3 Tips to keep the kids entertained
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3 Tips to keep the kids entertained

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 1:41:19 PM

So you've picked up your car rental in Los Angeles. Good, you're off to a strong start. One item (a big one) checked off your list. What else is there? The kids are in their car seats, you've got your GPS - looks like you're ready to hit the road. Everything should be smooth sailing from here, right? But 15 minutes into the drive, the kids are already starting to get restless. You thought for sure the new scenery would keep them entertained for at least an hour!

Not to worry, though. While Universal Studios and Disneyland may be only a short drive away, you can keep all your passengers entertained with a few quick tricks and gadgets.

Never overestimate the power of a screen

While some of us hate to admit it, kids love to watch TV and play interactive games. Although you could let your children use a smartphone or tablet to watch a movie or TV show, why not make this an educational experience? There are a number of interactive personality-based apps that enable children to develop a sense of self. If you want to go the more traditional route, you can find an engaging location-based game app that helps children learn about local geography and sights. These apps have a lifespan beyond the car ride, as children can use them in a doctor's office waiting room, at a restaurant or the grocery store.

Get old-school

We all remember our box of crayons and coloring/activity books during our childhood. These classic entertainment options are still around and can still be just as fun, despite how technologically-savvy our kids have become. Deseret News recommends playing Mad Libs with the family, as it is a game to which everyone can contribute. Younger kids can add different colors and numbers, and you can take all the adjective opportunities to teach your kids some great new words. Best of all, you all get to share in a deep belly laugh once the final story is read.

If your kids are a little older, buying each a new book for the car trip can be a surprise treat. Those who are just learning to read will enjoy a book with lots of great illustrations to help them along the way, while your youngest will be content flipping through books with vivid pictures.

Classics with a new twist

Like the idea of a coloring book, but don't want to find melted crayons in the rental car seat? Why not invest in a digital activity or an ereader for the kids? Leapster laptops provide a number of educational games that promote critical thinking skills while still being quite stimulating, and don't have any messy components to them. For your petite artist, a Magna Doodle is the perfect road trip palette, according to Frugal Girls. Equipped with its own pen attached with a string, there's no fear that potholes or a bumpy drive will lead to a lost artistic device.

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