What's New

How do you drive with kids fighting in the backseat?

Posted April 09, 2017 by Bob Kiesow

This article was written by Martyn V. Halm – and originally posted on Quora; a place to share knowledge and better understand the world.

How do you drive with kids fighting in the backseat?

You don’t.

You might have an accident. So you take the next exit or petrol station, park and shut off the engine. Then you pull a book from your bag (you do carry a book or an e-reader don’t you?) and start to read.

Your kids will realize that you’re stopped. “What are you doing?”

“Waiting,” you say. “Until you stop your bickering. I cannot concentrate on traffic with you fighting in the backseat, so until you can behave like normal people, we’re going to sit here.”

“But I’ll be late for X!”

“You’ll never make it there if I lose control of the car and plow into another car. Because I was distracted. By your bickering.”

Then you get your smartphone and find this youtube movie on the dangers of allowing yourself to be distracted, even for a moment:

Close to Home | AT&T It Can Wait.

Yes, I know it’s about the dangers of glancing away from the road to check your FB status, but on a deeper level it shows that our complacency can kill us if we allow ourselves to be distracted from the task at hand.

And the task at hand is about driving your children somewhere. And their bickering is interfering with your task. So stop doing what you were doing for them until you are sure you can do that without risking your life and the lives of your children, not to mention the lives of the strangers you might hit with your car.

Let your children watch this movie, so you can refer to it, again and again, each time they are doing something in the car that might distract you from driving them to their destination.

They’ll thank you for it later.


Road trip games from my childhood

Posted March 11, 2017 by Jenny Cahall

When I was a child, my family took a lot of road trips. Since both of my parents were K-12 teachers, they had summertime months off from work. Inevitably, for at least three or four weeks of the summer, I would be on the road with my parents, brother and sister as we explored all corners of the continental U.S., and even ventured into Canada and Mexico. During these adventures, my multi-talented mom made sure we were engaged in a variety of activities, which kept us from fussing and bugging each other in the back seat. Often she would lead us in playing car games, many of which I’m sure she just made up. Most of these games were short and simple, and several were quite silly. But, they kept us talking to each other and laughing, and we didn’t really notice the time passing by. Here are a few that I remember that can be played by children (and grown ups) of all ages:


This is a game I still play with my two kids, even though they are ten and twelve. This game is easiest to play when you are driving through residential areas or small towns. Each person chooses a number between 5 and 25. When the leader says begin, everyone counts out loud each house that you drive by, starting with "1" for the first house, "2" for the second house, etc. When the house that is your number comes up, then you’ve just seen your future home, where you will live when you are grown up! You can easily play the same game while counting cars that are passing on the highway (What kind of car will I drive when I'm grown up?). This game gets the kids looking out the window and noticing their surroundings. Children have fun with the anticipation, and once they see their future home or vehicle, they might make up an entire story about what things will be like when they grow up.


The leader decides if the game is going to be Match or Unmatch. Let’s say we are playing Match. One person suggests a category, such as “Fruit”. Then, everyone takes 20 seconds to silently think of a type of fruit, knowing that you are trying to match the answer of another player. Each person says the fruit they chose, and everyone who matches with someone else gets a point. Obviously, honesty should be emphasized! Take turns suggesting categories, and the person who gets five points first wins. The Unmatch version is just the opposite—you try not to match with anyone else in the car, by having a unique answer. Unmatch becomes more challenging when you have fairly limited answer options, such as “Colors in the American Flag” or “Name of Someone in this Car”. This game was entertaining for us as kids, and I remember being silly and staring into my siblings’ eyes while thinking of my answers: I believed that I could telepathically guide them to make the right choice to Match or Unmatch with my answer.

What are some of your best childhood road trip memories? What car games do you enjoy the most with your kids?

Road trip games to keep everyone smiling:
Car Travel Games for Kids
10 Best Car Games for Kids


My kids fall asleep faster with Backseat Wally

Posted February 17, 2017 by Jenny Cahall

As parents of young children, we can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief and relax a bit more when the kids fall asleep (at long last) during a road trip. Who doesn’t go a little crazy when your 4-year old recounts the entire cartoon TV episode he watched (with you) last week or when your toddler starts throwing Cheerios everywhere in the car? And, it gets even more tense for you, the driver, when the kids tease and poke, which is inevitably followed by hysterical accusations and tears. During those moments, being a parent driver seems to require special super-power skills. But, when the kids’ eyes close and silence ensues, you look happily over at your spouse and point to the back, smiling. You can have a quiet conversation, or at least just be able to think normally again and focus on the driving.

That’s why we at Wallyhoo were thrilled when Amanda of Farmington, NY told us about an unexpected benefit of Backseat Wally: “My kids fall asleep much faster now.” It makes sense, of course. Backseat Wally not only stops siblings from pestering each other; it also creates separate, cozy spaces where each child can feel safe and relaxed.

Amanda is just one of the moms who have tried Backseat Wally, and found it was a great solution for their families. If our scenario above sounds familiar, maybe Wally would also work for you!


Driving to see holiday lights – make it a positive experience for kids

Posted December 19, 2016 by Jenny Cahall

I grew up in Southern Florida, and taking short road trips to see holiday light displays was a family tradition. Many folks in sunny Florida go all out when it comes to decorating their houses for the holiday season. Perhaps it’s easier to be outside for endless hours hanging lights and erecting displays when the weather is so temperate. I now live in Western New York, and my fingers are usually chilled to the bone while I scramble up a ladder to hang our house lights in early December. I have to admit, it’s not my favorite holiday decorating activity! But, I still really enjoy visiting great holiday light displays around town with my family.

Here are just a few tips to consider when driving to see lights with your young children:

  1. Select your destinations carefully. Can your kids really handle driving 20 miles across town? Is there a closer option? Or, combine the trip with another activity—eat at Grandma’s house and then see the lights in her neighborhood afterwards.
  2. Find child-friendly destinations. Often city parks and zoos have wonderful, playful decorations and they may also hold special wintertime family activities or events.
  3. Go as early as possible. If you go right when it is getting dark, you will avoid the crowds, and the kids won’t be as tired.
  4. If possible, drive up and down the same street. This will allow the kids to get a good look at the decorations on both sides of the street.
  5. Don’t be overly ambitious. For each excursion, choose one or two that are nearby or that sound like they have the most “wow” factor. If things go well, then you can go to a different destination on another night.
  6. Talk to your kids about the decorations. During the excursions or on the way home, ask each of your children to share their favorite parts of the light displays.

Do you have any great places you like to visit to see amazing holiday light displays? Any tips for making these car trips happy and memorable?