Has the novelty of 20 Questions worn off long ago? Do you have a cross-country drive to contend with? In cases like these, today’s electronic entertainment devices can be a great way to keep children entertained and out of trouble in the backseat. You can choose from a variety of cars that come fully equipped with backseat infotainment systems, including DVD players for the kids. However, even in an older car you can pick up a few basic gadgets, from MP3 players to E-Readers, to make the long journey slightly more fun for children.
In-Car Entertainment Systems
Many of today’s cars come fully equipped with extensive backseat entertainment options. The following are three examples that are ideal for families.
1. Toyota Sienna
The Toyota Sienna is already a popular family car thanks to its abundance of backseat space and safety features, but it also offers a Dual-View Entertainment Centre. This allows backseat passengers to play DVD movies on two different screens, which is ideal for siblings who can’t agree on a film. Parents can also control these screens from their own instrument panel in the front.
2. Honda Odyssey
Honda is another auto manufacturer who recognises the need to keep the peace in the car, with their Ultra wide Rear Entertainment System on the Odyssey. This screen is extra wide in the interest of providing split-screen viewing, to display two different games or movies at the same time.
3. Lincoln Navigator
The Lincoln Navigator seats seven passengers, ensuring that there’s room for the whole family. It has two seven-inch colour LCD screens built into the back of the front row seats. These are equipped with DVD players, headphones, and remote controls.
If your child can’t get enough of his or her tunes, look for low-cost MP3 players specifically for the car. Ones like the model from LOGIK play up to 500 songs at a time, which can easily fill the space of a couple of hours. This model also has an 8 hour battery life, and retails for under 10 dollars. Many brands also make portable DVD players. Although these used to be quite prohibitively priced, you can now find them for less than 50 dollars. Look for one with a child-sized screen, which will be just the right size for your child to listen to music, look at photographs, or watch their favourite films. Don’t forget the headphones if you don’t want to listen to Barney singing for the duration of your trip!
Another popular type of backseat toy is an E-Reader, such as the Amazon Kindle or NOOK Simple Touch. These are also an affordable way to keep kids occupied, and can be a better fit for children who need large print because the font and style of type can be customised. Models like the NOOK can run for up to two months without any need for charging, making them a great backseat standby.
For long road trips, these types of entertainment options can be a real saviour, making the time pass far more quickly both for children and parents alike.