Making Family Read Alouds for Road Trips Easier {and Much Much More Fun}

by GfG on June 19, 2014 · 1 comment

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We love listening to books while we are on road trips.  We have listened to a fabulous rendition of The Chronicles of Narnia on an incredibly long trip and everyone was spellbound.  We have listened to lots of books over the years.  School books or just for fun books.

Sometimes we listen to books on CD and sometimes I read aloud. Sometimes the older kiddos do the reading aloud too, to give me a break.

The problem, for our family, has been that the volume needed to be pretty stinkin’ high so that everyone could hear.  That can be difficult for the reader.  When I am sitting in the front of the suburban, it’s challenging to get loud enough without turning completely around in my chair.  That isn’t a good idea for me because I get car sick if I do that.

{bonus tip: the following suggestions also work wonderfully if a parent can’t read aloud because they get car sick reading in a moving vehicle, but you have a child who could do it just fine!}

Well… I have changed how we do read aloud now and not only is it effective, but it’s fun and silly and memorable.  All wins, really.

We do read alouds in the car karaoke style!

What that means is that I sing a little bit …. and then I start reading… right into a microphone that takes my voice and puts it into the car stereo system.  Yup, all the kiddos here me in stereo.  Surround sound Mom.

Love it.

You can do this a couple of ways:

If you have a newer car….  and a smart phone… 

1:  Buy a microphone app.  There are quite a few.  I went with a free one and practiced a bit to make sure I liked it.

Microphone app

2: Plug your phone into the stereo adapter plug in.

3: Turn on the microphone app.

4:  Sing a few lines of your favorite crowd pleasing (or eye rolling, your call) song . You may also want to be sure the volume is down before you start singing.  Ask me how I know.)

5: Take a collection for requests.

6: Sing some more.

7: Start reading the book aloud.

If you have an older car (like our 2005 Chevy Suburban)…. and a smart phone….

1: Buy a cassette player converter.  (cheap!)

cassette adaptor WEB

2: Buy a microphone app.

3: Put the cassette converter into the cassette player and plug it into your phone.

4:  Turn on the microphone app.

5: Sing a few lines from your favorite karaoke style song (especially one that makes your kiddos groan… in my case it’s “How Does He Know”).

6: Pause for applause.  Or eye rolling. Whatever.

7:  Start reading the book aloud.

I can’t tell you how this has changed read alouds for road trips.  It’s drastically different. We can all hear.  I don’t lose my voice.  I can sit comfortably.  And I get to sing… in stereo.

And the kids are all stuck in the car for all of it.  Epic.

Also… this is super fun for dads that like to be airline pilots or tour guides while driving.

“This is your captain speaking.  We are ready for departure.  Please put all electronics in airplane mode, seats in upright position, tray tables up, and say really nice things about your dad.  As soon as the accolades are declared by each passenger, we can hand out snacks.”

“Good afternoon!  Thank you for choosing Brouse House Tour Trips.  Today’s tour is a lovely one.  Out the right hand windows currently, you can see a lovely Whataburger. Don’t confuse this fast food restaurant with McDonald’s.  They are light years apart.  On your left is a not so lovely lowrider with incredibly loud and tasteless music.  Aren’t you glad the windows are up right now?  In just a few minutes we will be crossing into Arizona.  You won’t be able to tell a difference, but I’ll help you. “

You too can enjoy read alouds in the car.  Or make whatever you want to say over the stereo speaker system in your vehicle epic fun.

Happy road tripping!

Road Trip Read Alouds

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