The summer holidays may be over, giving you a deserved respite from never-ending childcare duties, but that doesn’t mean you get peace and quiet behind the wheel from now until half term, with several months of school run to contend with.
Whether your school run is a simple trip down the road, or a more arduous city centre slog, we’ve rounded up some of the best gadgets for children to keep them happy in the back, so you can focus on driving. It doesn’t matter if you have sullen teenagers or a precious newborn, these gadgets should keep your kids engaged and cut your stress levels too.
Best gadgets for babies
Bottle warmer: Those with a newborn will no doubt forever find themselves feeding their little one and on the hunt for more milk when out and about. If you do a lot of longer journeys, this simple bottle warmer means that you can always feed your baby as soon as they get hungry, simply by plugging it in to your car’s 12V socket.
Seatback organiser: Toys rolling around the car can be a real irritation when you’re on the move and a potential safety hazard too, should any of them get stuck under one of the pedals. Make sure that you have all the toys you need to keep your baby engaged with this seatback organizer.
Best gadgets for younger children
Sat nav steering wheel: If your toddler is forever criticising your driving, let them drive for themselves with this stand-mounted sat nav steering wheel. It may not give real directions, but it reads out instructions for your little one to follow and should keep them occupied enough to avoid telling you to speed up and slow down at every turn.
iPad mount: If you have an iPad you don’t need to splash out hundreds of pounds on a dedicated portable DVD player for the car; a simple headrest mount will do the job just fine. Attach your iPad put on a film and enjoy the silence – if you give your kids headphones to use, that is!
With the iPad mounted on the headrest your little one’s sticky hands might not be able to reach too, keeping it that little bit cleaner.
Travel board games/Top Trumps: If you’d rather your kids weren’t permanently glued to an iPad, look no further than small travel board games and Top Trumps. With handy magnetic pieces, these fun-sized games shouldn’t leave you with thousands of pieces strewn across the back of the car, though your children may struggle to get in a full game before you turf them out at the school gates.
Best gadgets for teenagers
In-car 4G hotspot: With most teenagers seeming to spend most of their lives connected to the internet, a 4G hotspot could give you a bit of peace and quiet on car journeys.
Wireless music streaming: One thing that won’t give you any peace and quiet is wireless music streaming. With only around 10 per cent of cars having Bluetooth, your teenagers may permanently be flipping between radio stations. Let them set the playlist with a wireless music streamer.