Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Traveling With a Passel of Chiluns

It wasn't long ago that we took our first reallyreallyreallysuperduper long 27 hour car trip with our five children (ages 6 down to newborn).

We asked around, and searched the Internet for ideas, thinking that we had to entertain our children with a zillion creative projects throughout the journey. I remember stocking the van with toys, books, snacks, drawing stuff, puzzles and the like.
Mostly we filled the car with more than the usual mess, and for all the effort, those things weren't as well received as I had anticipated.

We now have driven over 25,000 miles in less than a years time, and I believe I am qualified to offer advice on this subject:-)
If you can believe it, I am sitting in Louisville Kentucky AGAIN, (coming from Denver Colorado last week, and northern Idaho the week before)!

Anyway, I'd like to share the few things that have helped make us all more comfortable for the many hours of travel!

1) We have found that books on audio are our favorite diversion. Listening to a good story makes the miles pass faster.
some of our favorites are:

*The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, dramatized by the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre.
If you haven't heard these I highly recommend them. As a disclaimer, we "edit" them for our children as they are probably a bit heavy for six-year-old listening.
*The Jane Austin books
*Alexander Scourby
reading the King James version of the Bible

2) We have a DVD player which we use sparingly, and only have a few DVDs we watch, but which are a hit over and over again.

*We like the original Tom and Jerry cartoons which you can purchase at Target, and are about five or six hours worth of short cartoons.

*The Leap Frog videos (The Letter Factory, and The Talking Words Factory).
Target sells these also, and my disclaimer for this one is that I am not fond of "learning" videos, but have only good things to say about Leap Frog. The siblings in the movies are kind to one another, and honestly my two youngest children have learned their alphabet watching the Letter Factory just a few times!

*We Love love LOVE the Dr. Dino creation videos! AJ and I stumbled upon these videos about three years ago and have been hooked ever since.
Dr. Dino (Kent Hovind) is an amazing speaker keeping the attention of all ages. His seminars are full of scripture, humor, and many colored graphics. I've never heard anyone speak who gave me such an excitement for God's creation, and for our future with Jesus in the new earth!
You can order his videos HERE, and I recommend them ALL! Our favorites are the seven DVD set which are each about two hours long.

(And yep, I have a disclaimer for this suggestion too) You will find lots of anti Kent Hovind sites when you Google him. Evolution is a cherished religion in our culture.
I encourage you to let these videos speak for themselves.

Preview them out HERE or HERE, and beware... you'll be hooked!

These are a few of our favorite road trip helpers. If we spend a full 10 hour day on the road, we may only watch movies for 2-3 hours sprinkled over the whole trip.
Changing things up and offering some variety seems to help the children.

I'll let this be enough for now, but for more "Traveling with a Passel..." watch for another Help For Growing Families post.
I have LOTS more where this came from!


Ashley said...

Our family LOVES books on tape. The CON are great! We also have other FOTFRD, likes Silas Marner, Les Misrables, etc. Also, the Johnathan Park cd's are GREAT!!! You can buy them from Vision Forum, and some other places. They are about creation science, and you learn so much from them, while enjoying the adventures of the two family's. Your little bugs would probably like them when they get a little older. Great tips Analene!

Molly Hightower Photography said...

Hey sis! I tried to call you the other night and a couple times a few days ago...I was just excited about some of the changes I told you about in my email and wanted to tell you about them myself. Well....I hope you got my messages. I love you and Nick and I say HI! WE LOVE YOU ALL SOOO MUCH AND MISS YOU EVEN MORE!!!! =)
Love you sis.

Molly Hightower Photography said...

PS. Hey sis...You left a message which I LOVE but you did not subscribe to my blog, so go back and DO IT! =) Love you!

Faith Alterton said...

Oooh, ditto on not needing nearly as much stuff on trips as you think you will. Clutter just ends up exploding out the doors at gas stations and making everyone crazy. A pile of good books (especially if it includes Calvin and Hobbes or Where's Waldo), some metal jets, and a few fun DVDs and the hours pass pretty quickly. Though our ten-hour trips are nowhere near as long as yours!

Morgan said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I see these all working really well for the older kids, but what about babies? How do you keep babies happy? Or, is that something that they just get used to eventually?

Diane said...

Am I the only one realizing that you Analene, did NOT reveal the name of your Idaho place? Or did I just miss it? Hmm..

Love ya!

2homeschool said...


Yeah, it's really me. I think I am back. Maybe, I mean look at the time of this post. This is what I am coming to if I want to chit-chat with you! Ah!

Love lots, SAFE DRIVING!!!


MamaJ said...

Hi! These are some great suggestions. I made the trip (by myself) 9 months pregnant and with our two small boys all the way from Texas to NC, and back again. Whew! All we had was our tape player and everyone donated more tapes for our ride home!

Lady Jess said...

Oh. I wish we traveled more, but we usually only take a trip to Southern California, to visit my grandparents, once a year. Well, the next time we go, we'll try these things out! ;)