With the holiday season fast approaching, families will be hitting the road a lot more to visit friends and family and take seasonal vacations.
Holiday travel, especially with babies, toddlers, and young children, is no easy feat. There are several things to consider when it comes to picking a toy for trips near or far, whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile. Parents and caregivers want toys to be travel-friendly, safe to handle on their own, and hold their interest for a extended length of time.
To help out parents and caregivers, we've carefully curated a list of 10 of our top toys for holiday travel, with great options for a range of ages. These toys will keep your kids busy and their minds engaged, no matter how long the trip. No screens required! Need more help? Visit our 2023 Holiday Gift Guide page, and let it do the work for you.
Our Top Travel Toys for the Holiday Season
Age: 0+ months
Why it’s great: This super-sweet clip-on vibrating pull-toy is a delicious way to entertain babies while stimulating their senses—without the sugar rush! It looks like a soft, smiling ice cream cone, but pull it down and it expands to four stacked scoops in different patterns, colors, and textures (cotton, corduroy, and quilted materials). When baby lets go, the cone vibrates and plays chiming sounds as it jiggles its way back to a single cone!
Sweet detail: Bring the fun wherever baby goes—the self-stick strap lets you easily clip the all-in-one, multi-textured toy onto a stroller, car seat, diaper bag, or high chair to keep it close at hand.
Skills: Reaching, grasping, C-grip, gross & fine motor skills, sensory development
Why it’s great: This "farmyard" is full of noisy animals and compact enough to take anywhere! Four animals sound off with their animal songs and play a lively melody when their noses are pressed. Or babies can grasp the padded handle and bump the block against the floor to start the sounds! This feature-filled activity cube also boasts a sturdy textured ring, knotted tags, crinkly flower petals and tabs, and a toddler-tough plastic mirror.
Sweet detail: Features a sturdy textured ring, knotted tags, crinkly flower petals and tabs, and a toddler-tough plastic mirror.
Skills: Sensory, fine motor, gross motor, logical, creative, linguistic, emotional, communication, self-esteem.
Why it’s great: Take a magnetic matching journey through four national parks: Everglades, Arches, Acadia, and Mammoth Cave! Learn and play by matching 60 shaped wooden magnets on large double-sided scene cards to pictures shown on two double-sided identification guides.
Sweet detail: Magnets show animals and plants that are native to each park; each is identified in English and Spanish on the picture guides, so kids learn as they play!
Skills: sorting and counting activities, fine-motor skill development, storytelling, and imaginative play
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 vehiclel-themed coloring boards
Skills: Promotes fine motor skills, early writing skills, and visual discrimination
Why it’s great: All aboard for some railroad adventures! Eight wooden train cars, each approximately three inches long, link together with magnetic couplers in endless combinations for lots of imaginative play.
Sweet detail: Brightly painted and beautifully crafted train cars include a steam engine, caboose, coal car, passenger car, and more. This set is sized to play perfectly with Melissa & Doug activity rugs or on its own.
Skills: Fine and gross motor skills, counting, problem solving, imaginative play
Why it’s great: Ding Dong! Fun is at the door of this soundly-built wooden doorbell house. Four electronic doorbell sounds, four unique locks with matching keys, and four pose-able play people are included with this charming cottage!
Sweet detail: The keys are attached to the house so they won't get lost, and the sturdy handle allows this exciting house party to go wherever children go!
Skills: Fine and gross motor skills, problem solving, imaginative play
Age: 2+ years
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
Age: 3+ years
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
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
Age: 6+ years
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
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