Blog: Traveling With Kids
Favorite things to do in the car
So often these days, I read of kids traveling with a raft of electronic gadgetry to keep them amused. I wondered what people in New Zealand where doing with their kids in the car so I did a poll of the 30 odd people at our family gathering over Christmas to see what their favorite things to do in the car were. I asked the children what they liked to do and asked the adults what they liked to do with children. The children said their favorite things to do were to sleep, eat cherries (or substitute any favorite food), and read books. The older children had graduated into the electronic age and said listening to music or sleeping. Some adults said singing with or without the aid of CDs and while a couple of the adults said their favorite thing to do with the kids was to get out of the car(!), most said that playing games was their favorite thing.
Here are some of the games that they enjoyed.
Counting horses: count the horses on each side of the car. To make it a little more interesting, the people on the left side of the car count the horses on the left and people on the right count the horses on the right, but if any horses get missed, then you can count the opposite side's horses.
Color counting: choose a color and then count the number of things you can see that are that color – you can limit it to a particular theme such as cars, houses, signs and so on.
Number plate letters: either go through the alphabet, spell names or choose words to spell – each person should have a similar length word.
Travel bingo: spotting various items. You can buy ready made cards or make up your own lists. For younger children, pictures can be used.
20 questions: one person thinks of an object. They say whether it is animal, mineral, or vegetable. The other people have up to 20 questions to guess what the object is. The person who is thinking of the object can only answer yes or no.
I spy: one person notices something they can see and says "I spy with my little eye something beginning with," and says the letter that the word begins with. Everybody tries to guess what it is. The person who wins chooses the next object. You can do this for younger children using phonetics rather than letters and objects that are really obvious to start with (cars, trees, sky, clouds, sun and so on). They soon get the hang of it.
First/last letter words: choose a theme, e.g. fruits, countries, and take turns saying things from that category, but, the next thing must begin with the last letter of the previous word, e.g. tangelo, orange.
Scores: create a list of different types of people and give points for each item – and old man (10), a girl riding a bike (30), a baby in a stroller (15) – and the person with the most points at the end of the game wins.
There are several games you can buy, most of them along the same veins. In any case, if you can separate your kids from the electronics, having a few games up your sleeve can make the traveling more enjoyable.
posted on: 12/27/2007 1:00:00 PM by Katherine Macey
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Traveling With Kids
by Katherine Macey
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Katherine Macey, Ph.D., is a professional organizer who is passionate about helping people improve their lives and achieve their goals. She works mainly with academics in their offices and with residential clients in their home offices.
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