Digital games and apps are rapidly becoming the main source of entertainment for children when being driven in the car.
With the ability to help learning through their interactivity – not to mention the fun factor they deliver – apps can keep kids amused for hours, making them ideal for long car journeys and giving parents a break in the process.
Here are our top 10 car journey apps for kids.
1. Helicopter taxi
If you’re off on a long trip with the whole family, why not involve different forms of transport? The Helicopter Taxi app uses augmented reality and the device’s camera to create the effect of flying your little ones. You could use it to let them steer their way around the car’s interior if traffic is heavy or boredom levels are on the rise.
2. Toca Robot Lab
This app is simple, but it can keep children entertained for hours. Robot parts appear on the screen – first heads and then bodies, legs and arms – and you have to build the robot up from its component parts. Once assembled, you can then fly it through a maze to collect points – it’s beautifully simple and engaging at the same time.
Whether you’re using an iPhone, iPad or an Android device, e-books are great for kids. The interactivity, pictures and videos means there’s always a task to accomplish or something for them to look at and touch. It helps their learning and with more involvement is a better way to pacify them, too.
4. Talking Tom Cat
Talking Tom Cat is a virtual pet cat that’ll keep kids engrossed for long periods of time, making him purr when they stroke him and drink when they pour him a glass of milk. He’ll also repeat anything they say in a high-pitched voice, leaving younger ones in fits of laughter and high spirits – great for extended trips in the car.
Conventional puzzle books are good for keeping your offspring entertained in the back, but electronic puzzles offer that added degree of interactivity teamed with their favourite characters from films and TV. No crayons, felt tips or books means less paraphernalia to cart around, and in theory, less mess.
6. Create A Car
If you’ve got young boys, this one is a winner. You start off with a choice of 30 vehicles – including diggers, buses and fire engines – which you can then modify, making them look cooler and go faster. With the ability to store cars and learn about mechanical parts, you could combine it with the car you’re in and make it a creative and educational pastime.
7. Pineapple Studio Jigsaw Puzzles
There’s a growing trend for traditional games making the jump to the digital platform. We’ve highlighted how books and puzzles on phones and tablets can keep your kids entertained, and now they can do the old favourite – the jigsaw – electronically, too. This app features Toy Story,Twilight, Cars, The Simpsons and other options.
8. Angry Birds
This is an app that even gets adults interested. The aim of the game is to catapult the “angry birds” at the precariously constructed structure, knocking it down with the least hits possible. You only have a limited number of birds to launch, so it’s a real addictive challenge that’ll have the children immersed for hours at a time.
9. Nursery Jam
Creative apps are great for holding childrens’ attention, and Nursery Jam does just that. It lets kids compose their own music by tapping objects on the screen in a manner of different backdrops, which determine the type of instruments on offer. It might be a bit noisy, but it keeps them happy and there’s always the option of headphones…
10. Mad Libs
Mad Libs is an app that will create plenty of laughter among the children, helping keep them happy on the road or while you wait. The programme lets you input funny nouns, verbs and adverbs to create a story that will surely cause a cackle or two. With options for vacations and driving in the car, it’s appropriate and will certainly lift spirits on a long, tiring journey.