Traveling with toddlers can be quite challenging, especially 3 year olds! Mobile, inquisitive, talkative and loud, even the most well-behaved of the lot can feel like a handful when on- the- go! But that doesn’t mean travel has to be off the table.
Children in this age group are naturally curious and have an insatiable appetite for learning new things, so choosing the right travel toys for 3 year olds to keep them engaged and occupied is just as important as keeping them fed and healthy on a trip! However, picking toys that are engaging, yet quiet; intriguing, yet not too stimulating, certainly takes time to master, and that’s why we’ve done the work for you!
Keep reading to learn all about why these travel toys below make our list of best travel toys for 3 year old toddlers.
Nutty Toys' Pop Tubes are a fun and open-ended STEM toy designed with the aim of helping kids develop tactile stimulation, fine motor skills, and auditory feedback. With no sharp edges, these BPA-free plastic tubes are designed to be durable and safe for little hands, so kids can spend loads of time coming up with different ways to play with them.
Stretch them into tunnels, mold them into shapes, use them to make a whistling noise or brandish them as swords in the next duel - the possibilities are endless!
For parents looking to give their kids something to do while on the go, this little mess-free writing tablet is a fantastic way to keep older toddlers occupied during long flights or on road trips. The coolest part of the colorful screen is the lock feature it comes with that is used to prevent accidental erasing (and the loud tears that usually follow!).
Like the Buckle Toy above, the Buckle Toys Busy Board one of the simpler toddler travel toys and is designed to be used as a learning tool for toddlers. With this board, little fingers will get busy engaging in tactile play by buckling and unbuckling clasps, practice tying shoelaces, snapping buttons and pulling the zipper up and down to reveal hidden shapes.
With no batteries, no loud noises, and no lights, the soft foam board is designed to easily fit into diaper bags and travel with you everywhere.
Wikki Stix is the ultimate craft toy for promoting creativity, building and imagination. Made of nothing more than yarn covered in food-grade, non-toxic wax, these colorful, soft and pliable sticks stick to each other with ease to allow for hours of creativity.
With no right or wrong way to play with them; no mess, clean-up or prep involved; and even a convenient carrying tube that comes included, these simply are one of the best travel toys for toddlers and even older kids!
Let your kids explore their creative side with this adorable and versatile set of 36 magnetic sticks and balls. Easy to hold, this toy is great for developing those fine motor skills in young children and helps them achieve a firm grip! Every time they finish playing with them, just scoop the pieces up and store them in the cute drawstring pouch that comes included.
Fun, challenging and easy to carry, this truly is a fantastic travel toy to entertain kids, both younger children and even older siblings.
Being easy to pack, these are a great toy for hotel rooms or rentals apartments too. While you're busy getting ready or making a quick meal, use these magnetic building sticks and balls to keep your child entertained.
It isn't always the easiest finding travel toys for 3 year olds who love to focus on the details, but these classic Lego Duplo sets are the perfect travel toy. Great for little builders who are just learning about the world of building with Legos.
Two sets we like are the Marvel Spider-Man Headquarters (for Spider-Man loving kids) and the Town Airport, but there are so many fun options. Each comes complete with miniature characters and accessories, and are sure to keep kids occupied.
We love these Duplo sets as travel toys for 3 year old girls and boys. Not only are the pieces large enough for small hands, but they make great toys in your hotel room or apartment rentals for imaginative play.
Give your kids this set of 26 cards and help them use the refillable water pen to reveal the pictures on them. Toddlers will be drawn into the magic of the images appearing and disappearing and won't even notice their vocabulary, writing and recognition skills improving!
The cards' small size and removable ring make it all the more ideal for travel, and before long, kids will make sure you've packed it every time you leave the house together.
Crayola's Color Wonder Art Kit's art supplies are easy to use and don't stain hands, furniture, or fabric. Since the markers only work on the specially made Color Wonder Paper that comes with the kit, they are safe to use on-the-go no matter where you are.
With two 30-Page Color Wonder Pads, 10 Classic Color Wonder Mini Markers, and 10 Pastel Color Wonder Mini Markers, kids will have hours and hours of fun times to look forward to. These are ideal travel toys for both road trips and airplane rides.
These color wonder kits are one of the most popular travel toys we recommend and are great for both older toddlers and little kids.
Colorful markers that offer kids the option to color in pictures, draw their own, or trace out designs are what make this drawing book such a good 3 year old travel toy. Reusable and compact, it fosters creativity, and is lots of fun use. It even has a handy velcro pocket to store the markers on the inside of the book.
See the curiosity in their eyes as you help them lace the caterpillar through the different holes in the plastic apple block for the first time. Before long, you'll find your children playing the simple game while pretending to be a caterpillar themselves! Watch them be impressed with themselves for their ability to make different patterns with the string, and let time slip away as they busy themselves carefully unwinding it to start over again.
The HABA Number Maze magnetic game is great for toddlers and preschoolers. It has all of the characteristics of more complex mazes, but simplified for use by little, inquisitive hands and minds! Kids will spend hours moving the correct number of balls into their designated slots, while having fun and learning in the process. The developmental toy allow tots to exercise their logic, planning, dexterity and counting.
The HABA Town Maze Magnetic Puzzle Game is a similarly compact, easy-to-use puzzle that kids can play with anytime and anywhere. Toddlers get to use their strategic thinking, dexterity and spatial skills to navigate the differently colored balls back to their matching color destinations using a magnetic wand.
The game requires no setting up, is lots of fun to play and is adorable to look at too. Plus, there are also no pieces to lose, including the wand which easily attaches to the handy storage slot on the side.
