Are we there yet?
Summer holidays = road trips
Maybe it's just a jaunt up the highway to Melbourne. Or perhaps it's an epic 12 hour journey to visit family interstate. Either way, road trips can quickly go pear-shaped and leave everyone tired, cranky and teary.
How about breaking up the trip with some echo games?
If you have a younger brother or sister, you probably remember how much little people love to echo. Kids will happily play copycat for hours on end, taking it way past the fun stage into the 'annoying little brat' stage. (I *may* have tortured my big brothers like this, and *may* have ended up with Chinese Burns as a result - ah, the joys of siblings!)
Anyway, the point is, kids love to echo, so turn this to your advantage in the car on a long trip and break up the boredom with some echo games.
Start simple and set up the routine with short sounds:
* animal sounds e.g. meow, woof, moo
* sound effects e.g. weee, raspberries, kisses
* familiar sounds e.g. train whistle, fire siren, ghost
Once they get the hang of it, you can try simple melodies. We sing lots of echo songs in Bluebird groups but you can always make up your own.
In class I use the 'golden microphone' to show whose turn it is to sing (when it is pointing to me - I sing, when it is pointing to someone else - they sing) but you can use anything that is handy. Try a hairbrush, drink bottle or banana! The key thing to remember is to sing FOR your child, not WITH your child.
You might remember some echo songs from your own childhood e.g. Down by the bay, My highland goat or Flea. Echo songs are a great way to develop your child's musical skills because - unlike most songs, which take time to master - echo songs enable even the youngest singers to join in immediately. Oh my! Here's one to try...
These little echo singers were in their first term at school (mostly 5 year olds). You can hear that they are all at different stages of their musical development. To encourage your little bluebird to sing freely and joyfully, accept any response as the correct one! The more echo games you play, the sooner they will be able to copy you in a tuneful way.
What other games do you like to play on car trips?