Gadget Guide: Are We There Yet? Top 10 Gadgets for Battling Backseat Boredom


Why is it that less than 7 minutes into any road trip you hear those dreaded words, “Mommy, I’m bored!”? Before you plug in a movie (or lose your mind), try these gadgets to battle backseat boredom!

Top 10 Gadgets for Battling Backseat Boredom

#1: Lap Desk – Think of it as a gadget to support other gadgets because whether it’s a puzzle or good old fashioned pen and paper, it’s a lot easier to use with a horizontal surface. Check out the MyDesk or Smart-E-Lapdesk from

#2: A Journal – Perfect for sketching, writing down interesting places you visited or simply tracking how many red trucks passed when counting cars to earn ice cream at the next rest stop.

#3: Skip Hop Bento Bag – Okay, technically it’s a diaper bag, but it has the ultimate tool for battling backseat boredom: snacks! Cleverly built into the bottom of the bag, the Bento bag has a handy cooler bag complete with its own made-to-fit reusable ice pack and 3 pint-sized containers.

#4: Story Cubes – It’s a tiny box containing 9 picture cubes with the idea that you roll the cubes and make up a story (on your own or as a group) based on the images that are face up. Think of it as a storytelling icebreaker for kids.

#5: Magnetic Design Kits – No crayons or paper required for creative fun. All you need is the magnet case with the interchangeable backgrounds and the magnets. The kits range from space explorer to ballerina dress-up and EVERYTHING in between.

#6: Shape-by-Shape by ThinkFun – It’s not as easy as it looks to match the oddly shaped tiles to the picture card, but it does keep kids quiet as they try to figure out the puzzle. We love that the picture cards store in the bottom of the tile tray so no parts go missing enroute!

#7: Audio Books – iTunes and Audible carry tons of books for kids of all ages – from The Magic School Bus to Lord of the Rings. It’s the perfect substitute for the now standard mode of travel – plug in a movie and drive (plus it’s nice to listen as a family).

#8: Tablet or iPad – It’s amazing how much entertainment you can pack into these portable devices – from Monopoly to Mary Poppins to Matching Games. It makes you wonder how you ever traveled without one (for the kids, that is).

#9: Lug Nap Sac Travel Pillow/Blanket – How many times did your mother tell you, “If you go to sleep, we will be there faster!” It’s true that travel time goes much quicker (for everyone) if the kids are sleeping and this all-in-one travel blanket pillow is just what you need!

#10: Your Imagination – Gadgets are great, but sometimes what a road trip really needs is a rousing game of “Hey Cow!” or “I Imagine”. See our list of favorite road trip games for more creative travel games for kids!


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