Nothing ruins a drive more than asking, “Are we there?” Half a dozen times before you hit your halftime mark.
Keeping the kids entertained on a family road trip is a top priority, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a ton of new toys or invest in a portable DVD player before heading out. Here are 11 free apps to make your next long drive a little smoother.
11 free road trip apps for kids
Download some of these apps onto your phone or your child’s tablet to take the boredom away in the back seat. You don’t even have to feel guilty about the extra screen time. All 11 of these apps are educational too.
If your local library has library Hoopla app, you can borrow audiobooks for free. There are hundreds of titles for children and teenagers. There are even audiobooks for children in Spanish. Hoopla also provides access to music, TV shows, and movies – but you don’t have to tell the kids that.
OverDrive is another app that public libraries offer their customers for free. It’s similar to Hoopla (and also provides access to streaming video). Contact your local library to see if they work with this app.
3. PBS children’s games
If your little ones like shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Wild Kratts or Peg + Cat, PBS children’s games is the perfect app to keep them busy. Children can choose from a variety of games with their favorite PBS Kids characters. Without realizing it, they also acquire mathematical, scientific and creative skills.
4. Khan Academy children
The Khan Academy kids app is designed to make learning fun for children ages 2 to 8. Children can read stories, play games, watch videos, and engage in activities while improving their reading, writing, and math skills at the same time.
The Duolingo App uses games to teach kids (and adults) how to speak over 25 different languages. There’s even a Klingon course for Star Trek fans. Make this a study opportunity for the whole family because even with headphones on, your kids will repeat words and sentences out loud.
6. Stories from Gus on the Go
These Language learning app uses classic children’s stories to help children learn Spanish, French, Greek, or Hebrew. Although this free app was developed as a sequel to the original Gus on the Go app (which costs $ 3.99 to download), it can be used by children who already understand some words in another language. It is only available through the Apple App Store.
7. Crazy Libs
Adjective? Adverb? Your children can practice the correct choice of words with the technical version of the classic Mad Libs game. The goofy stories they create will generate lots of giggles in the back seats.
These App from The Math Learning Center will help your future penny hoarders understand the value of various currencies while strengthening basic math skills like counting and adding. The Math Learning Center also has a variety of other free apps to teach more advanced math skills like fractions and geometry.
A road trip is the perfect opportunity to teach kids a little geography. Young travelers can familiarize themselves with the US states, state capitals, state flags, and other countries around the world with the GeoTouch: App for learning geography. This app can only be downloaded from the Apple App Store.
10. Toon Tastic 3D
Kids can tap into their inner storytellers with this free app from Google. Using Toon table 3D, they can draw and animate characters, develop a plot, and tell the dialogue.
11. Scratch Jr.
Scratch Jr. enables children to create their own stories and games using coding – with no coding experience. Instead of following a video game, they are in control of the action.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com