best travel toys for babies

You’re all set for a fun family road trip, with bags packed and excitement in the air. But there’s a twist – you’re traveling with a baby or a toddler. As you know, these little bundles of joy are full of energy and curiosity, but they’re not always thrilled about those long hours on the road or up in the air. That’s where the best travel toys for babies and toddlers work their magic! 

In this blog post, we’re going to explore the best travel toys to keep the little ones entertained. The right travel toys can transform those potentially challenging moments into enjoyable and unforgettable experiences for both parents and children. So, get ready for a journey through the best travel toys for babies and toddlers in 2023. We’ll share product recommendations, travel tips, and more to make your trip a breeze. Let’s make family adventures as stress-free as they can be!

Criteria for Selecting the Best Travel Toys

Let’s talk about choosing the right travel toys. It might sound like a straightforward task, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. First and foremost, it’s all about safety. You’ll want to make sure the toys are age-appropriate and don’t pose any risks. Next up, portability and size matter. After all, you’ve got limited space, and no one wants to lug around a giant toy chest. Durability and ease of cleaning are also key factors. Babies and toddlers can get messy, so having toys that can withstand a good wipe-down is a game-changer. But we’re not just talking about distraction; we also want toys that have some educational aspect to them, too. So, we’ll explore options that offer developmental benefits like fine motor skills development. Finally, interactive and engaging features can make all the difference during those travel hours.

Toys that can keep your little one occupied and happy are worth their weight in gold. Below is our list of the best travel toys to make your journey enjoyable for everyone.

Best Toys for Travel with Babies

Let’s zoom in on the tiniest travelers first. Babies have their own unique set of needs when it comes to entertainment on the go. I took my daughter Adelaide on an airplane when she was 3 months old, and entertaining her was quite easy with the right baby travel toys.

Rattles and Teething Toys:

Keep your little one engaged but also provide relief during those pesky teething episodes.

  1. Baby Rattle Teething Toys – 13 pieces with Storage Box
  2. Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy

Soft Plush Toys:

Tiny cuddle buddies that make unfamiliar places feel a little cozier. 

  1. Nuby Comfort Teething Plush Pal
  2. My First Doll Sophia – Soft Plush Baby Doll with Rattle

Sensory Stimulation Toys:

Toys that engage their senses and spark curiosity, including soft books and finger puppets. 

  1. Flash Cards Baby Visual Stimulation Cards
  2. Baby Mirror Toys for Tummy Time

Active Entertainment Toys:

Busy board or interactive book with farm animals.

  1. Baby Einstein Glow & Discover Light Bar Activity Station
  2. iPlay, iLearn Baby Music Elephant Toys

Portable Baby Mobiles:

Baby mobiles can turn any crib or playpen into a play place for your baby with suction cups. 

  1. Hanging Rattle Toys for Crib Mobile
  2. Tiny Love Meadow Days Take Along Mobile

Best Toys for Travel with Toddlers

Now, let’s focus on those little explorers known as toddlers. Toddlers are a ball of energy and curiosity, and they need toys that can keep up with their boundless enthusiasm.

Interactive and Electronic Toys:

These captivating gadgets not only provide endless entertainment but can also sneak in a bit of learning, making them a great travel toy for a plane ride. 

  1. Buckle Toys – Buster Square – Learning Activity Toy
  2. Writing Tablet for Toddlers

Building and Stacking Toys:

They’re not only fun but can also help develop fine motor skills. I also love the building set because it suctions to the airplane tray table!

  1. Playskool Stack ‘n Stow Nesting Activity Toy
  2. Montessori Bath Construction Building Set

Water-Based Bath Toys:

Making bath time a blast is a surefire way to ensure cleanliness and entertainment after the plane ride, and mold-free dinosaur toys can add extra fun. The basketball hoop is also great for hand-eye coordination!

  1. No Hole Baby Dinosaur Bath Toys
  2. Bathtub Basketball Hoop for Kids

Puzzle and Shape-Sorting Toys:

These toys are not only challenging but also a ton of fun, and they often come with puffy stickers or reusable sticker books. 

