Photo: Amazon

Traveling with kids is stressful. There’s no way around that. I’ve already shared my favorite products for getting your kid through the airport without losing your sanity, but I didn’t touch on something crucial: Toys!

Picking toys to bring on a plane is tricky. You don’t want them to take too much space, because you’re already carrying a million things. You also don’t want to bring your kid’s most precious stuffed animal, because you don’t want to risk losing your child’s best friend. But of course, you need to bring things that will keep them entertained and engaged for as long as possible.

Having tried just about every toy in the book, these are the best I’ve found for traveling.

Melissa & Doug’s Water Wow! reusable watercolor books include a “brush” that you fill with water, and four watercolor pages that are completely reusable.
Photo: Amazon

Melissa & Doug Water Wow! Reusable Water Color Books

These books are magical! All you need is to put a little water in the brush’s reservoir, and let your kids “paint” on each page. Each book comes with four pages, and they are all reusable. The brush can be store in the spiral of the books so you don’t have to worry about losing it. Once the water dries out it is back to black and white. The books promote fine motor skills and give you hours of screen-free time!

Melissa & Doug’s sticker books include a bunch of puffy, reuable stickers that kids can place and move around the pages to create scenes.
Photo: Amazon

Reusable Sticker Books 

My son is fascinated by stickers. Is yours too? Then get them this reusable sticker set to play with over and over and over again. There are different theme books fit for everyone’s interest - my son loves animals so I went with the farm house one. Pages are double sided and glossy, which makes it easier to remove stickers and move them around to other settings. Just note that because the stickers are small and puffy, these books are recommended for kids four years and older.

Plane toys like these are great for first time flyers, because they can help parents illustrate what’s going on.
Photo: Amazon

3 Bees & Me Airplane Toys

What better toy to bring on a plane than a set of toy airplanes? You can even use them to explain what’s going as you take off and land. They are BPA free, lead free and phthalate free, which basically means they are super safe for your children to play with. They also don’t need batteries to operate—thankfully—which means you won’t be annoying any other passengers with bright lights or loud noises.

Tegu Blocks

Tegu blocks are magnetic, so they won’t all go flying when you hit turbulence, and they come with a travel pouch to keep everything organized.
Photo: Amazon

These magnetic blocks are a hit for all ages. I will admit that I can spend hours playing with my son’s Tegu blocks if he’s not around. The awesome thing about this specific set is that it comes with a little pouch which makes it perfect for travel. The shapes you can make with these are endless, and it’s so much fun to see kids discover all they can do with them. The pouch is so small, you can toss it inside your purse or diaper bag and have them ready for wherever you go, car ride, restaurant, museum visit in the stroller, you name it!

Fisher Price’s DoodlePro has been around forever, and lets kids draw and erase as many times as they want, with no mess or spare parts. That’s endless entertainment right there.
Photo: Amazon

Fisher-Price DoodlePro

If your child is quite the artist, and isn’t interested in painting with water like I suggested before, the DoodlePro is the toy you are looking for. There’s no need to bring color pencils or paper, you can let them just draw and erase and draw and erase and draw again. The little pencil is attached to the board, so you don’t have to worry about losing it, plus there’s a handle made for tiny hands if your kid wants to carry it around the airport themself.

This wooden apple has a thread and a worm-shaped needle attached, letting kids work on their hand-eye coordination while they create (and un-create) fun lacing patterns.
Photo: Amazon

Montessori Lacing Activity Apple

I’ve already told you how much I love wooden toys, and this Montessori apple deserves all my love as well. The apple comes with a little worm attached by a string, so you don’t have to worry about losing any pieces. The toy itself helps develop hand-eye coordination and imagination, and kids can be entertained for hours creating different patterns and then trying to undo them.