Are we there yet? Most of us have heard this question coming from the back seat of the car when traveling with our families. Let’s face it, kids get bored on long road trips, but all of that is changing.
Thanks to the technological advances of today, there are more products than ever before to keep these kids busy, and the products are much easier to find than you think.
If you’re curious about car gadgets made specifically for the younger crowd, the good news is that they are coming out with newer and better products nearly every day. This is good news for antsy parents about to get behind the wheel of a car with their youngsters in the back seat.
Regardless of how long your next outing will be, below are 21 of the best kids’ gadgets to keep them occupied – and quiet – while you drive to your destination.
These days, nearly everyone has a tablet of some sort, but did you know there are also tablets made specifically for children? Yes, even very young kids can find an appropriate tablet that they can use to play games, look up information, and even sing songs to.
Most of these tablets provide a bit of censorship so that kids can’t get onto websites that are inappropriate, giving their parents the peace of mind they deserve.
There are also kid-proof cases that protect the tablets if they are dropped or knocked around, so go ahead and pick up one of those while you’re shopping for the tablet itself.
Much like tablets, kids’ headphones make for a great way to occupy kids’ time while you concentrate on driving. They are usually made smaller, but still come in high-quality designs, and since they are smaller, they are usually less expensive as well.
Best of all, they come in a variety of interesting colors to pique kids’ interest, including many neon colors that all kids love.
Just like regular headphones, however, it is recommended that you stick with name brands so that you get the absolute best sound in the end.
After all, kids love clear, crisp-sounding music and audiobooks just like adults do. Some of these headphones also set a low limit on the maximum volume to protect young ears, which is an extra perk for both parents and children.
3. Digital Cameras
Digital cameras are fun for everyone, including small children, and the ones made for kids have large, easy-to-use buttons and eye-catching colors.
But don’t be fooled by the looks of these cameras, because they still take great pictures even though they are made for the youngsters. Kids love to take pictures, and you can suggest that they use their digital camera to take pictures and document their vacation, which they will love.
Many kids’ cameras also come complete with a carrying case, photo album, fun stickers, and even a selfie lens because let’s face it, your child is going to want to take a selfie at some point! Kids’ digital cameras are also a great way to learn the art of photography, and they’re made to take a lot of abuse and keep on ticking!
4. Interactive Puzzles
When you’re looking for the perfect car gadgets for kids, never underestimate the popularity of the average interactive puzzle. Puzzles come for all age ranges and can consist of maps, brain-teasers, the alphabet, mazes, and different subject areas such as math and science.
There is truly something for everyone and, therefore, you should have no trouble finding puzzles your kids will love. Interactive puzzles can also be a little less techy because you can even print out some types of puzzles and allow the kids to find hidden pictures, play bingo, and find hidden treasures in their printed pages.
Creative and educational, not to mention a lot of fun, these puzzles have the power to keep kids occupied for hours at a time.
5. Apps Made for Road Trips
Not surprisingly, there are thousands of apps made specifically for kids going on road trips, and the subject matters that comprise these apps range from finding state license plates to scavenger hunts and hundreds more.
In fact, regardless of your children’s interests, it is easy to find the perfect app to entertain them while you’re busy getting to your destination. Best of all, these apps are usually educational as well as very inexpensive, so you can even download several of them without breaking the bank.
Designed for both iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, road trip apps provide kids with hours of educational and interesting fun. They keep kids quiet, except for the occasional giggle or gasp, and they are a great way to keep them from getting bored on that next family outing.
6. Kids’ Audiobooks
All kids love to read, and kids’ audiobooks can keep children entertained for hours at a time. Audiobooks usually include not just the stories that children are growing up with, but many new tales that they haven’t yet experienced.
Some audiobooks are written by famous authors such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney, while many others are new authors that your children are bound to fall in love within the end.
Audiobooks also tend to be read by celebrities, including actors, so the tone is light and airy and fun, making your child want to listen to the audiobook for as long as possible.
Audiobooks are a lot of fun to listen to and don’t take as long as reading the book; therefore, your child can listen to a large number of books in just a short period of time, providing the right experience that is both fun and educational.
7. National Geographic Road Maps/Activities
Companies like National Geographic make road maps specifically for children that include not only a great way to learn about the places you’re traveling to, but also provide dozens of games and other activities to keep kids occupied on a long road trip.
