Kids + Toys (Educational + Fun) = Future Innovators

Category Archives: Travel Toys

Here in Vermont, Winter Break is about to start. Some of you will be traveling, some will be staying home. Turner Toys & Hobbies has products to make Winter Break fun and maybe even educational!

If you are traveling bring along an Eni Puzzle. Eni Puzzles are a great “fidget” puzzle toy with lots of possible solutions and great for spatial relation skills. They come in a small keychain size (which can clip onto a backpack or school bag)

Eni Keychain Puzzle

Eni Keychain Puzzle


Eni Brainteaser Puzzle

Mini Eni Puzzle









and a slightly larger “Mini” size. Each is available in two different colors.


                                                                                                                                                                   Woodkins are also great for traveling. A modern twist on dress up dolls – Woodkins consist of a hinged wooden frame with a two dimensional image of a fairy, princess or kid on the bottom half and a matching outline on the top half. Woodkins dress up dollKids arrange the supplied fabric pieces to create outfits on the bottom half and then close the top half to see the completed outfit. They are quiet, don’t require batteries and can keep kids occupied for hours.

If you are staying home vacation can be a great time for some together time. Puzzles are a great family activity and we have a wide range from colorful jungle frogs Ravensburger Friendly Frog Puzzle for kids

to a 3000 piece world map (circa 1665).

Ravensburger 3000 piece puzzle

Ravensburger 12557 Leaning Tower of Pisa IIWe also have 3-D puzzles of famous landmarks including The Empire State Building, Big Ben and The Leaning Tower of Pisa.


Learning doesn’t have to stop just because its vacation time. We have science kits from Science Wiz that cover Chemistry, Electricity, Energy, Inventions, Light and Physics. Each kit includes materials, a book with experiments and background information plus access to more experiments and lessons on the web. These kits have been favorites with our customers.

Science Wiz Physics

 What toys have you found entertaining, educational (or both!) during past vacations?



Looking for fun, affordable stocking stuffers for kids? Here are 20 of my favorites – all under $10 each.  I’ve noticed that several of the toys on this stocking stuffer list are classic toys. Even if you didn’t play with them when you were a kid, you can enjoy playing with them with your children or grandchildren.

affordable stocking stuffers for kidsStocking Stuffers for Toddlers

Here are some fun, affordable stocking stuffers for younger kids.  Some they can play with on their own; others might need a little parental help.

wooden train whistle made in USAWooden Train Whistle – Choo Choo!  This train whistle has 4-tones and sounds like the real thing. Made from unfinished pine and high quality birch plywood. Measures 8-1/4″ long by 1-1/2″ square. Decorated with chart showing what 11 different whistle sounds mean (long, long, short, long is the sound for train approaching a crossing.) Made in Vermont USA. Ages 5+  $5.99

Ryan's room shoe lace manipulative toy for preschoolersOne-Two Tie Your Shoe Lacing Toy – This lacing toy helps children practice lacing and tying their shoes. Builds hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Wooden shoe measures 4″ long and includes lace. (Shoe colors may vary from image.) From Ryan’s Room. Ages 3+  $4.99

Maple Landmark Made By Me Truck preschool toyMade By Me – A great first woodworking assembly project!  Kids can assemble their own Truck, Train, or VW Bug and then color, paint or decorate them.  The individual sets come with smooth-sanded unfinished pine pieces and wooden wheels and axles.  All you need is some glue, a hammer, paints, crayons, stickers or whatever else you might want to use for decoration. A great Grandparent & Me activity! Made By Me’s have received Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products Award and Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Creative Toys Awards. Made in the USA. Ages 3+ $3.99

old fashioned spinning top preschool toyOld Fashioned Spinning Top  A table-top wooden toy spinning top with spinning bracket and string. A safe indoor toy that even a 3-year-old can operate with help from Mom or Dad. Ages 3+ $8.99

Engineer’s Cap Our son wouldn’t take off his engineer’s cap when he was little.  Every boy & girl needs one to run their railroad!  100% cotton. Available in Adult or Children’s size. Blue/white stripes or pink/white stripes.  $9.99

Stocking Stuffers for Ages 5-7

Lots of these classic toys will also be enjoyed by kids older that 7 years.

