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Why a return to traditional car games is the best way of ending children’s back seat boredom and the rise of the ‘iPad zombie’

31 July 2019

On a long car journey it’s tempting to let children pass the time quietly by playing with tablets games or watching movies. But is it really the best thing to do?

Broadcaster Hayley Matthews knows all too well that driving with children can be challenging. She does allow her seven-year-old son in-car screen time to beat the boredom, but only as a last resort.

On Out for the Weekend, Hayley explained that she prefers to keep him engaged on road trips by playing traditional car games, such as I Spy.

Should children use tablets on car journeys?

Broadcaster Hayley Matthews believes there’s a time and a place for technology.

She believes that distracting children from the tedium of the journey is key. And there are other benefits to this, aside from just passing the time.

“The kids are always learning, and you’re having a conversation which is paramount to children and their communication skills and their learning abilities.

“[Long road trips] can be done with no meltdowns, no tears and without turning your children into iPad zombies,” said Hayley.

Ideas for activities

When you’ve exhausted I Spy, which other games can fill the journey? Follow this CBeebies guide, which includes:

  • Spot the Landmark
  • Make up a story
  • Car registration bingo

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