Traveling with Baby- Our Favorite Travel Toys
Before flying back to the States, I did all of the research to find the best toys and gear to keep Emmylou occupied over 50+ hours of travel (in total 9 flights over 6 days 😱). We found a few winners and not surprisingly, the most simple and open-ended toys were the most fun for her (and cheapest)! I also think some of these toys may have been just a bit above her current attention-span, so I’m hoping many of these will travel with us for years to come! Here’s what we packed:
No. 1- If I Were a Bunny Book– This book has literally been a favorite since she was 3 months and never gets old. It’s hearty, has great touch and feel features and is simple! Can’t recommend these books enough! They also coordinate with Jellycat stuffed animals; this one goes with her Bunny. 😊
No. 2- Mini-Spinny– This toy was distracting and engaging for a short time but didn’t last long, mostly because she didn’t quite get how to make the gears spin. We look forward to growing into this toy!
No. 3- Dimple-Popper– This toy made EL giggle right away and she enjoyed learning to pop it herself. It didn’t keep her busy for long but kept her very happy while she played with it. It’s also light and flat so it’s packing-friendly. We’re looking forward to using this more as she gets older.
No. 4- Jumbo Pom Poms– Simple but effective; these were fun to hide under stacking cups, tape to surfaces for her to “set free” and she could play with them quietly. She did a lot of putting them in and out of the tupperware container. We also use these for sensory play at home!
No. 5- Bunny– Having a lovey that your child adores is SO helpful when traveling. We use bunny to signal bedtime, so this was especially helpful when she was trying to sleep on the plane and with the time change.
No. 6- Pipe Cleaners– I had high hopes for these and they really didn’t occupy Emmylou for long…I am hopeful she will be more into them as she grows; they are light, quiet and easy to pack!
No. 7- Fairy Wand– This toy was a huge hit! It was simple, quiet and easy to pack. She loved playing with the ribbons, sequins and just having us bop her on the head with it.
No. 8- Glitter Baton– Another big hit, this toy distracted her when she was beginning to get fussy. She enjoyed looking at it, shaking it and calmed down as she watched the glitter fall.
No. 9- Suction Rattle– This toy makes a sweet little rattle, suctions onto surfaces and is very great for chewing but Emmylou wasn’t into it (boo)! I am not sure if she was too old or young for this toy…we will try it again because it seemed promising to me (but what do I know?!).
No. 10- Sticky Notes– Another simple, cheap and disposable toy for the win. She pulled stickies off of the pad and then I stuck them all over the seat and window and she had fun pulling them down (for a while). At the end we tossed them- yay!
No. 11- Tape– THIS (not) TOY WINS! Tape is sticky and curiously fun for toddlers…you can tape things up for them to get down and then the tape will stick to their hands and distract them for SO long (in toddler time). It’s disposable and quiet…what more could you want from a travel toy?!
No. 12- Balloon– This was a great, last minute idea…Emmylou was loving her birthday balloons so I threw a couple deflated balloons and pieces of string into our bag. She really enjoyed chasing the balloon around our seat area and in the hotel…we will definitely be making this a regular travel toy!
No. 13- Indestructibles Books– These books are SO great for tiny readers- they really can’t be torn! They are lightweight, easy to pack and Emmylou loves crumpling the pages. She really enjoyed the one about foods (linked) because she could point to the foods so I could read the names to her.
No. 14- Rainbow Busy Board– This was a splurge but is SO nice. It will definitely last, as well. Many of the functions she couldn’t do on her own yet, but she loved finding the little surprises behind every detail. We know this lightweight, quiet and engaging toy will travel with us for years to come.
No. 15- Baby Paper– This is a fantastic travel toy (lightweight, easily packed and quiet) but, unfortunately, it wasn’t something Emmylou wasn’t super interested in. I am pretty sure a younger baby would LOVE this though; it’s crinkly and high-contrast. I passed it along to my baby nephew, so I am hoping he will love using it on some upcoming road trips.
No. 16- Stacking Cups– Are you at all surprised to see these as a favorite? I’M NOT! Stacking cups are one of the BEST travel toys for babies and toddlers…they are lightweight, quiet, pack down and are SO versatile. We use one for bath time and the rest for play. On this trip she enjoyed finding pom poms and raisins under the cups. The cups can also double as a travel bath toy!
No. 17- Small Tupperware– Is there a toddler in the world that doesn’t enjoy tupperware?! Somehow these empty containers can be SO fun! We put stuff inside for her to shake around, stored snacks in it and let her open and close it (over and over). Another (not) toy that she loved!
That’s all we brought on our long journey to and from the States…did she get bored, YES, did she melt down, YES, did we show her the same episode of the Wiggles 12 million times, YES! But we made it and it really wasn’t (that) bad.
As you pack to travel with your bub, I would keep these things in mind: novelty, open-endedness and disposability. The best toys for this trip were the ones we weren’t worried about losing or getting filthy. Also, keep in mind that she was under supervision while playing with all of these toys; we are aware that some of them are choking hazards…
Traveling with a one-year-old is significantly more difficult than a younger baby, but also more fun; she loved watching the airplanes and is beginning to understand the routines of travel. We are looking forward to many more trips with our favorite toddler traveler!
K, J, EL & P