How Do You Keep Your Kids Happy In The Car?

Illustration for article titled How Do You Keep Your Kids Happy In The Car?
Photo: RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP (Getty Images)

We don’t really talk about kids much here on Jalopnik, but I know plenty of you readers have them. So, spill your secrets. Tell me how you keep your kids happy and entertained in the car.


I don’t have kids, but I was kinda-sorta an adult when my stepsister was a wee child. I don’t ever remember needing entertainment in the car beyond listening to music and looking out the window, but I bet if you asked my mom, I was a real pain in the ass. She tells a story about how every time I left my grandparents’ house, I’d throw a hissy fit: I want my shoes on but no wait actually I want them off!!!! At some point, my mom would just pick one of the other, and I would inevitably spend the whole car ride shrieking either “shoes on!” or “shoes off!” depending on what option my mom did not pick. How she didn’t just punt me out onto the side of the road, I’ll never know.

But my stepsister had a whole different level of entertainment. She grew up in an era of more technology, so she required a screen of some sort to entertain her, whether it was a movie on the headrest screen or a phone. She also had a stash of coloring books, notebooks, toys, and blankets that were dedicated to the car. And somehow that still wasn’t enough to keep her occupied.

Now that I’ve spent more time working with A Girls Guide to Cars, I’ve come to better appreciate the effort it takes to keep a kid quiet so you can focus on the road. The whole point of AGGTC is to swap car info and tips between women, many of whom are moms, and I’ve gathered that some kids require a formidable ritual to keep them occupied.

I want to turn that question out to a wider audience now. What do you folks here on Jalopnik do to keep your kids occupied? 

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.


My 4 year old can see the speedometer, so he always tells me to go 100. I have a Pontiac G6 that has a menu setting that lets you change the speedo from english to metric, so if I'm going around 60 I'll switch it to metric and he gets super excited. His other thing right now is asking what city we are in, and he now knows all the cities between our house and daycare.