On your next journey by car, give children a reason to look out the window! With a little research, a glue stick, scissors and index cards, you and your children can make picture/fact cards that follow your route and family interests. Everyone can try "spotting" on the road: monuments, buildings, cities, bridges, or anything your child loves.
What You Need:
- 5" x 7" Index cards
- Internet connection and printer
- Glue stick
- Zipper bag
What You Do:
- Choose a topic. Let your family's passions (and the route) be your guide. Is your child a budding environmentalist? Land forms. A junior baker? There are donut shops in every town. For specialty interests, consider "types of" (bridge trusses, trees, classic cars, etc.).
- Before you go, invite your child to help you find and print 25-50 topical images with a browser search. Jot down locations for images of specific buildings, parks or cities along the route on the prints.
- Ask your child to cut images into squares or rectangles to fit cards. Have your child lay a card on the table, choose an image, dab back with glue, then turn image over and apply.
- Have your child label images on the front, then copy location (if relevant) plus any remembered facts on the back. Pack finished cards in a large zipper bag with a few pencils.
- Play! One passenger is the recorder (take turns). Everyone else is a spotter. The object of the game is to find all the cards together. For specific locations, you should hand spotters the card as location nears. The first finder hands card to recorder. For specialty interests, you can deal out several cards to spotters (remind them to work together). The first finder hands card to recorder. In both cases, recorder notes time and date on back of card and first finder becomes recorder.
- Just the two of you? Add a road map with route highlighted. As soon as you hit the road, ask your child to mark card locations on the map with a pencil dot. Invite him to track driving progress and alert you as a location nears. Ask your child to spot and describe the subject as you pass, so you keep your eyes on the road!