Picture this: You’ve finally packed up the car and are well on your way to vacation when you hear child whining about how he is bored; the other one chimes in like a broken record with the perpetual question, “Are we there yet?” and, what’s more, the baby becomes fussy.
How did it come to this? If only there was a way to quiet the backseat raucous and keep the kids entertained on long trips like this…there’s an app for that.
By using the following on-the-go apps – all of which you can get for $1.99 or less – you will be able to quiet the commotion so that your road trip can take a turn for the best. Just download the apps the night before you hit the road and be ready to experience happy trails on your next road trip.
Infant – Toddler
First Focus: Ladybird Baby Touch – $0.99
This app – created for babies as young as six months old – highlights four different animation themes: patterns and shapes, animals, sea, and vehicles. The animations, which can be played individually or as one play-all movie, feature soothing rhythms, eye-catching patterns, and high-contrast colors to stimulate your baby’s senses and develop her attention span. Additionally, the images move independently, but if the young user taps the screen, she will prompt the app to emit amusing sound effects.
“Babies are engaged by the large, easily identifiable images and characters.” – The Sun
Goodnight Safari – Free
Breathtaking illustrations take you through this beautiful storybook to comfort and engage young children. Although the book was meant for nighttime storytelling, this app also has interactive games to go along with.
“I love this! So beautiful and cute for toddlers. Amazing free app. Illustrations are so lovely.” – Crystal C.
Zen Studio – Free
This app is designed to help your toddler enjoy mess-free finger painting while on the go. Zen Studio includes dozens of free canvases and a color palette featuring 14 different colors. Designed to help young children relax and refocus, the app emanates soothing sounds that coordinate with each finger swipe. While the app itself is free, in-app purchases offering more canvases are available.
“For the very young, it is a tool to empower, and, for older kids, it is a means to self-regulation and focus. The impact of play, however, is far more reaching and can influence the understanding of mathematics, art, and practical life.” – Teacherswithapps.com
Sudoku School – Free
Encourage your grade-schooler to channel some of that pent-up energy into this brainy app. Similar to classic Sudoku puzzles, Sudoku School is specifically tailored to beginners as it features 4×4 and 6×6 puzzles, instead of the standard 9×9 puzzles.
The app is free for both iOS and Android, but there are also in-app purchases available, such as 2,500 additional puzzles for just $.99.
“Great game to keep your mind active.” – JCKNOTT
Mad Libs – Free
A twist on the original Mad Libs game, this app also allows players to use pictures from their gallery and take new pictures – in addition to manually typing in nouns – to create their own wonky stories. Compatible with iOS and Android, the app itself is free, but in-app purchases are available, including 21-story packs for just $1.99 per additional pack.
“The game provides good, clean family fun…and is a stealthy way to teach kids the basics of grammar without being too stuffy.” – The Denver Post
Cookie Run: Ovenbreak – Free
Help GingerBrave and his cookie friends break out of the Witch’s oven in this endless runner game. The app itself is free, but there are optional in-game items that require payment.
“I’m addicted to this game. I can never stop playing it!” – Jax R.
Now that you’ve done your homework, and downloaded these apps before your next long, family car ride, you will be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor: quiet, calm, and content kids.