Musical Tips for Travel with Your Child

Travelling with Your Young Child – 5 to 7 years

Mapping It Out

Planning, singing, memory, sequencing, spatial relations, rhythm, creativity, fine motor skills, pre-reading with picture symbols-all this learning is summed up in the words “Choo-Choo-Choo.” This song accompanies a map activity that will involve your young child in your travels in a new way, allowing him to start to learn about the visual representation of movement and spatial orientation through charting your trip. Variations on this activity provide other valuable benefits.  Create and follow a room-scale map of part of your home to help your child follow a path and become more observant of surroundings.  Or invite your child to map out an imaginary journey and experience the creative process of developing and acting out a story from start to finish.

Been There, Got the Sticker

Before your trip, create a simple map for your child, outlining the course of your journey. Invite him to watch as you explain what you are doing. You will need:

* paper

* crayons or markers

* stickers

Your map doesn’t need to be to scale, but the general shape of the course should be accurate.   It also should be extremely simplified. Your map might be as basic as a straight line from your house to grandma’s and back again.   Along the mapped path, make squares for planned stops. Write the town or landmark name beside each square.  To help your child read the map, you might also include a visual (outside of the box) relating to the stop.

As you travel, help your child consult the map to follow your course.  For each town passed through or landmark identified, give your child a sticker to put in the corresponding box on the map.  If you see additional towns or landmarks, add boxes for these to the map and give your child stickers to put in these as well.  You may wish to create two maps-one for the outbound trip and one for the return trip.

Adapt the words to “Choo-Choo-Choo” according to your mode of transportation (“Goin’ on a car ride, beep-beep-beep…,”  “Goin’ on a plane ride, fly-fly-fly…,” etc.). Sing the song as you create the map.  Then sing on the trip changing the words to create a question and answer exchange about the trip.  To do this, sing the song once through on the question “Where are we goin’, beep-beep-beep?”  Then let your child sing it back to you with the answer “Goin’ to ______, beep-beep-beep.”

To download any of the songs suggested here for your mp3 player, just go to Play Kindermusik

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