Angie Fletcher, Human Development Specialist, Southwest Region, University of Missouri Extension
All of us have heard the familiar phrase “Are we there yet?” from children who are bored from sitting for what they perceive as an endless amount of time in a vehicle, or are so excited about their destination they just can’t wait!
Parents often overlook travel time as an opportunity to interact with their child(ren). What better opportunity to spend some quality time? For most, it is a question of ideas for what to do with their children during drive time. With spring break upon us and summertime trips in the near future, here are some activities that can be fun for everyone when traveling with children.
- Surprise packages: Prepare ahead with paper bags of items to be given out every 25, 50 or 75 miles as marked on a map with the location. It takes a little bit of prep to do this, but it really helps young children. In each bag put a wrapped item, usually a small toy. Then add various other things to each surprise package, like a juice box or a snack, stickers and a piece of paper, or something pertaining to the trip that you can talk about.
- Aluminum foil modeling: Give everyone a sheet of aluminum foil. Have them mold it into anything they want: animal shapes, balls, jewelry, crowns, etc.
- Pipe cleaners: Pack a bag of multi-colored pipe cleaners and let their imaginations run wild!
- Cookie sheet magnet board: Use an old cookie sheet and a collection of ABC magnets. Children can work on putting the letters in order or identify beginning sounds.
For more suggestions, see the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/