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`Are We there Yet?' Minivan App for Kids

By Holly Reich, July 30th, 2016

Getting away on a family excursion is a nice break from the regular weekend routine, until that nagging back seat refrain from children begins: "Are we there yet?"

A good trip gone wrong? Not if you're driving the 2017 Pacifica, Chrysler?s newest minivan designed with everything parents could wish for, including a rear seat entertainment system with an app entitled, "Are we there yet?"

The app displays the distance remaining to the destination and estimated arrival times, all presented in a fun, colorful, and child-friendly graphics.

When they were designing the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan, the team talked about what back-seat passengers wanted to see on their screens and how to get content across in the best way possible.

"Inspiration came from studying design trends and looking at various interface designs such as websites, art, and fashion," explains Alyse Tadajewski, FCA spokesperson.

"With Uconnect Theater, back-seat passengers can bring their life along for the ride and connect compatible devices (e-readers, digital cameras, smartphones, tablets, etc.) to watch, play, surf, or control their content on two 10-inch high-definition touchscreens," she adds. Plus, you get the choice of using the touchscreen or a Bluetooth touchpad remote control.

Besides, "Are We There Yet," other built-in games include License Plate Game, Checkers, and Tic Tac Toe -- with the ability to challenge your opponent on the other Uconnect Theater screen. Sudoku, Solitaire, Bingo, Hanging Fruit, and Math Flash Cards are available for solo entertainment.

"The Chrysler brand is revolutionizing how passengers -- kids, teens, and adults alike -- pass the time and make each drive a truly unique experience," says Tadajewski.

strong>Oh, and the best part: Parental controls. The driver can mute, turn off, and lock out content displayed on each back screen. Now that makes for a perfect family getaway.

Chrysler is the only automaker to offer the "Are we there yet" app. However, if you drive a different vehicle and want to give your kids a similar type of back-seat experience you could download Google maps to help you plan the route), Google earth (for a satellite view of the destination and landmarks), and Waze (to predict traffic conditions). This, of course, is dependent upon whether you have access to Wi-Fi in your vehicle. If not, get out the games, playbooks, and other inspirational tools. And don't forget the tools called pen and paper!

And then there's something called books and board games. I asked two of the contributors to SheBuysCars.com what their kids like to play on road trips.

Shannon Entin offered, "We have a book called "Miles of Smiles" that has some of the most unique car games in it. My kids are 11 and 17 and we always find something new in that book.

"My kids (9, 11, and 13) love Mad Libs," noted Kirsten Maxwell. "When they were younger they loved magnet games."

My suggestion is to look for games that transport easily with pieces designed so you won't lose them in the car (and have a meltdown). A few suggestions from Peaceable Kingdom (www.peaceablekingdom.com):

-- Peaceable Kingdom Really Ridiculous Super Silly Write and Wipe Games To Go!

This book of activities is made of sturdy laminated paperboard and includes a write-and-wipe pen with eraser. Inside you'll find funky math projects, story fill-ins, mazes, and more activities for one or two kids from 7 to 10 years old. $9.99.

-- Peaceable Kingdom Sticker Fun!

Designed for solo play, this game's reusable stickers cling onto fold-out background scenes. The game is housed in a carrying tote so kids can keep it in a handy kit, which includes two scenes and more than 80 stickers. For ages 3 and older. $9.99.

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