Travel has the power to frazzle anyone’s nerves. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, a wailing baby or toddler gets thrown into the mix. It is no longer a curveball for parents but it is still a lot of pressure adding on to the anxiety. Any child is a ticking time bomb when faced with a disrupted routine, cramped spaces, discomfort, and boredom.
It would have been so easy to whip out an iPad and download a few apps from the store but then again we’re traveling, remember? Your handy gadget might end more banged up than your luggage that’s been to three continents. You can always bring a sippy cup full of apple juice and another with grape juice, but really, it can only get you so far. Not to mention the frequent stop or trips to the bathroom.
The good thing is car seats are now a pre-requisite to traveling with small children. And with car seats came the advent of car seat toys. See, it is a whole new niche to answer for children’s traveling needs. You won’t be able to stop your precious little one from growing up, so spoil them now while they can’t demand a first class seat to Monaco yet because remember even flights and car rides don’t last forever.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
This colorful musical toy is a lovely companion for traveling toddlers. Its big handle makes for an easy grasp with bright beads that can be fiddled with. Appreciation for music starts at an early age. Lucky that this bestselling kiddie music player comes with seven easy-listening melodies from these classical composers: Chopin, Mozart, Rossini, and Vivaldi. Allowing your child to constantly play with this toy will contribute to his audio-visual and emotional development while keeping him busy during trips. It is so easy to operate with its large toggle button and volume switch. This will hold your baby’s attention indefinitely because of its amusing dancing lights that appear on the screen. This battery operated toy will last long enough way after your travel is over and it will still serve its purpose of entertaining during lazy afternoons in the nursery.
Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether
Excite your child’s senses with an explosion of color, texture, and sounds with this must-have toy. Even adults will find this toy be a delight to look at with its maze of vibrant tubes protruding from and connecting back to a bright red cube that rattles. The soft tubes are made from polyurethane that passes SPSIA and European standards for phthalates, while the center is BPA-free and covered with cloth, making it a toy perfect for teething.
Your baby can spend hours absorbed in this little toy alone. Only exclamations of wonder and satisfaction and laughs will be coming from the backseat. Even children three years and above still find this toy as a fascinating visual treat. You don’t have to put this toy in storage once your baby outgrows diapers and milk bottles. Preschoolers love the design and are usually brought to school for show and tell. Even when your child has grown up to a fine teenager, the Winkel can still serve to be a nostalgic piece of decoration.
Tiny Love Take-Along Mobile, Animal Friends
This versatile mobile stays true to its name, you can certainly take it anywhere. Its mobile arm can be detached for easy carry or storage, or if you want to suspend the mobile on its own. It can be adjusted and attached to any car seat grab handle, car interior handles, travel crib, bassinet or play yard.
Your child gets three bright plush animal toys suspended in the air. The mobile is made for tugging so it won’t easily break when grabbed should your child have unpredictable and irresistible bursts of energy. The animals spin to classical music and have at least thirty minutes worth of tunes, more than enough time for a visit to sleepy land.
Tiny Love Take-Along Arch, My Nature Pals Stroll
This flexible arch with 3 different toys will provide tons of entertainment when attached to a car seat or stroller. Like any other Tiny Love Take-Along toys, this is an explosion of fun and bright colors that will surely capture any child’s undivided attention.
It has a spinning ball held by a beaver with a hanging bee. It has a cute frog with a crinkly middle and a hanging flower. And last, a baby-activated flower propeller with a hanging teether. Now your baby can pull it, spin it, thump it, and enjoy it. Parent and child can even spend an hour or two lost in the undeniable charm of this dream toy. Your baby will look and sound like the angel that he already is whenever he gets his hands on this toy. Now, who wouldn’t want to drive with a cute laughing baby in the backseat?
Lamaze Freddie the Firefly by Tomy
If all fireflies were created equally by Tomy, we wouldn’t be capturing them in mason jars. The firefly is made of velour with peek-a-boo mirrors in the wings. Freddie the Firefly will guarantee interactive hours of playtime. High contrast colors and patterns help baby’s vision to focus. Different sounds made by squeezing and touching the toy will help develop hearing skills. The different textures will stimulate baby’s sense of touch and the ladybug teether can be used for chewing on. Once the baby is worn out, Freddie makes the perfect cuddle buddy. You truly get your money’s worth! It is machine- washable should it get too dirty from all the traveling. It won’t lose its shape and color, nor would any of its stitching loosen up. It has no batteries, so there would be no danger of any dangerous substances leaking out from the toy.
What to Look For
We wouldn’t travel with babies and toddlers if we can avoid it. Just thinking about the strain and stress it puts on parents and kids is enough to wish that the world stops and so you would not have to pack, get into the cramped spaces of the vehicle and endure whatever may happen. But sometimes the grandparents would insist on having the whole family over or the babysitter caught mono and had to cancel. Taking your toddler with you will require all the safety and patience you can give. You, on the other hand, would need all the help you can get. Enter the car seat toys. So what does one look for in a grab-n-go toy?
The ideal toy should be something that would stimulate your child’s senses and would encourage their overall development. If these criteria are hit, you can be sure that a child is thoroughly entertained. Bright and contrasting colors will help the eye and brain to focus. Different textures and shapes will coordinate the eye with the sense of touch.
Musical and squeaky toys help the ears and brain to process hearing. It is also never too early to start kids on music appreciation. A toy must play tunes on an appropriate volume level and have melodies that do not aggravate anxiety (having to hear the same nursery rhyme ten times over might make you want to tear the toy apart).
A soft and cushy toy can also serve as a pillow of sleep companion. Some toys can also double as teethers for babies who are finicky. A lot of these toys have moving parts perfect for developing motor skills. Always remember to pick toys appropriate for the age level to ensure that your kids won’t hurt themselves. On the note of safety, you should always watch out for toys coming from unknown manufacturers or those that contain hazardous materials.
We also recommend checking the toy using The Ouch Test.While inside an accelerating vehicle, anything that moves too fast will have multiplied in its weight. So even if it the toy weighs an insanely insubstantial amount, it could possibly hurt your baby or any other passenger. Rule of thumb is to hit yourself with the toy and if does hurt you a bit, it will hurt a lot for your baby. Don’t worry about looking like a fool hitting yourself at the store. If you’ve already bought a toy and it doesn’t pass the test, lean on the safe side and just consider it a home toy or do not attach it to the car seat at all.
Getting the best car seat toy for your child is a gift for both of you. It gives them entertainment and peace of mind for you. Car seat toys as a traveling companion may be one of the best decisions you can make, so keep in mind that it should be one that appeals to all your child’s senses. With millions of options, you may want to check the links provided to see the pictures of the actual toys and see the rave reviews from hundreds of satisfied parents.