I used to use laptop to play DVDs and shows to kids. Now my kids are 6 and 3 and it is not easy to find a show which is suitable for both. Also my laptop died.

What is your headphone setup (I am trying to avoid playing it over car audio speakers)? What device you use (table,pc, dvd player) and any tips appreciated.

  • Get a used PSP for each kid and download the shows on to it.
    – Kalamane
    May 22, 2012 at 19:53
  • 4
    I have decided against letting the kids watch TV in the car. During car trips their little brains can be bored and relax.
    – codeape
    May 22, 2012 at 21:05
  • Tech has come a long way since this was asked - most people seem to go with cheap tablets these days. Possibly with headphones and a portable wifi router with storage (different than a hotspot), loaded with movies.
    – brichins
    Nov 28, 2016 at 19:54

4 Answers 4


If you must have separate viewing your simplest bet its to buy two DVD players. Your youngest should probably have a headrest screen, controlled from the front seat, but the elder one could cope just add easily with a laptop version.

Also, when considering sound, your 6 year old should manage headphones but at 3, some do and some don't. Either way, ensure you have control of maximum volume!

There are so many on the market it will probably cone down to a cost decision.

We actually found there were enough films on the market with wide appeal that we could provide our 3 (with 7 years separation) enough videos for entire holidays (eg Toy Story, Cars etc.) so we only got one portable DVD player for the 3 of them.


How about double iPads/iPods? Might be cheaper than an actual embedded DVD player, and once you have the dvd's in iTunes then you don't have to worry about losing the disks. You can also take them into restaurants to get the kids to sit down and chill out if you're just at the end of your rope and can't manage wrangling both of them.

  • Where I live, an iPad costs TEN times as much as a simple portable DVD player... I know what I would choose, especially if I need 2 of them! May 22, 2012 at 8:31
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    Ah. Where I live, the cost difference between the dvd player + mount + charger/electrical attachment and the iPad isn't that significantly different, and the benefit of not having scratchable, destroyable DVDs is pretty significant.
    – mmr
    May 22, 2012 at 14:29

On long car trips we have used a laptop, with stacked headphone splitters so that each child can have their own sound. Now I just have two children share my laptop and one uses my iPad, while the fourth child and my wife often share a second iPad.


It is actually possible to NOT require viewing of anything for both of these kids. I've done it (and probably so did your parents with you). You might take the above suggestions for after dark or a short time. But you might also try a number of other ideas.

First, I would get a seat belt Pillow. I just found out about these this spring and will be making one for mine before we head out on our own road trip in a few weeks. (Avoids the fights over space).

Then, I would create travel buckets for the kids with lots of different activities in each and a new book or two for each. Check out this article for more ideas: http://pinchxeverything.blogspot.com/2012/04/my-travel-bucket.html

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