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© Gail Underwood Parker

Monday, April 18, 2011

School Bell: Travel Tips

This time of year many families are on the move... whether gathering for family occasions like Passover or Easter or vacation trips.  If you are on the move you can work in some fun activities to help keep the kids from being bored during travel and still reinforce skills. These work best for the kids who are too old to sleep through the trip and too young to be satisfied with sitting back with their mp3 player or ipod.

Driving by car?.... Give them a map.  Have them track your route with a highlighter.  Have them estimate the time to the next major city and then track to see how close they were. This helps them with number skills, time skills, rounding off, and subtracting time. For younger kids give them a list of towns they will see on signs and have them check them off as you pass each.  This will help them focus and see progress toward the destination.

Going by Train?... You can do any of the car ideas.  PLUS: you can have them do some math. Subtract how many passengers in your car from how many seats in the car.  Find out how many cars are in the train, count the people in their car, multiply to estimate how many passengers are on the train.  Older kids can use maps to compare the train route and speed with the route and time if you had chosen to go by car.

Flying?... Almost all airlines have amazing catalogs in the seat pockets.  For kids who can read, have them choose what they would get if the had a $200 coupon from the company.  Or make it a different total and require that they find something for each member of the family. The airlines also have magazines with route maps.  They can alphabetize 10 cities the airline flies into or the states the airline services.

These are just a few ways to challenge kids' brains while "stuck" traveling. And don't forget all the traditional [I-Spy, 20 questions, and others] travel games!

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