Traveling With Children
Angie Fletcher, South Central Region, Human Development Specialist, 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. Following is a list of suggested activities for traveling with children. (These activities should only be done with the adult not responsible for driving.)
- Bubbles: Keep some bubbles in a non-spill
container in the car, and blow some for baby (even
the other children like this!) when someone else is
doing the driving. This calms a baby down.
Tiny bubble containers sold for weddings are fun
- Read a good picture book: Even very young
babies will respond to a good book. You don't have
to read the entire story (especially if you yourself
are prone to car sickness) simply hearing your voice
as you point to objects in the pictures in the book
will occupy the time.
- Play classical music: Studies have
indicated that classical music may boost baby's
- Peek-a-boo: This classic game is perfect
for the car.
- This Little Piggy: As long as you're
stuck in the car, might as well kick your shoes off!
- Where is your nose???: An older baby can
practice learning all the parts of the body. Ask
them to show you where they are starting with their
nose. Then help them find their head, mouth, cheek,
ear, chin, hand, foot, tummy, etc.
- Surprise packages: Prepare ahead with
paper bags of items to be given out every 25, 50 or
75 miles-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 in some of the
surprise packages you can add juice or a snack,
stickers and a piece of paper, or something
pertaining to the trip 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 new bag of multi
colored pipe cleaners and let their imaginations run
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.
- Name the clouds: What do they look
like??? Find as many different shapes as you can.
- Tell Jokes: Take turns telling silly jokes.
Last Updated 05/05/2009