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How to Keep the Kids Entertained in the Car

Photo Caption: The simple fun of goofy gags and zany gifts reminds us of what it was like to be a child, like X-Ray Specs and Whoopee Cushions from

How to Keep the Kids Entertained in the Car

(ARA)- Summer vacation means summer travel, and, for many families, hours spent together in the car - an environment known for pitting brother against sister, parents against children. Keeping the kids entertained, and the back seat relatively chaos-free, can be a top priority for motoring parents.
But if you can't bear the thought of yet another round of "100 Bottles of Pop on the Wall," and think the kids already watch enough DVDs at home, what can you do? Here are some ideas for backseat entertaining from the humor and fun experts at
* "It may be trading one kind of noise for another (less offensive) type, but if you can stand the burps and bleats, give the kids a whoopee cushion," advises Kim Boyd, whose family business, the Johnson Smith Company, has been selling novelty items since 1914. "Yes, a whoopee cushion. It's timeless, inexpensive, highly portable and kids have loved the whoopee cushion since it debuted in the 1940s. Unless you are traveling with exceptionally sophisticated kids, the cushion will keep them entertained for hours."
* Another oldie but goodie are X-Ray Specs. No, they don't work. But kids still love pretending they do. Give each child a pair and encourage them to imagine what they might see if the glasses did work, and they could see inside other cars and interesting buildings as you drive.
* "Children with even just a passing interest in magic can be entertained by trying to master some simple magic tricks," Boyd suggests. Give them a magic book from which they can learn some basic tricks to perform with every day items, or, for a few dollars, you can purchase some simple tricks. At, a deck of magic cards is less than $4, and turning a match into a flower can be accomplished for less than $5.
* Entertain older kids with portable puzzles, like the Linking Rings Magic Trick, Magic Dancing Hanky Trick, or the Rigid Rope Trick. Challenge the kids to see who can master their trick first.
* Instead of fighting over what CD or radio station to listen to, why not have the kids make their own music - since you'll have to sit through the cacophony either way? Give them a Portable Piano, Tonette Toy and some other small musical instruments. Encourage them to compose their own jingle for their favorite restaurant or a new theme song for their favorite TV show.
"It may help parents to accept that noise from the back seat is probably inevitable on a long car trip," Boyd says. "But with planning, preparation and the right tools for fun, it is possible to ensure that the noise is the sound of the kids enjoying themselves, not trying to murder each other."
You can find whoopee cushions for 99 cents; X-Ray Specs; puzzles; a variety of magic tricks and books about magic; Portable Pianos, Tonette Toys and other fun musical instruments at

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