When it comes to road tripping with kids, prepping items that will actually keep them entertained is VITAL. This is always where I put the majority of my energy while packing because I know that it’ll set the tone for the entire trip for everyone involved. If my daughter isn’t occupied then I’ll spend all of my time entertaining her and answering the “are we there yet” question. I have a tendency to overpack in the this area, but I’ve never regretted it! Here are the toys for travel that we packed for my 5 year old daughter on our most recent trip:
Here are the specifics (I’m including affiliate links to help make your own planning a little easier)!
- Play dough: I put some of the tiny containers in a pencil box along with a few play dough tools and protective mat. A set like this, with it’s own carrying case would also work perfectly.
- Mondo Llama Easter Craft Kit: My daughter LOVED the similar Christmas set, so when I saw the Easter one I snapped it up. There are a lot of little pieces though, so if you’re looking for another option, this one would be great too.
- Games: You can’t go wrong with travel games! We packed a travel Lite Brite, tangrams set, Connect Four (there are travel sets available, but I think ours was a Happy Meal toy), Story Cubes, Gabby’s Dollhouse chalk set, Frozen playing cards, Uno Flip (this one is our new favorite!), and Spot it.
- Drawing and Writing: This it the easiest choice for a road trip so I always include them. She was especially excited to have her very own notebook (a composition book from the Dollar Tree), and she loved the Highlights Maze book. The sketch pad and coloring books are also from the Dollar Tree. I included some mechanical pencils, a fun pen, new set of Crayola Markers, and Crayola Twistables colored pencils. I will note, I bought her the bold and bright Crayola Markers that I have linked because I thought she would love the colors – this was a problem for her because there was no black or brown to draw cats, dogs, and hair with. Mom fail!
- Barbie Dolls: These keep my girl busy forever at home, so I brought them along for the car. I included a zip pouch of some of the clothes and accessories that we already had.
- Books: New books are always a win, and since reading a book before bed is part of our nightly routine, packing these helps us keep that going (I forgot once, we had to resort to finding books on my phone). These were purchased second hand, and the little ones are recent Happy Meal toys.
- Sticker Books and Paper Dolls: My daughter had no idea what a paper doll was! This was definitely her favorite thing, and it was fun to see her play with something that I loved so much as a kid. This Barbie paper doll set is from the Dollar Tree and I love that the actual doll is cardboard, it makes it a little more durable. The sticker books that we packed are Usborne books that she got for Christmas and I’ve been hanging on to. I was surprised how much she enjoyed these, but I think it’s because the pages are heavier and laminated so she could easily remove the stickers if she wanted to move the. The stickers are also big and heavy, making them easier for little hands. The two we have are Little Sticker Dolly Dressing Puppies, and The Sticker Book Dollhouse.
- Mini Squishmallows: We have a tradition of starting each road trip with a mystery Mini Squishmallow and all of them come along for the trip. She’s got quite a collection going now! I’ve found that Five Below is the best consistent price for these, but they’re also available on Amazon.
I’ve tried a few different ways of organizing all of the toys during a trip- we’ve had the seat back organizer, which was hard for her to reach and put things away in, and we’ve done tote bags and backpacks, but getting everything back into these is always a challenge. This time I went with a large open basket that I already had (a plastic tub would work too), and while it was a mess by the end of the trip, most everything did stay in the basket and get returned there when she was done with it. he was also able to easily get what she wanted out of here on her own I would definitely recommend this method!