Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Best Car Activity -- EVER!

I'm still on a vacation high, so I am still thinking and writing about our vacation.  I'll get back to things around here soon, but I want to tell you about the best car activity that we have ever done ... really!  I know that I wrote about Travelling With Kids before, but this, to date unnamed, activity is the best one yet!

It was inspired by something I read in an old "Family Fun" magazine.  So after some thought and some additions and some tweaking, this is what I came up with -- insert impressive and fun sounding name here.

First I ran a piece of masking tape down the centre of the van all the way from front to back -- next time I think that I will use electrician's tape to make it look more like a road.

Then I taped place names and landmarks that we would pass beside the "road", starting with home and ending with the cottage.  Ideally, the distances would be more to scale, but I didn't have time to figure that out and in the end it didn't really matter.

We happened to have a car magnet (the magazine suggested using a dinky car, but I think that it would have been too heavy) and I glued a piece of velcro to the back so that it would stick to the ceiling of the van.  Every time we got to a place marked on our road, they (and later, when they couldn't reach, I) would move the car one step closer to our destination.

 I've always thought that I would like to give the boys a map to follow on our trips, so I printed one off for each of them and worked it into our new activity.  I highlighted our route on the map and tried to keep our "road" markers to places that were on their maps so that they could easily follow along.  In order to get our whole route on one page, I had to settle for less detail than I would have like, but they got the general idea.

 I then taped each map to the inside cover of a notebook and asked them to draw something for every marker that we reached.  It could be something that they saw, or something that they already knew about that place -- whatever they wanted.  And, yes, I am still finding stray markers in the van!

 Isaac's drawing of the Glooscap statue in Truro.

 Aidan's drawing as we were going by the airport.

Owen's drawing of ... well, he was a little bit less enthusiastic about this part of the activity, so I'm not sure where this is.

The best part was, not once did I hear "Are we almost there?".  Not once!  Ahhhh ...


  1. This is is simply brilliant!!! Fun & educational!! :)

  2. Peggy, that is one of the best car games that I have ever heard of - not nearly as violent as looking for "punchbuggies". It is too young for my kids but I am sure going to pass it along. Although as I sit here I my brain is starting to ponder other possible adaptations......hmmmmm - I will keep you in the loop.

  3. Thanks Dan, pass it on to anybody that you like -- I'm trying to get my readership up! And definitely let us know if you come up with any adaptations -- we're always looking for car activities!


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