Whether it is a family vacation or a short trip to the grocery store, traveling with young children can be difficult.
Embrace the fact that you are now in a small area with your children for an amount of time! Even very young children can be involved!
1. I Remember, think back to something your family has done or shared. Describe the event and see if they can guess from the clues you have given. “When was the last time we saw Aunt Betty? Do you remember when dad spilled grapejuice on his lap?, these are questions to help your child remember things from the past. They could be memories from that day, or from the past. Once the child has figured it out, talk about it , ask them questions. For older children, allow them to lead and give the hints.
2. Scavenger Hunts can be played everywhere. First determine the ages of your children and the skills they are developing. For very young children you may find things that are a particular color or specific object, “find something red, find a bird.” For older children you may ask questions such as, “find something that begins with an A or find the numeral 7.”
3. Counting is an easy activity that can be used for any aged child. Very young children can listen to you count. It is very important that they hear you and develop auditory discrimination skills. As they get older, they can count with you. When they can count by themselves they are ready to count everything! Count how many red cars you pass, how many telephone poles between…, how many times you stop. Always make it a game, learning should be fun!
4. Songs & Nursery Rhymes, if you need help, buy a CD and sing along, there are thousands out there. Music and nursery rhymes are an important aspect of preschool education. They begin to memorize the words. They begin to hear the rhythmn of songs, poetry and nursery rhymes and they expand their vocabulary. Take turns, perform, sing them fast, slow, loudly, quietly, in a high voice or in a silly voice. Pretend you have a microphone! Challenge each other to remember the words, “what one says, over the candlestick?”
5. 20 Questions and I Spy, can be played anywhere! For younger children, tell them the things you are looking for as in I Spy, “I am thinking of something that is blue, you take it to daycare.” For older children you can play the classic game, for even older children, they can take the lead.
Using travel time can be a wonderful family-friendly learning time. Keeping children busy, encouraging children to use expressive and receptive language and modeling language and social skills to your children will make the time fly!