If you’re a parent and enjoy long car journeys, the chances are, you’re familiar with the incessant question “Are we there yet?” Travelling with kids can be tricky. Car accessories that keep little ones entertained can make getting away a lot more relaxed for everyone.
We’ve tracked down some of the best kid-friendly car accessories to make long journeys more enjoyable. From screen holders to in-car crafting packs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Car accessories for babies and toddlers
Little ones can find long car journeys boring. Entertaining them with a screen is often not an option as smaller kids prefer more interaction. These kid-centric car accessories don’t rely on the digital world to keep your little one happy.
Busy cube for babies and toddlers
A busy cube that’s small enough for little ones to hold can keep them occupied for longer trips. Each of the six sides has a different puzzle and sensory activity. Great for babies a year or older, busy cubes help develop problem-solving skills, improve hand-eye coordination and teach fine motor skills. This busy cube is small enough to take in the car and large enough for babies one year and older to enjoy safely.
Dry erase drawing boards
What kid doesn’t like drawing? A dry erase drawing board is great for backseat artists. Parents don’t need to worry about spills or running out of paper. The boards can easily be wiped clean for endless drawing fun. This doodle book zips up and comes with four different drawing boards so excellent pictures can be kept longer.
Toddler busy boards
Like a busy cube, a busy board for the car is a great way to keep older toddlers entertained. Hanging this non-tech car accessory on the back of the front passenger seat provides simple entertainment for kids. It’s educational too. Etsy has some lovely handmade busy boards, or you can purchase separate components to make your own unique version for your little one.
Mirrors and hanging toys
Tiny babies travel in car seats that face away from parents riding up front. That can make keeping an eye on them difficult – not to mention entertaining them! A back seat mirror is one car accessory you’ll want for longer trips. It will help you keep an eye on your precious cargo. Toys that hand from car seat handles, like this cute sensory octopus, can keep tiny tots entertained on longer trips too.
Fun sun shades
If you’re heading off on a summer holiday, you won’t want your little ones overheating in the back. A sunshade will protect them in the back and give them something fun to look at while you drive to your destination.
Car accessories for older kids
As kids get older, entertaining them in the car can become a little more difficult. Fortunately, technology has made things easier, but you don’t need to keep kids on screens. These car accessories combine some great technological answers to in-car entertainment with some old-school screen-independent options to keep longer journeys fun.
Headrest DVD players
Movies for longer journeys aren’t confined to flights any longer! A headrest DVD player can keep kids entertained in the back and wishing that your journey was even longer than it is! There is no fear of the dreaded “Are we there yet” refrain from the back when a favourite movie is screening.
These car accessories come in a wide range of options and are reasonably priced. Your kids will be fighting for the back seat, not the front! This dual headrest DVD player lets your tiny passengers watch their favourite videos without the need for compromise.
Car accessories for sleeping: a seatbelt pillow
Once kids are out of car seats, sleeping in the car can be uncomfortable, if not impossible. Car accessory seatbelt pillows make it easier for passengers to get comfortable and catch forty winks. Garb some for the kids, or a pack so your co-pilot can get some rest and help share the driving with you.
It’s not just toddlers who love a story, older kids and even adults can enjoy an audio book to help the miles of your journey slip by more easily. These Amazon audio books for children are perfect for longer journeys. It’s simple to find books for older kids that you can enjoy with them too.
If you don’t want to listen to your kid’s favourite story for the thousandth time, or their music has you grinding your teeth, you’ll need to get them some comfy headphones. We tracked down the most durable headphones we could find to keep you sane.
Kid’s headphones should be volume limited to protect their ears. They need to be padded too so they’re happy having them on for longer periods of time. Keep these as in-car accessories only to make sure you’re always prepared for trips away.
Put the power in your kids hands with their own navigation app so there’s no need for them to ask if you’re there yet! These fun navigation apps are great for older kids to track your journey and learn something new along the way. Of course, you can load Google Maps onto their smartphone or tablet, but we also like MapQuest and InRoute Planner if you’re heading to Europe.
Space invaders, word games and Among Us are just a few of the fun games you can load onto a tablet or smartphone to keep older kids entertained on longer journeys. Check out Google Play or Apple’s App Store before you head off.
Activity books and crafting sets
Older kids can be entertained without screens too. Putting together a car crafting pack takes a little imagination to cut down on mess. Paint-free activity books, paint by stickers books and scratch paper crafts are all perfect for tweenagers to do some crafting in the car.
No-tech car entertainment
Even smartphones and tablets can get boring after a while. In-car entertainment doesn’t have to be digital. These fun family games get everyone talking and there’s no need for batteries or specific car accessories either. Your imagination, a window to look out of, and passing traffic are all you need for these!
Observational and interactive games
I-Spy, yellow car, and racing cars are three classic games that most parents will have played in their childhood. I-Spy involves spotting something inside or outside the car, identifying what it is and then saying “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…” the other players need to guess what it is you can see.
Yellow car has passengers counting all of the yellow cars they see on the journey. The person with the most cars counted at the end of the journey is the winner.
Racing cars works in a similar way to ‘Yellow car’. Each passenger chooses a colour and counts how many cars of that colour they see for the whole journey or particular leg of the trip. The person with the most cars wins!
Puzzle and memory games
What am I? You’ll need some post-it notes and a pen for this one – drivers can’t play. Write the name of a famous person or an animal on the post-it note and stick it to each player’s forehead. Each person takes turns to ask “yes” or “no” questions and gather clues about who they might be.
I went to the shop and I bought… Each person takes turns listing the things they went to the shop to buy, reciting all of the items each person bought before them before adding one of their own. The first person to forget an item is out, keep playing until just one person is left.
Would you rather…? Think of two uncomfortable situations and pose the question – which would you rather? Would you rather cry honey, or speak a language no one can understand? Would you rather have uncontrollable arms or uncontrollable legs? You get the idea.
Car accessories and organizers
With all of the in-car entertainment choices and car accessories available to make longer journeys more fun, it helps to have some in-car organisers and kit to keep things tidy and easy to find.
Backseat organizers keep everything within reach for kids and stop items from rolling under the seats into the front footwells and becoming hazards.
Screen holders to let kids watch movies or favourite programs hands-free are the kinds of car accessories that make longer journeys easier.
A car rubbish-bin is essential for longer journeys to keep everyone comfortable and your car interior from becoming a tip! These car tidy options are perfect for kids of all ages.
Now that you have all the car accessories and the kids’ entertainment sorted, it’s time to check what not to do with kids in the car! Happy journeys!