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 out 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. It can be a soap
opera, a mystery, science fiction or just plain silly. And do
not forget Twenty Questions.
There are many games found in books. Ask your librarian.
One such game is Instant Rhymes. The idea is to form
couplets. The other players guess at the word you have in mind
to complete the second line. For example: I know a word that
rhymes with flat. When on your head, you call it—-(hat). For
younger children, you can merely use the rhyming words
themselves. For instance, you think of “need” and “seed”. You
tell the others your first word, “need” and they begin to guess
what the second word may be–read, reed, breed, lead, greed and
so on until someone guesses “seed”.
Since cars now have tape decks, I recommend great books
on cds for long trips. You can get cds 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 are also recordings of famous radio dramas.
And do not forget singing. There is a company which
publishes books with cassettes of songs for children. One book
includes silly songs and traditional songs such as:” John Brown’s
Body ”, “Animal Fair”, “Ten in a Bed”, “Found a Peanut”, and
“Three Jolly Fishermen”. There is another book with cassettes
of fingerplays that includes: “She’ll Be Comin Round the
Mountain”, “Down By the Station”, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”
and “Where is Thumbkin”.
Finally, ordinary, relaxed communication with the family is
very important. Travelling in a car presents a marvelous
opportunity for families to learn more about with 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 trips you remember taking
as a child. Recount the stories you heard as a child about
prior generations. This is family history passed on.
I encourage you to plan ahead for your trips so that
they can be fun for everybody. Enjoy the rest of the