Today’s topic is going to be one that will really impact and bless your life. I am giving you eight ways to connect with your kids in the car!
As busy mamas we spend a lot of time in the car, but I don’t want you to feel like just because you are a busy mom, that you don’t have time to connect with your kids. If you are ready to find out some quick, simple and fun ways to connect with your kiddos, let’s get started!
1. Ask Open Ended Questions
Here are a few ideas of what you can ask, and this is just a really great way to generate some very interesting conversations.
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- Who did you play with today?
- What have you always wanted to learn about?
- What was your favorite part of your day? (This is a great replacement for ‘how was school?’)
- What was your favorite project that you did today?
- What is something new that you learned today?
Asking open-ended questions is really a great way to generate conversation and also to show your children what it looks like to have conversation. I also encourage my children to ask these same question so that they can start to get an idea of what it feels like to have a conversation. This is a great opportunity to teach them social skills that are necessary at school and in the workplace.
2. Play the Suitcase Game
So the way that I was taught how to play this game is that you are going on a trip and collectively, you decide where you’re going. Once you decide where you all want to go, you need to decide what to bring in your suitcase. Start with the first letter of the alphabet and then continue. So that would be ‘A’, and then the next person in the car has a turn and they have to choose an item in the suitcase that starts with ‘B’ and so on.
If your kids are older, it’s really fun to memorize each item in order. So for instance, you would say okay I’m going on a trip to Florida and I’m bringing Applesauce, a Bouncy Ball and Cash. The next person would have to repeat ABC and then add D.
If your children are younger, this may be harder for them to memorize and you might need to guide them through the alphabet. This game will help your kids not only learn the alphabet, but strengthen their memorization skills as well.
Another fun game that I like to play with my kids is finding words that start with each letter of the alphabet, whether on road signs or words on the side of a truck or stores. This is really great when you’re going on longer trips.
It’s a fun way to connect with your kids and pass the time. It gives them that sense of connection with you and that sense of belonging that you care and that you’re not just putting the radio on and kind of drowning out their chitter chatter.
3. Play the Concentration Game
You say at the beginning, “This is a game of concentration, no repeats or hesitations, category is…” and then pick someone. They must choose the category. So for example, it could be something like animals, food or colors, and you go around in the car until someone is stumped. This game is a super fun way to pass the time, but it also keeps your kids’ minds sharp in the car, so they’re not just complaining and whining about when they are going to get to their destination.
4. Asking What’s Your Favorite…
Everyone takes turns asking questions and everybody has to answer the question and then it goes to the next person in the car. This is a fun way to get to know each other and just to be silly.
5. I’m Thinking of A…
You insert a category and then everyone takes turns asking yes or no questions. If you are thinking of an animal, people have to ask questions about it. So does it live in the jungle? Can it swim? Is it ferocious? Does it fly? This is a really fantastic game for teaching your children vocabulary and for teaching them how to be inquisitive and become detectives.
6. Imagine with Your Kids
So one of the things that I love to do and imagine with my kids is giving them an idea, like let’s build a dream house together. I ask my children specific questions about this dream house and we add to it. I just keep asking questions and we imagine, and we dream together and it’s so funny to see what my kids decide and what they dream up. This is a great imaginative activity and it’s teaching them communication skills as well as other information that you can’t learn at school or from a book. You can only learn it from meaningful connection with your loved ones.
7. Incorporating Learning into a Game
Instead of just quizzing your child, use word problems to get them thinking. For example, if Sarah has 10 cookies and she gives two of them away, how many does she have left? It is so interesting to see their inquisitive minds at work.
Another thing that you can do to incorporate learning is to introduce the concept of synonyms. For example, what’s another word for run? Then add on to their response. How do you spell the word jogging? I think it’s just fun when it’s outside of the context of let’s quiz each other or let’s sit down and do some word problems. It just feels a little less intimidating when you’re just playing a game and it’s just for fun.
8. Sing Silly Songs
My kids love to sing silly songs, but they don’t always remember that they love to sing silly songs! Some of the songs that I learned as a child from camp or from church are great because they often incorporate hand movements.
CDs are fun too, but there’s just something really special about just singing with your kids as loud as you can. Your kids don’t care if you have a good voice, they only care about that intentional connection time that you give them, even when you’re on the go in the car.
I hope that you find these eight ways to connect with your kids super helpful. I have a free download for you to access to all of these different ideas described with directions and examples.
If you’ve enjoyed today’s post, I would love for you to please share this with other mamas who need quick, simple, easy ways to connect with their kiddos in the car and also follow us @thepurposegathering on Instagram.
And as always mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.