Marbles – our cool marbles come in a “vintage” metal box and are even made in the USA!  48 marbles & 2 shooter marbles plus a handbook to learn about different marble games. Made in USA $9.99

Dominos – Another classic game.  Dominos can be used in many ways (math games or racing dominos, for example.) Take it to the next level and learn how to play block, draw, Maltese cross, Sebastopol, Bergen, Montana and Texas 42. Comes in a “vintage” metal box and includes a full set of 28 double six dominos and a twenty page handbook covering history, technique and game rules. Made in USA. $9.99

Jacob’s Ladder – I never had one of these growing up and didn’t “get” it until I read the instructions.  So much fun!  This can be played by younger kids, but even 8 & 9 year-olds love watching the wooden pieces cascade as if by magic.  You can also do magic tricks with the Jacob’s Ladder. I have seen cheap Jacob’s Ladders but this is the real deal with quality wooden pieces.  Made in the USA. $8.99

Jacks – This traditional jacks set comes with 5 gold and 5 silver jacks a ball and a cloth storage bag.  Also comes with rules but you can make up your own, too.  $4.99

Whirly Toy – Did you have one when you were a kid?  This one has lights inside the wheel so the fun can continue after dark. It’s quite hypnotic and I – and other adults – have spent lots of time playing with these! Wheel is magnetic and tracks along the metal rod while spinning (and lighting up).  I’ve seen lots of cheap imitations but this is a sturdy, well-made toy.  Comes with battery. Ages 5+ $9.99

Slinky Collector’s Edition – Who hasn’t had a Slinky? The Slinky is still made in Pennsylvania with the original equipment that Richard James created. The Slinky has changed little in over 50 years and is loads of fun.  Great for coordination development, learning about gravity, balance and more. Made in the USA. Ages 5+ $7.99

Made in USA Light Crystal PrismLight Crystal Prism – A great science toy that’s fun to look at! Natural sunlight is refracted through the prism into the full spectrum of colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  Made of polished glass; must be handled with care. Made in USA. Ages 6+ $8.99

Eni Keychain Puzzle

Eni Puzzle – A great “fidget” puzzle toy with lots of possible solutions and great for spatial relation skills.  The “Keychain” size comes in two colors schemes: pastels and hot/bold colors.   Ages 5+  Keychain is $6.99

Pommawonga Ring Toss Toy 

Pommawonga Ring Toss Toy

Toss the tethered wooden rings in the air and see how many you can catch on the wooden stick. Once you’ve caught all the rings see if you can catch the square – but don’t lose the rings in the process. This is a great way for kids to develop their hand to eye coordination.  From Ryan’s Room. Ages 6+  $8.99

Sidewinder spinning top Sidewinder Top
This is a great top for beginners!  It’s easier to throw than the wooden top because it comes with a Power Spinner cord that makes it fool proof to spin.  The Sidewinder is a fixed nylon point Spin Top.  Measures 2″ diam x 3.25″ long. Includes fixed plastic point and Power-Spinner for easy launches. Made in USA. Top colors may vary.

Flying Stick Toy

 Wooden Flying Sticks –  This Flying Stick is an aerodynamically sophisticated version of the old folk-toy stick helicopter. The pitch of the 7 inch rotor can be be changed by wetting and bending. It takes a little practice to get a good flight. Insider Tip: Wait until wood is dry before flying, or it will be too heavy.  Ages 7+  Sold in 16 packs only. A 16-pack is $16.99 but I included it on my list because each flying stick comes out to just over $1.

Stocking Stuffers for Ages 8+

Kids 8 and older will enjoy any of the toys on the ages 5-7 list, but here are a few that might need a little more physical & mental dexterity.

Maple Landmark Soma Cube Puzzle

Soma Cube Puzzle – This is a classic three dimensional puzzle consisting of seven unique shapes which can only be assembled into a cube one way. Cube measures 2-1/8″ and is made of maple hardwood finished with a clear urethane finish. Made in USA. Ages 8+ $9.99.



Q-Bitz – This is a fun brainteaser puzzle. We left it out on our kitchen table and our 12- & 13-year olds played with it. The goal is to duplicate the pattern on the puzzle card with the 16 wooden cubes. Q-bitz Solo can be played alone or used to add a player in a Q-bitz game. Three different ways to play including recreating the pattern from memory! Add a timer to see who can complete each puzzle the fastest. Includes wooden tray, 16 wooden cubes, 20 puzzle cards, instructions and is packed in a small tin box for easy storage. Ages 8+  $9.99.

Yomega Brain yo-yo Yomega “Brain” Yo-Yo –  This is the yo-yo that revolutionized yo-yo play. When you throw it down, it sleeps and then remembers to come back up.  Patented centrigual clutch allows super-fast free spin, followed by automatic return.  Ideal for beginners. Includes 5 extra strings.  Colors vary. Ages 7 to adult. $9.99

Wooden Throwing Top

 Wooden Throwing Top – This is a classic, natural wooden throwing top with a safe replaceable fixed plastic point.  Includes 60″ string and wooden “button”.  It’s a bit more challenging to throw that the Sidewinder above but is a really satisfying spin once you master it. Made in USA.  $7.99. Save 10% when you buy 3 or more.

Visit Turner Toys & Hobbies to see other affordable toys!  Have a Merry Christmas!



