Road trips are an excellent way for families to bond while traveling together. Driving is often cheaper than flying when you’ve got children and multiple bags to bring along, but one of the challenges that come along with a road trip with a toddler is keeping them entertained. Kids don’t like to sit still for long, and when we are on family road trips, we try to do the bulk of driving during nap times or sleeping hours. When your toddler is awake and stuck in the car however, you’ll need fun road trip toys that are easy to play with while in a car seat. Check out some of our favorites:
Vtech Turn & Learn Driver- Toddlers love to imitate what their parents do, and the Vtech Turn & Learn Driver enables your toddler to join in on the driving fun on road trips. There are five buttons that make animal and vehicle sounds, a shifter, steering wheel, mirror, turn signal, and working stoplight. The toy encourages imaginative play, mimicking, and can be used for animal and color identification. There are also three different modes—Driving, animals, or music, so your toddler will never get bored. We love that there are two volume settings so if things are getting a little loud, you can turn the toy down a notch. Two double A batteries are included in the toy, but they are demonstration batteries. Before you set off on your road trip with a toddler, change the batteries out for new ones.
Town Maze Magnetic Game– The best part about this game is that it doesn’t make a mess in the car or have little pieces that easily get lost in the family van. The balls on the board fit in the intersecting tracks and can’t come out. Your toddler can use the magnetic wand to move the balls through town like little cars. There are roadblocks and roundabouts built into the game that will challenge your child’s problem solving and critical thinking skills. The game is categorized as a STEM toy and is the perfect size to fit in your child’s lap or on the extended tray of a back-seat organizer. Your toddler will also work on developing visual-spatial skills, counting, and color identification playing with this fun game. We particularly love this road trip toy because it doesn’t make any noise! When you need to occupy your toddler with something stimulating but quiet, The Town Maze Magnetic Game is perfect.
Magnetic Drawing Board– If your child loves to draw, but you’d rather not have markers or crayons in the car, give your toddler a magnetic drawing board to play with. Most drawing boards have three magnetic that are shape stampers as well as a magnetic pen. Your child can erase over and over again while drawing on the board which reduces paper too! Travel size magnetic doodle boards are perfect for family road trips and can provide hours of quiet, relaxing entertainment for your toddler. The magnets can be choking hazards; however, so make sure your child is supervised while drawing.
Melissa & Doug Take-Along Shape Shorter- Specifically designed for travel and use in the car, this shape sorter by Melissa & Doug is padded and comfortable to sit on your toddler’s lap while the shapes are still hard and easy to push through the corresponding holes on the sorter. There are nine blocks with stimulating sensory textures and nine shapes represented. Shape sorters help with fine and gross motor skills and this toy, like all Melissa & Doug Toys, are designed to inspire creativity and learning. The shape sorter zips closed to keep all the pieces securely inside when they aren’t being used. We also adore the padded handle that makes the toy comfortable for toddlers to carry.
Kindle Fire HD Kids Tablet- We all know that sticking electronics in front of your toddler all the time isn’t a great choice, but if you allow your child to watch any cartoons or play any games such as sorting or memory games that are available as apps, you need a tablet that is designed for rough little ones. The Kindle Fire comes in three different colors and features a kid-proof case that will protect the tablet against being dropped. These tablets also come with a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited which has 20,000 popular books, apps, and games all for kids including educational programming from PBS, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more. Spanish language content is also starting to be available with 1,000 books, movies, and apps currently available for download in Spanish. One of the best things about the Kindle Fire HD Kids Tablet is that for two years after your purchase, if the tablet breaks, Amazon will replace it for free!
Backseat Organizer with Tray- While this isn’t a toy for your toddler, this back-seat organizer will make your life so much easier when you go on a road trip with a toddler. This innovative organizer features many adjustable components, is made from non-toxic materials, and features reinforced backing so it won’t tear if your toddler is pulling on it. The best thing about this organizer, however, is the tray that extends over the passenger’s lap to create a sturdy surface for place, eating, or drawing. The organizer also completely zips closed so that you can easily remove it and carry the car toys inside the hotel with you when you arrive at your destination. A large, clear plastic pocket can also be used when the organizer is zipped closed to hold a tablet and play movies or favorite TV shows during long car rides. This backseat organizer with tray is one of our must-have products for road trips with toddlers and even helps our big kids stay organized on trips as well.
Traveling with your toddler can be easy if you have enough entertainment for them along the way. Don’t be surprised, however if your toddler needs times to get out of the car and stretch their legs and run. Their tolerance for being cooped up and sat down is not nearly as strong as an adult’s so make sure to leave time in the schedule to stop and relax a little bit along the way.