15 Fantastic Travel Toys for a Five-Year-Old

5 year old boy holding a toy plane with aviator goggles - travel toys for 5 year olds

What to pack and be prepared for traveling with a 5-year-old

Once they got old enough, our children loved to help plan upcoming adventures and vacations, especially when the destination included fun things for them to participate in. At around the age of five or six, most kids begin to take an avid interest in travel and the process of getting to and from a magical new place. 

I often think of the range of 5-8 years old as the “Golden Age” in a child’s adolescence.  They’re fully potty trained, in school full-time, and generally responsible enough (and willing) to help with younger siblings – and before the more stubbornly strong tweens kick in! 

Don’t get me wrong – any long road trip or flight in our family is still peppered with several “Are we there yet?” questions. Still, five-year-olds are much better about keeping themselves entertained or participating in a side-splitting round of Would You Rather

In this article, we’re going to explore the Best Travel Toys for 5-Year-Olds to take with you on your next vacation. We’re sure that these fun, engaging, and humorous options will add some pizazz to your next trip!

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TL;DR – Summary of Perfect Travel Toys for a Five-Year-Old

Type/BrandCapacity & FeaturesDimensionsPricing
8.5 inch LCD Writing Tablet Doodle Board
Eye Protection & Non-radiation
One-click Erase & Lock Function
Mess-free & Environmental
Recommended age is 3 - 10 years
Screen size is 8.5 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Skillmatics Educational Game: Dots and Mazes
Reusable Activity Mats with Dry Erase Marker
Material made is Polypropylene
Recommended age is 36 months - 6 years
9.29 x 7.48 x 0.94 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Educational Insights Kanoodle Jr. Brain Boosting Puzzle Game for Kids
Sturdy carrying case
Puzzle guide with 60 puzzles and challenges
6 puzzle pieces
1 12V batteries required
Recommended age is 4 - 8 years
6.2 x 5 x 1 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Unicorn Coloring Book
50 individual designs
Designs are single sided
Recommended age is 4 - 6 years
8.5 x 0.23 x 11 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Coloring Book for Boys
Dinosaurs, Diggers, Trucks, Spaceships and Much More!
50 unique designs
Printed single sided
Recommended age is 4 - 8 years
8.5 x 0.25 x 8.5 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Paint by Sticker Kids: Zoo Animals
44 pages
Sticker book
Recommended age is 5 - 8 years
9 x 0.25 x 9 inches
$- Check Latest Price Here
Classic TOMY Water Game
Small handheld game
Fidget toy
Recommended age is 5 - 6 years
2 x 0.75 x 6 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Reusable Water-Reveal Deluxe Activity Pad – Around Town
8 reusable pages
Refillable water pen
No-mess painting for kids
With red lens
Recommended age is 5 - 7 years
2.29 x 25.4 x 26.67 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Melissa & Doug Water Wow-Adventure Deluxe
8 reusable pages
Refillable water pen
No-mess painting for kids
With red lens
Recommended age is 5 - 7 years
2.29 x 25.4 x 26.67 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Melissa & Doug Water Wow-Fairy Tales
4 reusable pages
Refillable water pen
No-mess painting for kids
Recommended age is 5 - 7 years
10 x 7 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
I Spy Gold Challenger: A Book of Picture Riddles
40 pages
Recommended age is 5 - 10 years
9.5 x 0.5 x 12.75 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Melissa & Doug Fashion Design Activity Kit
16-piece fashion-plate rubbing kit
9 Double-Sided Rubbing Plates
4 pencils, 1 crayon, a crayon holder and storage case
Recommended age is 5 - 10 years
15 x 12 x 2 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Tangoes Animals
48 challenges and solutions
Spiral bound book with 7 foam-covered magnets
Recommended age is 6 years and up
6.2 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Spot It! Junior Animals Card Game
31 cards in a tin canister
Each decorated with six colorful animals
Recommended age is 4 - 15 years
5 x 5 x 3 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Fat Brain Toys Shape Game
Recommended age is 3 years and up7.9 x 1.42 x 7.9 inches$- Check Latest Price Here
Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet, 8" HD display
8” HD Display, 32 GB
30% faster processor
13 hours battery
7.94 x 5.40 x 0.37 inches$- Check Latest Price Here

This post is part of our tried & tested travel gear reviews and our best travel toys collection

Tips For Travelling With a Five-Year-Old

Before we dive into the fun part, we’d like to take a few minutes to offer some suggestions for taking a family vacation with a five-year-old.  These are based on personal experiences and advice from friends with families, and we hope they’ll help with upcoming family vacations.  

