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Audio Books for Long Car Rides

Many of us are scaling back on vacation expenses this year. Even with gas prices the way they are, if you have a family of 4 or 5, driving is probably cheaper than flying.

What do your kids do in the back seat during a long drive? If your kids are like mine, you might hear a recurring refrain–“When are we going to get there?”…over and over and over again. Or worse, they might argue with each other, which ruins the ride for everyone. Some kids keep busy with hand-held video games. A few might be busy with activity books. And, with a goodie-box full of toys, the kids may play together peacefully.

Portable DVD players can keep the kids quiet (or giggling) for an hour or two. And (if the kids use earphones) the adults in the front seat can even talk with each other.

But if it’s a long trip, you may want to balance the together time as a family and quiet time or DVD machines for the kids

Have you thought of “reading” an audio book on your next trip? There are several benefits for you and your kids:

  1. Just for Fun–you can find a wide assortment of stories, read by excellent narrators and many are wonderfully “dramatic” readings similar to Old-time-radio.
  2. Kids get involved in the story–while finding out what happens next, time can fly by.
  3. Under-The-Radar Learning–Listening to books exercises creative “muscles”. Hearing witty author’s words and phrases expands vocabulary and communication skills.
  4. The story line, the adventures of the characters and the challenges of the circumstances can be natural conversation-starters, keeping your fellow-travelers engaged in conversation.
  5. Establishes a family ritual…traveling as a group, engaged in a common focus. Without too much effort, you’re evidencing a “family event” that has a function beyond just getting there.

Many public libraries offer a selection of audio books on tape or on CD’s. And, if you feel inclined you can purchase audio books at most book stores. There are also on-line e-stores from which you can purchase and download MP3 file books for an Ipod or MP3 players–just Google “audio books” for a lengthy list of resources.

So on your next road-trip, why not try an audio book for the kids in the back seat. They might enjoy the diversion and you’ll enjoy a few moments of quiet attention. For more ideas about keeping the peace, visit Parent Success Network . It’s not just about homework–they talk about other kid issues, too.