When travelling with kids, keeping them occupied on the road can be a challenge at times. The last thing you want to do is load up your suitcases with a bunch of large, messy toys.... am I right?! But they still need activities to fill in the gaps between adventures, to keep them entertained and happy during your travels. To help avoid the boredom, we have put together some ideas for travel toys your kids will love!
5 TRAVEL TOYS YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE
We have travelled internationally and domestically frequently since becoming parents, with our kids ranging from a couple of months old to school age, so we certainly know a bit about catering to the youngsters while away from home. And I pride myself on making sure these are compact and travel friendly... since the last thing you want is extra mess!!
The key to perfect travel toys are small, light, compact and preferably mess & noise-free!!
When you are travelling in cars, trains, planes or living from suitcases, you want to make sure you're not losing small pieces of games or struggling to lug extra items just to keep the kids entertained, so here are some of our top picks for travel toys your kids will love... and you might too:
1 - QUIET BOOK
If travelling with younger kids.. toddlers and pre-schoolers, there has never been any greater travel toy than a quiet book! We were gifted one when my eldest was just 1 and it was the only toy we needed for 2 weeks in Vietnam!! They are essentially fabric activity books with things like shoe laces, buttons, velcro, etc to keep little fingers busy. Each page has a different activity for them and it all goes back in the book... relatively mess free. Plus being fabric, they are soft, machine washable, light and pack so easily in suitcases! What is really cool too is that you can make your own quiet book for very cheap, using scrap fabrics and bits and pieces you may already have... or get a little fancier with quilted pages. Such fun!
Find some inspiration on my Quiet Book Pinterest board. Or you can purchase them from Etsy or Amazon online if you're not so keen to make your own.
2 - RUBIK'S CUBE
Let's get a little classic now. Who remembers the Rubik's cube? I had one growing up and while I wasn't great at it, it was a fun challenge. My 15 year old nephew is always playing with one (and nope, he's not a dork haha). The reason it's such a great travel toy is that it's a single item, not too small but still light enough to travel with. Plus it provides a great challenge. They are recommended for ages 8 and up, but even younger kids will get some enjoyment out of twisting the coloured squares around to make different patterns.
For a modern twist on the classic, with extra appeal for your tech loving kiddos, check out Rubik's Spark as featured on Talkin Toys:
3 - MAGIC INK BOOKS
Most kids love to draw and colour, but it can be messy business packing all their colouring in books and pens or pencils for a trip. Especially when they fall off the plane tray table and roll down the aisle. Eekkkk!! But one pen and book is usually pretty easy to keep under control, so the magic ink style activity books for younger kids are a favourite choice of ours for travelling. The pen is water based so it won't make anything but the actual magic ink book. By using it on the pages, it reveals the hidden images or colours. You can usually pick them up for a few dollars too so they are a cheap travel toy too and pretty much suitable for any age.
4 - GAME OF THINGS
If you have older kids and you are heading on a local road trip or to a destination you are travelling by car, Game of Things makes a great addition to your family entertainment. After a full day of exploring, coming back to your accommodation for a family game night is a great way to finish your day. Game of Things is a card game that is sure to give you a laugh, by trying to guess who played what card in response to the prompts. For those of you who are fans of the adults only Cards Against Humanity, it has a similar family friendly playability that is great for some laughs! It comes in a wooden box so while it's a bit heavy for air travel, it makes a perfect short distance travel toy.
5 - KID'S TABLET
So we mostly aim to stick to non technology based travel toys when we travel but sometimes some tech time is good for a bit of downtime, especially when they need to stay occupied for long periods. We usually have an ipad with us since that is how I run my business when travelling.. and at home, so that does the job for us if we need to pop on a kids learning app or some episodes of one of their favourite shows. However if you don't have an ipad, or you want a tablet that is just for kids, there are plenty of options available! A popular educational toy brand is LeapFrog with does have their own LeapPad kids tablets, which come with preloaded games and activities, but also the option to purchase extra games and videos online or in store too. They are hardy compared to the fragile iPad screen too in case of accidental drops. Plus they are usually light and easy to pack too. Check out some of the latest Kids Tablets available online.
You can also create your own travel activity packs at home for travel too which are a huge kit with our kids when we travel internationally. Plus you can pack in snacks as well which are always a big hit!! We usually pull these out during long haul flights and it keeps our 4 year old occupied for hours. A mini etch-o-sketch is also a popular choice with our mini budding artists!!
Do you have any other favourite travel toys your kids loved? Share in the comments.