  1. 6 Pack Montessori Shape Sorting Puzzle
  2. Shape Sorting Cube Toy Box

Quiet-Time Entertainment:

A good book can provide some much-needed downtime during your travels, and a busy book is a perfect choice. 

  1. Sank Portable Jelly Quiet Book, Toddler Busy Book
  2. Skillmatics Quiet Book – Sensory Activity Book

DIY and Budget-Friendly Travel Toy Ideas

For those who love a little creativity and want to make the most of their budget, we’ve got you covered with DIY and budget-friendly travel toy ideas. In this section, we’ll explore creative and inexpensive toy ideas that you can whip up on the go. From homemade sensory bottles to crafty activity kits, we’ll show you how to keep your little ones engaged without breaking the bank. We’ll also delve into making the most of household items during travel. Sometimes, a simple everyday object can become a fantastic source of entertainment, like creating a busy board from items found at home. 

  1. Homemade Sensory Bottles: Create sensory bottles filled with water, glitter, small toys, or colorful beads. Seal them tightly and let your little one explore the mesmerizing effects.
  2. Crafty Activity Kits: Put together small craft kits with paper, crayons, stickers, and child-safe scissors for some creative fun during travel.
  3. Finger Puppets: Craft simple finger puppets from felt or fabric. Use them to tell stories and engage your child’s imagination.
  4. DIY Coloring Book: Create a custom coloring book with printouts of your child’s favorite characters or objects. Pair it with colored pencils.
  5. Homemade Playdough: Make your own playdough using flour, salt, water, and food coloring. It’s a fun and squishy activity.
  6. Simple Matching Game: Create a matching game with pairs of small, lightweight items like buttons or shapes and cardboard cards.

Tips for Traveling with Babies and Toddlers

Navigating the world of travel toys is just one part of the equation when you’re on the road with little ones. To make your family journey a seamless and enjoyable experience, we’ve created a short list of our top tips and tricks. It’s all about being organized and having the right toys at the right time, whether you’re on a plane ride or a long road trip. 

  1. Plan Around Nap Times: Schedule your travel during your child’s nap times or bedtime to maximize peaceful travel hours.
  2. Prepare a Travel Toy Kit: Create a travel toy kit with age-appropriate toys, books, and activities to keep your child engaged during the trip.
  3. Pack a Well-Stocked Diaper Bag: Ensure you have all the essentials in your diaper bag, including diapers, wipes, a changing pad, and a change of clothes.
  4. Dress in Layers: Dress your child in layers for comfort, and have extra outfits on hand in case of spills or accidents.
  5. Be Patient: Remember that traveling with young children may not always go as planned. Stay patient and adaptable when things don’t go smoothly.

Travel-Friendly Storage and Organization

Staying organized during your travels can be a game-changer, especially when it comes to managing a stash of travel toys. When everything has its place, you’ll spend less time searching and more time enjoying your journey. It’s easiest to opt for a versatile backpack or diaper bag with plenty of pockets. The many pockets help me maintain order and ensure that the right toy is within arm’s reach when you need it most.


In wrapping up our journey through the best travel toys for babies and toddlers in 2023, let’s recap the essentials. From rattles and teething toys for the tiniest travelers to interactive gadgets and books for toddlers, we’ve covered a range of options to keep your little ones entertained on the go, whether you’re on a plane ride or a road trip. Traveling with children can be a challenging endeavor, but with the right travel toys, it can also be an immensely enjoyable and memorable experience for the whole family. By selecting age-appropriate, safe, and engaging toys, you’re not just keeping boredom at bay, but also nurturing your child’s development, including those essential fine motor skills. The importance of selecting the right travel toys for young children cannot be overstated. These toys are more than just playthings; they are the key to peaceful and pleasant family travel adventures. So, as you embark on your next journey with your little ones, remember that with the right travel toys in tow, the world becomes their playground, and the possibilities for adventure are endless.

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