Traveling with toddlers doesn’t need to be scary. I’m here to share my experience traveling with a toddler, which will help you to be more confident to do the same. What can be tricky is those long travel days and you should be well prepared to keep your toddler occupied with this list of the best 2 year old travel toys.
Two year-olds have very short attention spans and are way more active and playful than babies. They love to move around and explore, and are more likely than not going to be very stubborn about doing so! Keeping these independence-craving toddlers contained in one seat during a trip can prove to be quite the challenge for parents.
When choosing the best travel toys for 2 year-olds, we first start with the development milestones and cognitive development shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics to give us some clues. A 2 year-old can match shapes, sort and do simple jigsaw puzzles. Also look for fun options for coloring (or scribbling) and building. At this age, cause and effect toys can be engaging (wind up toys, etc).
What You’ll Find in this Article on the Best 2 Year Old Travel Toys:
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Best Travel Toys for Two Year Olds
It was only a matter of time before travel toys became one of our top travel essentials for toddlers when packing for a trip. Carrying some toys can definitely come to the rescue during a long flight or a car trip.
Like I mentioned in our post on flying with a toddler, your time flying is going to now be spent cycling through all the toddler activities. But I also like finding fun, interactive 2 year old travel toys that will keep them occupied even for small portions of time (giving you a breather!).
Here are all our recommendations for the best 2 year old travel toys:
Don't have time to pick out all your own toys? Keep em Quiet puts together toddler travel packs that come with everything to keep your toddler entertained on a long flight. You can even choose the age for each of the travel packs!
What a great way for parents to save some time when you have enough to do packing and planning your trip.
Counting bears are the perfect travel toys for 2 year old toddlers who can use them for playing and learning. They offer an abundance of play possibilities where kids get to learn colors, counting, addition/subtraction, grouping, and patterns.
This set of bears comes with a nylon tote bag for storing after kids are done playing with them to ensure that they don't get lost. This makes them especially perfect for travel with toddlers!
Lego Duplo sets are one of the best travel toys for 2 year old toddlers. Around 2 years old is when we started packing Duplo for our toddler. He loved building the sets then playing with them.
They can be used on the plane and in the hotel room. They're perfect for little hands to play with and come in plenty of options to choose from. Duplo is easier for toddlers to build with and there so much imaginative play that can be done once they are put together.
One fun option is the Minnie's Birthday Party set. It is perfect for getting toddlers excited about that trip to Disney! We also love that it contains fewer than 25 large pieces, making it ideal for travel and minimizing the possibility of losing pieces!
Jigsaw puzzles are good travel toys for 2 year old toddlers that us parents can do with our little ones. When our toddler has had too much screen time, we look to options like puzzles as screen-free travel toys for toddlers.
These travel toys for 2 year old toddlers are great way to help toddlers develop their spatial reasoning skills, improve their patience, and practice problem-solving. These puzzles fit together magnetically, have rounded shapes, and no sharp edges or small pieces, making them perfect for little hands to play with.
These are another option for magnetic puzzles for toddlers. Because they are magnetic it makes them one of the best toys for travel with 2 year old toddlers, since you don't have to worry about the pieces always ending up on the floor!
This Animal Playset has 32 different wild animals with some trees, fence and grass pieces. These small, hard plastic toys offer many possibilities for sensory and imaginative play. We always packed a few little animals in our toddler's travel backpack.
They are a good choice when you want to teach your child about animals, and they’re even better for when you need to keep them occupied during long plane or car rides. They are also excellent for bath time.
I don't know about your toddlers, but my toddlers love to carry a doll around wherever we go! This one has some added benefits as a travel toy for toddlers! It's like a toddler busy book and doll all in one.
Watch them improve their fine motor skills as they pull the zipper up and down, tie the doll’s hair bow and open and close the doll's button. Its toddler-friendly size and carry-along clip make it one of the best plane or car travel toys for 2 year olds. It would also make an excellent toy to keep your little one occupied in your travel stroller.
Just make sure there are no loose pieces that may be a choking hazard.
One of the most popular toddler travel toys! Help your little one learn to "snap" and "click" buckles with the easy-to-carry, fun and engaging Buster the Buckle Toy! This plush toy has vibrant colors with a bunch of buckles in clasp style that encourage toddlers to strengthen their pincer grasp and improve their hand-eye-coordination.
The toy is easy to strap onto your toddler travel stroller or backpack, making it convenient to carry during your travels as well.
Now, how about a buckle toy that also carries other toys - perfect for long flights with toddlers and to keep little hands busy! The Buddy Activity Backpack features a bunch of colorful buckles in clasp style, along with an easy glide zipper and snap pocket for storing all the things your little one might want to carry along.
