Taking a family road trip soon? Nobody, not even an adult, can sit in a car for hours on end without SOMETHING fun to do!
Whilst we have dozens of hot tips for road tripping with kids, simply nothing (other than maybe a good supply of snacks!) will help you through long-distance driving quite like a great selection of travel toys for the car.
The best toys for car trips are ideally:
- Fairly quiet (i.e. won’t distract the driver!)
- Do not have small parts which can be easily lost (or swallowed)
- Can easily attach to the car seat (if you are traveling with a baby or toddler)
Electronics such as small tablets, smartphones, or portable DVD players can play a part in your road trip entertainment arsenal, but there are plenty more boredom busters you can pack on your next family road trip that don’t require batteries!.
We have rounded up for you here a selection of the most fun toys for road trips, broken up into age groups so no matter what age your child is, there is something on the list for them!
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Classic Baby and Infant Toys For Car Trips
Car seat toys make the perfect travel toys for babies. You can hang them on the back of the seat, and they can play with the soft toys attached to the mat. The great part is, they can’t drop them!
As you take your road trip, letting the baby play with your real keys isn’t a safe option, but you can give them their own playset of keys. The set has 4 car sounds that come from the purple remote and realistic keys for them to play with.
An 8-page soft book for babies, this soft toy book from Melissa & Doug will let your little one enjoy the colors and shapes in the book. It’s also great for toddlers, so the book will work for both young and older babies for hours of travel entertainment.
Made for tiny hands, this little teether toy is soft and shaped like a maze. Your little one will be mesmerized as they play with the teether and look at the colors of the tubes, it’s always been one of our favorite baby travel toys.
This cute little elephant is not just cuddly, it lights up and plays music. It’s perfect for babies and young children and will entertain them as they ride along during the road trip.
Attach these rattles to a crib, car seat, or stroller so that your little one can have fun on the go.
You can easily transfer this toy to all three so you can take it wherever you go on your family road trip.
This fun set of silicone teething rattles will keep the baby entertained throughout the trip.
The teethers are made of non-toxic material and have smooth polished edges for safety. Lots of pieces so if one does get lost or dropped, you’ll always have a back up!
A fun and educational soft toy for ages 3 months and up, these cloth books are soft in touch and make the crinkle paper sound that babies love.
Your baby can chew, crinkle, and play with the colorful books as you travel, with handy clips for attaching to car seats and strollers.
This cute little pink glo worm will sing soothing melodies to your little one as you travel. When his belly is pushed, the glo worm’s face lights up and will sing gentle lullabies, ideal if you need to rock your baby off to sleep in their car seat while you’re on the move.
Another teething toy set that’s perfect for road trips, these silicone toys are shaped like tools. They also attach to a clip so that you can keep them close no matter where you go.
Top Tip: If your baby toys don’t come with a clip, you can still by these toy teethers to easily attach them to your infant car seat and stop the dropping game once and for all!
Best Road Trip Toys For Toddlers
Your toddler is ready for some more interactive games but they still need to be safe for your tot to handle unsupervised while your eyes are on the road. All of these road trip toys make great interactive and sensory distractions for toddlers on long drives:
Your toddler will love playing and manipulating each and every aspect of this fun toddler busy board backpack.
What’s great is they can even fit a few of their other favorite toys inside too for their very own travel bag.
Filled with sensory beads and non-toxic gel, this drawing pad will allow your little one to make an endless number of creations throughout the trip with just the touch of a finger, no other tools required..
While your toddler is enjoying the ride, keep them busy with this fun search and find game. The double-sided activity mats will keep your older toddler entertained for hours.
A fun doodle pad board (aka sketch board) that your toddler can use throughout the trip to draw and use their imaginations.
Fidget toys are perfect for traveling and when it comes to road trips, they are great for keeping little hands entertained. Available in lots of fun shapes and colors, they take up very little packing space.
This small wooden activity cube will help keep your toddler’s hands busy for hours. They can move the different pieces and work on various motor skills with the toy.