These are colorful, easy-to-read map books about all of the most popular tourist cities, and they provide information you can’t get elsewhere.
These books help you find great places to visit, list wacky attractions that not everyone knows about, provide fun facts about these places, and provide numerous games and other activities to break up the boredom of your next road trip. Especially useful for special areas such as Washington, D.C., these books can keep kids occupied for a very long time.
8. Paint by Sticker Books
With these books, kids aren’t actually using paints and brushes but rather, stickers that come in various shapes and which they place on the right spot until a picture is created.
Designed for kids five years of age and older, these books allow kids to create dozens of pictures of animals such as giraffes, peacocks, birds, bears, frogs, and elephants, to name a few.
The books are very colorful and interesting, and they are perfect for artistic children who love to paint and draw.
With these books, kids can create 3D works of art all by themselves, and their perks include large puzzle pieces, cardstock paper in case parents want to frame the artwork, and even perforated edges that make removing the artwork a lot easier.
9. Would You Rather Game Book
Would You Rather is a quirky word game that is tons of fun to play on the road or even in an airplane. When you’re looking for car gadgets to entertain the kids, this has been one of the most popular ones so far. It provides different scenarios, then asks you to tell someone which one you’d prefer to do.
Would you rather meet the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny? Would you rather locate buried treasure or find a cure for a certain disease?
These are just a few examples found in this fun and energetic game. Best of all, since it involves the entire family and is usually made for specific age groups, it isn’t just children who will be getting a lot out of this game!
10. Travel Car Seat Trays
Regardless of what your children decide to do to occupy their time in the car, a good car seat tray will make the task a lot easier. These trays sit on the child’s lap and can hold everything from crayons and paper to a tablet and even the many other travel games designed for long road trips.
It allows them to hold on to everything so it doesn’t fall on the floor or get lost in between the seats, making it a very convenient item to have.
The trays are especially useful for children who wish to color or draw, but it isn’t difficult to understand how they offer kids so much more than that. They make it easy to keep everything in one place, and staying organized will allow children to have much more fun while they’re in the back seat of your car.
11. Backseat Organizers for Kids
If you’re planning to travel with kids, you need a backseat organizer! Usually made out of polyester and mesh, these organizers fit on the backs of the front seats and hold a variety of items that kids enjoy when they’re traveling.
There is room for almost anything in these organizers, including sippy cups, crayons or pencils, books, snacks, toys, and even electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones.
Best of all, there are many different compartments sewn into these organizers, so each item you place in there has its own space. They also come in a wide selection of sizes, designs, and even colors, making them both useful and attractive, not to mention a great complement to the other travel items inside your vehicle.
12. Dry Erase Travel Pack
This is one of the many car gadgets for kids that involves drawing, but it has one main advantage: it is erasable and, therefore, usable again and again. After all, everyone knows how much kids love to draw and redraw over and over again, and this travel pack lets them do just that.
It comes with four markers, two drawing surfaces, and an erase cloth so that kids can draw to their hearts’ content without worrying about running out of paper!
This is also a very inexpensive gadget and usually costs under $10, so you can purchase one for all of the kids in your life without breaking the bank.
Reasonably priced, simple, but a lot of fun and a great way to use their creativity, this is the one toy that kids will never get tired of as you travel from Point A to Point B.
13. “Best Ever” Back Seat Games
This is more than just a big book of games; it is also a book of games that are specifically designed to be played by people of all ages when they are traveling in a vehicle or airplane.
If your kids get tired of their electronic devices and decide to do something else for a change, this is the book you want to utilize. There are over 100 activities in each book, so they truly offer something for everyone.
With games that include Tongue Twister, License Plates, Letter Game, Car Roulette, and Another Meaning, this is one gamebook you’ll never get tired of because you can choose a different game each day and still likely never run out of games to play.
It is simply the perfect way to pass the time away while on vacation!
14. Brain Quest Games
Designed for anyone over the age of seven, this is an educational yet fun way to pass the time as you travel, and it contains over 1,100 questions that all have to do with the United States.
These are questions about landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, history details on places like the O.K. Corral, and even famous Americans like Dr. Seuss and others. It’s a very versatile book that offers a little bit of everything in one volume.
These games are perfect for both kids and adults, and not only are they a lot of fun and interesting to play, but you’ll also learn something new each time you participate.
