So, I didn’t actually post last week after all. Want to know the real, unglamorous reason why? I forgot. Lol! I didn’t remember at all until THURSDAY NIGHT! Oops. And I almost forgot today, too! I guess I need to be more organized and prewrite and schedule posts. I so prefer the idea of live, updated content, though. Anyway.
Every year in April we take a family vacation to the south. This year our longest day of travel was when we left SC at 5:30 AM and arrived in NY at 9:30 PM. We stopped for a potty break once and then a late parking lot picnic lunch. That was it. It was a long day of driving, but the kids did really well with it. Want to know our secret? Audiobooks. Yup, that’s it. Nothing glamorous or particularly brilliant. Whenever possible, I plan before our trips to locate a couple of audiobooks that the kids have not heard before, whether it be from the library, borrowed from friends or family or a new one that we have bought. They enjoy listening to them over and over again, but it is a special treat if there is one they have not heard yet.
My favorite resources for audiobooks are:
Youth With a Mission (https://www.ywampublishing.com/c-101-audiobooks-cd.aspx)
Little House on the Prairie audiobook series (available for a fairly good price on Amazon, or check your local library)
Jim Weiss, storyteller (http://www.greathall.com)
The Story of the World (read by Jim Weiss), particularly volumes 1 through 3, volume 4 being less of an actual story and more for a bit older age group (http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Story+of+the+World+Vol.+1+2nd+Edition+Audiobook+CDs/025448)
Your Story Hour (http://www.yourstoryhour.org)
We had a very quiet and harmonious trip down, thanks to YWAM’s Ben Carson (a favorite modern hero of ours) and then Clara Barton accompanied us home. 🙂 Our kids are absolutely enraptured by audiobooks, but we don’t allow video games and spend very little time watching any kind of tv at home, so they are use to having to use their own imaginations for entertainment. (Zeke, age 7, is a crazy bookworm and will disappear with a book for hours at a time. All the boys love chess, right down to the 4 year old who is in the process of teaching his 2 year old, less interested sister to play. LOL!)
Something else that we have done for previous trips is to have a bag of treats in the front that I pass out every hour. These was mostly inexpensive, dollar store items or even special snack treats that I had made at home and divided up. This was a fun idea, but having the kids know there was a bag of treats waiting to be distributed seemed to make them more discontant and impatient than anything. It has worked better just for me to bring along some really nice things that I can give for a surprise toward the beginning of the trip that I know they will be able to use for the whole time. One year I made a matching outfit for Lydia’s doll she had brought along to the skirt Lydia had on. New sketchbooks were also a hit, The kids like to have a pencil with them and sketch things they see as we drive or places we have visited on the trip. I got an amazing deal on a Kindle one year (just the most basic, black and white kind) and loaded a bunch of free books on there. (The kids particularly love Thornton Burgess’ animal books, which are all free!)
So how do you survive long road trips with young children? I would love to hear other ideas!!