Activities for Long Car Rides

Activities for Long Car Rides

If you are traveling with young children, you know how important it is to have a few tricks up your sleeve with some activities for long car rides to keep your children entertained and make the car ride more enjoyable for everyone

Whether you are driving an hour and ten here having an activity box full of different games and other activities in the car at all times will help keep your children busy for the duration of the trip. Of course, it would be ideal for your kids to sleep the whole way but the chances of that happening are slim to none.

A small box can be purchased at a Dollar Store or Target. In it you can back coloring books, different activity books that have puzzles and games in it, a pad of paper, finger puppets and an iPod with educational games on it. Another ideal item would be a clip board so that the kids have a flat surface to work on.

In addition to the activity box, there are several games that can be played without anything. Those games include the License Plate game, I spy and 20 Questions.

License Plate Game: Keep track of all the License Plates of cars that pass by. Try and get all 50 states.

I Spy: Pick a color and have the other people in the car guess what you have spied with your little eye.

20 Questions: Someone picks a person, place or thing and everyone else takes turns asking a yes or no question. If no one figures out what the person, place or thing is by 20 questions that person reveals what it was.



Ready, Set, Summer! The Benefits of Boredom for Kids

School’s out! School’s out! Hooray! Kids around the country wait with bated breath for the long, sunny days of summer fun. They anticipate the fun, their spirits soar, and when summer finally arrives the devil strikes: “Moooommm, I’m bored!”  Or his evil cousin raises his head, “Can we play X-Box now, Mom?”

If you’re like me your gut reaction to these kinds of comments is to pontificate about how kids used to play outside and use their creativity and MAKE their own fun in the sun.

As you might imagine, the kids tune that kind of nonsense right out.

So I try to bite my tongue or respond with some sort of sage quip I’ve read recently from a parenting guru. Either way, I hold my ground and what I’ve discovered over this past decade and a half of parenting is this: boredom is a blessing.  Yes, I’m serious. A blessing.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children who watch a lot of TV read fewer books, have lower grades, and exercise less often than other kids.  I assume that the opposite, then, is true, which is fantastic. But this isn’t why I believe boredom is a blessing. Instead, here’s what I’ve realized by simply being in the parenting trenches over the years: When our kids are left to their own devices for a certain amount of time, when they are desperate enough for fun, when they realize, finally, that their Mean-Old-Parents really aren’t going to turn on the TV or hand them the X-Box games, the beautifully creative part of their brain begins to surface. Click, click, click.  Suddenly, unbidden, new ideas start to emerge. The siblings that used to bug them? They morph into fellow spies and hide-and-seek partners. They become accomplices in building forts and comrades in Ghost in the Graveyard. They might even play a board game together. Imagine!

We’ve disconnected for the summer—no TV, no computer, no video games—for several years and I’ve seen this effect again and again. It takes our older boys a few days to adjust to life without gadgets and gizmos—the “detox period,” we call it. We endure complaints and comparisons and assure our children that those “other” parents who embrace technology all summer long must love their kids so much more. But after a few days, the kids’ ideas percolate, their complaints disappear, and we’re rewarded with the kind of creativity we hope for all year long.

Are you ready to give it a try? Any tips to share? Leave us a comment & let us know!

Reading with Children

Reading with your children has lasting effects

Using technology to read with your children

Mobile technology may be great for games and TV, but it also provides and easy way for parents to read with their children.

Let’s be honest, in today’s society many children would rather watch TV than read with a parent.  But as a parent it is important to make sure your children are reading and the best way to accomplish that is to read with them.  When I was younger my parents would read me a bedtime story before falling asleep.  I do not think that all parents understand the importance of reading with their children.  A simple activity can help develop a lasting relationship with your child.  You are spending precious time with your children when you read with them.  It creates a special form of bonding time with the child and parent. From my experience, I also developed my reading skills.  At a young age children can listen to a parent read a story to them and hear how certain words are pronounced.   This in return can develop their language and listening skills at an early age.

We are surrounded by technology such as iPads and tablets.  These items can assist parents with reading with their children.  Books and bedtime stories are easily accessed through iPads with a touch of a finger.

So for the future, parents take the extra 15 minutes out of your busy schedule and read to your children.  The effects will leave a lasting impressing on your child’s education and your relationship with your child.


*This post was contributed by Canisius College marketing student Taylor Cotter