10 Travel Toys for Kids that Fit in ONE Backpack

Posted By Katie on Mar 20, 2014

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Hey there!

Planning a long road trip?  Gearing up for a lengthy flight? Sometimes a child needs something to do besides play electronics or watch countless movies.

After years of family travel adventures, here are my top 10 tried-and-true travel toys for kids.  These travel toys make the cut for me because they are small and affordable, and I can fit all 10 of them in a child’s backpack.

10 great travel toys that fit into ONE small backpack. Take a break from the screens and keep your kids happy on long car and plane trips with these fun and inexpensive travel toys | tipsforfamilytrips.com

1. Magnetic Play Books

Magnetic books keep small parts from getting lost and allow for interactive story time while you travel.  Try one out and see how much your toddler enjoys creating her own story. Click on picture below if you want to order through Amazon.

2.  Travel Doodler

My kids of all ages love the Travel Doodler.  We get the most use out of this toy when the kids play Tic Tac Toe together, or when someone draws whatever a young child requests.  My baby loves it when we trace his hand and then let him erase it.

3.  Triangular Crayons 

Brilliant travel toy for kids.  These triangular crayons will stay put on your airplane tray table while your little artist works on her creations.

4.  Spot It Jr. Game

This compact, portable game is perfect for traveling.  Many variations of the game exist, and the colorful animals are fun for even a baby to look at.  For older kids, check out the regular edition of Spot It.

5.  Finger Puppets

My 4-year-old daughter loves pulling these finger puppets on and off her fingers, and my 2-year-old son belts out the animal sounds as we play.  These finger puppets make great travel toys, and they are affordable too.

6.  Rubik’s Cube

Younger children will love messing them up, and mom and dad can learn how to solve one!

7.  Coloring books

I like dot-to-dot books for kids of all ages, but my 7-year-old son fell in love with this coloring book.

When he needed a break, his big sisters were delighted to give the book a try.  If numbers aren’t your thing, colored pencils and these prism design coloring books will entertain an older child for hours.

8. Wikki Stix

Tap your child’s creativity with these bendable wax sticks.  Wikki Stix are one of my favorite travel toys because they appeal to all ages.  Create animals, buildings, flowers, cars, or whatever you dream up.  Wikki Stix feel sticky, but wiping fingers clean with a wet wipe made for easy clean up.  Grab an extra ziploc bag to store these in if you plan to reuse them, which I do.

9.  Sticker Books

Love Hello Kitty or Star Wars?  Find a sticker book that your child is interested in and enjoy plenty of quiet time.  This is the one I just ordered for my truck-loving son:

10.  Stacking Cups

I love stacking cups as travel toys.  You can use them to serve snacks, hide small toys or treats under, stack, build towers, sort by color, and many other wonderful activities.  When you arrive at your destination, stacking cups are a great bath toy too!

We have used most of these ideas on airplanes, but you can use these tricks for road trips too. For other great travel tips, check out Tips for Flying with a Toddler or Baby and 10 Screen-Free Road Trip Ideas.

Here are a few more travel products that may work for you.

What are your favorite travel toys for kids?  I would love to hear what things your kids love!

Katie is a busy mom living in Northern Virginia with her husband and five children ranging in age from toddlers to teens. When she isn't traveling, she is planning her next trip. Katie loves all types of travel, but she especially loves beach vacations. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a favorite family destination.


  1. These are all great ideas! My kids always love lacing cards, those Crayola Wonder Marker books, and the Picture Puzzle books. Pinned!

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    • Thanks, Mariel. Love those ideas! I’m flying in a few weeks with my five kids and I think I’ll give the lacing cards a try for my daughter. Thanks!

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  2. We’re always planning on long road trips with our 4 children. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Please use a collapsible travel tray in the car as if there is an accident a rigid one could badly hurt a child.

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  4. There are several Led Toys that can add on to the entertainment and end up in late night fun.

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