Packed in a compact travel-size carrying pouch, this set of eight heirloom-quality magnetic blocks by Tegu is attractive as it is entertaining. 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 intrigued for hours.
The safely embedded magnets make the blocks harder to drop on the floor, making them one of the best toys for airplane travel with 3 year olds.
This washable fabric book has simple activities to engage your toddler as they learn basic skills, and also doubles as a bag! Carry this along for quiet playtime, and watch even the most rambunctious of kiddos settle down and get busy.
It's also a wonderful bonus to know that the pieces will never go missing as they are all tethered to the book, making it a good travel toy to take on your road trip with a toddler!
This highly interactive educational tool teaches kids to match topics and items across different themes. It features easy-to-grip, ridged page edges to prevent paper cuts, large bright pictures for keeping your child entertained and strong velcro coins that don't fall off.
This book is undoubtedly a winner among the other 3 year old travel toys!
Busy Board's Toddler Backpack is a super cool and fully functional toddler backpack for travel that doubles as a fun travel toy. The inside pocket of the soft backpack is large enough for snacks, toys and more, and the brightly colored and adorned exterior has zippers, buckles and buttons.
This backpack is ideal for keeping toddlers entertained. Not only that but younger children will feel very important having their very on carry-on for the flight.
If it gathers dust from a long day of being dragged about, getting it clean again is as simple as popping it into the wash!
Most activity books are geared towards preschoolers or require a lot of parent interaction. This Dot to Dot is the perfect activity book to add to your 3 year olds travel toys.
Your child will be entertained solving dot-to-dot patterns and maze puzzles in this activity book. And because the pages aren’t too cluttered with colors, they keep kids focused on the task at hand. To start again, just wipe clean once completed!
Are you tired of broken crayons littering your bags and your home? These super jumbo crayons from Melissa and Doug are totally non-toxic and made of break-resistant plastic, not wax. The triangular shape of the crayons make them easier for little hands to hold, and they are the perfect kind to carry during travel because they don’t roll away and keep ending up on the ground!
If you plan to pack light and need good travel toys for 3 year old toddlers that are super small and inconspicuous, this mini coloring roll is what you're looking for. It's the perfect size for using on a airplane tray table and 3 year olds will appreciate the details in the print.
Perfect for keeping older toddlers entertained during the flight then roll it up in an instant and pack it away with ease as soon as you land!
My Plane Trip is the ultimate vacation planner for kids and comes with illustrations of scenes of airport terminals and plane rides. It's the perfect opportunity for parents to talk through the airport and flight with toddlers. Clear pictures and easy to read instructions detail everything from packing to landing in this book, making it one of the best airplane travel toys for toddlers for preparing them for their first flight.
Don't be afraid to pull out the book before the flight and talk through the pages with your little one, then save it for coloring when flying long haul with a toddler!
Full of pretty pictures that teach toddlers and young children new words and phrases, this coloring book is worth every penny. The high quality paper brings out colors beautifully, and the bold lines aid kids who are just starting out coloring stay within the lines. With over 2000 pages of interesting artwork to fill in, this jumbo book really is the perfect travel companion.
If the book is too big to carry in your toddler carry-on bag, just tear out a handful of pages to bring along!
Magna-tiles are always a good choice that kids love. Colorful, durable and versatile, this 32-piece set of magnetic tiles helps children fine-tune their spatial and tactile skills while constructing gorgeous and complex 2D and 3D structures.
Known to be one of the most popular travel toys for 3 year old boys and girls alike, the best part is that it grows right along with your kid! Watch as their fascination with shapes and colors evolves and develops over the years into a curiosity for exploring science and math, all through hands-on play!
Easily one of the most popular toddler travel toys, Melissa & Doug Water Wow! coloring pads are interactive activities with no mess! The hidden pictures appear when traced with the refillable chunky water pen.
Since it holds color for a while before it fades, you’ll have enough time to express your admiration, and even snap a quick picture as a keepsake. And the best part? There is zero cleaning involved, so no surprise murals on the walls when your back is turned.
Stickers will make a fantastic addition to your travel-time reward system when on the go with toddlers. Watch your kid's inner world come alive as they use their stickers to fill up the 5 colored backgrounds, and the real-world surfaces around them too! And when they're reusable, durable and mess-free, they make great travel toys for 3 year old boys and girls!
While these large reusable sticker pads from Melissa & Doug might seem big for an airplane ride, they are an ideal travel toy for older toddlers and their older siblings at your final destination.
Our kids loved creating scenes and even trading stickers. They easily pack in a suitcase and can be pulled out in the hotel room or apartment rental. Our kids played with them while we were getting ready for the day or when they needed some downtime at the end of a busy day.
Buster Square is one of those fun toys that improves cognition and builds hand-eye coordination for young children. This buckle toy is a great alternative to handing over a phone, as children get to connect and disconnect all the buckles with fun "clicks" and "snaps." It has an attached zipper pocket that can be pulled up and down to store your little one's odds and ends.
While great at keeping toddlers entertained on their own, it also even comes with colorful shapes and numbered embroidered giving parents a the perfect opportunity for engaging in fun learning.
Super soft and lightweight, this toy is a definite winner that will be enjoyed even beyond your travels!
This reimagined version of the classic jigsaw puzzle is a wonderful travel toy for 3 year olds who are learning to coordinate their actions and recognize patterns.
It's made of large, colorful pieces for little hands to grasp easily, and the magnets ensure that they don't get dropped every time they are played with. Plus, it has a tri-fold design, making it easy to put away after playtime is over.
If your 3 year old is showing an interest in puzzles, this will be an ideal travel toy.