Preschooler in a car: a kindergarten on the road
Safety rules when transporting preschoolers
Statistics have been hitting hard. It say that almost 15% of preschoolers die in car accidents. Thus, first and foremost, you should transport children only in restraint chairs and only in the back seat of the car. Note. A Russian law of 12 July 2017 states that transporting children up to 12 years old in the front seat of the car with safety belts is only possible in case you use specialised child-restraint systems (a child safety seat or a baby seat). In the back seat of the car a child safety seat shall be compulsory to age 7. For a child from 7 to 12 years old parents can use either a child safety seat or a safety belt.
You are not allowed to leave preschoolers alone in the parked cars. Children younger than 7 years old require adult supervision. When transporting children younger than 7 years old, you should use a child-restraint system that corresponds to the height and weight of a child.
What can amuse a child on the road
Preschoolers are children aged between 3 and 6-7 years old (until they enter school). A child of this age has much more energy than an adult. That is why he cannot stay perfectly still during a long period of time. Preschoolers can stay focused on one thing only for 10-15 minutes (three-year-old) and maximum for 20-25 minutes (six-year-old). Then they need to try another activity and have a dynamic pause (time for physical exercises that allow children to relieve emotional tension transforming it to physical activity).
When you are on the road, it will be difficult for you to make a stop every 30 minutes. However, children are usually active in the morning hours while in the afternoon they mostly have a so-called “nap time”. During this time, a child can fall asleep for 2-3 hours. Furthermore, if you stop frequently, it also helps the driver since he can get a little exercise.
While on the road, a preschooler can:
- listen to audio stories;
- watch cartoons on a tablet or a laptop;
- draw on a tablet or a laptop;
- play online games of available level (especially brain games);
- make clay figures;
- inflate the balloons.
Moreover, a child should eat something from time to time. During the stops, a child should exercise a little. If there is some time left, the adults can give a child something to eat. We strongly recommend you not to take short-lived commodities. Let the child use a straw for drinking. Take a tray and use it as a table. Flatware, dishes and cups should be unbreakable and made of plastic (disposable). And do not forget about the napkins.
Entertainment on the road
Reusable colouring book is a real find. An ordinary colouring book is difficult to colour when on the road. Unlike an ordinary one, it allows to easily fill the brush with water and touch the paper. As a result, a child sees details and characters that he hasn’t seen before. There is also a special search telling a child the name and quantity of subjects he should find. In short, that’s an awesome thing, easy to use, small, nice and colourful.
Magnet book is a wonderful idea for travelling in a car. You don’t need a table. The box itself is not heavy. The game is interesting. You can play it by a template or use your imagination. The game gives full scope to imagination of the child. There are several versions of the game: with vehicles, houses and portraits, for girls and boys.
Play “window games”. For example, you can count all the red cars that you see or the she-goats on each side of the road. You can also make up stories or watch the clouds and tell what they look like.
Play “word games”. If a child is not old enough, invite him to play the so-called “Snake” game (when one player calls a word and another one calls a word that ends with the same letter as the previous one). You may also try to call as many words that begin with a “x” letter.
Here is a list of other games that may be interesting for your child:
- “What can be put into the pot” (a child should call only those subjects that can be put in the pot);
- “Word association game”;
- “Name that tune”;
- “Choose the odd word”;
“Whose child is this” (e.g. you say “a cow” and your child says “a calf”).
You can also make verses and sing songs!
Parents whose children are only learning how to read should show them road signs and billboards. Besides, you can also ask riddles and recite tongue twisters.
Let the child take those toys that he likes. However, if you have a long way to go, prepare something new for your child — something he has not seen before. That will be a real surprise!
Don’t forget to buy an organizer and put it on the back of the front seat. Take a baby car table for a child to put the puzzle together, ride toy cars or put the dolls.
Always keep in mind that the time spent on the road is for communicating with each other. On weekdays parents are usually too busy to give enough attention to a child or just be near him. Appreciate these moments!
A trip with children requires accurate preparation, love, patience and care. Plan your trip carefully and your children will never feel bored. By the way, do not forget your International Driving Permit!