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The Best Travel Games for Kids: Keeping the Journey Fun

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Best Travel Games For Kids
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Traveling with kids can pose several challenges, one of them being how to keep them entertained during long car rides, flights, or train journeys. Both parents and children face the risk of boredom and restlessness, which is where travel games come into play. These games are specifically designed to be portable and engaging, helping to make travel time pass quickly and pleasantly for the whole family.

When it comes to selecting the best travel games for kids, there are several factors to consider. Ease of setup is crucial, as complicated games can be difficult to manage in a cramped space. Durability is also key, as items inevitably get jostled around en route. Additionally, it’s important to look for games that match the child’s age and interests, keeping in mind that the game should be absorbing enough to hold their attention but simple enough to understand without much adult intervention.

Before making a purchase, we recommend considering the size of the game, its portability, and how well it fits into your travel plans. Will it work well on a plane’s fold-down tray? Is it quiet enough for a crowded train? Are there small pieces that could easily get lost? Answering these questions can help ensure that the travel game is a good fit for your child and your travel situation.

Choosing the right travel game for your child is a small but clever investment in a smoother journey. A well-picked game doesn’t just entertain; it also helps develop patience, strategic thinking, and social skills as kids learn to take turns and play cooperatively. Let us guide you through our carefully selected list of top travel games for kids that stand out for their ease of play, educational value, and fun factor.

Top Travel Games for Kids

Traveling with kids can be a real adventure, and keeping them entertained during long journeys is crucial for a peaceful trip. We’ve scoured the market to find games that are engaging, compact, and easy to pack, ensuring your little ones stay amused whether you’re in a car, plane, or train. Our selection caters to a variety of age groups and interests, providing hours of fun while on the move.

ThinkFun Minecraft Puzzle

ThinkFun Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle

For those seeking an engaging and brain-boosting travel game for children, the ThinkFun Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle is a smart pick.


  • Offers 40 levels of progressive difficulty
  • Encourages the development of critical thinking skills
  • High-quality, Minecraft-themed magnetic components for immersive play


  • Risk of losing small magnetic pieces
  • May not challenge older or more experienced puzzle-solvers
  • The game is designed for solo play, which might not be suitable for group interactions

Minecraft thrives in the hearts of many children, merging the joy of gaming with the benefits of problem-solving and cognitive development. In that spirit, the ThinkFun Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle offers an imaginative journey through the iconic world of Minecraft. We see kids getting hooked on the increasingly challenging puzzles while they hone their reasoning and logic skills.

This is no mere plaything; each challenge brings with it a new opportunity to grow. Parents will appreciate the clear instructions that allow kids to dive into play without delay. It’s refreshing to find a game that’s as much about learning as it is about fun.

There’s a catch, though, and it’s all about the pieces. Small and magnetic, they’re as prone to going missing as they are to sticking to the board. And while the game starts simple enough for younger gamers, the more experienced ones might find they outgrow the challenges quickly. Moreover, because it’s a solo activity, it doesn’t offer as much for siblings or friends looking for a game to play together.

Overall, the ThinkFun Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle stands out as a unique blend of educational value and magnetic allure. The benefits for children, especially fans of the beloved video game, are clear. As long as parents are willing to manage the small pieces, this game can become a staple for long travels or peaceful afternoons at home.

Cinco Linko Game

Cinco Linko

We recommend the Cinco Linko game for its ease of play and universal appeal, making it an excellent choice for travel entertainment.


  • Quick to learn, providing instant fun for all ages.
  • Compact and durable design, ideal for travel.
  • Engages strategic thinking in a simple format.


  • Gameplay might be less challenging for advanced players.
  • Limited to four players, which may exclude larger groups.
  • The concept might seem too basic for some preferences.

Cinco Linko presents a straightforward premise that promises accessibility and enjoyment for players everywhere. Its simplicity shines as a boon, allowing us to dive into the game without lengthy explanations or setups. Recognized with awards for its family-friendly design, Cinco Linko offers us a balance of ease and strategy that is both engaging for children and adults.

The game’s portability stands out for us as travelers. Its waterproof and robust tiles, including a handy carabiner, mean we can attach it to our backpack and hit the road. Whether we’re waiting at airports or sitting poolside, we’re armed and ready for a quick match.

Sometimes, the best travel games are those that transcend language and culture, and that’s where Cinco Linko excels. It’s a game that has the power to bridge gaps, invite camaraderie, and turn waiting time into an opportunity for connection. We may find its simplicity limiting over time, but the joy of immediate play can be worth the compromise, especially with kids involved.

Travofun Travel Checkers & Tic-Tac-Toe

Travofun Travel Game

We recommend Travofun Travel Checkers & Tic-Tac-Toe for its compact design and magnetic pieces that make it a hit for long journeys.


  • Magnetic pieces stay in place during travel.
  • Lightweight and easily portable.
  • Dual-game design offers variety.


