The Ultimate Toy Travel Bag – How to Keep Kids Entertained While Traveling
Having a travel toy bag is a must for parents with kids starting out even as babies. Kids have very short attention spans and there’s nothing less fun that a crying baby or toddler while at a restaurant or even worse on a plane while the “buckle your seat belt” sign is on.Travel toy bags are fun and keep kids entertained without having to always divert to using technology devices. (Don’t get me wrong…we have also used a cell phone and iPad to entertain our toddler, but we try to make it a last resort option).
Instead of screen time, encourage kids to play, learn, and explore as they eat at a restaurant, fly on a plane, ride in the car or on a train, or even when visiting places outside of the home like Grandma’s house.
I remember when flying with our three year old 9+ hours overseas – it’s not easy to say the least and I remember having to walk the aisles up and down just so our son would not cry, but then we started to bring the travel toy bag with us and it completely changed everything.
We of course always brought toys for him before, but a travel toy bag is different. It’s more thought out and is like a bag full of surprises.
Here are six tips to create the Ultimate Travel Toy Bag:
Tip #1: Use a sturdy, long-lasting toy bag.
Avoid using plastic Ziplock bags for your toy bag. Not only do they not last or hold up well, they are bad for the environment (1 million marine animals are killed each year from plastic trash entering our oceans and by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish…oh and by the way, we have 3.5 trillion fish in our world oceans).
Our go-to – ZizzyBee Bags! ZizzyBee Bags were first invented by a mom who needed a better toy storage/organization bag other than plastic, zip-style bags that posed a danger to her small kids and were not environmentally friendly.
ZizzyBee Bags are reusable, washable, see-through bags that have an easy hang or hold loop and zipper. They last FOREVER! My ZizzyBee Bags have gone so many places and look like new (machine-washable which I love).
The coolest part is by using a 3-Pack of ZizzyBee Bags, you save 1000+ single use plastic zip-style bags a year per household!
I use ZizzyBee Bags for so many things:
- I keep one in my purse to hold purse clutter – so only my wallet, phone and keys are in the bottom of my purse when I reach down in – and the ZizzyBee bag too which holds everything else.
- I use when traveling to hold toiletries and when I get to my destination, I usually hang my ZizzyBee bag in the bathroom to keep my things organized and clean.
- When I go for a walk, quick trip to the store or playground, I don’t grab the bulky diaper bag. I grab a ZizzyBee Bag with diapers, wipes, bottle / snack. My son is potty trained now though 🙂
- I keep a ZizzyBee bag with a change of clothes in my son’s backpack – when he’s in preschool his teachers don’t have to dig around to find a change of clothes – they just need to grab the ZizzyBee Bag!
- I also put all our sunscreen, goggles, etc. in one bag so every year, we know exactly where all the sunscreen is when we need it. Awesome to keep everything organized while at the beach or pool too.
I literally could go on and on with how I use ZizzyBee Bags, but one of my all-time favorite ways is a travel toy bag!
We always have one ready to bring to restaurants and bigger travel trips.
Tip #2: Add toys that your kids get access to only when traveling.
This makes a travel toy bag much more effective when the toys are just for traveling. Kids will want to play with them longer because they know upon arrival at the destination, the toys go back in the bag and are put away until next time.
I like to also rotate some new, surprise toys so there are new items in the toy bag, too.
Tip #3: Add the right toys.
This is very important. Once I bought a bunch of cheap toys at the Dollar Store and made a toy bag. When I was trying to save money, I ended wasting money because my toddler lost interest within minutes or totally ignored the toys all together.
The small plastic dinosaurs, slinky, koosh balls, spin tops, and other cheap toys were not engaging (not to mention probably made from unhealthy plastic!) — so from then on I added better toys, and they actually did not cost an arm and a leg either.
My favorite go-to store to get the best developmental toys for babies and toddlers is People Toy Company.
Kids end up with piles of toys –even if you don’t buy toys often. We buy toys only on holidays and even then it’s just one or two tops, but then factor in our families and our son ends up with so many toys!
90% of toys don’t get played with as kids tend to gravitate towards their favorite toys over and over again. People Toy Company has these kinds of toys. My son plays with their toys for an hour or more!
People Toy has three toy collections:
#1 Brain Builders:
These are the most unique and well-thought out toys I have ever come across. Each toy is tested my moms and babies before going to market and the final product includes feedback from real moms. I love this!
Brain Builders are toys tailored to your baby’s monthly developmental milestones to help babies achieve cognitive and physical skills within their first year.
I have many favorites but if I had to share two of my go-to baby toys for travel, I would have to choose the Magic Reflection Ball and the Cry No More Baby Rattle.
Magic Reflection Ball
- 6 Months+
- The convex shape sparks your child’s curiosity as their reflection constantly changes.
- Suction cup mount affixes to most flat surfaces and holds the Magic Reflection Ball in place while your child holds, pulls, and climbs around to create added visual stimulation.
- Perfect for restaurants!
- Only $8.99!
Cry No More Baby Rattle:
- Helps calms fussy babies
- Helps baby fall asleep while traveling.
- Dancing beads offer a visual and auditory symphony of cognitive stimulation.
- At 8 months+ babies will grip rattle on their own.
- Only $9.99!
#2 Mochi Toys
- Eco-friendly and made with rice!
- Built in jingling beads so baby hears a calming sound while chewing.
- Removable and washable strap.
- Chunky texture babies love.
- $15.99 and worth every penny!
#3 People Blocks
People blocks are magnetic so they are easy to play with while traveling and keep my toddler entertained for a LONG time.
With so many fun shapes, sizes, and colors – he can build and rebuild over and over. The blocks fit perfectly in our ZizzyBee Bag.
Tip #3: Think outside the box.
The travel toy bag does not have to have all toys in it – remember this bag is designed to keep kids busy and as parents we know our kids are fascinated by the simplest things and also interactive items:
- Post-it notes
- Small tin box (Altoids box) and add magnetic letters inside.
- Discovery boxes – a snack or surprise hidden in a tiny box or bag, then wrapped in tissue paper. Kids love to open and unwrap things.
- Mini felt board with felt shapes that have Velcro on the back. Kids can unstick and rearrange for a long while.
- Little mini notepad and crayons.
- Stickers (and something to stick them too – mini notebook works for this too)
- Create a shape like an elephant on thick paper or cardboard, add holes with a hole punch around the edges, and provide string for kid to fish through the holes.
- A calculator.
- Cut up colored sponges – great for stacking like blocks but are light-weight.
- Little containers with easy off lids.
Tip #4: Add some essentials.
Add some essentials in there as well:
- Headphones – the ones made for kids with the big round speakers that stay on their ears. Lil’ Gadgets are one of our favorites! They limit the volume, are safe, durable and trendy. Only $17!
- Snacks like raisins, bars, or other easy to eat yet nutritious foods. Make sure your child cannot get into the snacks so you can supervise their eating 🙂
#5: Clean the toys well after traveling.
I like to clean the toys when we arrive at our destination so any germs are removed as best as possible. Then I organize the toy bag so it’s ready to go when we travel back home.
A travel toy bag is a must when you leave the house for small errands, eating at a restaurant, and for bigger trips involving planes, trains, long car rides, or boats. What is your go-to travel toy that keeps your child entertained? Comment below!