Today's Works for me Wednesday has a theme... the car edition! There is one tip that I dearly love and we use it every time we take a long road trip. I personally do not like to have TV or DVD players in the car. We don't watch a lot of television and I don't want the children to be exposed to hours and hours of video watching just because we are confined in a car for hours at a time. But, we do make that time a fun and interesting experience through our 'Surprise Bags'
! I set these up a few days before the trip. There is one bag for each child for each hour of the trip. So, when they open the first bag, they have an hour of play with whatever treasure happens to be in the bag and they have the added fun of anticipating what wonderful treasure might be contained in the next hour's bag. We let the youngest child that is able keep up with the time and inform us all when the next hour has arrived... a great lesson in telling time!
I sometimes buy a few little things to include but most of the items in the 'Surprise Bags' are things I've come up with around the house. On one trip I took magazine pictures and cut out a small section of them taping them on to paper. The children had to guess what the picture was. The next hour their bags had the whole picture so they could check their guesses plus a new section of a new picture to try and guess. It was great fun!! I have also included pipe cleaners with instructions on what type of creation they were to build and then we held contests to see who had the most creative structure, who had the most interesting, who had the most colorful, etc. Small colorform books like the ones you can get at Cracker Barrel stores are big hits in the bags! Stickers are a favorite as are little dolls or Playmobil people that I pull out from the bottom of toy boxes and other such treasures they haven't seen or played with in quite a while. I will sometimes take the little toys and start a story for the child. Then the child is to finish the story acting it out with the characters or props I've included. It puts those little imaginations in gear!
Things I never include are noise makers, anything that will cause a mess (scissors, playdoh, markers, things with tiny pieces, etc.) or sweet food items such as candy and gum. I will occasionally put a nutritious snack in the bags and I time them carefully to make sure the snack bag arrives at the right hour when a snack is probably needed.
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!! And, they keep the children happy and content for hours and hours! It works for us!
For more great Works for me Wednesday tips, be sure to visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer!