Monday, May 30, 2011

Summertime Travel Tips

Summer’s here and for many families, that means travel. Whether by plane, train, or automobile, your child is bound to get bored at some point in the trip. While it’s so tempting to hand your little one the iPhone press play on the laptop for two hours of peace thanks to a movie, the truth is, you could be using this time to 1. Connect with your child and 2. Help him or her learn. Here are some ideas on just how to do that and I’ll give you a hint: remember when we were kids? Yes, the days before technology...

1. Play ‘I Spy’ – Perfect for waiting on the airplane before it takes off, ‘I Spy’ challenges children to be observant and use a critical eye. Use different variations like colors, numbers or shapes (“I spy with my little eye something with three circles”), or letters (“I spy something with an S in the name of it”).

2. License Plate Game – This game is perfect for long road trips and can be done over a period of days (or weeks!). Try and find as many different license plates as you can. Can you find all the states? How many countries? Be careful, it can become an obsession...

3. Alphabet Game – Remember this one? Perfect for a kiddo just learning to read, one person finds ‘A’ somewhere (a sign, a license plate, etc.), the next person finds ‘B,’ and so on...

4. Alphabet Vacation – This game can be played anywhere! One person starts by saying, “I’m going [camping, to the beach, insert destination here] and I’m taking Apples!” The next person must name something that starts with a B, ad so on. For a twist, try playing with numbers (...and I’m taking 1 Apple!).

5. Give your child a map of where you’re going. Circle your hotel and other exciting destinations. Teach your child the basics of map reading (North, South, East, West, map key, etc.).

6. Air sick Bags make great puppets! Turn it over and draw a face on the bottom square part (that would serve as the seat of the bag), using the fold as the mouth!

7. Talk. When you’re in the car for a long time, that’s exactly what you have- time. What better way to connect with your children than to talk with them? Need some tips?

A few extra tips:
  • Let your child pack his or her own small bag of activities. This will help keep him occupied and help him feel like he had a say in travel plans!
  • Pack plenty of snacks
  • Make expectations clear before you leave. Give frequent, kind reminders. (“Remember, planes are for inside voices. Let’s practice.”)
  • Don’t forget:
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Sunscreen
    • Patience


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