Pack a Spare Set of Clothes: Even though most five-year-olds can make it to the bathroom with no accidents, there are times when a toilet is not easily accessible.  Additionally, sometimes children will try to “hold it” because they’re nervous about going to the loo mid-flight. 

It’s helpful to talk with your five-year-old before a long flight or car ride to let them know that everything will be okay if they do have an accident.  It also never hurts to pack a few pull-ups to give them an added sense of security. 

Packing List Sign Up - Kids

Give Them Some Responsibility: When each of our own children was around five years old, we began to give them more responsibilities when we went on family trips, such as packing their own backpacks or travel bag to figure out what they could easily carry and what needed to stay home.  

From this experience, we designed our own “Kids Travel Packing List” subscribe to our mailing list, and you can download your own copy to use with your kids totally FREE! You’re welcome : )

Provide Several Options for Activities: Five-year-olds may be a somewhat less hyper version of being four, but they still need plenty of travel toy options to keep them entertained along the way.

We recommend a car seat tray table for long car rides so that everything is close by, and these can also work well for flights. 

You may also be interested in our thoughts around whether you need a stroller or not for a 5-year-old. We go through the pros and cons of still taking a stroller traveling with a preschooler and what alternatives to a stroller you can use with bigger kids.

Best Travel Toys for a 5 Year Old

8.5 inch LCD Writing Tablet Doodle Board

LCD Writing Tablet for Kids, 8.5 Inch Drawing Tablet Doodle Board, Toddlers Colorful Electronic Drawing Pads, Educational and Learning Boys Girls Toys for 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Years Old Kids (Blue)

We highly recommend this LCD Writing Tablet as one of the best travel toys for 5-year-olds because it’s mess-free, and portable, and the screen can be cleared with the simple push of a button. 

This doodle board comes with an easily replaceable, built-in battery that lasts for up to 6 months.  Your child can use the attached stylus to draw endless masterpieces on the large, glare-free screen.

Skillmatics Educational Game: Dots and Mazes

Skillmatics Educational Game - Dots & Mazes, Reusable Activity Mats with Dry Erase Marker, Gifts, Travel Toy, Ages 3 to 6

These Skillmatics reusable activity mats are a surefire way to cure hours of boredom while traveling.  This perfect travel toy comes with six double-sided sheets and a skilly billy pen that can be wiped clean with the included duster cloth. 

Your five-year-old can build several core skills with multiple engaging activities that can be completed again and again.  This is an excellent toy to be handed down to other children.

Educational Insights Kanoodle Jr. Brain Boosting Puzzle Game for Kids

Educational Insights Kanoodle Jr. Brain Boosting Puzzle Game, Brain Teaser Game for Kids Teens, & Adults, 2-D & 3-D Puzzles, Great For Travel, Gift For Kids Ages 4 to 7

The Kanoodle Jr. encourages the development of crucial skills, such as spatial reasoning and critical thinking. The portable puzzle board also acts as a case for all the puzzle pieces and a 60-page booklet to keep everything organized. If this one’s not to your liking, check out this page for a range of age-suitable, compact puzzle toys that would work equally as well on road trips. 

Coloring Books

Nothing beats travel boredom like a good, old-fashioned coloring book.  If your five-year-old loves to create vibrant and unique pictures, check out options like this Unicorn Coloring Book or Coloring Books for Boys

Each book is appropriate for ages 4-8, meaning they’re versatile enough for several children to use them in one trip.  The illustrations are simple enough so that it’s easy to stay inside the lines but also provide a variety of engaging pictures to keep your child entertained for hours.

Don’t forget your marker pens too! Look for the type that clicks together easily or stores in their own case so they don’t go missing so easily, and washable, of course!

Paint by Sticker Kids: Zoo Animals

Paint by Sticker Kids: Zoo Animals: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time!

Paint by Sticker books are a less-mess alternative to paint by numbers, and they’re very travel-friendly, making them ideal for younger children on a long car ride.

This zoo animals version allows your child to create ten beautiful sticker paintings and helps them to work on both counting and hand-eye coordination skills. The quality cardstock also has perforated edges so that they can be gifted to friends and family alike. 

