Sunday, December 13, 2015

6 + 1 Great Audio & Audio/Visual Resources Your Kids Will Love While Traveling this Holiday Season!


Are you planning on traveling with your kids this holiday season but dread it? Trust me! I know the feeling. Having two special needs kids in the same car poses it’s challenges when we are in the car for long periods of time. There’s always the bickering and fighting, not to mention the constant “How Much Farther?” and “I’ve got to go to the restroom!”
As full time missionaries we travel a lot. I gave a lot of suggestions for family traveling in my five part series “Traveling With Kids”. In this post, however, I want to focus on six great resources that we have found with-in the last six months and one bonus resource from a few years ago.

Audio – We were blessed to be able to review three great audio CD’s this past year with the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Now, before you turn up your nose and think that audio productions are old fashioned, you need to check these out. There is nothing old fashioned about them. Audio has come into the modern era and these three suggestions are fantastic!

Brinkman Family Adventures – If you are a missions minded family, then you need to check out this missions minded family! Actually the Brinkman family is fictional but they are based on an actual family. This family really believes in missions and their stories are based on true missionary stories sometimes involving themselves and sometimes involving other missionaries. One thing is for sure, though, their radio dramas are exciting. My kids were hooked on the first episode they heard. Check out my review of Brinkman Family Adventures by clicking here and check them out by clicking on the link above!

Heirloom Audio Productions – Can I say “Wow! Wow! Wow!”? These Audio Adventures are A+, #1, Fantastic! There are four of them now and own three out of the four. The newest one just came out last week. The first one we heard, “With Lee in Virginia”, we listened to on the way up to Canada last summer. I’m telling you, you could have heard a pin drop in that car! Every member of this family was transfixed including our three very active boys! After listening they begged us to buy others so we ordered one so that we would have it to listen to on the way home. These audio’s are called audio theater because it is said that these CD’s are “theater for the mind”. The child actually imagines what is going on in their heads as the audio production is playing. It’s hard to explain. Watch the video below and is should give you an idea of what I am talking about. Click here to read my review of “With Lee in Virginia” and click on the Heirloom Audio Productions name above to get to there BIG sale that they are having where they offer all four of their CD’s at a special rate with a lot of added bonuses!

Maestro Classics – We were introduced to Maestro Classics a few years ago when I reviewed one of their great CD’s with John Allen. Joshua was young and didn’t remember it so it was really a new thing for him and Jacob when we got to review another one this past year. What Maestro Classics does is takes great classical pieces such as “Peter and the Wolf” and “The Nutcracker” and tells the story while the music is playing. The kids and I have learned a lot of really neat things about the way music is written. We now understand these musical pieces so much better because are hearing the story along with the music. We realize now why the music sounded so scary or so jubilant. We’ve learned that you can actually “hear” stories in music if you know what to listen for. These are really quality productions and my kids love them. Click here for my review of “The Nutcracker” and click on the name above to get to their website.

Visual – I know that there is are a lot of great and entertaining movies out that you can get for your children to watch while traveling. This is something entertaining and educational both at once.

Living Waters Intelligent Design – If you have a DVD player in your car, then you need to check Living Waters Intelligent Design out. It is fascinating and beautifully done. It gives the example of four sea creatures and how they speak of God’s design for the universe and not evolution. The younger ones will love the video of the great sea creatures and the older ones will love the fascinating facts that are given. Our whole family loves it for those exact reasons. Click here for my review and click on the name above to find out more about it.

Internet  in the Car – Okay, I’ll be honest. I thought it was really neat when cars came out with video players for the kids to watch in the backseat. Now, believe it or not, many cars feature wifi so that passengers can hook up with the internet. If you are one of those that are blessed with those cars, you might want to check out the two companies below that feature great online videos.

Smartkidz Media – Smartkidz Media is not a Christian company, but it is a family company so you shouldn’t find any objectionable. Instead you will find some fantastic videos on Science, History, Geography, Music . . . you can almost find videos for anything! Jacob loves the educational animal videos and Joshua loves the geography and country features. I wish we had internet in the car because they would be entertained for hours on this website alone. Click here for my review of Smartkidz Media and click on the name above to get to their website.

RightNow Media – RightNow Media is another website that features videos but this one is Christian so the videos are mostly from a Christian perspective. There are some wonderful Christian biographies on there and some great science videos produced by Phil Vischer from Veggie Tales fame. And, speaking of Veggie Tales . . . yep! . . . you can find them there as well! Plus there are Bible studies, missionary stories, educational stuff . . . I could go on and on but I will let you explore yourself. I haven’t written an official review on RightNow Media yet, but, trust me, it is great. Click on the name above to get to their website.

Bonus – As I was getting ready to write this blog post I thought about the many travels that we have enjoyed and some of the things that my kids really loved. One of the first things that popped into my mind was Hank the Cowdog so, even though it is from years ago, I wanted to include it as a “Bonus”. ‘'

Hank the Cowdog   - If you have never read a Hank the Cowdog book or, especially, listened to one of the audio books, you have really missed out. They are hilarious and entertaining. The audio books are actually read by the author and he gives different voices to each of the characters. We still joke around about Hank the Cowdog and it is one of Jacob’s favorite series of books. Click here to get to my very old review, and click on the name above to get to the website to find out more about it.

Folks I am not an affiliate for any of the above companies at least not YET! I haven’t had time in the past few months to reevaluate my affiliates, do away with some, and add others. However, when I do, you can guarantee the above companies will be some of the first companies I affiliate with. Remember, I don’t recommend or affiliate with anything that I don’t like or think is appropriate and you can trust that the above products meet my standards. Enjoy browsing around and leave a comment to let me know what audio and visual products that you like to use while traveling.

Merry Christmas and Safe Traveling!

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