The wheels on the bus can only go round and round so many times and there are only so many bottles of [soda] left on the wall before you’ve exhausted every road trip song you know and the kids start asking if you are there yet. With any luck, your iPad (and one of these apps) can go a long way toward saving your sanity on those long road-trips (or airplane rides).
1. Safari Party (Free) – Addiction is virtually guaranteed for kids of all ages with this app. Equal parts puzzle solving and pattern matching with a variety of different modes that will challenge your skills and reflexes, Safari Party is all about getting your ducks (well, Toucans, Zebras, Lions and Elephants…) in a row. To play, match groups of 4 or more similar animals together –but larger groups of animals help you to level up faster and with a higher score.
2. Bird Zapper! ($0.99) – Zap birds that have hijacked your power lines by swiping your finger over groups of similar birds as they zoom by! The pace is fast enough to be addictive and entertaining (and the music that plays in the background is really catchy) but the concept is simple enough that kids of all ages can easily get the hang of it. Have more than one iPad or iPhone with you (this is a universal app that works on both)? You can challenge each other over WiFi, Bluetooth or Online, making this a really good-natured and competitive way to pass the time.
3. Rat On A Skateboard ($0.99) – Platform adventure games are always a lot of fun and Rat on a Skateboard will not disappoint. Another fantastic success by Donut Games, this app lets you take control over (you guessed it) a rat on a skateboard and guide him through an obstacle course of things to jump and stomp and flipkick over in an effort to get further this time than you did last in each of four game modes. This game is an excellent fast-paced app that would work well for kids taking turns with the iPad in the backseat.
4. LeapFrog Songs: Scout’s Music ($0.99) – If music is a staple for you in your car like it is for my kids in ours, you will love LeapFrog Songs: Scout’s Music. Perfect for the preschoolers in your family, this app helps your child to learn 12 of their favorite songs including The ABC Song, Old MacDonald, Pattycake, Knick Knack (This Old Man…), Muffin Man, London Bridge and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Colorful visual effects and many interactive elements round out this app and make it a whole lot of fun for anybody who likes to sing out loud!
5. RoadTripBingo HD ($2.99) – I don’t think there is an adult out there that hasn’t played (and loved) road trip bingo! Whether you use their database of items or add your own, the whole family can enjoy trying to be the first one to see something on the list and win! If you press and hold your finger on an individual item you will see a description and hear it spoken aloud which is very helpful for younger travelers! I especially love that the game auto-saves your progress so you don’t need to worry about losing track of the items you have already spotted!
6. License Plate Game HD ($1.99) – The License Plate Game is a fantastic way to pass the time as you travel around (even just around your home town or state). Keep track of license plate locations you see on passing cars as well as states visited. As an added bonus, this app features Wikipedia articles for all 50 states (without an Internet connection required) which gives all sorts of fun trivia opportunities (test Mom and Dad’s knowledge!) and the ability to track multiple trips gives you a greater chance at finding them all!