Soon we will be embarking on a summer road trip, complete with our first completely kid-free con (kiddo will be camping with the grandparents while we go to NASFiC). So lots of new experiences coming up for all of us.
Since we have approximately 80 hours of driving spread out over a couple weeks, I am doing a lot of prep work for entertaining a small child in the car. I don’t consider these efforts ‘spoiling,’ but rather ‘preservation of the sanity of the drivers.’
First step was to raid the dollar rack at Target and hit up the local Dollar Tree store. This, combined with one of those $5 cleaning gear totes, combined to make a well-stocked kit for ‘analog’ entertainment. Coloring books, stickers, small toys, and crayons joined some educational items and thinner books to make a nice tub of things to do that can sit next to her on the seat.
I also broke down and will buy her Frozen, which she will watch only with headphones on. So I don’t go berserk by day two of the trip.
Today we finally spent all our stacked-up Audible credits on six new audiobooks to entertain the grownups. Our favorites to listen to in the car are usually Malcolm Gladwell’s books and Maisie Dobbs mysteries from author Jacqueline Winspear – these are narrated by the most pleasant-voiced British woman imaginable. We also like to throw in some good, solid sci-fi.
This trip we will be listening to the two newest from Gladwell (What the Dog Saw and David & Goliath), the newest from Winspear (Leaving Everything Most Loved), and Redshirts by John Scalzi.
If we run out after listening to all of that, we also have some promising non-fiction downloaded: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon.
If you like audiobooks, the Audible monthly membership is a great deal. For $15 a month you get a credit a month for a single audiobook. If you’ve seen what audiobooks usually cost, this is a very good deal. And you can get some good discounts/special offers on the memberships if you sign up through an existing Amazon account.
You can also often add on the Kindle print version of the book (or if you have the Kindle version already, add on the audiobook), for just a few dollars more. Audible has other special promotions and discounts pretty frequently as well.
Next, I need to shop for some new kid apps for the iPad, preferably of the educational and free variety. Anyone have recommendations? I’ll share what we come up with for that in another post, so appreciate your inputs.