Ultimate Best Toddler Travel Toys For 1-Year-Olds

The best 1 year old travel toys have a few qualities. They are compact and easy to pack and store in a hotel room. They won’t make a mess during long car rides on plane rides, and they provide safe play. The right travel toys to entertain a 1 year old include toys they can reach for, hold, suck on, shake, make noise with, and things to listen to.

What You Need To Know About 1 Year Old Travel Toys

The absolute key when it comes to this age group is variety and volume. It is important to note that one year olds may have limited attention spans and may quickly lose interest in a toy. It’s a good idea to bring a variety of toys and activities to keep your child engaged and entertained during travel. You can rotate them so that your little one is constantly entertained. Here are our top travel toys for traveling by plane, car, or both. 

1 Year Old Travel Toys: For Both Plane Rides & Car Rides

Here are our favorite travel toys for all types of transportation including public and private transportation. 

Magnadoodle – Ultimate Top Choice!

Magna Doodle is a compact and lightweight toy, making it easy to carry during travel. It is mess free and a nice quiet option for all types of travel. You may need two if your children are very close in age and would possibly fight over it. It is very popular from ages 1 to 3.

Because it is magnetic it is mess free. It has a magnetic drawing board and a stylus. This means there are no messy crayons, markers, or ink involved. It allows for mess-free creativity, making it suitable for confined spaces like airplanes or cars where spills or stains could be problematic.

The unique feature of Magna Doodle is its ability to erase and start over easily. By sliding the eraser handle or using the built-in erase feature, you can clear the drawing surface and create something new within seconds. This feature eliminates the need for carrying extra sheets of paper or worrying about running out of drawing space.

Magna Doodle can provide hours of entertainment for toddlers. It offers a blank canvas for drawing, doodling, writing, and playing games like tic-tac-toe or hangman. It can help pass the time during long journeys, providing a creative outlet and engaging the mind.

With the rise of digital devices, having a screen-free entertainment option during travel can be refreshing. Magna Doodle does not require batteries, Wi-Fi, or charging, making it a quiet and screen-free alternative for keeping oneself or children occupied during flights, road trips, or other travel situations.

Touch And Feel Board Books  – Top Choice

Sensory board books make great travel toys. A 1 year old is learning to flip the pages of a book and will be able to entertain themselves in multiple ways using a sensory book. What makes these books some of the best toys for travel is that they stand the test of time. Board books can be used to entertain your 1 year old but then can also be used to help them learn how to read as they get to ages 2, 3, and 4. An investment in this type of book will the be perfect toy for years to come. 

One of the most popular children’s board books is the “That’s not my animal” series by Usborne.  Children love to touch and feel the different textures on the page and it’s also a very compact size and can fit easily inside a diaper bag or suitcase. They are durable and easily to clean as well. Books are an absolute must during long flights and long road trips. It is a good idea to have at least 3 books with you since most young kids lose interest in things quickly. 

Busy Board 

A busy board is a great toy because it is a great way to entertain young toddlers in a small space. Also the compact size and different textures can keep your little one entertained longer. They can use the busy board to practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. A busy board can also fit easily into a diaper bag and can also grow with your child so they are also able to use this until age 3. 

When it comes to Montessori travel toys, the Gojmzo Busy Board is a very popular choice amongst parents because it has many different sensory toys within it, is washable, and is the perfect size for all types of travel. It is important to note that many one year olds will put most of their toys in their mouth so be sure that they are being watched while they use this type of toy. This is a great option for plane travel since you can help show your one year old how to use the different parts of the busy board. 

A busy book or a busy board can be a great learning tool as well. These montessori style books help to enhance your toddler’s problem-solving skills. They also grow well with children as some older kids will also find them challenging. 

Teething Toy 

It is very important to bring along a few teething toys because your 1 year old is likely to be teething. Your baby’s lateral incisor and first molar could be coming in during this time so choose a teether that can reach to the back teeth. The cactus teether also can double as a toothbrush, is easy for your toddler to grip and can allow them to reach their back teeth. It is a great teething toy for ages 1 to 2. 

Reusable Sticker Books

These are a favorite when it comes to toddler travel toys. They are a hands on and a fun way to engage your little one during travel. Reusable stickers are also great for the environment so you don’t have to feel bad about waste. They are also small and easy to pack for any type of travel. Some of our favorites have many different colors and and shapes.

Fidget Toy

A fidget toy can be helpful for a small amount of time, around 5 minutes at the most. The main thing to look for in a fidget toy is that it does not have small parts that can break off. Ideally it should also be a soft toy. This is not a top choice on the list because each fidget toy is different. The different designs can make it challenging to figure out which is going to a hit with your toddler. Safety for these also varies so you will need to really do some research before choosing a fidget toy that is appropriate for this age group. 

1 Year Old Travel Toys For Plane Rides Only 

Here is our list of the best travel toys when traveling by plane with a 1 year old. Remember to bring several toys as each one will likely only provide 8 to 10 minutes of entertainment before you need to switch out the toys. 

