Adventure Travel Toys: Gifts to Go

Adventure Travel Toys: Gifts to Go!


 By Amy Carney Bevins

Pack it in a purse, play it in the park, mail it across the country, tuck it under the tree, give it to a friend. Gifts to Go isall about inexpensive, portable, engaging toys and games that make giftgiving and on-the-go adventures fun. So whether you are taking a trip to Grandma’s house for the holidays, looking for the perfect gift exchange item, or in need of a stocking stuffer, FAMILY Magazine’s Giftsto Go has just what you need.

These award-winning toys and games are sure to please everyone on your list this year.

Use these age ranges to help you select the right toy for your child:Infant (0-2 years)  Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)


 Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)  

 Move over Muppets, there are new puppets on the block. These three zany talking heads are creativity on a stick. With levers that make their mouths move, fanciful faces, and big googly eyes, the Puppets-on-a-Stick just invite kids and adults alike to step into the world of imaginary play.



Approximate price – $29.99

Awards: ASTRA Best Toy of the Year, Preferred Choice Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award and SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Products) Award, Creative Child’s Creative Play of the Year Award

Beastie Balls
 Infant (0-2 years)  Preschool (3-4 years)

Toss, catch, rattle, roll. Colorfully zany Beastie Balls come in two soft, washable sizes that are just right for little ones to hug, shake, roll, and love. The 7 bold designs feature engaging faces, knotted tabs, and bright patterns that babies and toddlers will reach for over and over.


Approximate price – $8.95-9.95

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award

Boysterous Dolls
Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12)

These bendable, multi-ethnic 8” action figure dolls are just right for imaginary play boy-style. Each one comes with a sports accessory (football, hockey stick and puck, skateboard, etc.) that they “hold” using magnets in their hands and feet. Whether they’re shredding the slopes, scoring a goal, riding the half-pipe, or hanging out with the guys, Boysterous Boys let your little guy imagine himself right there too. Finally a doll that boys will love.


Approximate price: $17

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award

Bouncing Balls Kit
 Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)

Give the kids a reason to bounce off the walls this holiday season with a make-your-own bouncy ball kit. The kit comes with enough sparkly, colorful ingredients to make 8 small bouncing balls of your own design and color plans. Combine science and sport with this fun, easy craft kit.



Approximate price: $19.99

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Black Paper Sketch Pad

 Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)

Sparkly gel pens, colorful chalk, bright pastels, and glittery glue all come alive on this black paper sketch pad. Create art in reverse with a negative background to make drawings pop off the page. The 40 sheets of heavyweight 9”x12” drawing paper invite artists to create masterpieces.


Approximate price: $4.99

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Diggin Boxsets

 Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)


Bring along a box of imagination. These compact wooden boxes open to reveal a world of creative play. Boxset styles include a castle, a dollhouse, a car racetrack, and an airport. Each beautifully designed boxset comes with just the right pieces for hours of play. For example the brightly painted dollhouse includes a table, a piano, a swing set, a bed, a tub, and two play figures. The Car boxset opens to reveal a two level garage with a ramp, three wooden vehicles, and a race track.


Approximate price: $49.99

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Journey Girls
 Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12)

These six girls are off on adventures – London, Rome, hiking, climbing, jazz music, and more. Dressed in activity appropriate clothing and accessories, the 18” Journey Girls send the message that girls of all ethnicities can be active, adventurous, and fearless in play and life. Adventure-themed accessories like a bicycle, a ski lodge set, a wheel chair and crutches (for those extreme adventurers), and travel set complete with suitcase, passport, plane tickets and other travel needs are additions to the collection.


Approximate price: $32.99

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Products) Award

About Face
 Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)

Charmingly clever, About Face invites creativity, whimsy, humor, and playfulness. “Create an endless cast of characters” as you combine photographs by award-winning artist Sexton Freymann. Pictures of shells, leaves, coins, baubles, beads, and more can be joined to design millions of unique faces. About Face is enchanting and completely engaging for all ages.


Approximate price – $15

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award and SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Products) Award


Camp Travel Edition
Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)

Just open the wooden box to start the outdoor-themed adventure with Camp Travel Edition. This unique game allows everyone to be engaged at their own ability level while answering outdoor trivia questions and learning nature lore. Everything needed to fuel on-the-go fun for the whole family is perfectly packed into a small, eco-friendly, wooden carry case. Also look for the original Camp Boardgame and Booster Pack and the Fishing Camp Game.


Approximate price – $19.99

Awards: Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products Award, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award

Stacking Faces
Infant (0-2 years)  Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years)

These adorable, brightly-colored nesting cups have goofy faces on the side and are ideal for bath-time, beach-time, sandbox-time, play-time – really any time. Each oversized cup has a pour spout and sprinkling holes to add to the fun. Little ones will love to stack, pour, topple, fill, and play with these funny-faced toys.


Approximate price – $13.99

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Products) Award

 Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)


Give your thinking a twist. With Turnstile, you need to use revolving logic to move your tokens across the board by shifting and rotating the turnstile pieces to create new pathways. This brain-bending game is a wonderful mental challenge and can be worked solo or with group thinking.


Approximate price – $19.99

Awards: Major Fun Award, Toy Directory Product of the Day

Double-Sided Pencils

Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12)  

Color your world. These chunky, double-sided coloring pencils add a splash of color to every drawing your child creates. Designed for little hands, these high-quality pencils are perfect for at home or on-the-go drawing, and their larger diameter and contoured shape makes for easy grip at any age.


Approximate price – $7.50

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Nutty Squirrel Pull Toy


Infant (0-2 years)  Preschool (3-4 years)

Are your little ones feeling squirrely? This charming squirrel pull toy twitches his tail side to side as he chases after a rolling acorn. The long pull string has a safety breakaway feature and the easy-to-grasp bead handle is too large to be a choking hazard, making this colorful Nutty Squirrel ideal for beginning crawlers to chase, wobbly walkers to pull, and confident runners to have bouncing along behind.


Approximate price – $20

Awards: Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award

Pentago Cruise Edition


Elementary (5-9 years)  Preteen (10-12) Teens/Adults (13+)

Twist, turn, block, and move. Based on the multi-award winning Pentago game, Pentago Cruise Edition is a two-player on-the-go strategy game for kids and adults. The goal is to get five marbles in a row, but there’s a twist, the board can rotate with each turn making the game simple to learn but a challenge to master. The snap-on plastic lid securely holds the game pieces in place at any point in the game play, so it can travel with you anywhere you go.



Approximate price – $19.95

Awards: Mensa Select, Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products, Creative Child Game of the Year, National Parenting Center Seal of Approval

 Wild Cards

Preschool (3-4 years)  Elementary (5-9 years) Preteen (10-12) 

Get wild with theses gorgeous game cards in 9 themes including Bugs!, Dinosaurs, Backyard Birds, Dogs, Cats, and Baby Animals. Whether you howl through a game of Old Maid, hoot through Go Fish, or yip through Memory, you will be playing and learning simultaneously. With many levels of information on each card, these decks can grow with your child for years to come. Each set features beautiful color photos and information to bring out the wise old owl in each of us.


Approximate price – $9.95-$12.95

Awards: Parents’ Choice Silver Award; Creative Child Seal of Excellence, Game of the Year, and Top Travel Game of the Year

For more travel tips for parents visit: or

Amy Carney Bevins ( is a freelance writer, Associate Editor and Toy Expert for FAMILY Magazine, an educator and founder/owner of Chantilly Chefs cooking classes for children and adults. She has been featured on WUSA9, NBC,, AOL Video and


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