08 October 2007

"I Spy" keeps kids awake in the car

Here's how Jennifer keeps the car drowsies at bay:

Thought I'd share: My kids (2 1/2 and 4 yrs old) fall asleep very easily in the car. Sometimes it's a good thing, but sometimes they fall asleep during 15-20 minute drives home, which then interferes with their nap schedule. I can never quite transfer them to their beds without waking them up and then they are crabby the rest of the day from not getting enough rest. My latest trick in keeping them awake is to engage them in a game of "I spy." We all take turns "spying" on objects on the road and guessing what the person is spying. They are completely engaged and it works every time.

For us, I Spy also solves the inevitable sibling sniping that goes on in the back seat. Rather than engage in endless refereeing (and, in so doing, pay attention to behavior I'd rather ignore), I yell out "I SPY..." and suddenly the whining stops and everyone's playing.

What are your favorite in-the-car activities?

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf6d653ef014e8638ccd5970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "I Spy" keeps kids awake in the car:

Your comments

Feed Follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

One thing that keeps my daughter occupied in the car (she's nine) is crocheting. We get her a big ball of yarn and a hook, and she'll spend hours crocheting very long chains!

Singing!

Singing!

Singing!

Singing!

I think that I Spy is a great car game! I also play kids music and we dance and sing!

My daughter is two and we spend a lot of time counting - trees, cars, clouds etc...
If that doesn't work we read books, or sing songs.
It's oh so important that she not fall asleep... cuz dude, a whole day sans nap is baaaad.

On long car trips we talk or sing in rhymes. We first started with Raffi's "Down by the Bay" song and then started to morph. Sometimes this turns into tongue twisters too. "Whose shoes? Sue's shoes! Sue's blue shoes! Two blue shoes!" The funny rhymes keep them giggling and they come up with some great stuff.

Lollipops (big ones) work well too.

We play "I am thinking of an animal" that lives in the ... and has .. legs and eats... and keep giving out hints about the animal until someone in the car guesses it.

I also think eye spy is a good activity for kids when they're in the car. Aside from keeping them awake and busy, it's also great in developing their imagination and creativity.

Oh, thought of another my father used to do and my kids enjoy. I name an item in our house (for my 6yo, I'd try "stapler") then tell him that he needs to "walk" into our house from the back door and tell me everything he'd need to do to find that object. He might say, "I have to go about six steps in the kitchen and then turn right into the den and go up the stairs (14 of them) and..." It really works the brain.

We play a game based on the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" I start with one of the children's names, she takes the next line with something she sees, and so on. The novelty never seems to wear off.

I love this game. The kids do this all the time when they are in the car, and I believe that it greatly contributed to their development.

We close comments after a month to guard against spam. Want to talk about this hack? Join us on Twitter and Facebook!

 

Email updates

  • Never miss a hack -- the next one might change your life.

Asha's Book

  • At Amazon: Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less

    Find out why doing less is the key to resourceful, thriving kids, and a calmer, happier YOU.

    Minimalist Parenting is an encouraging roadmap for decluttering your schedule, your home, and your vision for family life. Reviewers call it "a much welcome alternative to the usual parenting advice."

    Learn More at Amazon

    Also available at Barnes & Noble or your favorite local bookstore.

Favorite Posts

Start Amazon shopping here

Ads