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Volume II
July 30, 2004

Are We There Yet?
Submitted by Carol Heintz

         Traveling with children for long distances was always a challenge, so I made an activity bag for each child to gather their treasures in.

         At the start of the trip, it held basic writing and coloring materials. A trip journal helped us remember our feelings when we got back home, as well as making a chronological record to keep our pictures in order later. (They were allowed to take pictures with the family camera.) The bags were theirs to keep, and gave them some private place to store their things.

         My master bag of "goodies" held small items to keep their interest as they tired of familiar things, and these were dispensed in timed segments. Choosing an unexpected time (20 minutes past the hour) helped young ones learn to tell time. There were car games, cars, dolls, moldable figures, puzzles, cards, etc. When restless periods were leading to crankiness, I would bring out the group activities. A bag of M&Ms (or other colorful candy) often was the treasure, and I would hide a handful as they chose the color they wanted (taking turns with the brown, which was chosen most). When I opened my hand, they could have all the ones of that color. It was amazing how long the bag lasted. A rest stop, soon after, for exercise made travel more pleasant for all of us.

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