  • Magnetic connection may be weak for more vigorous play.
  • Limited to two classic games.
  • Smaller pieces might be challenging for very young children.

When selecting a travel game for kids, you’re often looking for something durable, engaging, and easy to pack. Travofun delivers a 2-in-1 gaming experience with magnetic checkers and tic-tac-toe that ensures pieces stay put, a blessing for car and plane rides. Its three-fold board design is smart, as it mirrors opening a book, something kids are already familiar with.

The games’ simplicity might be their biggest strength; these are timeless, easy-to-learn games that encourage problem-solving and strategic thinking. It’s the sort of toy that doesn’t need Wi-Fi, making it perfect when tech options are unavailable or when you’re aiming to reduce screen time.

Alas, every rose has its thorn, and not all magnetic games are created equal. If the magnetic grip falters, so might the fun, especially when taking on bumpier routes. It’s designed for younger children but bear in mind the size of the pieces when considering suitability. Despite this, it’s a solid choice to engage young minds and fend off the dreaded ‘are we there yet?’

JA-RU Pocket Tic Tac Toe

JA-RU Pocket Tic Tac Toe

We recommend this travel-friendly game for its simplicity and convenience, ensuring that kids can stay entertained on the go.


  • Engages children without the need for screens
  • Highly portable due to its compact size
  • Reinforces turn-taking and strategy skills


  • Made of plastic, which may not be the most durable
  • Some units have arrived with manufacturing defects
  • Simplicity might not captivate older children

This JA-RU Portable Tic Tac Toe game offers the classic enjoyment of tic-tac-toe without the need for pen and paper. Being pocket-sized, it provides the perfect solution for quick entertainment in a variety of settings, whether waiting at the doctor’s office or during long-haul flights. It’s an easy learning tool for kids to practice critical thinking and tactics in a traditional face-to-face setting.

Nothing beats an engaging game that encourages kids to interact directly with one another. This game serves this purpose beautifully, freeing parents from the hassle of organizing pieces or cleaning up afterwards. It’s a smart addition to any travel bag or even as an everyday carry in a child’s backpack.

While the convenience it offers is considerable, the plastic construction does mean it might not hold up to rough treatment by enthusiastic young gamers. It’s always important to consider the age-appropriateness of a toy. Younger children will likely find delight in the quick, rewarding gameplay, but older kids, used to more complex games, might need something with more depth. Despite its few drawbacks, the JA-RU Portable Tic Tac Toe proves to be a reliable go-to for on-the-spot entertainment.

Boredom Buster Activity Book

Boredom Buster Activity Book

We recommend the Boredom Buster Activity Book for its varied and reusable content that promises to keep your kids engaged during travels or quiet times at home.


  • Keeps children engaged with a mix of games and puzzles
  • Eco-friendly with dry-erase pages for repeated use
  • Sized for convenient travel, easy to pack in small bags


  • Dry-erase marker may not last as long as the book itself
  • The included marker might stain, requiring supervision
  • May not captivate children above a certain age due to simpler activities

Traveling with kids can sometimes be a bit of a juggling act, particularly when it comes to keeping them entertained. The Boredom Buster Activity Book from Squirrel Products offers a handy solution. It’s packed with 22 educational games and creative activities, designed to cater to various interests and ages. By engaging with this book, children can enjoy hours of fun while also stimulating their minds.

In considering sustainability, we’re pleased with the choice of dry-erase pages. It ensures longevity and makes it possible for activities to be wiped clean and revisited on multiple occasions. This feature is a real win for parents who are conscious about waste and are seeking value for money.

Despite its many positives, it’s worth noting a couple of drawbacks. The quality of the included dry-erase marker may be a point of contention, particularly if it dries out quickly or stains. Parents might need to purchase additional markers or supervise their kids to avoid messes. Additionally, while the activities are engaging, older children might find them less challenging over time.

I Spy Travel Game

I Spy Travel Card Game

We think the I Spy Travel Card Game is a fantastic choice for families on the move, offering a unique blend of fun and learning.


  • Encourages observation and matching skills through play
  • Compact and easy to bring along on any trip
  • Based on the beloved I Spy book series to capture children’s interest


  • May have a limited replay value for some children
  • Not suited for children under four years old
  • May not engage children who are less visually oriented

Engaging our children during travels can sometimes be challenging, but the I Spy Travel Card Game by Briarpatch serves as an entertaining and educational companion. The game, rooted in the popular I Spy book series, sparks joy and curiosity, turning every car ride into a scavenger hunt. Its convenience and ease of play make it a staple in our travel bag.

Situations that would otherwise be met with restlessness are transformed as children work on their cognitive skills. With varying card scenarios, this game remains fresh for several trips. However, as with most things, prolonged use may gradually reduce its allure for some kids.

