The Tot 10: Travel Toys And Activities

Traveling with kids? Don’t leave home without some winning travel toys. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your little ones are so engrossed that they forget to ask, “Are we there yet?”

best travel toy storyteller

Searching for toys and activities to keep your kids occupied on vacation? I’m your woman. Not only do I have three preschool-aged children, but we live a 12-hour car ride away from my husband’s family and a 24-hour plane expedition away from mine. You could say that travel toys are my thing.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • The criteria The Tot looks for in travel toys and activities
  • Materials to avoid in toys
  • The best travel toys and activities for kids

Scroll down to learn more!


Travel Toys & Activities Criteria

When looking for travel toys and activities, we always look for things that are:

  • Compact
  • Light
  • Portable
  • Self-contained (magnetic is a bonus!)
  • Durable
  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to clean

They also have to actually entertain our kids.


Materials To Avoid In Toys

As mentioned above, we always avoid toys that contain any potentially harmful ingredients and materials. Even though the US government has regulations to help protect consumers, many overseas products come in and remain highly untested and unregulated. That’s why we created The Tot Test: every single product on our site is reviewed by a Green Living Expert to ensure its safety.

The main concern with toys is that babies and kids tend to put things in their mouth and are in very close contact with every surface of a toy. These are the potentially harmful materials that could be lurking in toys that haven’t been tested and deemed safe by third-party labs:



PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl, is an incredibly toxic chemical that is harmful to our bodies and to the environment right from the production phase through to disposal. It contains additives like phthalates, lead, cadmium, organotin that are quite toxic and have been linked to asthma, allergies, reproductive problems and cancer.


Harmful phthalates

Many phthalates are known endocrine disruptors associated with asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.


BPA + BPS (bisphenols)

Bisphenols mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, and obesity. BPA is an especially dangerous endocrine disruptor since even small amounts of this chemical have been shown to cause serious reproductive damage, especially when the exposure occurs in utero.


Lead and other heavy metals

Exposure to heavy metals can cause nerve damage, learning and behavioral problems, reproductive damage and irreversible brain damage.

Click here to view the full list of ingredients that The Tot avoids.


Best Travel Toys & Activities For Kids

When it comes to choosing travel toys and activities, the best options are:

  • Reusable chalk boards
  • Memory games
  • Magnetic play set
  • Art supplies
  • Wooden drawing board
  • Coloring & sticker activity packs
  • Audio storyteller

Scroll down to discover and shop the best non-toxic travel toys and activities for kids from The Tot!


Reusable Chalk Boards


Jaq Jaq Bird Bored Boards - Game Boards Lifestyle Image


These reusable chalk board sets come with dustless chalk for endless creative fun! Packaged nice and neat in a zippable storage bag, they’re a must-have for plane rides or rainy days at the beach.


Jaq Jaq Bird Bored Boards - Selfie Boards


Jaq Jaq Bird Bored Boards – Selfie Boards






Jaq Jaq Bird Bored Boards - Game Boards


Jaq Jaq Bird Bored Boards – Game Boards






Memory Games


Petit Collage Gone Fishing Memory Game with girl


Memory games are one of the best things kids can do for their cognitive development. From building confidence to encouraging problem-solving, they give your brain a workout while having fun!

We love these two options from Petite Collage and Modern Blocks!

Petit Collage Gone Fishing Memory Game

Gone Fishing Memory Game





Modern Blocks Memory Shapes Game


Modern Blocks Shapes Memory Game






Magnetic Play Set


Petit Collage Superheroes Magnetic Dress Up Play Set with girls


Magnet = no stray pieces barrelling down an airplane aisle! A new take on a classic game, these magnetic paper doll sets offer loads of outfit choices, two scenes and endless ways to play.


Petit Collage Superheroes Magnetic Dress Up Play Set


Petit Collage Magnetic Dress Up – Superheroes






Petit Collage Best Friends Magnetic Dress Up Play Set


Petit Collage Magnetic Dress Up – Best Friends






Art Supplies

Kitpas Crayons Coloring Session


Art supplies are always a winner.

While they’re a bit tricky in the car, they can be total lifesavers once you get where you want to go.


Kitpas Little Artist Kit


Kitpas Little Artist Kit






Wooden Drawing Board


Another classic, we love the Petit Collage Doodle + Draw Elephant because it’s made from child-safe wood and is 100% mess-free!


Petit Collage Magic Drawing Board


Petit Collage Doodle + Draw Elephant






Coloring & Stickers Activity Kit


Olli Ella Play N Pack Forest AW19


Consisting of everything a little explorer needs to learn, play and craft, the Olli Ella Forest Play’N Pack lets kids go on their own adventure – even when confined in a plane, train or car!


Olli Ella Play N Pack Forest AW19

Olli Ella Play’N Pack – Forest






Audio Storyteller


Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller


Particularly great if you’re looking for something screen-free, the Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller lets your kid help create the story by choosing the hero, setting, second character and object of their tale! Don’t worry: there’s a headphone jack!


Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller


Lunii – My Fabulous Storyteller






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