Todd Parr...the most amazing man, author, and chef.
It’s holiday travel time. Long lines, delayed flights, car rides…. sounds fun, right? Now picture all this with a child. While I personally don’t have a child, I have been blessed with the opportunity to sit next to a child on EVERY flight I’ve ever taken…. EVER. I’ve been told it is because I have the patience to be kicked, punched, and occasionally spit up on. While I’m not so sure about that, I do know that it has given me many tips to share about traveling with little ones.
- Pack extra everything. In addition to extra comfy clothes, diapers, snacks, and pacifiers, make sure YOU have an extra shirt as well. Nothing is worse than having spit-up on you for hours.
- Pick your seat ahead of time! Make sure to sit as close to the front as possible. I first learned this tip from a mother traveling and then saw the tip on Parents.com. Not only does it tend to be quieter, you get off first, but it also tends to be less bumpy.
- Many websites will tell you to pack an “I’m sorry” bag for others around you on the plane. That is a sweet idea…. but air travel is expensive and not everyone can swing the money or time to create personalized apology bags. I’ve received a “sorry” bag before and sure it was nice, but it is also nice when a parent simply sincerely apologies when their child kicks me in the face or closes my computer while I’m working. So no need to make a bag, but be prepared to apologize if your little one is physically disruptive. One thing I do beg, please never apologies for your little one crying…. they’re babies…. they cry…. everyone can get over it.
- Same goes for toddlers and preschoolers as it does infants, make sure you pack extra everything. However, you can pack them their own travel bag. Perfect for plane, train, or automobile. Nothing is more exciting to a child than their own personal bag. Fill it with crayons, stickers, paper, snacks, little odds to keep them entertained. The average attention span for a little one is about 15 minutes. Try to pack enough for the majority of the ride. An hour car ride; about four things. A three-hour flight; 10-12 things.
- Snacks. Yes. Lots of them. Not messy.
- If you are driving, make sure to plan stops ahead of time. Look at the route and make sure you have stop every 45 minutes to an hour. These breaks will be used for bathrooms and just to get the wiggles out. I know it may be pain but you will be grateful.
Travel safe and happy holidays,
We all want what's best for our children. We want them to be safe, kind, loved, the list goes on and on. Events this past year may have you feeling; sad, confused, scared and nervous. Your children may have felt this way too. Dialogue may be difficult and you may be looking for answers and resources. Guess what? You're not alone. Here are some resources and things to consider.
Links to books and activities which promote unity, kindness, and love
- The Association for Library Service to Children @WeAreALSC
- Anti-Defamation League @ADL_National
- Home Grown Friends @HGfriends
- Ohio ASCD
- Common Sense @CommonSense
- What do we do all day @momandkiddo
IDEAS FOR KINDNESS
See an activity which worked well? A book your family shared? Something not on the list, but is a great resource? Insert in the comments below and share.
I grew up learning American Sign Language. My younger sister has Down Syndrome and as a family we used a lot of sign language to communicate. When I started college the original plan was to become an interpreter. It wasn’t until I took an education course as an elective that I decided to become a teacher. As a teacher I LOVED introducing this beautiful language to the students. Within weeks the children were picking up signs faster than I could introduce them. I would look around the room during the day to see the children communicating with one another. Within months of introducing sign language, the principal paid me a visit. My class shared a wall with her office and I was always hyper aware of the insane noise level. However, her visit that day wasn’t to tell me that my class was a little disruptive. It was my room was so quite she thought we left the class.
As we walked down the halls I gave directions in sign language. When we sat at rug I used sign language. When we attended assemblies you better believe I reminded the children of our class rules in sign. Sign Language was implemented in every part of the class room. From behavior modifications to teaching literacy, it was used everywhere. Sign Language didn’t just live in the classroom; the children took the language home. Daily I had parents asking me what a sign was their child was doing. I found myself teaching parents almost as much sign as their children.
So…I know what you’re thinking…that’s great, but I don’t know any sign language. A wise person once told me that you only need to know one thing more than a child for them to consider you an expert. So that’s what you are going to do. Here is a weekly breakdown of how you can implement sign language without being fluent.
Look up and learn three signs to use during the week. Think about what you are working on and start there. I would always introduce a letter, a word that started with that letter, and a conversational sign like, “yes, no, please, thank you, mom, dad, friend.” Think of words the kids use a lot and start with those.
At the first rug introduce and practice all the signs. Then try to use it throughout the morning. Come second rug time see if anyone can remember. We would always play, “Name that Sign!”, it was a ton of fun and a great way to practice.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Repeat practicing the signs at rug and using them throughout the day.
Ask the children what signs they want to learn the follow week. It is a great way to insert voting and numbers. Add the winning sign to the list for the next week. Repeat.
So where are you going to find all these signs you ask? I HIGHLY recommend ASLpro.com. It is a video dictionary and extremely easy to use. It is also where you can go in a moment’s notice if a child asks you what a sign is. You can talk about what a dictionary is and then look up the sign together.
I love when teachers start using sign. Share in the comments below what worked and didn’t work for you.
And this is how it all began...