocular the wrong way and spend an unbelievable amount of time doing that.
The added advantage of this toy is that you can actually also use it properly and spot birds or faraway things once at your destination, so it is not just a good pastime but also one that goes well for light packers like us.
You can find my selection of the best binoculars for kids here
I hope you enjoyed our selection of road trip toys for kids. Safe travel planning!