Hitting the road with the kids in the backseat has its pros and cons…OK, mostly cons. Instead of suffering through hours of whining, fighting, crying and tantrums, or putting on another mindless DVD, why not let them entertain themselves?
We’ve rounded up five of the best apps for a road trip, ones that will keep the kids quiet and let you keep your eyes on the road. We’ve picked a combination of visual and interactive apps that should occupy the children long enough for you to get to your destination. Click the links below for our full-length reviews.
BrainPOP Featured Movie With a different educational movie offered every day; info on subjects as diverse as geometry, data analysis, U.S. history, making music and nutrition; and quizzes to double-check that all that knowledge sunk in, this app is a fantastic way to pass the time on the road. Its top-notch design and lovable hosts (one human, one robot) have made this a long-standing favorite.
Meet the Orchestra This is a great app for the road as it focuses on listening (we’d recommend a pair of earphones for this one). Meet the Orchestra teaches children to identify the sounds that different instruments make, and reinforces that information with games. We love that this app teaches something that’s important to know, but that isn’t often taught in schools, and kids seem to love it too.
Numberlys Sometimes you just want to kick back and watch the magic happen. Numberlys is a calming and beautiful storybook/movie that explores the alphabet in a slow-paced visual homage to Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”. The narration is good enough that you can switch it on and let the story read itself to your child (great for nighttime driving). If you’re a fan of Numberlys, you might also want to check out The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, another great Moonbot Studio production.
Fruits Memory This is a simple but fun app designed to improve memory function. The “free play” mode is great when there are distractions around (like on the road). If you’ve got more than one kid in the car (and just one smartphone or tablet), there are a couple of ways for two to play this game, taking it in turns to guess the cards.
Travel Bingo & Blackout This is an app specifically designed for car trips, and it works wonders. Kids fill up their bingo card by spotting things like traffic lights, airplanes and street signs out the window of the car. Get five in a row and you win! The “blackout” option takes more time to play and so works well for longer trips in the car.
Do you have any apps that you save for road trips? Let us know in the comments!