To do: Follow your child’s interests to fill down time in the car or at the doctor’s office. See ideas below!
Time: 10 minutes
Materials: Materials that match your child’s developmental needs
The best way to help your child fill time in the car or while waiting on adult oriented things like doctor’s visits is to provide activities that truly interest them. It’s easy to fall back on coloring books or the Frozen soundtrack, but what if you’re child only has a passing interest in those things?
Today, grab a pen and paper and brainstorm specific topics that your child is interested in RIGHT NOW and find ways to incorporate those into your free time. Here are some starting points:
- Books: It’s easy to find children’s books on practically any topic, so no matter what your child is interested in, you can cater to it with a carefully selected library selection.
- Objects of interest: Pack a small “surprise bag.” Nothing extravagant, just objects that fuel their curiosity. Your child can only open it when you are on your way! For example, do they love dinosaurs? Find a sticker book filled with them. Into blocks? Find a small set, 5 or so, and pack a flat surface with edges so they can have a building station.
- Music: The type of music you’re playing in the car or on headphones can drastically set a mood, so think carefully. Do you want upbeat music that makes you tap your toes, or something a bit calmer to relax? Gauge your child’s mood and go from there. Think outside the box with classical music, world music, new age, or musicals to sing along to.
A Note on Technology:
If your family chooses to utilize tablets or touch screens for your children, make sure your devices are pre-loaded with educational videos or games. Have it at full battery ahead of time, or ask your child to make sure it’s charged, and keep the charging chord handy.
If you’d prefer to unplug, don’t be afraid of a confrontation with your child. Instead, have a few other activities ready, and prepare to be calm for the 2 minutes your child might bemoan the absence of their favorite YouTube series.
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