The Blog

As a newspaper columnist, Nancy Devlin, Ph.D. has written over 700 articles on subjects related to education and parenting. Welcome to her Classroom!

Car Trips

Family Going on a Trip in the Car
Vacation  from  school  provides the  opportunity  for  many families to travel together.   How pleasant an experience this is for  the family depends on how well the trips are  planned.   One way to enhance the pleasure and educational value of an auto trip is to bring along tapes and to plan games.

We can all search in our memories and come up with games.  These are some I remember.  In Alphabet Hunt you try to find words on billboard signs that begin with the letters of the alphabet in the correct order.  Whoever finds the most words wins.  For young children, you can write ou the alphabet so they know which letter comes next.  Then there is the Packing Game.  Each player says something he is going to pack for a vacation.  It is best to do it in alphabetical order.  The next person repeats what was said before and adds something to the list.

It is always fun to make up a story.  One person begins the story and the next person adds to the plot.

There are many books that can help you.  One by Sid Hedges is entitled “Games for Children While Traveling”.   I recommend great books on cassettes for long trips.  You can get cassettes for such books as: Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Tom Sawyer, The Hobbitt, The Wind in the Willows,  Alice in Wonderland, and many Fairy Tales.  There is also a kit called Color Book Theatre, which includes coloring books, crayons and the cassette.

Finally, ordinary, relaxed communication with the family is very important.  Travelling in a car presents a marvelous opportunity for families to learn more about each other.  Never underestimate the curiosity your children have about your own history and personal experiences, especially those of your childhood.  Try just reminiscing about a trip you remember taking as a child.  Recount the stories you heard as a child about prior generations.  This is family history passed on.

Enjoy your summer.

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