My attitude toward driving can pretty much be summed up by that memorable line from the 1980s cult classic “Repo Man: “The more you drive the less intelligent you are.” So I was a bit dubious when the headline in The Daily Beast promised to “Make Your Kids Smarter in the Car.”
Moreover, as the mother of two boys, I would gladly settle for “quieter” without the IQ building. Unfortunately, Daily Beast scribe K. Emily Bond did not provide such helpful hints probably because A) There is no way short of installing a television in your back seat to keep the kids quiet and B) TV watching makes kids dumber, not smarter.
If I can’t keep them silent, I might as well improve the IQ of their future conversation. So I decided to take a look. A glance at the list does provide some nifty travelling tips on how to keep those backseat drivers occupied during the long, lonely miles. Some highlights:
For the little Nascar enthusiasts, a handy-dandy 9” X 12” baking sheet can serve as a readymade racing strip for Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars. Cheap and greased for action.
Have a GPS? If you’re not busy using it to find your way, try Geocaching — sort of like smart apps meets treasure hunt. Once the general area of the hidden geocahche is determined, players must get mom and dad to pull over so that they can find the item. Don’t worry about not being in a geocache-friendly zone. There are currently 1, 140, 318 active geocaches hidden worldwide.
Not everything has to be of the high-tech variety. Bring along those age-old diversions, the Etch A Sketch and the Magna Doodle.
Bond cautions parents not to forget the simple, time-consuming pleasures of such driving game standards as “Red car! Blue Car!” My two boys have their own version of this they like to call “Spotto.” The rules are simple: when spotting a yellow vehicle yell “Spotto” and then slug your brother as hard as you can. To quote the immortal Repo man, “The more you drive…”
Want more tips? Go read the full article.
Photo: Benedict Francis