15. Spirograph Travel Set
If your kids love to create works of art, but you don’t want sloppy paints or markers in the car, this is the perfect game for them.
Just like a regular-sized Spirograph game, this mini Spirograph allows kids to make and create some very interesting drawings, using just a pen and some plastic puzzle-like pieces. Easy and fun even for people who can’t draw, the game is colorful and exciting once you get used to working the pieces.
The Spirograph game has been around for decades, and it’s easy to understand why. Of all the kids’ car gadgets you’ll find, this one is a traditional game that has been loved by millions of children for several generations, and with very good reason.
It also costs a lot less than you think, making it an easy addition to your collection of car games.
16. Travel Bingo Game
This is a traditional Bingo game with a twist! Made specifically to be played in a vehicle or airplane, it consists of four thick-stock boards that are easy to maneuver from game to game, as well as fingertip shutter windows that make it simple to “mark off” your selection.
In fact, this set includes not only a Bingo side but also an Interstate side, which allows you to shut one of the windows every time you spot something specific out your window.
Fun and simple, the cards are available in a variety of colors, as well as a set that consists of all four colors, and you can play the games whether you’re in the back seat or the front. In fact, it is just challenging enough to be enjoyable for both kids and adults, and it will pass the time away a lot quicker than you think.
17. Busy Board Cube for Toddlers
Made specifically for babies and toddlers, this cube-shaped board consists of numerous activities that are guaranteed to keep your young child busy and quiet for hours at a time.
Toddlers can push and pull, squeeze, sort, open and close, spin, and even ring a bell with this exciting toy, allowing them to be occupied for a very long time. It is essentially a small activity center designed to carry in the car with you.
Best of all, this is an educational toy that improves fine motor skills, coordination, memory, color perception, and of course, creativity, preparing toddlers for all of the educational activities that lie ahead. It is also small enough to carry from vehicle to vehicle, yet large enough to provide them with numerous activities they’ll love.
18. Magnetic Pattern Book for All Ages
This is an inexpensive, but very unique and fun game that consists of a magnetic board and magnetic pieces that come in various shapes and sizes. The object is to place the pieces together on the board to make artwork, and it’s a lot of fun to boot!
Made for both kids and adults, the toy tests your imagination and allows you to create works of art that come straight from your mind, making for some rather interesting and unique artwork in the end.
The kit comes with more than 350 patterns you can use to guide you, but you can make up your own patterns as well. In fact, regardless of how creative you are, you’ll be able to create the artwork you’ll love whenever you use this toy. You can easily design hundreds of your own works of art, and you’ll never get bored doing it.
19. 3-Piece Miniature Road Game
Consisting of three separate miniature games, this set is easy to play with even in the back seat of your car, and since you don’t get the same results twice in a row, you can play each of these games for hours without ever getting bored.
Included are tic-tac-toe, a fishing game, and a triangle game much like the ones found in many restaurants nationwide.
The tic-tac-toe game and triangle game each have plastic pieces that fit into small holes on the boards, while the fishing game has tiny fishing rods that allow you to catch fish as they move around on the board. These games are both colorful and interesting to play, and they provide kids with hour after hour of carefree fun and excitement.
20. Secret Decoder Activity Book
All kids love to play spy games, and this activity book allows them to feel like a real spy as they go from activity to activity using the enclosed secret decoder pen.
Best when used by kids ages seven and up, the book consists of seek-and-find coloring activities, pictures that appear as you color the page, and a lot of ways to improve fine motor skills and visual discrimination.
This is one of those car gadgets that even grownups will love, and if you combine it with other toys that celebrate the spy in all of us, your kids will never run out of things to do the next time you head out to the beach or the sporting arena. It is simple, but challenging enough to keep you interested, and it’s a lot of fun as well.
21. Road Trip Travel Games Kit
Designed for kids of all ages, this kit is chock-full of activities that offer something for everyone, including tic-tac-toe, battleship games, hangman, license plate searches, dry-erase cards, scavenger hunts, alphabet games, and connect-5 games, among others.
It is a rather large kit that contains so many activities and games that you are guaranteed not to get bored even on extra-long trips.
Best of all, the kit comes with a money-back guarantee, so even if you aren’t happy with it – which is doubtful – you can get your money back. Complete with all the tools you need to take full advantage of every single activity, this is one kit you can count on to keep your busy time and time again.