Best Toys for Car Trips to Buy Before You Hit the Road

Planning a road trip with kids? Fear not if you’re stressing about what to pack to keep your family happy in the car or minivan. Whether you’re planning an epic multi-state vacation, a camping weekend, or time away at grandma’s house, you’re going to love our picks for the best toys for car trips.

The best toys for car trips with kids

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Best Toys for Car Trips with Little Backseat Drivers

Your child will enjoy pretending to drive just like Mommy or Daddy with the VTech Turn and Learn Driver. This toy allows your toddler or preschooler to steer, while moving a cute little dog character back and forth with sound and music. For a more peaceful drive, there are two volume settings or you can turn the sound off all together. (Recommended for kids ages 6 months to 3 years.)

Of course, your little backseat drivers will need a set of their own keys, too. The B. FunKeys are more appealing to children because they look and feel more like real keys than the standard all plastic ones. (Best for kids 6 months to 3 years.)

If your kiddo can’t really drive the car, at least they can make believe with a Magnetic Fun – Cars Planes and Trains set. (Ages 3+)

And if your children are going through that phase where they simply can’t part with their beloved toy cars, bring them along in a Hot Wheels Molded Car Case. It holds up to 48 cars. You might want to buy a few new Hot Wheels cars to bring on the road, too. You could dole out one new vehicle every hour as a reward for good behavior.

Best Toys for Car Trips with Budding Artists

Perfect for budding artists on the go, ALEX Toys Artist Studio Car Valet attaches to the rear of the front seat and folds down for easy access to art supplies. Kids can choose what goes inside, so all their favorites can ride along with them on trips. Great to keep kids occupied in artistic pursuits, off-screen. (Good for kids 3+.) Add some markers, crayons and paper for oodles of creative fun.

Best Toys for Car Trips with Mini Engineers

A box of loose LEGO bricks is perfect for keeping minds active on the road. The LEGO Classic Brick Box does not include character mini-figures, lessening the potential tantrum drama of losing LEGO Batman or Hard Hat Emmet. Get a LEGO baseplate to help builders stage their creations. (Ages 4+.)

Best Toys for Car Trips with Game Lovers

Card games are back! Deckopedia’s Road Trip Games contains 50+ travel games in one compact deck of cards. Recommended age varies depending on the game but some games start for kids as young as 4 years old. Kids will have fun while boosting their memory and logic skills.

Classic board games come in travel versions, too. Choose from such options as Checkers, Backgammon, ChessConnect Four, and more travel board games. (Ages vary.)

Even the driver can get in on the fun with Mad Libs. Fill in the blanks to create all sorts of wacky stories. (Kids 5+.)

Best Toys for Car Trips for Character Play

Kids who like playing with characters love Playmobil sets. Choose from a variety of themes to spark imaginative play. Get a Take Along set with its own carrying case for travel ease. Great for imaginary play, Playmobil offers all sorts of themes to please boys and girls. (Ages 4+.)

No Mess Toys for Car Trips

Clean freak parents will love AquaDoodle Travel Doodle. This portable drawing tool and doodle mat doesn’t make a mess. Just wet the tip of the doodle pen and your young one will be drawing a masterpiece before you hit the highway rest stop. Tip: Buy and pack extra AquaDoodle pens. (Kids 4+.)

If your children want to make artistic creations but you’re worried about ruining the leather upholstery, get a Crayola Color Wonder set. The special markers work on Color Wonder paper but will keep the car and the kids nice and neat. (Ages 3+.)

The right toys make car trips with kids so much more fun for everyone! ~ Best Toys for Car Trips with Kids
The right toys make car trips with kids so much more fun for everyone! (Photo credit: altanaka,

For more ideas, check out Best Travel Toys for Kids, from Babies to Teens!

Which of these toys for car trips would your kids like most? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. This is a great list of items to bring along for a trip. I love bring art pads and coloring books. My girls enjoy coloring while they’re in the car.

  2. These are great toys for road trips. I will have to get my friends little one the VTech Turn and Learn Driver. He is going to love it.

  3. Since we will be taking a 10 hour road trip this June, this couldn’t have came at a better time! I need to pick up a few activities for my three.

  4. We have a long trip to Seattle coming up, this will totally come in handy. I’ve never thought about bringing legos in the car, great idea!

  5. One of our favorite road trip games is Eye Found It, it is easy to pass the cards between the front passenger seat to the back seat. They have Disney versions and tons of other versions, and when they are on sale they are under $5. We’ve gotten so much use out of those. Also Crayola Color Wonder products are great in the car because they don’t stain. We also love Mad Libs.

  6. We are going on a road trip soon and we are always looking for new stuff to do on the road. I like a lot of these toys and we may have to check into a couple of the games to bring with us on the road.

  7. These are excellent to keep children busy. I am checking a few of them to shop for! I think my child would love crayola color wonder set. Thanks for giving lots of choices to keep children busy and happy during trips.