Car gadgets may be a quick fix, though there clearly aren't enough out there to chose from. However, there are other alternatives to keep the kids busy while you focus on driving. To get kids from A to B without screaming is no easy feat! Car gadgets do offer us parents some peace, for a short period of time, and if we are really lucky it could be for the whole journey...
If you are unlucky enough to have a long car journey to school then you may already have developed the skill to keep kids entertained on a long car journey. However, for most parents the longest drives are often during weekends or holidays while ferrying kids to friends' houses, parties and other activities. Even worse is the long drive to a holiday destination. It's bad enough to manage multiple toilet stops and refreshments but keeping kids entertained so you can concentrate on driving safely is a whole other ball game.
Do gadgets keep our kids engaged?
Car gadgets are a good idea on a long car journey with kids to keep them entertained but are they worth the money?
Kids often want to imitate mummy or daddy driving the car so a Casdon Sat Nav Steering Wheel (available from Argos) is a good idea for them to do this and stay well away from the real thing! People have reported that it keeps the kids occupied for ages. Obviously tablets like iPads with games such as Fruit Ninja, Colouring, Draw Me, Candy Crush are really good for older children and LeapFrog Tag Reading System can educate kids as well as keeping them entertained.
What about traditional entertainment?
Modern technology is great but it may not work on a long car journey with kids so what alternatives are out there? Kids are too sophisticated these days to endure playing 'I Spy' for too long. There are some tricks to keep kids occupied; ask them to read a story out loud, test them on their times tables and ask them to make up a story. You could also play some music and ask them to draw something they have seen outside the car window. Toys can often be a good idea but the danger is that they may throw them at the driver and cause an accident. Also, any toys that fall on the floor on the driver's footwell can cause problems if they get under the pedals.
For young babies you can now buy bottle warmers with a 12V plug; many years ago this would have been heaven. Today, your baby’s milk bottle will never get cold. Imagine a life where, they will always be happy with a warm bottle of milk in one hand and a rattler in the other.
Our research found that there aren't many car specific gadgets to keep kids busy and quiet so you can concentrate on driving. A lot of it comes down to having a proactive imagination to keep them occupied and a fervent hope that they will fall asleep.