Traveling, whether somewhere close or far away, is often a part of every family’s holiday season. Whether your child is a newborn or approaching their preschool years there are ways to incorporate fun language development activities into your next trip.
Put together a “bag of tricks”!
It can be helpful to have a special collection of fun toys and activities for traveling that will keep your little ones entertained on long trips. Here are some ideas:
- Paper and crayons (triangular crayons don’t roll away!)
- 100 First Words Sticker Book
- Water WOW coloring books
- Travel Tegu Blocks
- LCD Doodle Board
- Create -A-Scene Magnetic Books: Magnetic Town, Magnetic Dinosaurs, and More!
*Curious what to pack specific to your child’s listening devices/technology? Check out our Audiology Corner: Vacation Packing List!
Read Books about Transportation
Depending on your mode of transportation it can be helpful to pick a book all about how you will be traveling. Taking a train? Pick a book about trains, like Trains, by Byron Barton. Flying on an airplane? How about Amazing Airplanes by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker. Going on a road trip? Check out Counting Cars by Roger Priddy!
Travel Related Experience Books
Experience books are a way of documenting travel experiences through pictures and simple text. Experience books are a great way to prepare for activities that are upcoming or reflect back on activities you’ve done in the past. Check out our post Experience Books for more details on how to make an experience book!
Here are some topics you can focus on for making travel experience books:
People we will meet: Chances are if you are traveling for the holidays, your child will see many new or less-familiar faces. In order to prepare your child to see friends and family members, put together an experience book of pictures of the people that they will see. Practice naming their family members before you see them, and after your trip you can review everyone you saw. If your child is attentive, take time to talk about similarities and differences using a mirror to look at themselves while referencing the pictures
First, Next, Last: Helping your child organize memories by distinguishing what happened first, next, and last will support their ability to more effectively communicate their ideas or retell stories as they get older. Knowing that there is a predictive and ordered series of events is also reassuring to young children who are cautious of new experiences. Put together an experience book with pictures from your trip and talk about the order of events. “FIRST we packed our suitcases, NEXT we got on the airplane, LAST we got to Grandma and Grandpa’s house!