Take this interactive smart teddy with you on your road trip to keep your toddler entertained. The app on your phone can control what’s on the teddy and the kids will have fun listening to stories and other learning activities.
Stickers are always a winner with little kids. Your toddler will love giving the farm animals different faces as they play with this reusable sticker pad. The pad contains 10 different farm scenes and 76 reusable cling-style stickers to make the face.
As you are traveling in the car, your toddler can have fun trying to move the ball in the maze with the attached magnetic pen. It has a colorful sea theme to it which will make it easier to hold their attention throughout the trip and an easy carry handle.
This cute owl pillow is not only soft and cuddly, turn him around and there are plenty of little things your toddler can play with on the road trip.
Your toddler will be able to snap, button, and buckle the different items on the pillow, perfect for problem solving and cognitive skills.
Best Road Trip Toys for Preschoolers
Your preschoolers will have more dexterity and toys can hold their attention span for longer periods of time.
We’d recommend on a long road trip you also invest in a car seat travel tray so that your child has a comfortable play space with a play surface they can spread all their toys out on, and handy pockets to stop items rolling away.
As they explore the different Disney scenes when trying to find the character and scene images, your preschooler will not only be working on hand-eye coordination but also counting on the road trip. The perfect educational preschooler toy to pack for a road trip.
This busy book is perfect for keeping your little one entertained throughout the car ride. It’s a sturdy book so you can easily take it in the car and your preschooler will have fun working on the activities.
You can’t go wrong with a tablet when it comes to traveling in the car! So much can be done on the tablet and your little one will love watching shows, playing games, and more. Just make sure you’ve downloaded what you need before setting off in case you don’t have wifi!
Available in a variety of different designs, as you travel in the car your preschooler can color the sheets of paper without you having to worry about a mess. Each kit contains 18 Blippi coloring sheets and 5 magic markers.
Go Fish is a fun game for any age and this set helps your preschooler learn the letters of the alphabet both capitalized and lowercase.
Need an activity your child can really focus on? Your preschooler will have great fun trying to get the colored balls in the matching garage with the magnetic pen. This is a challenging STEM toy they can take in the car or anywhere they go on vacation.
A quiet but fun road trip activity your preschooler can do throughout the ride, this dot-to-dot workbook is fun and educational.
Ideal for the 3 to 5-year-old age group where critical thinking is involved, and they have a fun coloring page to complete too once the dot-to-dot is complete.
Seven double-sided cards are included in this memory game. Each card has different images so your preschooler can stay entertained throughout the trip. An ideal car game if you have siblings who want to play along together.
Full of fun activities your preschooler can do while in the car, this activity kit will have them coloring and designing a variety of different things.
With it’s own carry case and handle its the ideal travel toy than can come from car to roadside stop.
Mix, match, and style the different pieces in this fun travel tangram puzzle.
Not only is this a fun travel game, but it allows children to get creative with shapes, ideal for the older preschooler with magnetic pieces that (shouldn’t!) get lost!
Best Road Trip Toys for Elementary School Age Kids
A wonderful age for road tripping with kids – though you’ll need plenty of ideas to stave off the chorus of “are we there yet”. Try these wonderful travel toys perfect for your slightly older kids on your next family road trip:
This small little game system is a powerful little portable machine that has 100 preloaded classic retro games to play. If you don’t want the expense or arguments of a full-size tablet, this is a wonderful hand-held compromise.
If your child loves fashion and creating their own style, they will love this fun fashion sketch pad with stencils and stickers. It comes in plenty of different designs from clothing to bedroom design or even design your own unicorns.
Even though your child is stuck in the car throughout the road trip, doesn’t mean they can’t have fun! This flashing cube has 4 quick-fingered games that they can learn to master on the ride.
A fun game system for on-the-go, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a popular road trip accessory. On the go, they can play their favorite games as they wait to get to their destination, in a small and lightweight unit (don’t forget a storage case too!)
