"We are now ready to launch. Please prepare for countdown. One hundred, ninety nine, ninety eighty ..." (Remember, count slowly and quietly) "three, two, one, blast-off. "
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have achieved lift-off. The first Astronaut ever to visit every planet in out solar system has just blasted off, and is preparing to leave the earth's atmosphere. Astronaut Alice, you should begin to feel a change in the atmosphere. This might make you feel a bit tired, but that's normal. Just relax. Those tired feelings will probably be gone in just a little while."
Still awake? Okay, let's continue.
"Looking out to your left, you can see all of the stars, twinkling in the distance. Now as we head toward the Sun, which is really just a very large, very close star. We are nearing the planet Mercury. Mercury is the smallest planet and because it's so close to the sun, we think that it's too hot to live on. It is pretty though, watching it turn like that. I think we've seen enough of Mercury, let's go on to Venus..."
You continue on through the planets, giving one or two small facts about each one. This can actually become very educational, if you research your facts carefully, although very few children have actually stayed awake past Mars. Your facts can be as simple or complicated as you feel your child is ready for.
You can alter the game by taking a train ride through Europe or a car ride through the United States or an elephant ride to see the animals of Africa. It's really only limited by your imagination. As time goes on, you'll be amazed at how many of these sleepy facts were actually absorbed into those little brains, just before they drifted off into Dreamland. The bonus is that you may learn something interesting in the process and get some well-deserved sleep.