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The 10 Best Toys for Car Trips

2021-03-31 by Melissa & Doug
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With the summer months fast approaching, families will be hitting the road to the nearest beach, lake, park, or pool. And traveling with kids is no easy feat. There are a few things to consider when it comes to picking a toy for car trips (near or far). You want it to be travel-friendly, safe to handle on their own, and hold their interest for a prolonged time. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our ten best toys for car trips with kids. These toys will keep your kids busy and their minds engaged, no matter how long the car trip. No screens required!

The Best Travel Toys for Car Trips to Keep Kids Busy

These toys are the perfect way to keep kids entertained during car trips. We’ve also included extra play ideas for each to keep the play going!

Melissa & Doug Water Wow Animal Antics Deluxe Water Reveal Pad

 

      1. Water Wow Animal Antics Deluxe Water Reveal Pad

        Age: 5+

        Why it’s great: Your child is sure to say “Wow!” when they realize they can paint with water! Just fill the chunky pen with water before you hit the road, and hidden pictures will appear with every stroke. Plus, pictures erase once the page dries so that you can color it in again and again.

        Sweet detail: Includes eight spiral-bound animal-themed coloring boards (arctic maze, safari, ocean, jungle, farm, coral reef, pet shop maze, forest)

        Skills: Fine motor, hand-eye coordination, creative expression 

        Countless Ways to Play: This Water Wow booklet is perfect for on-the-go creativity. Throw it in your bag or keep it in the car for no-mess painting wherever you go!

 

 

    1. Wooden Animal Magnets
      Melissa & Doug Wooden Animal Magnets

      Age: 2+

      Why it’s great: This wooden set comes with twenty magnets of wild and domesticated animals. Each piece features realistic details, so your child can have fun describing the details like, “It’s black and white. It has a big belly. It likes to sit.”

      Sweet detail: Comes packed in a wooden box for easy storage!

      Skills: Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

      Countless Ways to Play: A cookie sheet is a great way to bring a magnetic surface on the go. Place the cookie sheet across their lap—and watch them have magnetic fun all ride long!

 

    1. Wooden Latches Board

      Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board

      Age: 3+

      Why it’s great: You can count on having fun with this educational wooden play board! Have your child undo a lock or latch, swing open the numbered door, and find fun when the picture beneath is revealed. 

      Sweet detail: Latches hook, snap, click, and slide!

      Skills: Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination 

      Countless Ways to Play: Call out a color and have your child tell you what animals are behind the door. Once they’ve said the name—have them count the number of animals!

 

    1. Flip Fish Baby Toy
      Melissa & Doug Flip Fish Baby Toy

      Age: 1+ Months

      Why it’s great: This cuddly fish friend will swim right into kids’ hearts! With bright colors, bold facial features, and washable fabrics that include a variety of patterns and hidden pictures, this crinkling, squeaking, multi-textured soft toy is perfect for car trips with babies and toddlers. 

      Sweet detail: Features shatterproof mirror to engage baby’s interest in faces and light

      Skills: Fine motor skills and colors 

      Countless Ways to Play: Have your child find the mirror and make a fish mouth, just like their cuddly toy! 

  1. Puffy Sticker Play Set- Safari
    Melissa & Doug Puffy Sticker Play Set- Safari

    Age: 4+

    Why it’s great: This reusable puffy sticker set includes a sturdy double-sided, fold-out background panel, plus 42 puffy stickers. Use the stickers to fill savannah or jungle scenes with big cats, birds, elephants, hippos, and more. 

    Sweet detail: These stickers are perfect for travel because they can go on and off the background for endless storytelling fun! 

    Skills: Creative expression, fine motor skills and communication 

    Countless Ways to Play: Enjoy endless animal adventures with dozens of wild creatures! Just tape one of the fold-out backgrounds to the car window or the back of the seat in front of them and have them tell you a story as they fill the scene.

 

  1. Hungry Pelican Learning Toy
    Melissa & Doug Hungry Pelican Learning Toy

    Age: 9+ Months 

    Why it’s great: This cuddly plush pelican has an empty belly with a big appetite for fun! Children will have a blast opening the pelican’s big bill (which squeaks when squeezed!) to drop a crinkly shrimp, squeaking octopus, rattling fish, or crab right into the bird’s big belly.

    Sweet detail: The pieces on this pelican squeak, rattle, and crinkle!

    Skills: Sensory development, fine motor, gross motor; great for self-esteem

    Countless Ways to Play: Help kids learn the four small sea creatures’ names by saying each name aloud as your child holds up each animal.

 

  1. Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets

    Melissa & Doug Wooden Letter Alphabet Magnets

    Age: 3+Why it’s great: This wonderful wooden set comes with 52 magnetic uppercase and lowercase letters that make spelling fun. You can use these must-have letters for letter recognition, matching, and even stenciling activities. 

    Sweet detail: Comes packed in a wooden box for easy storage!

    Skills: Promotes letter recognition, spelling, and creativity

    Countless Ways to Play: Get your cookie sheet ready again! Then have kids place the letters as you slowly sing the alphabet song. Once the letters are lined up, sing the whole song together.

 

  1. Created by Me- Butterfly Fleece Quilt
    Melissa & Doug Created by Me- Butterfly Fleece Quilt

    Age: 6+

    Why it’s great: Your child can make their very own super-cozy quilt in no time! Plus, it’s easy to make. Just tuck the extra-wide and extra-long fringe into slits and tie single knots to piece together a beautiful flower quilt.  

    Sweet detail: Both sides are soft and fuzzy, making it perfect for snuggling.

    Skills: Fine motor, hand-eye coordination, creative expression 

    Countless Ways to Play: Since this craft only requires tying knots, your child can have this quilt done before they can say, “Are we there yet?”

 

  1. Reusable Sticker Pad- Vehicles

    Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad- Vehicles

    Age: 3+

    Why it’s great: This extra-large sticker-activity pad includes five glossy, full-color backgrounds that feature lots of space to play creatively, plus 165 cling-style stickers. Use the stickers to create your own busy airport, train tracks, harbor, construction site, or roadway!

    Sweet detail: Just like our animal adventure stickers—these vehicle stickers can go on and off the background for endless storytelling fun! 

    Skills: Creative expression, fine motor skills and communication 

    Countless Ways to Play: Enjoy endless travel adventures! Just tape one of the removable backgrounds to the car window or the back of the seat in front of them and have them tell you a story as they fill the scene.

 

  1. Take-Along Town
    Melissa & Doug Take-Along Town

    Age: 3+

    Why it’s great: Take playtime anywhere they want to go! Unfold the sturdy wooden case to create an illustrated play surface with built-in road tracks for the three wooden wheeled vehicles (a police car, ambulance, and fire engine) and a wooden helicopter to race to the rescue.  

    Sweet detail: All the pieces store in a fold-up case with a convenient carrying handle for easy cleanup and travel. 

     Skills: Independent play and motor skill development.

    Countless Ways to Play: Ok, so this one isn’t exactly for the car trip, but it’s great for bringing along wherever you go. After you return from your trip or reach your destination, have your child take you through a “tour” of the town.

Traveling is fun, but getting there with little ones can be a challenge. Road trip toys need to be portable, fun, and safe—and the toys above are great options for a range of ages. We hope these toys make your car trips more memorable!

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Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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