The soft, colorful backpack is also decorated with numbers and shapes on the outside for keeping children curious and engaged. And the adjustable straps make it easy for toddlers of all ages to carry it with ease when traveling with their parents. Our toddler loves to carry his own backpack, and this one will keep him entertained at the airport or on the airplane too!
At around this age, toddlers start to love spending time drawing and coloring. This coloring book has everyday things and animals that your toddler will recognize and will be excited to color! A coloring book is one of the most simple yet best travel toys for 2 year olds.
Every page of the book is fun to color making it super enjoyable for toddlers. With this one suitable for ages 1 to 3, you know it will be ideal for 2 year olds!
Jumbo crayons like these from Melissa and Doug are ideal for toddlers. They are stronger than regular crayons and their triangular shape ensures they stay where you need them to! The triangular shape of the crayons also makes them easier for little hands to hold.
With all the colors you need, these are excellent crayons for toddlers to pack for your next trip.
A Sticker Book is the perfect thing to buy whether you're flying long haul with your toddler and want a non-screen time activity you can do together. Sticker books are one of our favorite travel toys for toddlers!
This Jumbo Stickers for little hands includes 75 stickers and features several scenes to place these reusable stickers within its pages. The stickers are large enough for small hands to use and are also easy to peel and replace!
Easily one of the best toddler travel toys! These on-the-go painting activity books from Melissa & Doug are great toys for toddlers aged two and up. Each of the six themed pads - sports, occupations, adventure, safari, under the sea and animals, includes four reusable pages and a refillable water pen.
The pen is used to color in each scene, and with each stroke reveal more details and vibrant colors. You can let the pages dry without a worry, because once dry, toddlers can color them in again and again.
These are also ideal travel toys for road trips with toddlers. Easy to carry around and keep clean, this is the travel companion artsy toddlers will want to keep with them all the time!As a bonus, parents will love them because they are mess-free!
You can also get this smaller three pack.
These window clings make excellent 2 year old toddler travel toys for airplane travel! You have a window right there for your toddler to decorate again and again!
These cute bug shaped gels are well suited for learning and entertainment. Just peel them off and stick them onto any surface you wish, like airplane or car windows, fridges, bathtubs, walls and more. They are also easy to reuse, remove and replace over and over again, without leaving behind any residue or mess. This makes them perfect for whipping out whenever (and wherever) your little one gets bored.
We love this maze puzzle as a travel toy for 2 year old toddlers as it helps develop their fine motor skills. Toddlers get to guide the beads through the maze with the help of a magnetic wand in this fun Go-Fish-Go Maze Puzzle toy by Hape.
The game provides endless entertainment and is great for toddlers who are just learning to problem solve. It is also highly durable, and the carrying handle makes it easy to take along wherever you go. Add this one to your best 2 year old toddler travel toys for your next trip!
Toddler busy books make excellent travel toys for toddlers! This Busy Book is an educational book for children ages 2 and up. This almost indestructible activity book comes with 12 pages of fun, sensory-oriented learning. Toddlers will learn colors, letters, vehicles, planets, and more through matching games. Whether it's for a long car ride or keeping toddlers entertained on the plane, toss this one into your hand luggage.
Packed in a compact travel-size carrying pouch, this set of six heirloom-quality magnetic blocks by Tegu is a fun travel toy for 2 year olds. Great for supporting open-ended and unscripted play, this toy helps kids develop skills like pattern recognition, balance and sense of scale while keeping them occupied.
The safely embedded magnets make the blocks harder to drop on the floor, making them great airplane travel toys for 2 year olds.
Wikki Stix is the perfect choice for sensory play! Each pack of Wikki Stix comes with 24 sticks in a variety of colors. Children get to exercise their creativity by molding the 6 inch long sticks into different shapes and objects like glasses, necklaces, watches and more. The sticks are convenient and fun to use, and even easily adhere to flat surfaces with nothing more than fingertip pressure. What's more, they come in a compact tube that makes it easy to carry them along in your backpack during travel.
While Wikki Stix are rated for older children, they still make excellent travel toys for toddlers when you are right there to keep an eye on your little one. We don't recommend these as toddler travel toys when your child is unsupervised.
A magnetic puzzle game that works on every level - it’s simple to use and kids love it! In this fun STEM game from HABA, kids use a wand to help the differently colored balls navigate their way back to their matching color garages. It requires no setting up, is lots of fun to play, and is a great way for toddlers to work on their strategic thinking, dexterity and spatial skills without even realizing it.
It's compact too, and can be easily slipped into a backpack or diaper bag, making it the ultimate travel toy for every vacation.
Small cars and vehicle toy sets are some of the best travel toys for toddlers! We especially loved them for our 2 year old!