Classic TOMY Water Game

Classic TOMY Handheld Water Game - Kids Fidget Toys - Water Sensory Toys - Dolphin

The best travel toys for five-year-olds are ones that present different scenarios every time, and this portable water game does just that.  Your child must tip the toy so that all three rings are on the dolphin’s nose.  It’s more complicated than it looks! 

The game is straightforward to set up–just fill with water and push the button to play.  Empty the water before going through airport security and fill it up again before your flight.  If you’re travelling with multiple children, see who can capture the rings the fastest!

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Water Wow! Activity Pads

These Melissa and Doug Deluxe Water Wow! Activity Pads are a go-to for our family trips, and for a good reason.  They’re lightweight, reusable, and appropriate for a wide age range (trust me, even my tween, when she’s bored, joins in!)

You can refill the water pen repeatedly, and the coloring pages clear up as they dry.  Each pad comes with a red lens to find hidden pictures, and the spiral-bound pad keeps everything together. 

They come in many different sets suitable for older toddlers and up. Some of our favorite options for slightly older kids include Around Town, Adventure, and Fairy Tale.  

I Spy Gold Challenger: A Book of Picture Riddles

I Spy Gold Challenger: A Book of Picture Riddles

If your five-year-old loves puzzles and using problem solving skills, this enchanting I Spy Book of Picture Riddles is a great option that will keep them coming back again and again to discover new items on each page.

The book is filled with vibrant, eye-catching photographs taken by Walter Wick, and author Jean Marzollo has filled each page with riddles to challenge even the most determined riddle-solver in your family. 

Melissa & Doug Fashion Design Activity Kit

Melissa & Doug Fashion Design Art Activity Kit - 9 Double-Sided Rubbing Plates, 4 Pencils, Crayon - Fashion Plates, Travel Toys for Kids Ages 5+, 16 Piece Set, White

The budding fashion designer in your family will love this activity kit with interchangeable fashion plates that allow them to create endless designs.

Each rubbing kit comes with nine double-sided design plates, coloring utensils, and a carrying case, making it perfect for designing on the go. The kit doesn’t include paper, so remember to grab a blank writing pad for your child’s travel case as well. 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book!

Don't Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book!-Pigeon series

Mo Willems is known for his wacky children’s books, and this hilarious activity book is an extension of his popular series.  The Bus Driver provides instructions for each activity, while the pigeon tries to convince the reader to put the book down and do something else. 

We’re in love with this particular travel item because it provides a wide range of activities for your child and helps them develop a relationship with the character within making it a great travel toy.

Tangoes Animals

Tangoes Animals

Who knew so much fun as possible with just seven different shapes?  The Tangoes Animal book is an ideal travel toy for five-year-olds because it provides 48 tangram challenges and a magnetized board to reduce the chance of pieces getting lost along the way. 

The attached challenge cards are arranged in three different challenge levels; each picture resembles a familiar animal.  You’ll also find yourself drawn into the fun with this refreshing take on the ancient Chinese Tangram puzzle, which is great for fine motor skills and little hands that love a challenge.

Spot It! Junior Animals Card Game

Spot It! Junior Animals Card Game | Game For Kids | Preschool Age 4+ | 2 to 5 Players | Average Playtime 10 minutes | Made by Zygomatic

One of our tried-and-true family travel toys has been several different versions of Spot It!  Spot It! is especially fun to play on a long flight, in the terminal, or on train rides; everyone can participate. 

This fast-paced travel toy works on symbol recognition and eye association because each card is filled with eight colorful animals of different sizes. 

Regardless of the combination, two cards always have a matching symbol, allowing endless playing options making it one of our favorite travel toys for its versatility and compact size.

Fat Brain Toys Shape Game

Fat Brain Toys Shape Game - Little Thinker's Block Logic Puzzles Brainteasers for Ages 3 to 5

The shape game is another intriguing puzzle option for your five-year-old (and maybe you!).  It’s comprised solely of heavy-duty activity cards and wooden blocks, so we recommend storing it in a plastic bag for travel.

 This travel toy aims to follow the stars to arrange the blocks in different challenging combinations.  The Shape Game encourages spatial reasoning, logic, and critical thinking skills, to name a few.  It’s also appropriate for ages 3-6, so younger siblings can also join in the fun. 

