A guide to help you buy toys that keep kids quiet and happy
Kids toys can help make travel bearable for everyone. But who has the time to browse through all the travel toys on Amazon.com to find the best ones? We do. Got older or younger kids? We’ve got you covered there too (just see below for links to the best children’s toys for travel for other age ranges).
Best Toys for Travel for Kids Ages 11-12:
Let’s just start with the most obvious source for on-the-go entertainment for tweens, shall we? You can try, but you just can’t beat the iPod touch. Whether your kid likes word games, animal games, sports games, platform games, physics games, or trivia games, it’s the only thing you have to pack.
The price tag isn’t low, but unlike other handheld gaming devices, the games you download to play on it are very inexpensive. Read this post for more information about the best apps for kids.
If you’ve got a kid who would rather go to the dentist than read, I’ve got two words for you: graphic novel. Many great books have been adapted to graphic formats with results that are not bad at all. Choose from favorites like Nancy Drew, or Coraline, or Artemis Fowl.
Detractors will always tell you that the original was better, but who cares? If your kid is happily flipping pages at 30,000 feet, that’s all that matters.
Words are completely inadequate to describe my delight at discovering that the Choose Your Own Adventure books from my childhood are now being republished. I’d been picking them up at garage sales and on eBay for years.
Watch the age ranges on these. I’ve found that those designed for younger readers (4-8) actually work pretty well through age 10. Those written for older kids have a lot of bad endings. Comical bad endings, but still.
These books haven’t changed much. You can still spend hours and hours trying to find the pirate gold, track down the sea monster, or hook up with a friendly Yeti. Good times
This book (and its sequel,The Encyclopedia of Immaturity: Volume 2) are never going to win any awards for best children’s literature. Then again, high quality children’s literature is never going to keep your kids completely rapt for hours the way these do. It’s a trade off.
Your kids will love browsing through 412 pages of such timeless wisdom as how to make duct tape underpants, how to fake a sneeze, and how to say “poop” in fifteen foreign languages.
Melissa &Doug mostly make high quality toys for little kids, but this one is actually better for big kids who have a little bit more experience with words. The classic hangman game is adapted for travel in this durable no-parts-to-lose version. It’s a white board with an attached dry erase pen and letters that flip when they’ve been guessed.
Sure, you could just play with a paper and pencil, but this is more fun.
Most kids like playing with cootie catchers (also known as fortune tellers, scrunchies, chancers, and chatterboxes), but most parents can’t remember how the heck to fold them. With this book, they don’t have to!
It’s got 20 pre-printed foldable pages and instructions included, so your kids can tell fortunes for miles and miles and miles while you blissfully do something else.
If your kid falls into the former category, this inexpensive handheld game can be a lot of fun alone or with a sibling. Unlike the newspaper version, this one gives hints if you get stuck!
Got kids of other ages? We’ve got plenty more toy buying guides where this one came from:
Best Toys for Travel for Kids Ages 0-2
Best Toys for Travel for Kids Ages 3-4
Best Toys for Travel for Kids Ages 5-6
Best Toys for Travel for Kids Ages 7-8
Best Toys for Travel for Kids Ages 9-10
Best Toys for Travel for Kids Ages 11-12
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