Thursday, March 30, 2006

Vacation Car Trips

Heading down south for a spring break? How will you entertain the children for all those hours? Many people will be looking at portable DVD players. There is nothing wrong with that, but it isn't the only way to entertain children. Take a couple hours to coordinate many different experiences for kids. First, there is the curiosity factor. What's in the box?
What's in the box is a great way to sort through some forgotten small toys that are at the bottom of the toy box. Pull them out and put them into a shoe box. Also, buy some new markers, a pad of paper, and other craft supplies. Cheap lap boards can be found in lots of stores to serve as a flat surface for arts and crafts. The library has a lot of craft books - but choose some for the simplest and easiest ideas. Children can make masks with paper plates. Cut the plate in half, indenting for the nose, cut out eye holes, and punch a place for ribbon or yarn to hold the mask on the face. Children will spend hours (if this is something they like to do) decorating animal faces, glitzy princess masks, or bird faces with gorgeous craft feathers.
How about legos? Using small ziploc bags, toss in a couple of handfuls of different lego pieces and let the children build. There are books in the library for building simple items that could be brought along on the trip to inspire kids.
Don't forget music and book cassettes or CDs or the children. If you get tired of listening to their music or stories, let them have a walkman or discman in the back seat. Beware of too high volume, though!!! Voorheesville library just put on the shelf a lot of new items. Check them out. Remember that the DVDs are fun and will give you some needed quiet, but it shouldn't be hours of movies. A little crafting, some small toys, puppets, coloring, snacks, music and car games will all make the trip as enjoyable as the vacation destination.
Last, but not least, stretch those little legs every time you make a stop. Car seats protect our children, but they are so very confining. Walk around the outskirts of a parking lot, do a few exercises and stretches, and also some hopping and jumping. Enjoy your trip!
Joyce Laiosa