Technology is a great tool to keep kids entertained while traveling. Today's kids watch their parents interact with technology daily, making it a natural way to fill time-even for younger children. Here are four preschool-friendly devices that can help occupy even the youngest traveler while on-the-go:
* Your iPhone - What's that you say? You never let your little one play with your iPhone? You might want to rethink that strategy - especially when you can download applications made specifically for preschoolers. Fisher-Price, the same company that helped you learn letters, numbers, animal sounds and music when you were a kid, has turned three of its most popular toys into iPhone apps for 2 to 5 year olds, including the Chatter Telephone App, See 'n' Say App and Little People Farm App. Price ranges from 99 cents to $1.99.
* A portable DVD player - How did parents survive long trips with small kids in the days before portable DVD players? With models that can do double duty in the car, on planes or even in a hotel room on a rainy day - and longer battery life spans on newer versions -- a portable DVD player can be a lifesaver in a number of settings. Pack a DVD case with your child's favorite animated features or educational DVDs and get the popcorn ready!
* A music player just for them - An MP3 player or iPod may not be practical for your 3-year-old, but how about a music player made just for his age group? The Kid-Tough Music Player's simple controls, built-in speakers and sing-along microphone ensure your little one will stay entertained on a long drive or flight. The player can store more than four hours of your child's favorite tunes, including AAC files. And who knows -- you may just be cultivating the talents of the next Justin Bieber. ($49.99)
* Kid-friendly video camera - Foster your little one's budding inner Spielberg with a video camera made just for preschoolers. The Kid-Tough Video Camera ($59.99) features simple controls (kids don't have to be able to read to use it), a 1.5-inch LCD preview screen, built-in memory for storing up to five minutes of video, an SD card slot for more storage, and a USB cable for transferring images to your computer. Encourage your youngster to record the trip from her car seat or create silly videos about her first plane ride to share with her preschool buddies after she gets home.
The travel part of your family trip can be fun for everyone along for the ride - from parents to the youngest explorers. For more kid-friendly entertainment options or travel toys for families with young children, visit www.fisher-price.com.