We don't have a DVD player in our car.
I know, it sounds crazy to many people out there, but it's true. My husband and I agreed to not rely on movies to entertain our kids on long drives.
When I was little, my family drove from sun-up to sun-down to visit relatives in Washington. When my brothers weren't busy poking me in the ribs or encroaching on my seat space, I loved looking out the window and watching the scenery fly by. I'd make up stories about what it was like to live on a farm, or in the mountains, or near a lake. My mom read Boys Life stories and other books out loud to keep us occupied. Those are some of my favorite memories.
Now my own family listens to children's books on CD when we have to drive long distances. There are so many fun ones to choose from these days. And they're all free at the library. We've listened to serious novels like Hatchet, silly Dr. Seuss poems, and humorous stories like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. One of our favorites is Lemony Snicket's The End. We've never read the rest of the series, but The End makes us laugh every time we listen to it.
Next time you have to take a family drive, pop in a book on CD, or download a story to your ipod. Your kids might find they don't miss the DVD player at all, and you'll enjoy watching them use their imagination as the scenery flies by.