How to Keep Your Child Busy in a Car, on a Train, or on a Plane?
As a rule, children are capricious and don’t behave themselves when away from home. You need to keep your child busy to keep them calmer.
Get prepared for the trip, and think about possible ways to keep your child busy. There are some games for kids which will be interesting both for you and your child.
Games with children over 3 years old
Almost everybody knows the game “Yes-No.” In its road version, the presenter thinks of any word, and the players try to guess it and ask questions that can only be answered “yes” or “no.” You state your own rules and restrictions. For example, the offered word cannot be a proper name or a numeral.
2. “The same letter”
One by one, players name words that start with the same letter. For example, it’s the letter “t”: tank, tarantula, and so on. You are not allowed to repeat the word, which was already mentioned. The one who cannot think of a word to continue the game loses.
3. “Complete the phrase”
The presenter comes up with the phrase, and players have to finish it. For example, “Today I woke up early because…”. “Because a rooster woke me up, or because I was going to pick mushrooms with my dad in the forest.” There should be as many variants as possible.
If you travel by car, you can look for an offered number on the license plates of oncoming cars. In the meantime, you can teach your child to distinguish between body types of cars or discuss traffic rules.
5. “I see, or I spy”
The presenter says: “I see something starting with the letter …”, saying the first letter of the object that they can see. Players must guess the object by asking questions. The main rule is to choose that object that is visible for every player.
6. “What does that mean?”
The child’s task is to explain how they understand this or that expression, proverb, or saying. You can help them by giving examples of using expressions.
7. “Endless continuation”
Somebody creates the first sentence, for example, “A cat is sitting.” The next player adds a word of any part of speech (you can add a word with a conjunction or preposition – they do not count) to any part of the sentence in such a way that the structure of the sentence remains grammatically correct. You can get a funny thing at the end. For example, “It seems that a neighbors’ giant green cat is sitting on a chair dreaming of a diet.” This game develops imagination, expands vocabulary.
8. “What can we do with it?”
The main point of this game is to look for unusual but possible ways of usage of different objects. For example, a newspaper can be used as a hand fan, a book cover, or a bookmark. But you cannot use it to wash the floor as the paper will quickly soak.
9. “A forbidden letter”
Somebody names a forbidden letter during the conversation. For example, it’s the letter “R.” You must continue the conversation but avoid words containing this letter. An easier variant of this game: the child answers parents’ questions, avoiding words with a forbidden letter.
10. “Everything is connected”
Think about two objects which are dissimilar at first glance—for example, a robot and a watch. Compete to see who can find more similarities between them. For example, both a robot and a watch go. Or both of them are mechanisms created by a human. This game develops unconventional thinking and teaches children to analyze the information.
11. I see…
Choose any quantity of an object, for example, its color. Look around and name objects of the same color one by one. There are a lot of interesting things through the window. Don’t limit the game only to what you see inside the car or railway carriage.
12. I pack…
You can only put items in your imaginary backpack that fit the rule. Make this rule, but don’t tell anyone.
A child, asking questions about whether it’s possible to put a particular object, must guess the rule. For example, you can put a tangerine and carrot. You cannot put a cucumber because it’s not orange. You can train memory, playing this game. Don’t make up rules but name those objects which you put into your backpack. Ask the child to name them again and add some new objects. Sometimes, children can remember a very long chain of words.
13. City game
Everybody knows this game. You must name a city whose name begins with the last letter of the previous city. There are other variations of this game for younger children. You can name just words using the same principle. For example: game – eagle – elephant – transport… Also, make up a list of words that start with the same letter. For example, take the letter “A” and think about a girl’s name, boy’s name, fruit, and animal. All of them must start with the letter “A.”
14. Have a look from the other side
Make up a situation. For example, it’s raining. Ask your child whether it’s good or bad. Why? Why else? When their answers are over, offer to find opposite sides. If rain is bad, then find something good about it. This game is also useful for adults who sometimes look at everything from only one point of view.
15. Make up a rhyme
First of all, explain to the child what a rhyme is. Start with easy words—for example, light – bright, school – rule. If the child copes with it easily, make up a funny verse together.
16. Games with numbers
- If your child knows numbers, you can play with them. Count something outside the window. For example, count buildings.
- Ask the child to find a particular number inside the car.
- Let the child guess how many candies you have behind your back.
- Think about a number and ask to name it. If the answer is wrong, tell the child if the number is less or more.
- It’s very useful for the child’s financial skills to count coins and learn how to distinguish them.
17. Drove past!
If you travel by car, look through the window and choose a tree or a building. Then close your eyes. You should guess when you drive past this tree or building. Then you open your eyes and say: “Drove past!” The winner is the one who guesses or is closer.
18. Our trip map
Take a map of the area you are driving through and colored markers. Let the child mark those places that you drove through. You can do it every trip, and at the end, you’ll get a colored map of your adventures.
19. A crocodile
Write any word on a sticker and stick it on the child’s forehead. The child’s task is to guess that word by asking questions. Possible answers are YES or NO. If it’s difficult for them to understand, just show the child how to do it.
Games for children under 3 years old to keep them busy
1. Old toys in a new way
Modern children have lots of toys, and they don’t play with all of them.
A fresh idea: hide old toys for a few days and get them back when you are on the road, saying:” Your nice cars are going with us. Let’s build a garage for them.”
Cars and an empty carton box will keep the child busy for a while.
2. Educational cards
If the child likes completing tasks, then a set of new or favorite educational cards will save in hard times of waiting on the road. There are some additional bonuses for parents. It’s a possibility to discuss with your child different events, phenomena, learn new words, and develop speech.
3. A treasure chest
Every child adores surprises. Only imagine how exciting your child will be if they get a real treasure chest before the trip. There you can put small toys, balls, lights, acorns, pebbles, magnets, coils of colored fluffy wire, and other “joys.” The time will pass very quickly while sorting all the riches. It won’t cost much to get such a chest, even some old objects will work as well.
4. Coloring books, stickers, wax chalks
A new coloring book with favorite characters from cartoons, bright stickers, and a notebook with a solid cover, which is comfortable to draw on, will give parents some peaceful moments. It’s more convenient for the child to use wax chalks rather than colored markers. Plus, they don’t leave traces.
5. A box of treats
A long road seems shorter with a box of treats – a plastic container with units (sold in stores with household products) where parents put some good nutritional snacks: dried fruits, nuts, cookies, sandwiches, chopped fruits. A favorite drink and wet wipes will also come in handy for the traveler.
6. Magnetic mosaics, puzzles
Puzzles allow the child to collect interesting pictures slowly and with concentration. Choose board games with a magnetic base to keep them from falling to pieces.
7. Modeling dough or plasticine
If the child likes modeling, don’t deprive them of this pleasure on the road. You can take modeling dough, plastic and soft plasticine, flat wide containers. There is plasticine, which doesn’t leave traces and is made of natural materials. So, if the child swallows a piece of it, nothing bad will happen.
8. Audio fairy tales
If games are over, but you are still far from your destination, it’s time to listen to audio fairy tales. Choose those fairy tales which will be interesting for the whole family or give your little passenger earphones.
If you don’t have the energy or the imagination, and you don’t want to give your kid gadgets with cartoons, a set of useful and interesting “entertainments” for your child’s age will come into play.
Just order a set of toys on the road for children from the brand Child is Busy, and you’ll save plenty of time and effort for the selection and packaging of games and activities.
By the way, such sets are a nice gift for children and parents. What can be better than peace and some free time?!
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Visit our store Cute Rascals to gift your child his favorite T-shirt!
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