toys for travel: How do I entertain my child on a plane

Toys for Travel: Entertaining Your Child on a Plane Journey

Toys for Travel: Entertaining Your Child on a Plane Journey

Taking a long flight or road trips anywhere when my son was a toddler used to fill me with dread.

Trying to keep him still in a tiny plane seat when he's used to running and jumping the entire day (pausing only to sleep!)

This was one of the main reasons I began So Handmade.

Coming from the UK we would take long haul flights every summer to visit my family and this travel time took more planning and prepping then the entire rest of the trip!

I came up with some great travel toys based off my experiences and thought these might be helpful to others with similarly active younger kids and toddlers!

Whether you are going on a road trip or a plane trip these great travel toys should keep little kids busy on their long journey. From babies and toddlers to older children there is something for everyone on this list.

Best Toys for Travel:

1. Sticker books are my personal favorite for toddlers on flights, easy to pack and can keep them happy for hours. Great for little fingers to peel and place the stickers. My daughter loves these reusable sticker books from amazon.

 2.Road tape on a tray table kids love playing cars on a plane ride Road or Train Tape is the perfect travel toy for children of all ages. It's small and portable to bring with you. Roll is out on the tray table or plane window and create your own road or train tracks to play on

3. My little kids also loves these water books from Melissa and Doug. Just fill the pen with water and the paint the pages! Great for some mess free fun!

4. A doodle tablet is a handy toy for older toddlers. You can draw and playing games on his analog tablet for some screen free fun. Draw a maze for your little one to escape or simple shapes for them to copy.

5. So Handmades range of travel toys are perfect to stow away in a carry on and bring out on the plane for entertainment.

With a play mat to suit their current obsession from trains, cars, construction to dinosaurs they are the perfect travel toys for some in-flight entertainment. Like this Toy Car Storage: You can store their favorite cars in the pockets and zoom around the playmat and through the tunnel.

Here is my Toy Car Storage in action:

Toy Car Play Mat being used on a flight by a toddler

The Best Toys for Traveling With Your Toddler

6. Busy Books are always great to have with you, whether it's a pop up book with tabs to pull and open or a felt book. This Plane Busy Book from Usborne is perfect for a trip to the airport! 

7. I also love the Eye Spy Books for spending a long time looking at each page!

8. A Fidget Toy is a fun travel toy to keep little hands busy

9. Coloring books are a good quiet activity especially for older children.

10. My Adventure Wallet is perfect for older kids to bring traveling. It can be a travel journal as well as a place to keep all their keepsakes like tickets and maps from their travels.

Child drawing in their car seat on a road trip

Using So Handmade's Adventure Wallet during a road trip

best travel toys for 18 month oldtravel toys for 2 year oldstravel toys for 3 year oldstravel toys for 4 year olds
travel toys for 5 year olds and up

Kids entertained on a flight is the key to the start of a stress free and happy vacation!

The great thing about all these fun travel toys is that not only can you use them on your plane rides but also on your vacation. Keep your younger children busy when you are waiting at the airport, in the hotel room, in the car, at a restaurant or even a rainy day whilst on vacation.

These sensory toys will keep your little ones happy and entertained.

Fine Motor Skills: Amongst The Benefits Of Fun Travel Toys

Engaging your children in play with these perfect play mats and travel toys offers more than just a diversion from screen time or in-flight entertainment options like iPads.

Playing with travel toys present an opportunity for them to hone their fine motor skills, refine hand-eye coordination, and unleash their creativity as they invent stories and characters within their play world.

By immersing themselves in these tactile experiences, they not only stimulate their imaginations but also foster language development and social skills through interaction with their parents, siblings or fellow travelers.

Moreover, navigating the various features of the play mats and toys prompts problem-solving skills and encourages cognitive development, laying a foundation for critical thinking and adaptability.

How to Pack Toys For Travel

When you are packing your bag for carry one and hand luggage I like to separate the toys into a separate packing cube or smaller travel bag within your diaper bag. This is so I can easily grab it out before putting your luggage into the overhead compartments.

The handy toys can be kept hidden from your toddler and bring them out one at a time so as to keep some as a 'surprise' when the fidgeting starts. Having a mix of new travel toys and some tried and tested favorites is also good idea.

Try and keep a schedule like you would at home so during the day time play hour have them engaging in the more active travel toys but when it gets close to nap or night time choose a quieter book or their favorite stuffy to prepare them for sleeping.

Kids love these open ended Montessori travel toys!

Here are some amazing reviews I have had for my Toy Car Storage, the perfect travel toy!

kids love these toddler travel toys

Whether your family vacation starts with a long haul flight or long car rides I hope this list of travel toys has been helpful and wishing you all the luck in the world for a smooth and stress free next trip.

Check out these collections curated especially for each age group!

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Better toys for Better Travels

...even if you're just headed to dinner

So Handmade toys are perfect for taking on your travels, out to dinner or to Grandmas house. Busy toddlers and preschoolers have lots of energy to burn when waiting at restaurants, on planes, and in cars. Just because you're on the go, doesn't mean your little ones can't enjoy imaginative play! The concept is simple: give kids real toys they can play with anywhere, and make them easy to transport and keep together. Having SO Handmade toys as an alternative gives kids a way to use their imaginations to fill in colors and sounds on a simple backdrop of a roadmap. 

So Handmade toys are made with eco-friendly values, high quality craftsmanship, organically sourced materials and with an environmentally conscious approach. When you receive your So Handmade goodies they are packaged beautifully in boxes and mailers that are made from recycled materials. Each and every SO Handmade piece is handmade in my Woodstock, New York studio space.

Even the fabric scraps are donated and reused making this a zero waste studio.