Toddlers get to enjoy working on their hand-eye coordination and imagination while they play with their tractor, dump truck and bulldozer.
Grab a pack of the pom-poms below and your toddler can have the trucks carry them around! Cereal also works but pom-poms are less messy!
These might seem like an odd travel toy for a 2 year old, but hear me out! Our toddler loves to carry one around (in his favorite color green, of course). With a little bit of imagination, they make wonderful 2 year old travel toys that keep toddlers entertained for long periods of time.
Toddlers can use their pompom set for counting and sorting, or driving around in their construction trucks. As an added bonus, these are easy to pack! Just make sure to always supervise their playtime when they are busy getting creative with pompoms to ensure they are staying safe.
The Double Doodle Board is a sturdy, compact toy, and makes for a great car travel toy for 2 year olds. It's easy to clean, and includes a sealed gel surface for doodling with little fingers on one side, and a reusable drawing surface for use with three washable crayons on the other side. Being able to use fingers instead of crayons makes it so much easier for young toddlers! Plus you don't have to worry as much about losing the crayons.
Books are another of our favorite activities to entertain toddlers on plane rides and long car rides. Choose a few favorites and maybe buy a few new ones! Toddlers love being read to and talking about all the pictures!
Some of our favorite toddler books are:
Need more stickers? As we mentioned, sticker books are some of the best travel toys for 2 year toddlers and older children! We especially love reusable sticker books like these ones! The best part is you can choose something that your toddler gets excited about! Does your 2 year old like vehicles or dinosaurs? Maybe it's animals?
Just like in our post on 1 year old travel toys, snacks are still super important! Trust me when I tell you that snacks are one of the best distractions for traveling with toddlers! Pack some cheerios in these snack cups and you won't have to worry about them ending up all over the floor! These are one of our top toddler travel items! Seriously, we never leave home without it...
Keep in mind, the only way carrying a bunch of travel toys for 2 year olds makes sense is if they are compact, and easy to carry, take out and put away. You should be able to fit your toddlers travel toys in your backpack diaper bag or better yet in your toddlers travel backpack.
Don’t pack everything from this list! Just a few toys for your 2 year old, some coloring and sticker options, plus some snacks is all your likely going to need. Pair that up with a few fun ipad apps, like those we mention in our favorite airplane activities for babies and toddlers, some shows and a pair of comfortable toddler headphones!
Books are a also great screen-free option for travel because of how engaging and enriching they are. They also help in maintaining a familiar bedtime routine which can help get toddlers to sleep on a plane. Investing in a good toddler airplane bed like the flyaway kids bed is another good idea for getting your kid comfortable on a plane. And with all that sleeping, you won’t have to pack too many different ways to keep your toddler occupied!
My Top Picks for the Best 2 Year Old Travel Toys
While your toddler may enjoy some activities more than others, here are my top 5 picks to pack in your toddler’s carry-on. If you want an easy option, these Keep em Quiet Packs are perfect for busy parents!
LEGO DUPLO – Duplo can be used for sorting and building. It also makes a great toy for the hotel room.
Magnetic Puzzles – Challenge your 2 year-old to recognize the shapes and put these puzzles together.
Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! – While a coloring book and crayons are so worth it, your toddler can scribble away without making any mess in these!
Other Toddler Travel Gear
Best Toddler Travel Beds
Best Toddler Travel Potty
Best Toddler Carriers for Travel
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Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.
Read more about Celine Brewer.
As an expert in traveling with toddlers, I can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on my first-hand experience and depth of knowledge in this area. I have traveled extensively with my own toddler and have learned effective strategies to keep them entertained and occupied during long travel days.
Understanding the Challenges of Traveling with Toddlers
Traveling with toddlers can be challenging, especially during long travel days. Toddlers have short attention spans and are more active and playful compared to babies. They have a strong desire for independence and are likely to resist being contained in one seat during a trip. This can pose a challenge for parents who want to keep their toddlers occupied and engaged during travel.
Choosing the Best Travel Toys for 2 Year-Olds
When selecting travel toys for 2 year-olds, it is important to consider their developmental milestones and cognitive development. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidelines on the development milestones for this age group, which can serve as a useful reference when choosing travel toys.
At the age of 2, toddlers can match shapes, sort objects, and engage in simple jigsaw puzzles. They also enjoy activities such as coloring or scribbling and building. Cause and effect toys, such as wind-up toys, can also be engaging for toddlers at this age.
Recommendations for the Best 2 Year Old Travel Toys
Based on my experience and knowledge, here are some recommendations for the best travel toys for 2 year-olds:
Keep em Quiet Packs: These pre-packaged toddler travel packs include a variety of toys and activities to keep your toddler entertained during a long flight. They offer convenience and save time for parents who are busy packing and planning for their trip.
