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.