5 Unplugged STEM Travel Toys for Younger Boys & Girls

We've been doing a lot of road trips this summer and now that we no longer have a minivan (holla! 🙌) we need to work harder to keep the boys entertained during our rides.

While it's easier and quieter to just hand them an iPad and headphones, it's not exactly the unplugged and engaged family trip that we had growing up. But if you are intending to get a set of headphones for these occasions, do check out this list of best active noise-cancelling headphones this year.

There are numerous great travel toys on the market, including adaptive toys for children with special needs. Along with tons of snacks and limited water (fewer bathroom breaks), I've been packing the following travel toys for my boys. Bonus, they won't dirty your car and kids love them too! Win/win.

5 Unplugged Travel Toys for Younger Boys and Girls

Unplugged STEAM Travel Toys for Kids Ages 3 to 10

BRIO Take Along Labyrinth

Almost like a video game, but not, younger children can play with this portable marble labyrinth by themselves or take turns with their sibling and friends. Warning: dad will likely want a turn too, lol! It requires concentration, dexterity and is surprisingly addictive. The Take Along Labyrinth is two-sided and completely sealed, making it especially ideal for travel. It's also lightweight, durable and quality made. Ages 3+

Hasbro Connect 4  & ThinkFun Stratos Spheres Game - 

If you have more than one child, the family favorite Connect 4 Grab and Go Travel Size Game can have them playing nice together for awhile or at least the best out of three. Better yet if there is a rematch!

If you want to take the classic game to another level though, try Statos Spheres, the perfect game for your lower elementary aged children. Work on visual-spatial skills while creating a 3D game from the classic connect four game. Builds logic skills, visual perception and strategy. With no game board and game-go bag, it's perfect for travel.

Kid O Magnatab 

The Magnatab is a wonderful learning tool that provides an immersive, early writing lesson. While my boys know and can write their ABC's their penmanship needs work (I should talk! lol) especially lower case letters. Following the directional arrows, kids can use the magnetized pen to trace over the letters or numbers and the beads will pop to the surface with an audible click revealing the shape. They can do this over and over again too, by pressing the balls back down with their fingers and start over. The balls are completely self-contained and stay securely in the board, so great for travel too.  There are three different boards available - upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers.

Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! 

It's watercolor painting without the mess! Kids simply trace over the thick pages with their water-filled brush and suddenly color is revealed with each stroke. Eventually, it fades once dry and kids can start to color all over again. This is a favorite travel toy for Logan who especially enjoys coloring and arts and crafts. The only problem is sometimes the water will leak from the pen and you also have to remember to fill the brush with water at some point, but it only holds a little amount, so the leaking is minimal and you can refill at any water fountain or bathroom sink along the way. 
Water Wow Reusable Coloring Toy for kids traveling 

Crayola Color Wonder Coloring Pad & Markers 

Don't worry, color wonder markers work only on special paper and will not stain your child's clothes, fingers, car seat or your car either. Phew! It's more coloring fun without the mess. However, once these pages are filled in, you can NOT reuse them. The markers will work on other Color Wonder pages though and most packs provide numerous pages that end up lasting us both legs of our journey. They also sell blank pages where kids can draw whatever they want instead of just using a coloring book.

Stomp Rockets

I know this doesn't sound like it would do well for traveling, but the stand folds up and the rockets are foam, so it's all very lightweight. Perfect for a camping trip to provide outdoor, unplugged, group fun. I especially love that it gets my boys playing together and outside. Plus, children can learn through play with concepts like trajectory, wind, force, and aerodynamics at work. You can also get the accompanying Stompin' Science book with cool STEM experiments and information that you can do with your rockets. Ages 5+ (parents will have fun with this toy too). 

More Travel STEM Ideas for Kids 8+

Disclaimer: The above post contains Amazon affiliate links. I also received the BRIO Labyrinth, Stomp Rockets and Water Wow pads gratis for an honest review and coverage consideration. 

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