Kid-Approved Travel Toys

We love traveling with our kids (of course) but traveling with toys to entertain them can be cumbersome due to size. Why even pack toys? Whether it be in the car, on a plane, or during downtime moments in a hotel, toys are essential. When traveling kids don’t have the luxury of running to their room, playroom, or backyard to pick one of their many toys for entertainment. There have been times when I am standing in their sea of toys perplexed about what to toss in a bag that will have some longevity of engagement. Parents, you know what I’m talking about right?

When shopping for travel toys the key is being light and compact. These toys are also great for getting kids to start being responsible for their own gear. If it is something they care about they may be more prone to carrying, I started the boys with these mini backpacks from Pottery Barn and have since progressed to a traditional-size backpack. 

Here are a few of their favorite things to pack in their toy travel bag.

Board Bingo

I remember playing with these bingo boards when I was a little kid, and this vintage toy is still a winner for road trip engagement. We also have an incentive for a full board (that long-term interest). The premise is simple: kids search for items shown on the board in pictures (to help those who may not be reading yet) and words. Billboards, water towers, train tracks, police cars, dogs, stop signs are some of the things kids can keep an eye out for. 

Spot It

This is a great compact game to have to play on an airplane or during downtime moments in a hotel. The round cards have several different images on them. Players split the deck of cards and simultaneously put a card from their pile down and the goal is to spot the image on both cards first.

IQ Twist

A great compact toy that will also test your mind. There is a booklet that provides a variety of puzzles to solve. Puzzles can be solved over and over and progress in complexity. 

Brain Books

We love the brain books by Leland Books. There are a variety of options that can be dialed in on age. Word search, crossword, and sudoku are my boy’s favorites. These are not only great for plane or car entertainment but when waiting for meals in restaurants. 

Mini Classic Games

Just like the normal-size games, you have at home but in a mini size to make it ideal for travel. There is Grab & Go Connect 4, Grab & Go Battleship and Grab & Go Trouble, Grab & Go Sorry, and more.


Who doesn’t love UNO? UNO is the classic card game where players take turns matching a card in their hand with the current card shown on top of the deck either by color or number. Special action cards like Skip, Reverse, Draw Two deliver game-changing moments to help defeat opponents. 

Of course, there is the ubiquitous technology option but try any of these suggestions before giving in to screen time, or alas – when the battery is dead. 

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