Water Color No Mess Activity Books – Top Choice

Another great airplane toy is a coloring book. The beauty of the water color books is that they have special paper that makes color appear when it comes in contact with water. This activity is a little harder to do in the car seat. If your baby can’t figure out how to play with it themselves they may become frustrated. This is probably best for plane or train travel. The Melissa & Doug book is the ideal size for travel and easily first on the tray table in front of you. 

Related: Best Waterproof Bath Books For Toddlers

Soft Stacking Blocks

Stacking blocks are a great plane ride toy because you can easily play with them on your tray table. Additionally, you do not need much room to store them since they stack within each other. Carrying them around is lightweight and an easy task. This fun travel toy can also be used for entertaining little kids in a hotel room or on the beach once you have reached your destination. 

Plush Animal Toys

A stuffed animal can always be a nice accompaniment on a long plane ride. It can not only give your baby something to play with on the ride, but can also be a nice place for your baby to put their head down if they want to take a nap. These are likely to be a little too bulky for your baby to use in their car seat. You should choose something that your baby is already comfortable with at home so they have a sense of familiarity in their environment during travel. 

Shape Sorter

This is a good choice for plane or train where you can actively be helping your child to sort shapes. This is more difficult to use in the car because your child will be in their car seat. If they happen to drop a shape you will not be able to retrieve if for them if you are in the front seat. In a plane or train, you can use the tray table to help them. 

1 Year Old Travel Toys For Car Rides Only 

Here are our favorite travel toys for car rides. These are best used when you don’t have a lot of other people around, and your child making noise will not disturb other travelers. It is a good idea to have more than one car toy so that your little one can stay entertained for longer. The best car travel toys are those can the child can play with independently since you will most likely be sitting in the driver’s seat or the passenger’s seat. It is also a good idea to ensure that whatever you use does not have small parts that your child can bite or chew off. 

Musical Board Books

Books are an absolute must during long flights and long road trips. Musical board books are also a great option but may be more suitable for car travel rather than a long haul flight where noise may disturb your fellow passengers. 1 year olds love music and love being able to turn things on and off. The Ditty Bird Children’s Songs book is a great choice because it features 6 popular nursery rhymes that kids of all ages will recognize. These include popular songs like Wheels On The Bus and Five Little Monkeys. This is one of the best road trip toys and is a hit with many 1 year olds.

Educational Tablet

There are a handful of compact educational tablets that teach children different things using sounds and touch. Babies love to play with their little hands and get a reaction from their toy when they push a button. Because these toys can be noisy sometimes, they are best used for private car rides rather than when you are traveling with a plane or train full of people. These tablets are meant for young children so they don’t have a place for headphones (not that your child will keep headphones in). Our favorite table is the 

Things That Are Usually Not Helpful When Traveling With A 1 Year Old

Avoid Screen Time

Most 1 year olds are not very interested in screen time. This may keep them entertained for a few minutes but they are unlikely to stay entertained for long. Additionally, for some young children, watching TV or a screen up close while in a moving vehicle can cause nausea. The last thing you want on a long airplane ride is for your child to throw up or become sick. It may work as a last resort in some children. Additionally, if you are hoping that your baby naps during your journey then screen time will likely stimulate them more than you want. 

Imaginative Play Unlikely To Entertain A 1 Year Old

A one year old is too young to participate in or enjoy imaginative play. If your little one has an older sibling they may participate in this faster, but imaginative play in a 1 year old is not a great activity for entertaining them. 

Avoid Messy Toys

Avoid toys that have messy colors or many small parts. The last thing you want to worry about when you are traveling is if your child has swallowed a piece of a baby travel toy. Excellent travel toys do not have small parts that can break off easily. Traveling is often very distracting so you want to have an easy way to entertain your child without having to worry too much. 

No Card Games

Card games are not a great choice for this age. Thought their small size may make them attractive, little minds are not going to be able to stay focused long enough to play card games. Additionally, card games can easily get lost or a card can go missing during travel. Use the suggestions above on our favourite travel toys. 

1 Year Old Travel Toys: Key Features To Look For

Some important things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect travel toy is safety, compact size and durability. Especially if you are traveling alone with your child you want to be sure that the travel toy has a compact design like the ones mentioned above. This will allow you to easily put things in your diaper bag leaving your hands free to manage your little one.

Additionally, toys that have pieces that can easily be removed by a toddler’s teeth are not a good idea. Traveling with a little one can be a stressful experience and you don’t want to have a toy that your child could potentially choke on. Be sure that an adult is directly supervising your 1 year old while they are playing with anything that has the potential for being a choking hazard. 

Overall, a variety of travel toys will serve you well so that you can keep your little one entertained with travel toddler toys. 1 year old children tend to have a short attention span but also a short memory. This means you can rotate your favorite travel toys easily.

Bring at least four or five toys on your travels so that you can get through it as seamlessly as possible. Traveling is already stressful so these amazing toys can really help to make it easier. 

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