It is not always easy to leave the house with a toddler. As soon as you have a child it becomes a huge production to go anywhere. You have to make sure you have their diaper bag or back pack… snacks (check), juice boxes (check), change of clothes, diapers, books, crayons (check,check,check & check). And this is just for a trip to the supermarket.
With the weather getting nicer, we have been taking more day trips on our weekends. This will continue through the summer with trips to the zoo & beach. It is easy for our active little ones to get bored while riding in the car. It is not always easy to keep them entertained from the front seat.
But, like most things in life, every moment can be a learning opportunity, even if it is from a car seat in the back of the car.
I love to keep engaged with my daughter as I drive. There is always a teaching moment with our young ones.
Lessons that you can teach from the road:
1. Directions – As we drive, I always like to tell my daughter when I am taking a turn whether we are going left or right. I signal to her with my arm and repeat “Right, mommy is turning right.” She will repeat it after me & is getting better at differentiating her left from right.
2. Imagination exploration – On many of our journeys, my daughter will look around and point out things she sees during our ride. A few months back, she started making up little stories to go with the sights she was seeing. One rainy day as we were driving she made up this story about us driving in a submarine because of the rain & she was pointing out the fishies that she saw swimming up. “There is a mama fish & dada fish & baby fish.” Now, mommy jumps in on story telling time too & together we weave fun tales as we travel.
3. Eye spy – This is a good one. Mai, where is the yellow sign. “Right there!! Right there!” Do you see a red car? “There’s a red car!” This works great for shape, color and object recognition. My daughter get so excited and you can hear her pride as she points out what mommy asks for. Of course, I can’t see what she is pointing at unless we are stopped, but I am sure that she is pointing to the same things that I spy.
4. Counting -Counting exercises are another fun way to pass the time in the car. My daughter and I will take turns going back & forth counting off our numbers. We used to do this with the alphabet too, but now that she knows her ABC’s we practice on our numbers.
5. Music lessons – My daughter likes to sing. She has gotten pretty good a few songs. She can sing ‘Daisy, Daisy’, ‘My darling Clementine’ & ‘Oh Susanna’ word for word. It melts my heart. It is a great way to learn new words and music can be extremely influential to our children.
How do you keep your children entertained while on the road? Share your favorite stories from the car seat.
We totally do all of the above with our girls and probably why they now tell me which way I am turning before I actually make the turn and even what to do at the different colored lights, too 🙂
Oh yeah, I forgot about the lights. Mai loves that too.
Thank you. 🙂
Brilliant ideas! I’ve got two! Twins and my daughter gets soooo bored in the car. Our nursery rhymes cd helps with the trips.
Thank you! She did not like car trips from a young age so I always had to entertain her. Luckily, she can learn while also keeping her interest.
I do the same activities with my kids. I also explain them the consequences for not following the traffic rules. I’ve been teaching them that as a mom I also have to obey authority and the traffic rules is an easy way to talk about right /wrong choices and consequences. We also make stories together or share what they did at their pre-school and what I did while they were in school. If we know that someone in the family or friend is sick we pray together at the car. It is our perfect place to have our family devotional or learn something new.
That is wonderful. We recently started introducing her to prayer at dinner time and a bedtime. That is a good idea to do while traveling.
I love this list! I will have to start using more of these. Right now we usually count down the number of stoplights (stop signs) until we are home and point out the colors on the stoplights and what they mean. I like the right and left turning. I don’t think my son is old enough for the I-Spy yet but I love that game so I will definitely be playing with him when he is older.
Great! Thank you. I hope these work for you too. I have fun on car rides with my munchkin. It is also a good way to keep her awake if I don’t want her dozing off.
Love this!!! … I am constantly looking for interesting things to point out for Ayla, like sheep and cows and motorbikes, when we put the radio on she makes her dolly/teddy dance along!
Awwww. How cute. I love watching them interact with their toys. It is amazing.