Qwirkle Rules!

popular board game QwirkleMindware’s Qwirkle Board Game has quickly become a favorite around our house.  Depending on who you are playing with it can be a simple matching game with colors and shapes for kids as young as 6 or an amazing strategy board game for older kids & adults.  Perfect for the whole family!

The object of the game is to complete a Qwirkle (6 tiles in a row).  You do that by building interlocking lines of tiles that are all one shape or all one color.  This is a great game for brain development!  Children learn:

  • pattern recognition
  • basic math skills
  • strategy concepts

Qwirkle is Mindware’s most award-winning game

If you want proof of the power of Qwirkle, here it is! Here’s a list of the awards this popular board game has won:

  • Parent’s Choice Gold Award
  • Mensa Select Award Winner
  • Spiel des Jahres (a prestigious German toy award – “game of the year”)
  • Major Fun Award
  • Games Magazine Best Family Game Runner-Up,
  • The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval
  • Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award

I love the feel of the wooden tiles – the shapes are painted – not stickers that can peel off. I also love that they come in a cloth draw-string bag which means it’s a great travel toy.

The set includes 108 wooden tiles in six colors and six shapes, cloth storage bag and Qwirkle rules (also on our website if you lose them!). 2 to 4 players. Ages 6 & up.

What are your favorite family board games?

Are we there yet?  great travel toys for kids

Here are some great travel toys for kids that will prevent your kids from ever saying  those 4 dreaded words! 

What to look for?  

Great travel toys for kids are:

Self-Contained & Easily Transportable

The toy comes with it’s own sturdy packaging making it easy to take from car to restaurant to hotel.  And if parts can be stored in it’s packaging, they are less likely to get lost underneath car or plane seats.  They are also small enough to fit on laps or restaurant tables.

Fascinating and Engaging  Turner Toys

Your child will want to spend time – hours, even – creating and playing.  And they will want to play with the toy throughout the trip, not just once.


Who wants noisy toys or toys with batteries that die and need to be replaced at inopportune times?

Independent Activities

Some of the best toys can be played solo allowing your child to quietly and fully sink into the activity without your guidance.  This is especially great in public situations like planes and restaurants or when you need to focus on driving.

Here are some of our favorite travel toys for children of different ages:

imaginets great travel toy for kidsImaginets

Imaginets are colorful wooden magnetic blocks that come in a wooden travel case.  The blocks can be arranged on the magnetic board surface using the 50 designs supplied or however your child wishes. The magnetic board surface also can be used as a dry erase board sobackgrounds can be drawn to showcase the creative patterns and shapes.When play is over just close up the case and store the blocks inside. Includes wooden traveling case, 42 magnetic wooden blocks and 25 double-sided pattern cards. Best for children over 3.

Woodkins Dress-Up Dolls  Woodkins dress up doll

Woodkins dress-up dolls are a great tactile toy and a sturdy alternative to paper dolls.  Their unique “sandwich” design lets children create endless varieties of outfits with the included fabrics. Just lift the frame, place the fabrics, close the frame and see what your Woodkins doll is wearing!  Woodkins come in a variety of personalities – from the Pals (Kimmy, Emily and others) to Fairies and story book characters.   They come in a vinyl plastic tote with handle.

I can tell you for a fact that Woodkins will provide hours of quiet fun for children 3-8 years. I’ve even seen 11-year olds and adults spend quality time playing with them!  All styles come with fabric swatches. Woodkins have won lots of parent awards!

Flip & Draw Books animal flip & draw great travel toy for kids

Mudpuppy has come up with Flip & Draw books that let kids create new and exciting creatures.   In the Farm Animal book, your child might create a sheep-pig!  Other flip & draw books include Monsters, Jungle Animals, Dress-up, Robots and “When I Grow Up” themes.

Each Flip & Draw book includes 15 wirebound sheets (10 mix & match characters to color and 5 blank sheets for original drawings) cut into three strips. Wirebound book measures 8 x 5-3/4″ and is printed with nontoxic, soy-based inks. Ages 4 and up.

Flipbook Kits

Create your own animation with flipbook kits from Fliptomania.  Each kit comes with materials for 2 flipbooks of pre-drawn images of 2 different themes and blank pages to make your own.  Great for one or two children!  We carry:

Here’s a video to show you how it’s done.

Color in the images, separate the perforated pages, stack them in the correct order, clip the pages together with the attached clips and presto, movies that come to life.  Detailed instructions show you how to draw the individual pages that will make a fun movie once complete. Includes 6 coloring markers in a vinyl case, 4 plastic clips and enough extra blank sheets to make 2 flipbooks of your own when you’ve mastered the lost art of flipbook making!  Everything can be kept in the cardboard box for easy transport. This is a great activity for older children (7+) since the pages need to be perforated and stacked.  Younger children will have fun, too, with some parent help.


What do you look for in a great travel toy?


Photo credit: limaoscarjuliet / Foter / CC BY


%d bloggers like this: