What to do with this activity?
Here are some suggestions for games that will make a long journey with your child more enjoyable.
I packed my suitcase
This is a classic memory game. The list of items in the suitcase gets longer and longer. The first person says "I packed my suitcase and in it I put ____". They then name an item - it could be anything from a pair of pants to an elephant! The next person has to remember that item and add another, then on to the next.
Count the coloured cars
On a road trip, each person picks a colour - pick the more unusual colours. As a car with that colour passes it’s one point. At the end of the trip the one with the most points wins. You can make it more difficult if you have older children with you – 2 points for trucks, 5 for buses, 10 for tractors.
Odd one out
This game may be suitable for a four year old. Someone calls out three things but one is the odd one out. Blue, Green, Banana. The first person to call out the odd item wins that round and gets to choose the next three items.
Or bring an audio book on your trip - see the great selection in your local library.
More backseat tips
Strap a bag to the back of the front seat and stuff it with supplies – crayons, colouring books, kids magazines, mini puzzles, stickers, cards, glue...oh yeah, and some wipes! Or bring along a CD with favourite songs and sing along together.
Why am I doing this?
Children’s ability to think and understand experiences develops by listening and speaking. As a child’s language becomes more complex so does their ability to understand more complex thoughts and ideas. The family is the child’s first source of language and learning and there are lots of everyday activities that occur in the home, which can help children’s language skills. Your child will get better at using words when they practice words and hear the sounds of words.
How can I do more?
Just keep talking and listening. Normal routines provide lots of opportunities for conversation and for all the family to learn new things. If you are walking down a street, point out things you see and talk about them. Explain new words, show the colours or point out shapes. Ask your child what animals or buildings they like. There’s no end to what you can talk about together.
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