Car Wi-Fi: Never Hear “Are We There Yet?” Again
"Are we there yet?" Among the dreaded four-word sentences that parents hear pretty regularly, this one has to be the most frustrating. Because, usually, the answer is "No," and there isn't much anyone can do about it.
For any parent that has spent what seemed like an interminable road trip with bored kiddos in the back seat, today's technology-enabled entertainment choices certainly are leaps and bounds ahead of the analog games kids use to play. But, it's not enough to have in-car DVD and personal TVs in the family car. Kids today want to use their own devices and the personal content that they've curated. Think it's impossible? Think again.
"But wait," you might think, "I can just use my phone, right?" Well, you could...except it's not very efficient. Built-in car Wi-Fi connections provide stronger, more reliable signals than your smartphone as a hotspot. In addition, you can load up on the number of devices without losing speed and don't have to worry about your battery draining as quickly during the ride. Dedicated Wi-Fi installed in your vehicle makes frequent road trips far more tranquil and enjoyable.
What can you do with Wi-Fi in your car?
In short, anything you can do with Wi-Fi at home. With dedicated in-car Wi-Fi, you can stream, download, like, and share far faster than when using your cellular data or hotspot. Turn hours of waiting to escape from the car into hours of quality entertainment.
Stream Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows
There's nothing like a long car ride to make you rethink your two-hour screen time limit. With in-car Wi-Fi, you can make sure everyone has access to their favorite movies and TV shows. Even programs that don't bill themselves as educational often have ample opportunities to foster learning. Is your child watching a program where the main character goes on an international trip? Geography. Are they immersed in a WWII documentary? History. Maybe their favorite character has introduced them to a new word or phrase. Vocabulary. Your in-car Wi-Fi can even help them expand on that by offering a chance for them to research the cool animal they saw in the safari show. There's no end to the number of educational entertainment options out there from preschool entertainment to cooking shows to documentaries and everything in between—there's something to suit every taste. And your in-car Wi-Fi will keep things humming along.
Play Video and App Games
studies actually show cognitive benefits from playing video games. In addition to developing some serious concentration, kids who play video games for an hour or more a day were found to be happier, more sociable, and less hyperactive than their peers who play no games at all—not to mention the mental gymnastics they have to do to beat most games. Gamers see an increase in their problem-solving and creative skills. Games can also foster an interest in the historical or cultural events they depict, leading to another great learning moment on the road. Believe it or not, video games may encourage kids to be more active. Many admit to trying out the latest skateboard or dance move in real life that they conquered virtually in the game.
Stay Connected to Friends Via Social Media
In a world of likes and shares and viral news stories, staying connected to social channels can seem like a difficult task to manage. With in-car Wi-Fi, it's as easy as sharing their latest photo or status update. While some parents worry about negative effects of social media, research has actually found that most kids credit it with improving their relationships with friends and the world around them.
Not only is it an excellent way to keep in touch, but it provides young artists and creators an almost instant platform and feedback loop for their work. They can even partner with like-minded individuals across the country or around the world. Social channels are a great way to learn about new interests since the number and variety of topics that are shared are so great. If we want well-prepared kids, social media and technology literacy are musts. The way the world works in this always-on age requires an in-depth knowledge of social media and its benefits.
Meredith LeVande of MonkeyMusic.com goes so far as to say, "More and more studies show a correlation between higher academic achievement with children who are exposed to music. Music simply stimulates parts of the brain that are related to reading, math, and emotional development." And that's not all. Music has also been linked to greater social skills, boosted confidence, and improved memory.
"Socially, children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble learn important life skills, such as how to relate to others, how to work as a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together, and the development of leadership skills and discipline," says Maestro Eduardo Marturet, a conductor, composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra. Marturet adds that participating in music when young can “help improve a child’s learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development.”
Any music aficionado will also tell you that to truly understand and relate to music, whether you are playing or enjoying a complicated piece, takes patience. "You need to work together in a group to make music," says Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen, a music teacher and performer.
This is sure to be the most unpopular with kids, but homework is a fact of life for them, and unfortunately the bulk of it usually falls on weekends. With in-car Wi-Fi, this doesn’t have to put a damper on family plans. With the same access to the internet they’d have at home, kids can quickly complete their assignments or conduct research for their papers. They get their homework done during the ride, and the whole family gets to enjoy the trip.
By now it should be clear the value in-car Wi-Fi brings to busy families on the go and why it will always be a win for families traveling with kids. Don't let your next car trip become a wasted learning opportunity. Instead of "Are we there yet?" you'll hear, "We're there already?"