The Best Travel Toys for Toddlers
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The Best Travel Toys for Toddlers
Just like the Robert Munsch book TOO MUCH STUFF, my kids would bring their whole playroom if they could on vacation. As space is tight, I’ve come up with a list of the best travel toys for toddlers that will give you the most bang for your buck. These travel toys are perfect for my 1 year old and my 3 year old on vacation. Although our vacations are often jam-packed with activities and entertainment, bringing along some toys is a nice way for the kids to have something to do when the adults want to relax. This is especially true when we are renting an Airbnb or HomeAway that doesn’t have a kids club. We prefer things that are lightweight and packable, and also versatile in terms of creative and imaginative play.
Here are my top travel toys for toddlers:
Toddlers love toy cars and this rug was a huge hit on one of our latest vacations to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. This canvas map folds flat and packs super well in our suitcase. My kids love cars and this map has provided hours of entertainment! Tip: Use masking tape to tape the canvas to the floor so that it doesn’t bunch up when you drive cars over it.
My toddler loves toy cars. LOVES cars. We can’t go on vacation without him bringing at least a few cars along. Our latest vacation we let him “pack” his Trunki suitcase and he filled the entire thing up with toy cars. We have a large collection of Hotwheels cars, and these are great for the plane as well. Blaze and the Monster Machines is also popular around here, and these guys had fun swimming in our rental pool in our last Airbnb.
Lego has been a recent obsession in our house, it promotes creativity and imagination and is so versatile. A small box of Lego can go a long way at a restaurant and give the adults time to relax and enjoy their meal. We usually pack a small Tupperware container of Lego when we go out to eat. Lego also sells starter sets which come with their own box and don’t take up a huge amount of space in your luggage.
Magnaformers are also great for building creativity and imagination. We used our Magnaformers to create houses and cities on our street map last trip. Be careful, Magnaformers can be just as fun for adults as they are for kids (Same goes for Lego above!)
If you are going on a beach vacation, sand toys are a must! My son likes diggers and dump trucks best and so we bring a small set with us that packs easily in the luggage. Once we are at our destination, we usually buy our sand toys there to save on space. We try not to buy at the shops right on the beach as they are overpriced. Last trip we got a huge set for $3 at Target!
At age 3.5, my son has just started being able to play simple card games like “Go Fish.” Although he doesn’t follow all the rules, he loves being included with the “adults” and has so much fun trying to keep up. We have this Melissa and Doug set of cards and it’s perfect for tiny hands.
Cranky, crying toddler? Bring out the bubbles! Seriously, work every time. A classic, not to forget! The simple things can certainly provide the most entertainment.
Books are an important part of our nighttime routine and are essential on vacation. A few of our favorites are Goodnight Moon, The Little Engine that Could, and Don’t let the Pigeon Stay up Late. We also like the indestructible books collection for books that can be chewed, washed, and crushed and still be good as new!
Even though we try to keep screens to a minimum in our everyday life, the iPad is a must on vacation. If there was only room for one toy, this would be it! The greatest thing about an iPad on vacation is that it packs so many options into such a small package. My son loves to play the lego app, endless numbers, and endless letters, and he LOVES watching youtube (who knew watching kids unbox toys could be *just* as entertaining as actually playing with toys yourself!). We also have this kid-friendly iPad case which is great for small and clumsy hands.
Happy travels! Hope you all enjoy some fun and relaxation on your next trip!