This summer we will be doing various visits around the country to catch up with family and friends that we have not been able to see in ages. And that will mean lots of hours in the car. In the past this has meant kids that are bored and continuously ask ‘Are we there yet?’ As all parents have no doubt experienced, we’ve had trips where all the ‘Eye spy’ in the world could not keep them entertained and it has resulted in squabbles over toys, fighting over having enough space in the car or just general arguments. Our children become slightly travel sick, so watching movies, reading or even playing (card or board) games en-route are out of the question…
So, that is why this year, we are trying out some great audiobooks to keep the kids (and us) entertained and happy. I have reviewed the ones we have currently tried for you. So far so good – I can highly recommend Audiobooks – no matter which ones you try. We listen to them together, so they also become an amazing way to get the whole family engaged (and quiet!) and if there are any scary bits or things that need explaining, we can pause the recording and talk about what has happened in the story. Plus, it makes for some great conversations at the various pit stops along the way!
I remember reading the books as a child so well – being swept up in the magic and drama of the story instantly and not being able to put the books down. Well, I can honestly say the audible version is brilliant. It had the entire family hooked from the get go – with the narrator and sound effects allowing your imagination to really picture what is happening in the story and get fully immersed in it. During a motorway coffee break, both Joshua and Isla were excitedly talking about the characters and recalling details that I thought had bypassed them, but clearly hadn’t! They sure were listening to every word of the story ;-)
The Jungle Book
We listened to this one a while back for the first time and it was a great story to get the children started with Audiobooks. They loved the music and the interactions and banter between Mowgli, Balu and Bagheera. Shere Khan is scary at times, especially for the little ones, as is the scene when Mowgli is kidnapped by the monkeys. But other than that, it was an all-round success and we still fondly sing ‘(Look for) The Bare Necessities, the simple bare necessities, forget about your worries and your strife…’
The Railway Children
This audiobook is a wonderful adaptation of Edith Nesbit’s book. The narrator makes you feel like you are right next to the children in the story, exploring the Yorkshire countryside alongside them back in the 1900s. Some of the language is old fashioned, which adds to the charm of the storytelling. My kids, especially Josh, who loves steam trains, were fascinated by the completely different way of life. This story is beautifully told and slower in many ways, so it might not be for everyone, but our kids loved it!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
This is an introduction to the Harry Potter series and takes us to the beginning of the adventures that are to come. It starts out relatively low key with Harry Potter figuring out how to get by in a ‘non-magical’ household where he initially lives with his relatives. But things soon get exciting as Harry figures out his birthright and the way the story is told is captivating, creative and fun. The kids (and we) loved it!
The following audiobook is on our list of ones to try: Peter Rabbit 2. We watched the first Peter Rabbit movie in the cinema ages ago and everyone really enjoyed it, so I am hoping Peter Rabbit 2 will be equally successful. I have heard many good things about the movie, particularly that the story (and humour) is for old and young alike. Fingers crossed the audio adaptation is just as good!
What are the things that you do with your children on long journeys? Do you have favourite audiobooks or activities that everyone does? Either together or individually? I would love to hear from you!