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Quiet Toys for Travel – No Batteries Necessary

Last Updated on April 1, 2014 by Jody Halsted

I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to turning on a DVD for my kids to watch during long drives.  Or relying on the in-flight movies.  Let’s face it… It’s easy.  But it can also be quite mind numbing- as my kids have pointed out to me on a few occasions.  Looking out the window is only fun for so long and I can only handle a short game of “I spy” (especially since my girls don’t really understand the point of playing it is to actually spy something) before I begin to crack.

I’ve tried quite a few quiet toys for travel and these are the 5 that join us most frequently.  Bonus: these are also popular at home, too!

Lacing toys threading toys1) Lacing Shapes  It’s almost like sewing but you never make a mistake.  These lacing shapes have an extra-long string. To keep the string from getting dropped, tie one end to the shape.  Another fun lacing toy is the Wooden Lacing Sneaker.  It’s great for learning to tie shoes (especially when you don’t actually own tie-up shoes!)

2) Kumon Books.  I adore the Kumon books.  These fun and educational workbooks cover everything – colors, numbers, paper folding, mazes, alphabet, telling time, the value of money…  I could go on and on.  Learning levels begin at pre-k and go through grade 6. Amazon has a terrific selection of Kumon Books beginning at $4.03.

Magnet Dry Erase Boards from Tika Kids3) Dry Erase Magnet Boards.  I love a toy that does double duty.  The wonderful magnet boards from Tika Kids can also be used with dry erase markers.  With the varied use my girls will go from telling stories to each other using magnetic characters to putting together magnetic puzzles to playing a game of tic-tac-toe.  Tika Kids also makes a great activity bag for carrying the board, markers and other activities.  For more about Tika Kids click here. Boards are $10, bags are $15.  They are machine washable and come in both boy and girl friendly designs.

4) Figurines and Cars.  Right now my girls can’t get enough of the Disney Precious Princess figures (small; like Polly Pocket) and Polly Pocket dolls.  According to my friends with boys the Lego Star Wars figures are popular and Hot Weeels cars never seem to go out of style.  We have a small pouch for these toys and use them with the Snack and Play Travel Tray so the little pieces don’t escape.

Magnetic Storybooks Playsets5)  Books with magnet play sets.  We received a couple of these for Christmas two years ago and they have traveled with us many times.  While ours are Disney Princesses and Fairies the options I’ve found include letters,shapes and colors, Shrek, Scooby Doo, Cars, Toy Story, American Girls characters and more.  Some books include a hard plastic carrying case; some don’t.  Amazon has a nice selection of these books with prices beginning around $6.50.

What is your favorite travel friendly item for quiet play?

Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate. The items I have listed I do use and recommend but clicking on one of the links and buying a product may cause me to earn a tiny (tiny) bit of money.

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  1. Not here to win. I’m here to glean information as I’m planning our trip to Ethiopia even though we don’t have travel dates yet. I’m trying to think of what all I need to pack for the trip home with a 2 year old who might be having stomach/bowel issues, who might not completely trust us yet, who doesn’t know english, but who will definitely need entertained on the long trip home.

    My kids LOVE mini magna doodles. Bethany has been carrying one around for days! Scott likes anything fist sized that he can play with in the car with his creative and imaginative little mind.

    On to searching for more travel tips here on your site,
    Tamara B

    1. I reviewed a water doodle item a while back that is really nice and mess free. Definitely color wonder markers with blank paper. Animal crackers to help settle the tummy. Race cars- all boys love race cars.

      I can’t wait to hear more as your trip gets closer!

  2. Pingback: Best Travel Toys

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