Going on a road trip with your child this summer? Terrified? I know I am.
My wife and I trek from Boston to New York each summer to visit her family. Ever since my son was born, those treks have been, well, eventful. There was the trip he ruined multiple outfits, for instance, or the time he screamed for four hours in a row.
This summer is going to be different: I’m giving my son an iPad. That once costly, adult gadget is now a useful tool in avoiding my son’s meltdown. If you’ll be road-tripping with your kids, here are the reasons you need to get one now:
1. Screen Time Isn’t Just Distracting, it’s Useful
You have every right to worry about how much time your children spend agape in front of the TV, iPad, iPhone, etc. One valid reason to limit screen time is because children should be outside playing. Well, that’s not really an option on the highway.
In addition, research suggests that letting your kids watch The Walking Dead won’t actually turn them into a zombie. (But, seriously, don’t let your kids watch The Walking Dead.) You also don’t have to give them the iPad for the entire trip. Make it a reward for good behavior and your child might behave before he even puts a finger on the tablet. Try pre-loading it with educational apps for a more effective trip.
2. You’re in Control
If your car features a DVD player, you may be inclined to simply pop in some movies and call it a day. And that may work perfectly well. However, an iPad offers even more entertainment options, and in the car, more entertainment is better.
Download interactive games they can play on their own. Check out this list of 25 apps for kids, which covers everything from educational alphabet games to storybook illustrations. You’ll not only keep your children engaged outside the iPad, but you can also take part in the fun as well.
3. Your Kids Will Love It
If your kids don’t get to use the iPad at home very often, they’ll relish the chance the play with it in the car. If your child already uses the tablet a lot, you can take things up a notch by getting them their own device. And you can bet they’ll REALLY love that.
If you’re worried about the cost, look into getting them a refurbished or used iPad. Kids can be less than careful with your expensive electronics. By opting for a quality used device, you can cut down on the costs and save your sanity.
4. Relish in a Peaceful Journey
Let’s finish things off by talking parent-to-parent here. Road trips are long and challenging experiences—with young children or otherwise. If you can do anything to make them easier on yourself, even for just part of time, you deserve to. Letting your child use a tablet on the journey or buying them a used iPad could be just that.
Do you give your children an iPad for car trips? How has it worked out?
Image courtesy of Flickr.