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet, 8″ HD display

Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet, 8” HD Display, 32 GB, 30% faster processor, designed for portable entertainment, (2022 release), Black

Traveling for any length of time with little kids can be exhausting, and sometimes both parents and children need a mental and physical break.  That’s where the Amazon Fire 8 Kids Tablet with an 8” display comes in.

Download a few of your five-year-old’s favorite apps or take advantage of the included year of Amazon Kids+. The tablet also easily connects to in-flight Wi-Fi to stream appropriate movies, and Bluetooth capabilities make it easy to pair with your child’s favorite headphones.

Speaking of which…. headphones and tablets should always go hand in hand. Your 5-year-old will be at that age where they’re between specialized toddler headphones and using proper kids’ headphones. Here are a few of our favorites for this age group.

JBL Jr460NC Wireless Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Kids Headphones - White
Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets Volume Limited On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones – Lightweight Headphones for Kids with Built-in Microphone – Safer Sound Studio-Grade Quality (Dark Blue)
MIDOLA Headphones Bluetooth Wireless Kids Volume Limit 85dB /110dB Over Ear Foldable Noise Protection Headset AUX 3.5mm Cord Mic for Children Boy Girl Travel School Phone Pad Tablet PC Turquoise

More ideas for entertaining young kids on long trips

Even with all the toys and tech you can throw at young children to keep them happy on the move, sometimes what they simply want is YOU! Often easier said than done if you’re driving or have younger siblings keeping your hands full.

It is really important to remember, though, just because your 5-year-old is more self-sufficient and a much better traveling companion than most young tots, some one-on-one time doesn’t go astray. Some engaging games without toys should be used too, why not try:

Family car games – some favorites even 5-year-olds will understand are

  • I-spy (though you may need to do colours or phonetics rather than the alphabet)
  • The Alphabet game – great for learning your ABCs. Go through everything you know, starting with A is for ….., then B, C etc. Take turns around your group – you could try animals, foods or people’s names with a 5-year-old. Older kids, you can advance this game by trying countries, cities, and movies.
  • Would you rather? – a classic car or queuing game for kids, no tools needed, just some inspirational and fun questions to get your little one thinking (e.g. would you rather a per crocodile or a pet lion – the more nonsensical, the better!) – we’ve even come up with our own printable “Would You Rather?” kid questions which you can grab for your next long car trip
Road trip ultimate entertianment bundle
Sign up to our mailing list here and grab your free road trip printables- perfect for the 5-year-old age group!

We have a comprehensive list of family games perfect for long journeys here.

Audiobooks – sharing an audiobook or podcast is a great family activity. You can get absorbed in the story whilst also chatting or explaining parts too. Audiobooks need not be something you simply plug your kids in, grown-ups can love them too – here we choose all our family favourites, plus podcasts the whole family can tune in to.

Take some snaps! – Let your kids take control of the camera for a bit. Most 5-year-olds can probably operate a camera better than you can; let them record the journey from their perspective. It can actually be great fun looking back at what they think was important to record or seeing the view from the back seat! We watch these back at our meal breaks, and it’s loads of fun for us all.

Snacks! – It doesn’t seem to matter what age kids are. Snacks are the stuff of travel dreams. My Master L can remember pretty much any place he’s been simply by the snack he ate there (not bad for a fussy eater).

The important thing when traveling with your 5-year-old, space out the treats. Whilst it’s tempting to give them sweets if they haven’t asked “Are we there yet?” for 30 minutes, all parents should know the result of too many sugary sweets and being cooped up in a car or plane… Not saying never; just space them out and try and keep snacks healthy for longer-lasting energy.

lunch box full of healthy food

More tips for pre-schooler travel

This is honestly a great age to travel with kids. They really get so much easier and so much less gear to contend with! If you’d like more from our blog on travel tips and products you might need from the pre-schooler to a grade school kid age group, why not check out:

Helpful? Bookmark this page or pin it for later

Child holding a toy plan on an airplane

Don’t miss our latest travel toy guides:

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© Our Globetrotters | Feature Images CanvaPro

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2 thoughts on “15 Fantastic Travel Toys for a Five-Year-Old

  1. Laura Walker says:

    Kids Travel Toy Box is one of my son’s favorite toys when we go on long trips, he always takes it with him. Holds legos, other building toys, or snacks. There are fantastic.

    • Our Globetrotters says:

      Such a great contraption isn’t it! A bit bulky for international travel but my youngest still uses it on domestic car trips

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