7 Apps Your Kids Will Love on Roadtrips
Preparing for a long road trip when you’re a parent can be daunting at least. Mentally preparing for a trip with our little ones makes me tired just thinking about it! While in reality we can’t snap like Mary Poppins and have everyone packed in an instant, there are a few things I can suggest to make the trip just a bit easier for your sanity whether you are traveling by car or by plane.
If you have a smartphone, I recommend these apps for kids to make that ride go by just a bit faster. And, hopefully, keep their persistent “Are we there yet?” to a minimum.
Toca Hair Salon by Toca Boca ($1.99) let kids hack away at adorable little characters’ hair letting them style and trim as they please. While this one is probably not a good idea for wee ones (we don’t want dramatic re-enactments), it’s an app that keeps kids busy creatively creating without the mess. I also highly recommend Toca Boca’s other apps, including Toca Kitchen, Toca Kitchen Monsters, Toca House, Toca Store, and lots more! Whatever you child is into, chances are Toca Boca has an app for it.
Where’s My Water by Disney ($0.99) available for iOS and Android is nothing short of a miracle app for long road trips. It presents logical puzzles in such a fun, creative way that your kids won’t even know they’re learning basic problem solving skills. This is a great one for mom and dad, too – I dare you not to get addicted after 2 minutes.
FETCH! Lunch Rush by PBS (FREE) requires a little bit of planning beforehand (printing out game pieces from the website) but is great for elementary-aged kids. If your kiddos love a good trivia game, or are fans of the PBS educational show “Go, FETCH!” this free app will be a great distraction from their car-born boredom. If they’re fighting over the iDevice this one also offers multi player mode which ads some friendly competition to the game.
Stack the States by Dan Russell-Pinson ($0.99) lets you make the most of your trip across the country (especially if it’s by car). Answer common knowledge questions about states. Answer a question correctly and you must balance the “state” on a platform. Stack them up high enough and you will earn a new state badge. Create profiles within the game and beat other family member’s scores.
Jake’s Neverland Pirate School by Disney (FREE) is my preschooler’s current favorite. This one uses the magical world of Neverland to stage loads of fun learning activities. If your preschooler or kindergartener can’t get enough of pirate-y things, this is a great free resource!
DW’s Unicorn Adventure by PBS ($1.99) is an endless runner that keeps kids on their toes. DW rides her unicorn through multiple themed worlds collecting healthy fruits and veggies while avoiding the junk food standing in their way. While this game doesn’t offer loads of educational value, it is good for hand-eye coordination and just might get your picky kid to get a little more excited about healthy food.
Bloons TD 4 by Digital Goldfish Ltd ($2.99) is a strategy tower defense game with 0 gore and guts (moms of boys, rejoice!). Balloons travel through various pathways and worlds and they must be strategically popped before reaching the mazes end. Earn money and set up various balloon popping machines and monkeys to stop them all and win achievements. Trust me on this one, it’s well worth the money and you just might get addicted, too.
Is there another app your kids are just loving? I would love to hear their favorites in the comments below!
Hannah Camacho is an educator,writer, mom to three wonderful children ages 4 and younger and proud wife of an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. She is the founder of MyAppinions.com and TheAppNanny.com. When she’s not chasing her three busy little ones, she does freelance work for app developers as a marketing and pr specialist.