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As the parent of a two-year-old, I know first-hand that keeping a toddler entertained during long journeys can be a challenge.
I have flown long haul on 14-hour non-stop flights with my son. As well as going on several 6-hour plus car journeys. Subsequently, I’ve learnt a lot about what makes (or breaks) a successful journey.
One thing I never go on a family trip without is a stack of travel-friendly toys. Here are some of my personal favourites.
A busy board is one of the most popular travel toys on the market. This board keeps little hands entertained with more than 25 different Montessori-inspired activities.
What parents such as myself particularly love about the busy board is that all items are securely attached to the board. This way, no tiny parts go missing.
While I try to minimise screen time during a long flight or car journey, I'm also realistic about what works (and works well) for our little one.
Despite predominantly owning Apple products, I bought the Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet for my son. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet is fantastic value for money and comes in a kid-proof case for added protection.
Be sure to download a range of suitable apps and videos in your hotel room or at home in advance to avoid relying on mobile data.
The Water Wow! toy by Melissa & Doug is a mess-free painting activity set for kids.
Use the special water pen on the painting pads to reveal bright and colourful pictures. These kids come in various designs, including animals, letters and numbers.
It's no secret that children love playing with stickers. However, stickers usually have a short life span. Thankfully, however, this reusable sticker pad allows the stickers to be reapplied time and time again.
These travel-friendly sticker pads are made by the popular children's toy brand Mellisa & Doug. Meanwhile, designs include; fairies, farmyards, prehistoric, towns and vehicles.
The Tonies audio player for kids is great for stories or as a music box. While the device is expensive, it's won several awards and holds its value well.
A Tonies is an excellent alternative to a screen and is so easy to use that even our 2-year-old can do it.
These incredible magnetic puzzle books are one of the best toddler toys for building dexterity.
Each book contains three different jigsaws with 20 bright and colourful pieces. Made of quality wood, the pieces are durable and will provide entertainment for many future car journeys.
I have had the Inny Bin by FatBrain in my car since my little boy was just six months old. This toy comes with six chunky blocks in different colours and shapes that can be pushed through the elasticated webbing of the cube.
The Inny Bin is designed to help with shape recognition, tactile skills and creative thinking.
Similar to Where's Wally, iSpy books are great for car journeys. The creators use everyday objects to enhance intellectual discovery. Your toddler will become a detective, trying to solve the riddle and find the objects on the pages.
The books are aimed at ages 4 - 7. However, I have known older children and grown-ups who enjoy them too.
The Leapfrog 100 Animal Book is one of the best toddler travel toys on the market. With 100 different animals to discover, this interactive book is perfect for young children eager to learn.
The book features different modes of play, including letter and animal recognition. This makes the Leapfrog 100 Animal Book both educational and entertaining.
Sticker face books are an affordable way to entertain a creative child on a long journey.
Each book has several different stickers, including eyes, mouths, and hats. This way, your child can create characters and engage in imaginative play.
Colouring books and crayons are a simple and affordable travel toy that's often overlooked.
With a range of different designs to choose from, little kids can express themselves and develop their artistic skills.
These colourful suction spinners were one of the first travel toys I purchased. Small, simple and affordable, they attach to windows and other flat, smooth, non-porous surfaces.
Suction spinners provide hours of entertainment for babies and toddlers. So much so their popularity has led to several affordable 'knock-offs' being sold. I recommend only purchasing from well-known brands whose products are safety-tested and BPA-free.
Other Things To Pack For A Family Road Trip
Alongside a whole host of great travel toys, you’re also going to want to pack some toddler essentials, including;
- Car Seat: A toddler car seat is essential for ensuring the safety of your little one in the car.
- Tray Table: A tray table is a work surface for little ones to play on.
- Water Bottle: Keeping hydrated on long journeys is essential.
- Potty: If you are potty training, remember to bring this along for emergencies.