Whether your child loves or hates car rides, you’ll likely need some toys to keep them entertained along the way. The right toys for the car should be engaging, safe, and distraction-free for the driver. But, how do you know which toys are best to keep in your vehicle for long road trips or quick cruises?
Here at Safe in the Seat, we have a long list of car seat safe toys on our Amazon Shop. But, for our post today, we’ve narrowed the list to a few key selections. We chose toys for different age groups, interests, and difficulty levels to help you curate a toy collection appropriate for your whole troop! Here’s our list of the top twelve best car seat toys:
12 Best Car Seat Toys
Before we continue, let’s clarify that these are not the only safe, practical, and entertaining car seat toys out there. But, to determine if a toy is car seat safe and a logical choice, there are a few things to consider. Here are some tips for selecting and using car seat safe toys:
- Projectile Risk: In a collision, loose objects become projectiles that will fly through the inside of the car. This means hard-sided, heavy toys can put your whole family in danger if there’s a crash. And sometimes, small items pose an even greater risk than large ones! Ensure all toys are soft-sided.
- Few Parts: Too many parts to any toy means the pieces are more likely to get dropped or lost. When this happens, you’ll hear about it as the driver, and the toy can easily become a distraction. Your child won’t be too happy if they can’t play with their toy, defeating the purpose of bringing it in the first place. Find car seat toys that don’t have many parts to keep track of.
- Attachment: Speaking of dropping things, if you need to tether an item, attach it to the child. Use pacifier clips to tether the item to your child and prevent accidental drops. Never attach a toy to the baby’s car seat straps or any other part of their car seat. Car seat handle hanging toys are not safe for the car according to the car seat manufacturer!
- Storage: Keep unused toys in a soft-sided container or diaper bag that won’t become a projectile risk itself. Keep your car seat toys in the car and don’t give your kiddo all their toys at once. Save some to keep things exciting throughout the trip!
Now that you know how to use and select the perfect toy for the car seat, take a look at our top twelve picks:
This magnetic building toy is sure to keep your child entertained for any car trip, no matter how long! You can assemble these magnetic strips in hundreds of ways to keep a creative mind (over the age of 4) occupied.
This magnetic building toy is soft-sided, so it won’t become a big projectile risk, despite the small parts. That being said, we should mention there is one downside to this kit. There are a lot of pieces! Make sure you check the creases of the vehicle seat and car seat for rogue parts.
If you have a child under 12 months, this is a great choice. This easy-to-hold teether is BPA-free and features multi-sensory textures, making it the perfect travel toy for your baby. Hook this to a pacifier clip, and your baby will keep busy working on cutting those pesky teeth.
Here’s an activity center that hooks to the front of the vehicle seat. It creates a bright colored night scene that babies love! This toy features dangling toys that encourage kicking, pulling, and star-gazing. With this hook-on toy, you won’t have to worry about storage or toys dropping on the floor, making it the perfect road trip activity. Just make sure it’s well-secured and doesn’t touch the car seat or interfere with installation.
Here’s another toy with bright colors and rattles for young babies still developing fine and gross motor skills. These socks could go on your child’s hands or feet and won’t budge once attached. And we love the price point — four for ten dollars! This means you can have a rattle on each foot and hand for an engaging playtime adventure while cruising around town.
Next up, we have Impressa Monkey Noodles! They’re stretchy, multi-colored straws that are great for fidgety kids over the age of 3. Kids can bend, twist, and stretch these toys up to eight feet for calming and engaging activity time. The box includes 5 fidget straws, so if one gets swallowed between the vehicle seats, you’ll definitely have extra!
Pop-its are all the rage, and for good reason. Almost everyone loves the satisfying feeling of popping the little bubbles. You can make designs, play games, or just keep your hands busy. They’re lightweight and soft, so low risk for passengers. This pack comes with four medium-sized pop-its that are suitable for all ages!
This jungle plush animal set will be a travel toy favorite for years to come! It comes with an adorable plush tree stump and 5 jungle animals. Each animal makes their respective animal noises and fits perfectly inside the treehouse door.
There aren’t many toys on this list that make noise, since battery operated toys are often heavy. But, these are an exception! If your kiddo loves toys that make noise, this is a great pick!
These teething sensory balls are another smart pick for infants. The balls are easy to hold, feel great on a baby’s sprouting teeth, and are attached easily to a pacifier clip. Each one is soft and malleable, so it poses small projectile risk. Also, unlike some of the fabric or plush toys on this list, these are easy to wipe clean!
Fat Brain Toys are known for making open-ended toys, perfect for sensory exploration and the development of motor skills. These ringlets are easy to connect for children as young as 2, but kids will love playing with this creative toy set well into their school years!
The one downside to these rings is that they disconnect and can easily be dropped. But six come in a box, so hopefully they won’t all fall to the floor before the end of your road trip. (But you’ll be stopping every couple hours anyway.)
If you have kids 4 years and older, these puffy sticker play sets are a blast! The sticker books are totally reusable and come in a variety of themes. Whether your child loves princesses, farm animals, dinosaurs, or pirates, Melissa & Doug has a sticker book for them. Or you can purchase a three pack assortment for under $20! These books will send your child on an adventure with every road trip.
This is a toy the whole family can enjoy! These scavenger hunt cards send the whole car on an expedition to find common travel sights. You’ll race to empty your hand by spotting the images on the card, making the trip go by faster for everyone. These cards are infinitely reusable and totally car seat safe.
Our final toy is this Montessori busy board! It comes with a handy tether for your kiddo to hold onto it easily, and provides many opportunities for fun and learning. One side of the busy board has zippers and flaps and the other has various buckles and ties.
These busy boards will help engage your kiddo’s fine motor skills while entertaining them with bright colors and interesting mechanisms. This toy is best for ages 1-3, but you’ll find that it keeps your older kiddos busy as well.
Car seat travel toys should be soft, simple, engaging, and safely stored or attached.
These car seat safe toys will keep your children occupied for hours! We hope you found some toys on this list that suit your child’s age and interests. But, if not, we encourage you to browse our full list of car seat safe toys on our Amazon shop. (Bonus tip, these all make great stroller toys as well!)
If you’re planning a trip by air instead of land, we’ve got a list of toys for you, too. You can check those out, here. We’ve got more information on air travel and all things car seats on our blog! So, make sure to check out all of our posts and join our Instagram community. We’ve got all the info you need to keep your kiddos safe in the seat.
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