Kids will love cracking the codes by uncovering hidden clues and secret messages throughout the pages. It’s also a fun way to encourage problem-solving and critical thinking, bound to keep them occupied for many hours while you’re on the road.
The magic rainbow scratch-off paper kits are fun for kids of all ages, but they work best for your elementary-aged child.
This kit has everything you need for hours of fun, including 50 pieces of scratch paper and 4 stencils to follow, or create your own colorful designs.
Get creative in the car by designing some cool things with wax. This fun set is perfect for road trips and will allow your child to get creative with their hands, even on the go.
No sticky mess, you get over 300 sticks in a set of different lengths so the only limit is your child’s imagination!
This set is perfect for traveling with friends or siblings. The magnetic game board will let your children play checkers and tic tac toe throughout the car ride. Super simple family games that never go out of fashion!
While on the road, children can have fun with this challenging jigsaw game puzzle. The 40-piece game set will keep them busy for hours as they put together the puzzle.
Designed with road trips in mind, they include clues for everything you will likely encounter on your family road trip!
Scavenger hunt games are always fun for kids and this card pack will keep them entertained as they search for the objects found on the cards.
Best Road Trip Toys For Tweens and Teens
Don’t want your older kids simply plugged in for hours on end? There are plenty of fun and creative road trip toy ideas perfect for all those family members 10 years+ who still need busy hands and minds.
Flip, slide, and match the cubes as you are timed with this travel game. The game has 4 game modes, each with a different level of challenge, perfect for passing the time on car rides.
Remember the wooden strategy game we played at some of our favorite restaurants?
These pegboards can be taken anywhere so that your tweens and teens can play anywhere they go. Great for strategizing and stretching the mind.
A Nintendo Switch can be a lifesaver when it comes to killing time while your tween or teen is traveling in the car.
They can use the same game system they use at home with portable remote controls that simply clip in to have some fun on their road trip adventure. Don’t forget a carry case to keep their console and game chips safe.
This is a game that siblings can play together, or you can get the whole family involved during the road trip. It’s hilarious and fun to see what kinds of things will be blurted out.
A travel edition of our favorite word game, this set even includes a travel storage pouch so that it can be carried anywhere. A great brain teaser toy for your tweens and teens.
This activity book for teens has 180 different brain games and puzzles they can do while in the car. Each brain game is challenging but fun and pitched at your older child.
Nothing beats the feeling you get when you solve a challenging puzzle. This magnetic puzzle game is an impressive game that can be played in the car for some challenging fun.
This fast-sling puck game is a portable hockey game that fits on the table while you are taking a break at a roadside stop. Depending on the room you have in the car, it might be able to fit on their lap while in the car.
This pack includes 12 different retro fun games that your tween or teen can take on any road trip. It’s great for elementary-aged children as well but we like it more for tweens.
If your child enjoys doing word search puzzles, they will love working on this activity book while on a road trip.
With over 1,000 puzzles, your teen or tween will have plenty of puzzles to help them pass the miles.
We hope you’ve managed to find something in this road trip toy selection to suit every member of your family.
Other Ways To Pass Time In The Car
In addition to all the incredible games we’ve covered in this guide (yes, over 50 road trip toy ideas!) you may also want to prepare for your road trip entertainment:
- Download some audiobooks that all the family can listen to together or a podcast series suitable to your age group.
- Family singalong. I know, I know, the 17,000th rendition of their favorite nursery rhyme might be driving you around the bend but little kids love nothing more than mom and dad joining in. Change the words, and sing in a funny voice, it’s bound to get some giggles from the back. (Psst, there’s quite possibly an age limit on this one though, you don’t want your tweens and teens disowning you at the next roadside stop)
- Easy word games. You don’t need a fancy toy to keep the kids entertained all the time. Plenty of imaginative games in the car can be played verbally without any props. Try “would you rather” questions, alphabet listing games, or good old I-spy!
- Older kids can easily engage in road trip trivia games – from quizzes to conversation starters, easy apps you can download, or DIY games you can make up as you go.
What are your go-to toys and games for a family road trip?
© Family Road Trip