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Traveling For Thanksgiving - Keeping Kids Busy

By Rick Chapo

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering the family, but how do you keep kids interested while in the car or sitting in airports? Have them keep journals.

Thanksgiving Travel

Nothing beats getting your extended family together for Thanksgiving. It is a great time to catch up and laugh about old times. The only aggravating thing, of course, is actually traveling to meet up. There are already stories of travel nightmares in the news two days before Thanksgiving. This can be particularly troubling if you have kids who become easily bored.

In these days of the Internet and video games, the average child seems to have an attention span of about 30 seconds. If a glassy-eyed child killing things on a screen is not your idea of good thing, what alternatives do you have? Giving your child a writing journal is a great way to keep them busy without resorting to violent video games.

For many kids, the only way to truly get their attention on a thanksgiving trip is to get them involved. The best method for doing this is to give them a journal and ask them to keep notes on everything they seem. At the end of the day, they should be encouraged to write a journal entry about what happened during the day. It will give them an outlet for their thoughts, promote good writing skills and preserve family experiences they would otherwise forget with time.

A good journal for kids will combine a number of characteristics. First, it should be compact. Second, it should have a case to protect it from rain, spills and just because kids will be kids. Third, the journal should contain blank areas for notes, doodles and so on. Finally, the journal should contain cue spaces to remind children to pay attention to certain things and write them down. Cues should include:

1. Who went on the family vacation,

2. Places visited and why they are important,

3. The most memorable experience each day,

4. New friends made and contact information for them,

5. Which family members were present, and

6. Impressions.

As time passes, the family vacations journals will remind your kids of past trips. Memories fade with time, even for kids. By keeping a journal, kids will open their eyes to things around them, enhancing your Thanksgiving family gathering. Hopefully, it will also keep them busy and away from video games.

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