Thursday, October 12, 2017

Brinkman Adventures Season 4 {review}

We live rural, so we have a lot of downtime in the car.  Listening to audio productions is a great way for us to pass the time in the car.  It is even better when I can have something fun and educational and appropriate for a wide range of ages.  I was thrilled to receive Brinkman Adventures Season 4 to review.  The Brinkman Adventures are radio shows that tell real-life, modern missionary stories.  I have four kids that range from 2-10 years old, and it can be hard to appeal to all of them, but this was a great way to keep them all quiet and engaged!

The Brinkman Adventures are told through the adventures of the fictional Brinkman family, acted out by a real life family.  The episodes frequently alternate between the Brinkmans and their local adventures, and missionary activities across the world.  The stories are often "retold" by a missionary through a special presentation, or by one of the Brinkman children on the family blog.  The stories are fictionalized, but do contain elements based on true stories.  You can read the real stories, but I would suggest doing that after listening to the episode.  It's a great way to connect further with the underlying message, especially if a child especially loves a particular episode.

Whenever we'd get in the car, I'd hear "Can you turn our stories on!?"  If I asked where we left off (like after the husband accidentally took the CD out when we'd left off in the middle of a story) they could tell me exactly which story we were on and give me extensive details about the plot.  If an episode ended and I turned the radio off because we were only a few minutes out from home, they were disappointed that I wouldn't start the next one.  They were intrigued and couldn't wait to listen to more!

I asked the kids about their favorite episodes.  I know my 4 year old would just answer CAMBODIA because the big kids had just studied Cambodia in geography and she was excited at the connection.  My 8 year old said that "The Crashed Kitchen" was his favorite.  The theme is God Doesn't Make Mistakes, and this is shown in both the folktale story that opens the story, and the actual missionary story.  My 10 year old said he liked them all equally, and couldn't choose just one favorite.

I really appreciate that I can let my children listen to these without worrying about what message they are receiving.  I know they are hearing about faith, love and trusting God.  I feel these are family friendly, though there is a warning on some stories that children 10 and under should listen with parents, due to intense scenes.  While my children didn't feel they were terribly upsetting, I can see how an extremely sensitive child would need a parent to listen first to screen for any potential issues.

We received a physical CD set, but the adventures are also available to download.  There are over 5 hours of audio, and the episodes are approximately half an hour each.  This is just the right length of time for younger kids, though older kids can certainly listen to a few episodes per sitting, and in fact, will probably insist!  I believe Brinkman Adventures are so good because they aren't just a monotone voice reading a story to us - they are using exciting sound effects and music and real people to tell a real story.  As we are taking in all the sounds, we are forced to imagine with the rest of our senses - our emotions are stirred and the picture we paint in our mind of God's hand at work is only limited by our own imagination.

We've also been blessed to review Season 3 in addition to Brinkman Adventures Season 4, and after listening to two seasons, I am confident we will be adding the rest to our collection.  These stories are wonderful for families, giving so many opportunities for discussion and personal reflection.  They would also be good for youth groups and other small group activities.

Brinkman Adventures

To find out more, check out the Brinkman Adventures website, listen to samples, visit their Facebook page, and read more crew reviews!

Brinkman Adventures Season 4

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