Anyone who lives in Lagos knows about Lagos traffic. It’s not always as bad as its rep but the thing about Lagos traffic is that it may not get you today, it may not get you tomorrow but it will get you in the end. And when it gets you, it will be apocalyptic, cause you to contemplate reincarnation as a bird and pretty much claim to be done with parenthood, life, humans, earth. When you catch a bad jam and the kids are whining and you’ve run out of snacks, juice etc and all that carefully planned lesson time is slipping away…then you can just lose it a little.
Like most parents I’m sure, I’ve had to come up with my own strategies for keeping cool in traffic and some of them work even if you’re the one driving. Here are there of my favourite for preschoolers – Please share your strategies too for whatever age!
Having a few books that they love in the car is amazing. Firstly because you have a captive audience. They can’t fight, run away, rip the book out of your hand or smear jam on it. You have their full attention, close up. Secondly they love repetition, the more familiar a book the better.
2. Counting games.
I store little counting games in sandwich bags in the car. Its not hi-tech. just some cut outs, paper plates with sticky dots on them etc .
I usually have CDs or USBs with great songs we can sing along to – again, the audience is captive so a great time for those French songs you want them to learn. Even if I don’t have any music, I try to sing and clap either numbers or favourite rhymes/tunes. Singing can really lift the spirits. Most of the time I’m actually singing for me! “Kumbaya, anyone?”
4. Hand Puppets
Ok, not one for the drivers but whip out a hand puppet and watch their faces! I love hand puppets for communication, talking about behaviours or emotions etc.
5. Paper plates
I love paper plates – I think its just me. They’re a blank canvas, a bit sturdier than paper but nothing precious. I use these as my inspiration pads in the car. To quickly test my kids, entertain them with a picture (I’m an awful drawer) or let them destroy if I need a minute. Paper plates are awesome!
What tricks do you have up your sleeves?