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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday-- Teaching kids in the car

Added Note: I added links for the Children's Songbook CD and States CD.
Another added note: You can download the MP3 of The Books in the Old Testament and The Books in the New Testament from this page. You can listen to them before downloading or burning to a CD if you want.

I know it’s not the car edition anymore, but I was inspired by a few of last weeks’ posts to share what works for us.

I have no problem talking to my babies and kids in the van or pretty much anywhere because it teaches them vocabulary and communication. I want them to talk to me when they’re teens so I’m starting young to encourage it through example. And every once in a while to add variety to our regular trips I put on a kid CD. By 4 ½ years my oldest son knew all fifty states in alphabetical order and their capitals from listening to a fun musical CD about his states. My three year old daughter knows most of them as well—because it’s fun. Children love to sing and most children’s songs teach something, be it daily routines, rhythm and rhyme, counting, emotions, colors, you name it! And songs make it easy to learn. My kids also learned the Books of the Old Testament and New Testament in order because of songs (from the Primary Children's Songbook).

Car games teach a lot as well. And you don’t need supplies most of the time.
1. “I spy” teaches them to be observant and takes their mind off of having a tantrum about how long they’ve been in the car. They love “I spy.” “I spy with my little eye . . .” and then you describe what you see with more and more detail until they see it. And you let them take turns. And there’s no score. Just fun and lots of praise.

2. Counting cars by color. “Let’s count all the red cars.”

3. Quiz games. What animal says . . . ? Or how many sides does a hexagon have? What does red and orange make? How do you spell . . .? Who was the fifth president of the United States? Where does the president live? Just rattle off a bunch of random questions and they’ll feel really good about themselves if they know the answer and if they don’t, they’ll know it for next time.

4. One from my youth I have passed on to my kids is ducking our heads as we drive under overpasses, and lifting our feet over all cattle crossings and railroad tracks. I guess that one doesn’t teach a whole lot, but it’s a fun family thing to occupy their minds until we reach our destination.

5. Help me remember my shopping list (one of my favorites). This reminds me of a really old Sesame Street episode about a child skipping to the store reciting the three or four items over and over again so as not to forget them. I’ll say to them, “Okay kids, we are going to Wal-Mart to get: bananas, band-aids, light bulbs and tights. I’ll say bananas, and then Pookie you say band-aids, G remember light bulbs and I’ll help Bun say tights. Can you remember that?” And then we’ll go in order and eventually everyone is saying the whole list – or more like chanting the whole list to a rhythm. This usually results in as soon as we get there the welcome lady or man handing out the smiley stickers and the children reciting to them what we’re getting and everyone else we come in contact with. But hey, no tantrums and good helpers learning to memorize at a young age works for me!

26 comments:

The Preacher's Wife said...

I play the shopping list game too..give each kid 3 or 4 things we can not leave the store without...works pretty well!!

Overwhelmed! said...

I love these car game suggestions! :)

My little Snuggle Bug is such a chatter box in the car. We carry on grand conversations while traveling! :)

justabeachkat said...

Good ideas! I'll pass these on to my daughter-in-laws.

Mrs.B. said...

Great ideas! Makes the car rides more fun too. (o:

Joyful Days said...

I do the shopping list--but because if I don't I forget the needs by the time I'm in the third aisle!!!

We do audio-books, Classical Kids CDs about composers, and a lot of classical music. Geography is great in the car.

I have a long trip coming up on Friday.

Mom of three said...

I love it! Especially #'s 4 and 5!! We shall try these. Thanks!

Rae said...

I love these great ideas! Your little one knows the states in alphabetical order at THAT young of an age? You've got the next Einstein on your hands! Thanks for sharing, enjoy the rest of your week! =)

Noodle said...

We do some of these same tricks! Just tonight we were taking turns thinking of words that start with the letter B. :)

For straight-out learning, my absolute favorite CDs are the stories by Jim Weiss. We're doing Story of the World with him!

Sheila in Seattle said...

Good ideas. What CD taught your child the names of the states? What other CDs do you recommend? I'm pretty tired of our CDs which get played over and over and over and .....

Jen said...

I would love the name of the state cd as well.

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

I'm another one who would love te name of the states cd. As well as the one with the books of the bible.
We have a cd about verses in the bible and we sing htose all the time. I also have been listening to some of my own cd's recently (It's been SOOOO long), and Kami has actually been asking for them (Dinner in Italy, Andre Bocelli, and Tim's celtic mix).
Another thing is that I have always wanted to learn another language, preferabley Italian, and now that I have a new comp with sound I've been learning online. So I talk to Kami in small Italian phrases and she's learning too.

I always love your ideas!

MC Milker said...

Great ideas! I've been trying to encourage talking in the car for exactly the reason you mention - to get them so used to it and they will talk to you when they are a teenager!

Since children sit in the back- I think, the lack of "face-to-face" contact may make it easier for them to talk someday.

Jane said...

Fantastic Ideas! Somehow this should be marketed...a book of tips with a CD? Something to think about!

devildogwife said...

I would like to know the name of both the states cd and the books of the bible cd. I've been wanting something like that, and we have been spending a lot of time in the car traveling back and forth. Great ideas!!

Lines From The Vine said...

Great suggestions! We have schooled in the car so many times and my children always learn so much!

Thanks for sharing yoru ideas!

Blessings!
Tracy

Heather said...

Great ideas! I'm writing some of these down for our 8 hour drive on vacation this year!

I find car time is a great time to have serious talks, too. The child isn't forced to looking you in the eye if they are uncomfortable and they are kind of a captive audience. My oldest is 9 and we have had some great car talks!

Diane said...

Great idea! And when the kids are older.....teen years...you know....the car is a great place to communicate and catch up. They're trapped! Just teasing, a little!

Diane

Myfriendconnie's husband said...

When my kids go to golf tournaments with me we play the ABC game. In this game you must find the letters of the alphabet, in order, on the various signs you see while driving. Liscense plates are off limits but anything printed on a car or truck is fair game. Sometimes we wait a long time looking for a Dairy Queen or pizza Hut

Nikki said...

Myfriendconnie's husband,

Oh ya! I forgot we do that too! That is a great game. I still love to play it with my sister and now that we're older we have to find the letters at the start of words. The only letter that can be in the middle is "X" like in "EXIT". Thanks for sharing!

Nikki

Timalee said...

Thanks so much for the great ideas and the CD links!

MommaBlogger said...

Great ideas. We've done the "find a (color) car" and such, but I like the idea of making them remember the shopping list. I can barely remember it myself some days!

WHISKEY PUZZLER said...

lovely page

Alexandra said...

Car learning is neat. Thanks for the links!

Darcy said...

Great ideas! We have a CD with our math cirriculum that teaches skip counting that we've listened to in the vehicle several times. The only problem is that I end up skip counting by 3's to the tune of jingle bells for the rest of the day! :)

Thanks for the links....I'm going to go check them out.

The Lazy Organizer said...

Great ideas! A fun game that we play in the car is counting flags. I know it sounds boring but the kids have fun looking for American flags! Just make sure you add all the flags together and not make it a competition or it will turn into a fight over who sees the flag first!

Kali said...

As they get older you can do something fun with math. I take the three numbers of a license plate and say them outloud. The younger ones can add the numbers, the older ones can multiply. For teens you can multiply the first two and divide by the third.

This keeps mom and dad's brains in shape too because you've got to know the answer!

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