Summer vacations are always a blast, but the trip itself, especially when you have kids, can be difficult. Whether you're flying out to see family on the other side of the country, or spending a few hours in the car getting to the perfect campsite, entertaining little ones can be a challenge.
While many decide to simply turn on a show or game on a tablet, some parents don't like the idea of their kids spending such an extended period of time with electronics. Besides, how long can you watch PawPatrol for? (Or how many times can we parents listen to the theme song?)
There are many merits attributed to toys that allow for creative play and stimulation, and some of them we can deem perfect for traveling as they are easy to pack and bring with you. Not only will your children learn to play more independently and not count on being entertained the entire time, but they engage different parts of their brain in problem solving and creative advancement. Oh, and bonus, none of these toys can run out of batteries leaving you in the lurch!
Here's a list of some of our top recommended road trip toys for kids, starting from kids aged around 12 months:
Grimm's Rolling Wheel:This non-toxic, all-natural lime wood toy has many attributes to interest your young toddler. The beads and bell rattle and make sound when shaken, the rods are all different colours for stimulation and gripping, and when you arrive at your destination, your crawling or walking little one can push this wheel along the ground. A perfect transition toy from car to final destination!
TEGU Magnetic Wooden Building Block SetThis TEGU set is small and portable with 8 blocks- but that's all your child needs for endless possibilities! Build animals, structures, explore different forms, all to be easily packed away in a pouch afterwards. The magnets allow for free form dreaming while keeping "back seat dropping" to a minimum.
Petit Collage- Magnetic Playset Animal Band
For a slightly older audience, we suggest the Petit Collage magnetic playsets. The little tin case opens to reveal a scene inside that is customizable by your little one thanks to over 25 magnetic pieces that come with it. Instead of watching or listening to stories, suggest your child prepare his or her own story that they can present to you at your final destination.
Crazy Aaron's Thinking PuttyThis sensory toy is great for managing all the different emotions and feeling that can come with traveling, from restlessness, anxiety, or boredom. Squish this putty between your fingers, mold it like play doh, or just revel in the amazing features of all the different putty types, from magnetism, colour changing, or even interesting smells!
Vilac- Lower Case Alphabet
Is your child starting to become fascinated with letters? Practise your alphabet or work on spelling with this colourful wooden magnet set. Your little one will be learning without even realizing what's going on! Win-Win!
Grimm's Magnet Puzzle - Circles
This might be a better match for your children ages 6+ due to small pieces, but you might find yourself tempted to usurp this amazing toy. This magnetic puzzle comes in a black metal box that makes it mobile, and can really bring out your little artist's creativity with creating images and patterns with the wooden pieces.
While we understand that there's a place for the right types of electronics, it's nice to know that your kids are not dependent on them to have a good time, especially during times like road trips or air travel, when mobility is decreased. There are also activities that you can do as a family that don't require toys at all, like playing "I Spy" or singing songs together.
Let us know how your kids like to best past the time on long car rides!