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Vauxhall Backseat Bedtime with Edith Bowman

"Are you strapped in comfortably? Then I'll begin."

Easter is on its way this weekend and chances you'll be venturing out onto the roads and motorways of the UK, joining an estimated 16 million other cars over the Easter weekend. No doubt the kids will also be joining you on the trip.

Now, despite the headline suggesting so, we do not expect you to squeeze either Edith Bowman or Vauxhall Motors into the car with you in an attempt to keep the little ones amused over the holiday, especially when you hit the probable ‘choc-a-block’ roads over the holidays.

But with new research from Vauxhall Motors showing long car journeys can take up to a third (32%) longer when travelling with children (or at least seem to do), and 78% of parents in a recent survey for Vauxhall saying that they needed to stop a minimum of every two hours on a long car trip, for an average of 22 minutes each time, it may be time to take advantage of help offered by the car manufacturer in conjunction with the Radio DJ and presenter.

But, more about them later.

Let's take a look at what is involved in a trip with a young family - and that is ignoring all the problems involved in gathering a family with teenagers onto a trip! (The problems involving full discussions as to why teenagers aren't allowed to stay at home on their own are enough to consider, and far too complex to discuss in this blog article, let alone detailing the continual whining noise that emanates from the back of a car on the journey and sullenness on arrival and during the day!)

Even before setting off on an exciting journey over the Easter Weekend, it is estimated that parents of kids under nine spend just over half an hour trying to get everyone actually into the car, taking into consideration toilet requirements ("Jut try!"), favourite toys, reading material, make-up, lost keys etc.

Add in the stops along the way for cries of "I'm Hungry", "I'm Thirsty" and "I need the loo", and a four-hour drive can actually take nearly 5 1/2 hours for parents of young children.

5 1/2 Hours is a long time...especially in a car with young children

Back in September last year, we published a blog article that looked at what could entertain the kids on a car journey, so you could always check that out for some ideas, but up to date research shows that the Top ten activities to keep children amused in the car are:

  • Play Eye Spy (59%)
  • Sing-alongs (55%)
  • Watch videos on tablet or phone (50%)
  • Give them sweets (48%)
  • Play spot the red / yellow / blue car (45%)
  • Spot landmarks (35%)
  • Listen to audio books (21%)
  • Play the ‘how long can you stay quiet for’ game (16%)
  • Play 20 questions (12%)
  • Play ‘In my suitcase’ (6%)

And it is the 7th one on the list there (21% listening to audio books) that Vauxhall Motors has teamed up with Edith Bowman for to help relieve car boredom by creating a series of narrated stories on video. "Perfect for bedtime, afternoon naps or keeping little ones amused on long car journeys", the videos are all based on popular stories written by children’s author, Tracey Corderoy.

The three stories are varied: 'Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam', and 'Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Cat Burglar' follow the exploits of two robber dogs who turn good; and 'Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble' is all about a very peculiar granny.

Narrated by Edith Bowman, the only solo female commercial radio breakfast show host in the UK when she fronts the re-launched of Virgin Radio UK Breakfast Show, set to begin broadcast on March 30th, the videos can be downloaded as audio or video, or streamed on car journeys through Vauxhall’s in-car intelligence system, OnStar. 

Edith is a mother herself, and enthused about the stories: "Reading or listening to stories has always been something I've done with my kids from a very early age, both at home or on our travels. It's one of my favourite things to do as a parent, so being a bedtime storyteller was a dream for me. The idea is brilliant, using that time when kids are stuck in the car to entertain them, help them get some rest and give parents some peace!”

Vauxhall OnStar LogoBesides having been developed to help parent keep children entertained, the stories and audio/video content have also been developed to highlight Vauxhall's OnStar system, as Sara Nicholson, OnStar Programme Lead for Europe details: “Vauxhall OnStar is a personal on-board assistant available across our vehicle range. It offers Wi-Fi capability for up to seven devices, vehicle diagnostics to your phone, stolen vehicle assistance, automatic crash response and much more.  Technology needs to enhance our customers everyday lives and for us at Vauxhall, the little things like quiet, hassle-free car journeys with young children are worth every penny.”

Onstar comes as standard in the new Astra in SRi and Elite trim, (optional across the rest of the Astra range), standard in the Viva SE trim,(optional with SL) and also standard in the Tech Line and Elite Insignia

Vauxhall’s Backseat Bedtime stories are also available to view through the Vauxhall Motors website