The Best Car Ride Toys for Toddlers through Age 5: For a Screen-Free Road Trip

car ride toys for toddlers

Are you looking for the best car ride toys for toddlers and preschoolers?  Do you want to keep your kids entertained, but off the screens? 

Here’s a compilation of the best car ride toys for toddlers and preschoolers to keep you sane and your children entertained!

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Safe Toys

When we’re in the car, all of my cluster babies are right near each other.  I have to be very mindful of what toys might end up where. 

If my oldest passes a marker to the 1.5 year old, that would be very problematic.  

That marker might end up on his arms, the car seat, or bitten off, now becoming a choking hazard. 

I’m also careful that the 1.5 year old doesn’t have a big toy truck if he’s sitting next to his infant brother.  Because that could end up as an awful situation, too.

All of this to say, be mindful of your car seat configuration, and what toys you decide to give your kids, in the name of safety. 


We are screen-free in the car, and mostly inside as well. 

This is for a variety of reasons. 

In the car, I want them to be okay not being constantly entertained by a screen. 

However, they’re often supplied with entertaining toys like the ones below.  

I don’t want to be in the habit of being on screens when we’re in the car.  I want them to look out the window and see the world around them. 

Anyhow, off my soapbox and onto the toys.

Always Books

No matter the age, books are always a good thing to have in the car.  They are entertaining for all ages.

You’ll see that I included some in each of the age groups.  

If you’re going on a special trip, find books that are about where you are going.  (There are children’s books on any topic!) 

Throw in some books about cars and trucks.  Or even just some favorites!

The Best Car Ride Toys for Infants

I have nothing for you.  Tiny babies don’t need anything in their car seat, except maybe a pacifier.  They are perfectly okay without any toys.  They will probably be sleeping, anyway.

The Best Car Ride Toys for 6 Month Olds

I love a good car seat bar toy or some little rattles for the car.

The Best Car Ride Toys for 12 Month Olds

By 12 months, your baby may like a play phone or some trucks for the ride!

Car Books for 12 Month Olds

Mini board books are perfect for little hands in the car!

The Best Car Ride Toys for 18 Month Olds

Melissa & Doug Water Wow! books are by far my favorite toy for the car- especially right now. 

My older two (ages 20 months and 3 years old) love them.  I don’t have to worry about choking with the water pens.  And they can color them again and again. 

I could go on.  But these are a must have for the car.

At 18 months, your child might love this purse set.  Mine are always really into bags and pouches at this age. 

A baby doll with a few accessories can really entertain a 1.5 year old for a length of time. 

A good truck is a great option, too!

Car Books for 18 Month Olds

The Best Car Ride Toys for 2 Year Olds

The Mess-Free collection and Imagine Ink is amazing for the car!  You don’t have to worry about it getting everywhere, and the kids love it! 

I’m a big fan of the blank mess-free pages over the coloring books.  But they have plenty of options.

Sticker books are also really great for this age!  These

Car Books for 2 Year Olds

The Best Car Ride Toys for 3 Year Olds

We love using Lego Duplos in the car.  I put them in a little basket, and it’s perfect. 

These Make-a-Face sticker books are so fun, too!

Car Books for 3 Year Olds

The Best Car Ride Toys for 4 Year Olds

This magnetic travel puzzle is excellent for car rides with a four year old!  It has pretty strong magnets, so the pieces won’t get lost! 

Some ColorBlast! or Magicolor are a must! 

The 1000 Stickers sticker book is a great one! It’s on the smaller size, so it fits in a lap. Your child can match all 1000 stickers to the spots where they go!

It’s a great one to keep in the car, because it really helps the time to pass!

Car Books for 4 Year Olds

The Best Car Ride Toys for 5 Year Olds

This larger Water Wow! Deluxe book is aged for five and up.  It uses the same water pen, but has activities geared for age five.

This Tape Activity Book uses colored tape that is easy to tear, so your child can do it himself.  It’s only mildly sticky, so it won’t make a mess of your car.  Such a fun activity for a five year old!

This Felt Friends Craft Book is sure to keep your little one busy. 

Magic Velvet book from Melissa & Doug will be a winner, too!

Car Books for 5 Year Olds


Keep your little one busy during a car ride with these best car ride toys for toddlers through preschoolers!

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car ride toys for toddlers

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