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Tips to entertain your kids on a long road trip

Rose White • Mar 28, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Going on a road trip or a long flight can be tiring for parents and kids.

Allison Boyer, the head of Youth Services at Loutit District Library, offers some advice on how to keep young ones entertained during a trip.

“There are great digital resources,” Boyer said, adding that Loutit District Library has a number of these available on its online catalog. Library patrons can borrow eBooks and audiobooks from this collection, and they can download them directly onto personal devices.

“If (parents) want their kids exposed to books, we have our eBook collection,” Boyer said. “There are picture books and books for all ages.”

Loutit District Library also has an eMagazine resource, which allows card holders to download current magazines.

“Sometimes you don’t want to focus on a three-hour book,” Boyer said. “Zinio is our digital magazine source, and there are kid, teen and adult magazines.”

How can people access these materials?

“All they need is a library card,” Boyer said.

Audiobooks are another popular method for keeping kids entertained. Boyer also suggested Playaways. A Playaway is an individual audiobook player that comes equipped with a story and headphones.

“Parents like (these) because kids can listen to them on their own, and they can just listen to whatever book they want to,” Boyer said.

“Another thing we have is discovery backpacks,” Boyer said. “It’s a clear backpack with a selection of four or five book inside, and there are finger plays and songs that go with the theme.”

The library also has books featuring games that are great for keeping kids’ minds active during long car rides.

“They are idea starters for families on road trips,” Boyer said. “Sometimes those license plate games are just fun.”

Loutit District Library has a number of resources available for long trips, but Boyer also suggests exploring ideas at other libraries as well.

“Every library in the area has slightly different resources,” she said.

Spring Lake District Library cardholders have a variety of digital entertainment resources at their disposal. Visit the library’s website at http://sllib.org. and click on Overdrive to download eBooks and eAudiobooks. Select Hoopla to stream movies, music, TV shows and comics.

Local libraries also have programs and events geared toward families who might be staying home over spring break.

“Spring break is a fun time of year, and it is fun to see families in the library,” Boyer said. “They are always welcome to stop in.”

Loutit District Library’s spring break events are listed online at loutitlibrary.org/calendar and Spring Lake District Library’s can be found at sllib.org/events.

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