(this post contains affiliate links)
This year, we are going on a road trip.
We've done road trips before.
We've driven to Cornwall. Approximately 300 miles.
We've driven to Dumfrieshire. Approximately 300 miles.
We've driven to Aviemore, in the north of Scotland. Approximatley 500 miles.
Big stuff, eh?
I know, I know, to folks in the USA that's a DAY trip, right?
Well, this year, we're going even further.
Duh, duh, duuuuuuuuh.
We are going to ITALY!
Erm, approximately 1150 miles.
Ohhhhhh yeah. NOW we're talking road trip!
Now, the thing is, we get massively barraged by little people asking "Are we nearly there" on the SHORTER road trips.
NFC. (Normal for children)
With such a long journey ahead, I need to be prepared. That means, entertain the kiddos.
We have been blessed with the gift of in-car DVD players, plus the gift of wireless headsets so we don't have to listen to the sound track of movies and other shows on DVD. Genius!
However, we also love audio resources. We listen to all sorts of audio books, but we paraticularly love adventure themes, and more specifically, Christian themes. I adore classic, fictional stories, and have many of them as audio books, but having Biblical themes, and character building truths woven in, is brilliant.
I want to share with you about three different ones you can purchase, which have been family favourites of ours for YEARS!
First off is one that involves two of my favourite things. Stories, and singing. The best part is, it's something I have been listening to since *I* was a child!
It's "Patch the Pirate".
These stories began when Ron Hamilton lost one eye to cancer, in the 70's, I believe? He then had to wear an eye patch, and it was observed he looked like a pirate. Instead of bemoaning his physical loss, he went about putting it to spiritual gain. He invented the character Patch the pirate, who sails the seas (and the skies!) having adventures, with a spiritual lesson in each. The songs are terrific, with GREAT Christian truths woven in, and the story lines are fun, yet challenging. There is a whole crew of "ship mates", and there are various characters they meet on their travels, as well as Sissy Seagull who is a permanent crew-mate (and acted by his precious wife, Shelly!). All my children enjoy these, as do I - especially the ones I have cherished for 30 years myself! They are making new ones all the time, and there are MANY we have never heard. My kind SIL bought us a new one for our holiday, which we can't wait to listen to - International Spy Academy. It's main theme is the importance of the Bible.
I am certain we will be quickly learning the songs, and singing them to each other around the house! We regularly spout forth various lines from other songs, like "the poochie lip will get you if you don't watch out", when they stick out their lower lip, or "If you have a sister or brother, be kind to each other", when they are less than loving. There are SO many brilliant song lyrics, if you haven't listened before, you should get yourself an album. You can listen to samples of all the tracks on Amazon, and there are HUNDREDS of tracks on there, for numerous albums available to digitally download. It used to be you could only get them shipped, in CD format, from the USA, but they have partnered with Amazon to make them more easily availble! Yay!
I would say that this is suitable for any age. The little ones will enjoy it, and even the older ones enjoy listening over and over (though they may not always admit it!). For me, it's nostalgia, and the joy of having my OWN children listen to something that I have loved my whole life.
Follow this link to find all the Patch the Pirate tracks available on Amazon. You can find the whole albums, or just individual tracks there.
You can also learn more about Patch the Pirate and his crew at www.patchthepirate.org. Find out more about Patch's story, and the stories available. As an added bonus, you can listen, for free, to their latest story that has been broadcast on radio!
Our next family favourite is another "Long time" running show. It is aired in the USA, produced by Focus on the Family, as a radio show. They have, however, compiled it into CD format.
It's "Adventures in Odyssey".
We LOVE these stories! They are set in the fictional town of Odyssey, centred around the enterprises of John Avery Whittaker, known as "Whit". There are key characters that are in nearly every episode - all very fun and amusing. Woven through it all is Biblical truth, paired up with brilliant story lines. Some of the story lines are more suited to older children, but most are appropriate for all ages. Being produced by Christians, none of it is "dodgy", it's more that some stories may be beyond a small child's interest. Ones that are particularly good are the special discs that focus on character traits - friendship, loyalty, diligence, and so on. They only cost about £5 each. Personally, I have enjoyed some of the "sagas", which are story lines that originally were spread out in between other episodes, but they have compiled them onto one set of discs. The Blackguard Chronicles, The Green Ring Conspiracy, and the Novacom Saga are three of those. They pack a "value for money" punch of over 5 hours of listening. There prices vary, and are mostly over £20, but I think they are TOTALLY worth the spend, and the children listen over and over. Those sets are more geared toward an older audience, but my younger ones have enjoyed them, as well. The other super set is the "Bible Eyewitness" series. These have the listeners transported back into Bible Stories, via "The Imagination Station". The characters in the story get to live through some of the well known, and lesser known, Bible stories, and learn important truths on the way. My children have been able to tell me numerous obscure Bible facts from listening to this set!
Our new one for this journey is "Wish You Were Here", when the lovable characters of Eugene and Bernard take a road trip together. Do you see the connection? See it? See it?
I'm clever, I am.
You can find many Adventures in Odyssey albums as digital downloads, though there are more available as Audio CDs. Like Patch the Pirate, having them available as audio downloads is a recent thing, and super handy in this day and age. The CDs are available in the UK, too, if that is your preference. If you want it on tape?.... you are living in the wrong century....
For those in the 21st Century, find out lots more about Odyssey over at www.whitsend.org. Information about where to hear radio broadcasts of episodes, facts about the cast, and lots more fun stuff, can be found there. There is also a club you can subscribe to ($5 per month) that gives you access to much more.
Our final favourite is "Jonathan Park".
This is a favourite choice, for several reasons, which I will get to in a moment.
Jonathan Park is the young son of a Christian palaeontologist. The story begins when they stumble upon an ancient cave with evidence that points towards creation truths. The adventures go on from there, over ten series, so far. There are hours worth of story time on each set, all with creation truths and science facts woven into the dramatic story lines. They visit all four corners of the globe, finding creation evidence as they go. They cover everything from space, to dinosaurs, to "UFO" sightings. They even have actual scientists - real life ones - who are also believers, who chip in on the way through. I cannot express in words, just how much we have learned from these, whilst also listening to gripping and dramatic stories. These are less favoured by my younger children, but they listen along if it's on. I, and the older children, have learnt a lot about God's created world, from a scientific perspective, through these brilliant stories.
Our most recent set is called "The Whispering Sphinx", and it weaves history, geography, archaeology and creation science together, in one big Egyptian based adventure. Having studied Egyptian history, fairly recently, I think we will love this one as much as the others.
Once again, Amazon is coming up trumps, and has them available both as digital downloads and
audio CDs. You can also purchase them, in the UK, from the Answers in Genesis store.
Oh, how I love the age of digital downloads! In our little United Kingdom, when for SO long things have been hard to get a hold of, without exorbitant shipping and import charges, the digital age has made things so much more readily available.
Once again, more fascinating information can be found over at www.jonathanpark.com.
So, there you have it. Our Top 3 Audio Adventure Series. They really are all well worth a listen in to the free samples, and purchasing for your family. You children will have hours of good quality, and sound character based stories, which they will happily listen to over and over. Faith building, and firmly planted in God's Word - they are all excellent resources.
That's us set, then. Over 11 hours of new stories to listen to, from these three titles, with other new ones that we have tucked away, too. I hope you perhaps enjoy them as much as we have!