While traveling can be fun, having kids in tow, who get bored easily (not to forget the "Are we there yet?" queries), can be a nightmare for any harrowed parent.
Finding ways to keep your child entertained when on the road can be quite a task and a test of parenting skills! With the onset of smartphones and tablets, parents can breathe a little easy. Games can keep your little one at bay, at least for some time!
We take a look at 11 Android and iOS apps that will keep your kids occupied when you're journeying.
1. Me Comics
This app is for the comic lover. If your child likes reading, then this collection of digital comics will hold their interest. The collection includes comics from popular brands, such as Disney, Transformers and The Beano. Moreover, Me Comics is also interactive as it packs in the ability for recording voice narration, so your child can record their voice as they read along.
The only downer of Me Comics is that it comes with one book so you'll have to purchase a few comics before you set off on your road trip.
2. Petting Zoo
Petting Zoo boasts downloads of over 1 million, a testament to its popularity. The app is a sequence of animal animations that are interactive and can be flipped, stretched and wobbled by the swipe of a finger.
The animation is great and there are 21 animals one can play with, each of which comes with musical sounds. It is perfect for kids under five years.
3. Geography Drive USA
For parents looking for an app that is both fun and educational, the search ends with Geography Drive USA. While it commands a price, this app is perfect for those road trips and is playable by a single child. One needs to take a road trip around the U.S. and earn money and fuel in the process for your travels. This can be done by answering the trivia on states correctly.
Fun elements, like getting your car a new paint job, seeing your trophies or upgrading the car, are pretty addictive. One can also exchange chips for an airplane ticket if driving becomes tedious!
4. YouTube Kids
The YouTube Kids app has a fantastic selection of videos that will keep your kids entertained for a long time. With train videos, Sesame Street, and Yo Gabba Gabba!, kids have a plethora of videos to surf through without your having to worry about the content's appropriateness. YouTube has done the job already. The easy UI and big icons will make it simple for your child to sift through the library.
5. Dumb Ways to Die
If you want to keep your teenager away from those gory FPS that can be graphic, a safer option is Dumb Way to Die. A light-hearted app with a cartoonish take, the game tasks players with the objective of avoiding cartoonish deaths via the challenges. The game, however, is meant for the older kids.
6. Hungry Hungry Hippos
The classic board game from Hasbro gets a digital avatar. Hungry Hungry Hippos has the same mechanics as the original game, only now it's playable on your smartphone or tablet. The multiplayer game can be played by a maximum of four people who need to chomp up. One only needs to tap their hippo's head and swallow as many floating bananas and mangos in the Tiki pond as possible.
Download the game for iOS for free.
7. Temple Run 2
Temple Run is an evergreen favorite and the challenges offered by the second version will test your child's skills even more. Simply jump, slide and tilt your way through the jungle as you collect coins. A game for all age groups, Temple Run 2 will keep your child occupied for quite some time.
This app is somewhat like the virtual take on the popular spin-a-yarn game but with a twist. One needs to build a storyline as the name of the app suggests. Players start the StoryLines with a well-known saying. The next player is tasked with illustrating the saying, whereas the third player needs to title the same but without seeing what the original saying was. Another person then illustrates the title and the chain continues.
Download StoryLines for free for iOS.
9. Uno & Friends
Another popular game that has transitioned to the virtual world, the Uno app enables multiple players to engage in the popular card game.
10. Candy Crush Saga
This one may be an old horse now, but the addictive game where you collect sugar drops and complete challenges to level up can keep your child occupied for hours or until the lives run out!
Want to keep your child from asking the annoying and much-dreaded "Are we there yet?" Download Waze. This app will tell you how long it will take to reach the destination. The navigation app also offers route options and issues police warnings and hazard alerts.
The downer is that it drains your battery, so keep a charger handy!
Photo: AngryJulieMonday | Flickr