Although the game draws from lively book visuals that can appeal to a broad age range, the game’s simplicity might not keep older children engaged as long. Keeping this in mind ensures we set the right expectations before making it a part of our travel gear.

Overall, the I Spy Travel Card Game is an educational tool that doubles as entertainment. It’s small enough not to be a hassle, aligning perfectly with our philosophy of traveling light while keeping our kids’ development in focus.

Vanmor Magnetic Tangram Puzzle

Vanmor Magnetic Tangram Puzzle

We find the Vanmor Tangram Puzzle to be a worthwhile investment for keeping kids engaged and learning while traveling.


  • Encourages creative thinking with 368 puzzles
  • Safe materials and strong magnets for durability
  • Colorful and engaging for various ages


  • Potential for losing pieces if not careful
  • Magnet strength may not prevent all spills
  • Some may find the size smaller than expected

Traveling with children often means finding ways to keep their minds occupied. The Vanmor Magnetic Tangram Puzzle offers an enjoyable educational activity that can be both challenging and fun. With a multitude of patterns to create, it draws children into problem-solving and helps develop their spatial reasoning skills.

Safety is a top priority, and this travel game uses materials that are both safe and durable. The foam and paper construction is designed to ensure there are no harmful or sharp edges, while the magnetic strength keeps pieces in place, which is especially reassuring during bumpy rides.

While this puzzle does have a magnetic feature, it’s important to consider that small parts may still be subject to loss. Parents should be vigilant, particularly with young children who can misplace puzzle pieces. It’s also worth noting that although it is travel-sized, some may find it a bit too compact, especially when trying to organize all the pieces in a confined space.

In conclusion, the Vanmor Magnetic Tangram Puzzle is an effective tool for keeping kids busy and learning on the go. It’s a brain teaser that offers a wide array of patterns and designs, which can captivate children of many ages. Despite a few minor potential drawbacks related to piece management and size, we believe its educational value makes it a strong contender for travel entertainment.

Buying Guide

When selecting travel games for kids, consider several key features to ensure you choose an engaging and appropriate option for your young travelers.

Age Appropriateness

We must first look at the age recommendation on the game. It’s crucial to choose games that are suitable for the child’s age, as this impacts their ability to understand and enjoy the game.

Age Range Focus
3-5 years Simple, cooperative gameplay
6-9 years Strategy, skill development
10+ years Complex rules, strategy


Next, assess the game’s portability. Games designed for travel are typically compact and lightweight. We prefer options that are easy to pack and don’t take up much space.


  • Size when packed
  • Number of pieces


The game should withstand the rigors of travel. We look for high-quality materials that resist wear and tear. The game’s components should be sturdy enough to handle frequent use.

Ease of Play

A good travel game is straightforward to set up and play. The rules should be simple enough for children to understand quickly, reducing the risk of lost pieces and ensuring a smooth experience.

Play Time

We want travel games that can be completed in a relatively short time to keep kids interested. Ideal playtime ranges from 10 to 30 minutes per session, accommodating limitations on travel schedules.

Educational Value

Games can be both fun and educational. We seek out games that reinforce skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork without compromising the fun aspect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Traveling with kids can be a breeze with the right games to keep them entertained. We’ve compiled some of the most common questions about travel games for children to make your journey smoother.

What are the top mini games to keep kids engaged during travel?

We recommend portable and mess-free options like travel-sized board games, card games such as ‘Uno’, and interactive game books. These mini games are perfect to quickly set up and pack away, holding kids’ attention during long journeys.

Which travel games are best suited for entertaining children on airplanes?

For airplane travels, we find that games with few loose parts, like ‘Battleship’ and travel editions of ‘Guess Who?’, work well. Additionally, activity books with puzzles and coloring pages are great as they are less likely to disturb fellow passengers.

How can I find the most suitable travel games for children during car journeys?

To select suitable travel games for car journeys, focus on magnetic or lap desk games that won’t easily slide off during movement. Also, consider audio games or storytelling apps that can be listened to without physical components.

Can you recommend any good magnetic games that are perfect for kids on the go?

Magnetic games such as ‘Magnetic Hangman’, ‘Magnetic Checkers’, and ‘Magnetic Building Blocks‘ are great for kids on the move. These games eliminate the risk of losing pieces and can be easily managed in a moving vehicle.

What online travel games are ideal for entertaining kids during long trips?

There are several apps and online games ideal for travel. Educational apps like ‘Endless Alphabet’, puzzle games such as ‘Monument Valley’, and interactive stories like ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ keep kids both entertained and stimulated.

What kind of travel games are appropriate and enjoyable for toddlers, especially for car rides?

For toddlers, consider tactile games like ‘Buckle Toy’, simple puzzles, and color-forming games like ‘Colorforms’. These types of games engage their senses and fine motor skills, plus they’re typically lightweight and easy to pack.

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