In 22 months our family traveled through 37 American States, 2 Canadian states, and 2 Mexican states in our RV and drove our car from Texas to Ohio and California to Tennessee and back again twice. We’ve spent days zipping around Yellowstone and Glacier, Big Bend and Acadia National Parks.
We’ve covered a lot of ground.
The hardest part about having three kids in the car that long is keeping the littlest one happy. My 7 and 8 year olds have adjusted to reading on their own or listening to audio books. But my 3 year old doesn’t have the attention span yet for longer stories so we rotate through musical CDs, Junie B. Jones, and podcasts like Wow in the World.
This spring my daughter and I were driving by ourselves from Nashville to Birmingham. We didn’t have any of our CDs with us because our Jeep was stored back in California with the RV. We had already finished a Junie B. Jones audio book and I was getting a little desperate for something else to listen to – I can only answer the “How much longer” question so many times.
I searched for a preschool singalong podcast in iTunes and came up with nothing. No singalongs at all! So I put on our preschool Pandora station that I’ve tried to condition with only artists I can stand listening to… Raffi, frankly. But the station kept playing songs that are over-produced with sound effects or fast or just annoying kids music, if I’m being honest. So I shut it off and asked her what she wanted to sing.
“Rudolph!” of course. And so the next hour we took turns picking the song that I’d sing for her. If she didn’t know it, I’d sing it a few times until she could sing along to a few lines. Once I get started, I’m sort of a karaoke machine when it comes to kids music. I grew up listening to Raffi and Wee Sing and Disney singalong tapes. When my boys were younger we had a music time together before nap every day where we would get out song books and I would sing their selections for them. When Valerie was born I started singing to her as part of her bedtime routine and still do.
The time flew while we sang down I-65. That’s when the idea hit me: I should make the singalong podcast I want to hear. Surely other parents want something their kid can engage with in the car that they can stand listening to too. I can do short episodes so that kids can listen during trips around down or maybe even a few longer shows for road-tripping families…. Adults could download a few favorite shows and then always have a new episode to listen to if I can make them weekly…. My brain was off.
My #10 reason for podcasting: to create a space that engages the youngest children through song and play so adults can drive in peace (or sing along with too!).
And a month later, after a lot of learning and a little help from my friends, I’m getting ready to launch the podcast I envisioned! 10 days to go!