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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

That's Entertainment - A Guide to Keeping Kids Happy on Long Journeys

Tips on making that long holiday drive simply fly by:

Are we nearly there yet? How much further? Heading off on holiday with
the kids shouldn't be something you dread. They want to get there as
much as you, they just need a bit more entertainment along the way.

It is not easy to travel with restless youngsters. So we've come up
with a few child-friendly gadgets to guarantee a smooth ride for a
stress-free holiday.

The young ones

Books, CDs and cuddly toys will keep babies and toddlers occupied
between sleeps, but sometimes you just need to have that extra item up
your sleeve.

One such gadget is the Learn and Go Baby Driver (6-24 months). Turn
the ignition key, spin the wheel or beep the horn and your little ones
will love driving along with you. What's more, they can learn the
alphabet and their colours at the same time.

Another friendly face, who'll make the journey easier for youngsters,
is the brightly coloured Charlie Caterpillar. He helps children learn
their ABC and once you've reached your destination, can be fastened
onto the pram or pushchair with his Velcro straps.

Little angels

A car journey isn't complete without a traditional game of "I spy".
But there are only so many red cars, newborn lambs, lamp posts or
tractors you can spot. So where do you turn when the novelty wears
off? In this technological day and age, you're spoilt for choice.

The LeapFrog Leapster 2 is the first pre-school, handheld games
console, which gives four to eight-year-olds a fun, safe and secure
on-line learning experience.

Alternatively, turn game time into brain time with the V.Smile Cyber
Pocket. The portable educational gaming system is perfect for five to
nine year olds.

Teenage kicks

For moody teens, who don't have their driver's licence but secretly
enjoy family holidays away, the PocketSurfer 2R will ensure they stay
in communication.

Wave goodbye to wi-fi hotspots, this portable internet device runs on
GPRS and can be used wherever there's a mobile phone signal. It's
pricey, but comes with 20 hours a month free usage.

It means they can surf the net or keep in touch with friends via bebo,
Facebook or msn. It may also come in handy if you're slightly lost and
need a map!

Family fun

Any gadget that can amuse all members of your family has got to be
good. And Myvu video glasses, aimed at ages 10 and over, give children
- and their parents - a hands free, large screen viewing experience,
like having your very own Imax cinema!

Game on

Once the car's kitted out as a child-friendly zone, make sure your car
insurance covers any expensive gadgets (if they aren't covered by your
car policy, you may be able to upgrade your home insurance to cover
them). And when you stop for the inevitable refreshments, try not to
leave them visible. Keep thieves at bay by removing temptation.

When travelling anywhere on long journeys, it's also important your
car's in good condition. If in doubt, make sure you have breakdown
insurance. It could save a lot of time, money and temper tantrums!