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!