Thursday, August 18, 2011
Two Happy Road-Trippers
Rather than a big summer vacation, we’ve made several shorter jaunts this year – which has meant a considerable amount of time on the road. As a result, I’ve been on the lookout for car-friendly entertainment. Scored a Crayola dry-erase lap board on clearance at Target, found travel scavenger hunt cards in the dollar bin at Joann’s, and we keep the portable DVD charged and stowed under the backseat just in case. But my favorite find this season has been a toy combined with (you guessed it) a book!
Look – in the backseat – it’s a toy, it’s a book, no it’s a lifesaver!
Ok, so lifesaver might be a better descriptor for the carseats my kids are riding in, but I really had no idea how cool this would be when I ordered it! I have had my eye on I Play’s Peek a Book Bags for some time now – car toy, church toy, diaper bag toy – many possibilities. Then I as I was checking for new options and price drops, I found the Peek a Boo Pack. It combines the Everything A to Z Peek a Boo bag with a board book in a travel friendly fabric case. The bag is made of cloth with a clear vinyl window. Inside, tiny plastic and rubber objects representing all the letters of the alphabet are hidden among tiny white beads. The user (you’ll find this as entertaining as your child) manipulates the beads by squishing and turning the bag while peeking through the window to find the objects. The book features pictures and rhymes highlighting the hidden items and giving children a master list as well as increased motivation to search for them. We had a blast with it on a recent 4 hour car trip. Not only did we search for the objects as directed by the book, but we made up our own games like who could find objects the fastest, finding objects in alphabetical order, finding an object then identifying its beginning sound, and finding an object then challenging a partner. I also purchased the Language Development Eye Spy Bag; while it does not include a book, it does come tagged with a card giving suggestions for vocabulary building activities like practicing letters, colors, shapes, even prepositions, and pronouns. By having two bags we avoided sharing issues and both are definitely entertaining. Your child can benefit from both the cognitive as well as the physical challenge of finding the objects among the beads. This is an item that will be part of my travel bag from now on – B even asked for one this week during a short ride to the grocery store!
Appropriate for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, primary grades.
photo courtesy M Kuhn via Flickr