Rainbow Counting Bears With Matching Sorting Cups: This toy set allows toddlers to play and learn at the same time. They can learn colors, counting, addition/subtraction, grouping, and patterns. The set comes with a nylon tote bag for easy storage and is perfect for travel.
LEGO DUPLO: LEGO DUPLO sets are excellent travel toys for 2 year-olds. They provide opportunities for building and imaginative play. The sets are specifically designed for little hands and come in various options to choose from.
Magnetic Puzzles for Toddlers: Jigsaw puzzles are great screen-free travel toys for 2 year-olds. They help develop spatial reasoning skills, patience, and problem-solving abilities. Magnetic puzzles are especially suitable for travel as they are less likely to end up on the floor.
Mini Jungle Animals Toys: These small, hard plastic animal toys offer sensory and imaginative play for toddlers. They are perfect for teaching children about animals and keeping them occupied during long plane or car rides.
Plush Stuffed Doll Toy: This doll toy serves as both a busy book and a doll. It helps improve fine motor skills and keeps toddlers engaged with its various interactive features. It is also compact and easy to carry during travel.
Buckle Travel Toy: This plush toy features a variety of buckles that encourage toddlers to strengthen their hand-eye coordination and pincer grasp. It can be easily strapped onto a toddler travel stroller or backpack.
Buckle Toy - Buddy Activity Backpack: This buckle toy doubles as a backpack and carries other toys. It is perfect for long flights with toddlers and helps keep their hands busy. The backpack is decorated with numbers and shapes for additional learning opportunities.
The Creative Toddler’s First Coloring Book: Coloring books are simple yet effective travel toys for 2 year-olds. This coloring book features everyday objects and animals that toddlers can recognize and enjoy coloring.
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Crayons: These jumbo crayons are ideal for toddlers. Their triangular shape ensures they stay in place and are easier for little hands to hold. They come in various colors and are perfect for travel.
Jumbo Stickers for Little Hands: Sticker books are excellent travel toys for toddlers. This sticker book includes large stickers that are easy to peel and replace. It provides a fun and engaging activity for toddlers.
Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow!: This painting activity book is mess-free and reusable. It includes refillable water pens that allow toddlers to color in each scene and reveal vibrant colors. It is easy to carry and clean, making it an ideal travel toy.
Busy Bugs and Insects Thick Detailed Gel Clings: These window clings are perfect for decorating airplane or car windows. They offer sensory play and can be easily reused and replaced.
Hape Go-Fish-Go Magnetic Wooden Toddler Maze Puzzle: This maze puzzle helps develop fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities. Toddlers can guide the beads through the maze using a magnetic wand.
Busy Book for Toddlers: Busy books provide sensory-oriented learning and are excellent travel toys for toddlers. They feature various activities that help toddlers learn colors, letters, vehicles, and more through matching games.
2 Piece Tegu Pocket Magnetic Wooden Block Set: This set of magnetic blocks promotes open-ended play and helps develop skills like pattern recognition and balance. The blocks are compact and come in a travel-size carrying pouch.
Wikki Stix: Wikki Stix offer sensory play and creativity. They can be molded into different shapes and objects, providing endless possibilities for imaginative play. They come in a compact tube, making them easy to carry during travel.
HABA Town Maze Magnetic Puzzle Game: This magnetic puzzle game helps toddlers work on their strategic thinking, dexterity, and spatial skills. It is compact and can be easily slipped into a backpack or diaper bag.
Toddler Construction Toy Trucks: Small toy vehicles, such as tractors, dump trucks, and bulldozers, are great travel toys for toddlers. They promote hand-eye coordination and imaginative play.
Multicolor Pom Poms Balls: These colorful pom poms can be used for counting, sorting, and imaginative play. They are easy to pack and provide entertainment for long periods of time.
Double Doodle Board for Toddlers: This compact toy features a gel surface for doodling and a reusable drawing surface with washable crayons. It helps toddlers develop their fine motor skills and creativity.
Toddler Books: Books are engaging and enriching activities for toddlers during travel. Choose a few favorites and consider buying some new ones to keep your toddler entertained.
Reusable Sticker Books for Toddlers: Reusable sticker books offer hours of entertainment for toddlers. They come in various themes and allow toddlers to create scenes using reusable stickers.
Munchkin Snack Catcher: Snacks are essential for keeping toddlers occupied during travel. Snack cups, such as the Munchkin Snack Catcher, help prevent spills and provide easy access to snacks.
Remember, when packing travel toys for 2 year-olds, it is important to choose compact, easy-to-carry options that fit in your diaper bag or toddler's travel backpack. You don't need to pack everything from the list, but rather select a few toys, coloring options, and snacks that will keep your toddler engaged and entertained during the trip.