I really feel like one way to really rock it as a parent is to be prepared. For anything and everything.
That may mean something a little different for every family, but for us, when our kids were younger, it meant having snacks packed just in case.
It meant having band-aids in the bag just in case.
It meant having a ponytail holder on my wrist just in case.
It meant having baby wipes around just in case.
It meant having an extra diaper or pacifier just in case.
As the kids get older, though, we don’t need all of these extras to make sure kids are smiling and the public fits are avoided. Phew. Because goodness knows that wasn’t easy.
We always need to be prepared, that’s a given. But during the busy time of running kids to and from activities, doing homework and completing projects, in between work and meetings and managing a household, we can be still be prepared.
We can be prepared to make learning a priority all year long.
It doesn’t take much effort, really, and the payoffs are huge: kids learn and parents help.
Everyone spends time together.
Sounds like a win to me.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Learning on the Go–3 Ways Busy Families Can Make Learning a Priority All Year Long:
Believe me, I’m not talking about filling every single moment of your life with learning games; that’s not realistic at all. I’m talking about being prepared for those moments when kids say, “I’m bored,” or “What should I doooooo?” or “When will we get there?”.
For those moments,you’ll have your small artillery of awesome to pull out of your bag.
1. Keep learning games or math facts in Ziploc® brand Storage bags with Easy Open Tabs in your purse or car.
A little baggie of math facts.
A little baggie of alphabet cards.
A little baggie of spelling words or vocabulary terms.
Super easy. Print and go. Or, write them on index cards.
You can play these on the sidelines, in the car, on the bus, or in a waiting room.
Keep the learning fun!
2. Always keep a book or tablet and pen in a gallon-sized Ziploc® brand Storage bag for quick grabbing on the go.
Put a few books in a bag like they do a the library with their book bundles.
They can be totally random, or a more focused mix:
- books about pets;
- holiday books;
- Choose Your Own Adventure books;
- alphabet books;
- books from a series (Arthur, Thomas, Franklin, Fancy Nancy, etc.);
- travel books;
- magazines; etc.
And put a small tablet and a pen, pencil, or a few crayons in a bag.
Leave the bags by the door, or keep them in your car.
For the very same reason that kids tend to grab lunchbox snacks on weekends, they’ll grab these bags o’ fun: it’s easy. It’s quick. And it’s a novelty.
Read the books together, or let your kids at ’em alone. You may be surprised to see what your kids come up with with these bags–reading books with friends, playing games with the tablet and pen.
3. Have a small Ziploc® brand Storage bag in your pocket or backpack during hikes, walks or even park days–that way you can save and research unfamiliar findings later!
You never know what you’ll find even at your nearby neighborhood park. Maybe a few hidden treasures–beads or an earring? Or maybe a new bug? A fancy leaf? Maybe a new-for-you plant? A seashell or gem?
When you are prepared with a plastic bag in your pocket, you don’t have to worry about forgetting important things like the shape of the leaf or the color of a flower petal; if it’s okay with the park (read the rules which are usually posted nearby!), encourage your child to take a small sample so the research can continue at home.
There’s no better way to raise curious kids who are excited about learning than by taking the learning on the road this way!
How do you make learning a priority all year long? I’d love to hear your ideas and secrets! Leave a comment below–
Have you seen the new Ziploc® brand Storage bags with Easy Open Tabs? They are really super easy for kids to use. Definitely worth checking out. Find them here: Ziploc® brand Storage bags with Easy Open Tabs
fyi: This post was written as part of a partnership with Ziploc® brand. As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator.