linda howard Posts

14 New Activities for Your Next Summer Road Trip

Tyndale Kids

van-in-parking-lotThis summer, we asked the Tyndale Kids Team about their favorite summer road-trip activities. These fabulous ideas are sure to result in endless hours of road-tripping fun, this summer and beyond. Enjoy!


From Teri McKinley (Coauthor of Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? and Does God Take Naps?):

  • Pictionary Alphabet Game. While in the car, give each passenger some paper and a pencil. As you travel, draw pictures of things you see that start with each letter of the alphabet. For example, for the letter A, draw an armadillo you see on the side of the road; for B, draw a bumper sticker you see on the back of a car. The first person to draw pictures for all twenty-six letters of the alphabet wins! Consider giving the winner a prize, such as choosing where you will eat or picking a treat at the gas station.coloring-drawing-markers-activities

From Kathryn O’Brien (Author of the “My First Bible Memory” board books):

  • Endless Coloring. Let your kids draw and color to their hearts’ content without ever running out of paper! Here’s how: Check the dollar store for an eight-by-ten-inch picture frame. Cut a piece of white construction paper to size, slip it into the photo slot, and replace the back of the frame. Buy a package of dry-erase markers, bring along an old sock for an eraser, and voila! You have a do-it-yourself mini-whiteboard. The easy wipe-off boards can also be used for games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, Pictionary, or Dots and Boxes.

From Sarah Jean Collins (Author of God Made the World ):

  • Person, Place, or Thing. One game we always played as a family while growing up was Person, Place, or Thing. It’s basically the same as Twenty Questions, but without the limit on the number of questions. One person picks something that is either a person, place, or thing, and everyone guesses what it is by asking yes or no questions. When we play this game with our four-year-old daughter, we let her be on a team with either me or her dad. It’s a simple game, but it can get competitive; and our daughter’s contributions are always entertaining.

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From Linda Howard, Associate Publisher for Tyndale Kids:

  • Family Karaoke. When my daughter was young and our family took road trips together, we would create a playlist of favorite songs to listen to while we were on the road. We’d sing together at the top of our lungs and make up silly choreography to go along with the lyrics. My husband, my daughter, and I still talk about the fun we had while traveling together!
  • Scattergories for Little People. Another game that my grandkids love to play on long road trips resembles the game of Scattergories. Someone in the car picks a letter of the alphabet, and the whole car then works together to come up with as many words as they can that begin with that letter. You’d be amazed at the hours of entertainment this simple game provides for little ones!

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From Jesse Doogan, Tyndale Kids Acquisitions Editor:

  • Can’t Talk until You See. I was in my midtwenties before I realized that not everyone plays Can’t Talk until You See. It’s basically I Spy, but it has the added benefit of competitive quietness. The person who is “it” chooses an object, such as a red mailbox, and everyone else has to find that object. While the players are searching, no one is allowed to talk—not even the person who is “it.” (This rule was added as soon as we kids were old enough to figure out loopholes! Around that same time, we also learned that mom is always allowed to talk and cannot lose the game.) When one of the searchers finds the item, they yell “there it is!” That person becomes “it” and chooses the next object.

From Tim Wolf, Tyndale Kids Buyer:

  • The Name Game. This road-trip game is perfect for your slightly older travelers. To start the game, decide on a theme for the first round, such as “Movie Titles.” The first player comes up with a word or phrase that fits that theme. The second player must use the last letter of the first player’s word or phrase as the starting letter in their own response. Keep the list going until a player is stumped by a specific letter.

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From Emily Bonga, Publishing and Marketing Coordinator:

  • The State License Plate Game. Work together as a family to find as many different state license plates as possible throughout your trip. Each time you find a new one, brainstorm the different things you know about that state. For example, identify the state’s major cities, popular sports teams, climate, etc. If anyone in the car has visited the state, invite that person to share favorite memories from their trip.

From Kristi Gravemann, Tyndale Kids Marketing Manager:

  • The Shared Story Game. One person in the car starts by telling a story. It can be something as simple as a sentence or two, just to get the story going. Then, another passenger pipes in, providing an additional sentence or so to continue the narrative. Keep alternating, with each person adding a bit to the story when it’s their turn. This game is a fun way to practice teamwork and to use imagination at the same time!
  • The Imagination Game. My daughters love to look around at our fellow travelers and imagine where they are going. These can be people in an overhead airplane or driving in the next lane on the highway. Give each traveler a backstory, answering questions such as, Where are they coming from? and Where are they headed? This game is a fun way to spark creativity in your kids during a long drive.

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From Crystal Bowman (Coauthor of Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? and Does God Take Naps?):

  • ABC Bible Characters. For every letter of the alphabet, think of as many names as possible from the Bible. For example, A: Adam, Abel, Aaron, Abigail, Anna. Write the names on a piece of paper and see which letter has the most names. Try to do this without using your Bible, but some letters might be challenging, so if you need a little help, open it up and see what you can find.

Krom Kelsey O’Kelley, Tyndale Kids Production Assistant:

  • Road Trip Trivia. When my family went on road trips, we took along a pack of United States Trivia cards. We left the game board behind and brought only the cards and a pad of paper. The paper was used to keep track of points for correctly answered questions. I highly recommend bringing cards from your favorite trivia game on your next road trip.

From Sarah Rubio, Tyndale Kids Editor:

  • The “I’m Going on a Trip” Alphabet Game. One game that I loved growing up was the “I’m Going on a Trip” alphabet game. The first person says, “I’m going on a trip, and I’m bringing [something that starts with the letter A].” The next person repeats the first person’s item and adds something that starts with the letter B. This continues until the last person is required to repeat the entire alphabet of items.
  • I also love audiobooks for road trips! We’ve listened to some Focus on the Family Radio Theater albums as a family, such as this Ultimate Road Trip Family Vacation Collection, which I definitely recommend.

 


Here’s to an eventful, fun-filled family road trip this summer!
Did you try out any of these road-trip ideas? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below and let us know about your experience.


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Teach Your Kids to Love God’s Word! by Linda Howard

Tyndale Kids

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I think all of us can admit that there are times the Bible feels a little overwhelming and hard to understand. I mean, why was God so seemingly harsh in Old Testament times? And, who in the world could follow all of the laws and edicts given to the Israelites in the early books of the Bible?

The fear of discussions like these can make us hesitant to teach our children about God’s Word. But, Scripture tells us that we are to do exactly that: Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

So, how do we overcome the fear of sharing the Bible with our kids? How do we turn opportunities to teach into a time of joy for everyone? Consider these five ideas to help you get excited about “Bible time” with your kids.


1. Teach the Bible as one overarching story of God’s love for us, not as a bunch of separate books that were thrown together. From creation to the Garden of Eden; to the flood; to Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and second coming, the Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that God will go to any lengths to remind us that we have been loved from the beginning of time and will continue to be loved forever. This truth changes my perspective on sharing God’s Word with my kids and grandkids. I get excited when I am able to tell them that God has been showing His love to us since before time began. How wonderful for them to absorb this truth at a young age!

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2. Find a translation that is easy for kids to read and understand. Some versions are hard for a child to grasp. Others are easier. You know your child’s level of comprehension, so look for a translation that will meet them where they are. Personally, I love the New Living Translation. It’s written with the everyday person in mind, making it easy for all ages to read and comprehend.

3. Encourage your kids to act out Bible stories. Use dress-up clothes and other props from around the house to make the stories of the Bible come to life. As your little ones act out the stories, they engage more fully with the lessons being taught.

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4. Create songs to accompany what you are learning, or find kids’ Christian music online that recreates the events of God’s Word. Music helps us better remember what we have learned, and it is just plain fun!

5. Make collages or art projects based on favorite Bible stories. Read a story together and then let your kids loose with crayons, paints, scissors, paper, and whatever else you are comfortable with their using. Let them create their own interpretation of the Bible story on paper, and invite them to retell the story as they explain their creation to you.

Use the ideas above or think up some of your own to make “Bible time” a joy for your children. The benefits will be long lasting and life changing for your whole family!


Linda Howard is Associate Publisher for Kids and Youth products at Tyndale House Publishers. She has been with Tyndale since 2007.


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The Character Builder’s Bible (Available Now!) is the perfect tool for teaching your little ones to love God’s Word!

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Wow Your Kids with God’s Good News

Tyndale Kids

How would your kids react if you told them you were heading out on a trip to Disney World tomorrow? Would that good news thrill them? I’m guessing they would probably jump up and down, maybe yell with excitement, and want to share their happiness with all of their friends.

How can you foster that kind of enthusiasm in your kids when they think about the good news of the gospel? It can be daunting to think about teaching your children to love and follow Christ. We often feel unequipped to be the teacher in this case. But, take heart, it’s really not that hard! Below are four simple ways you can help your little ones develop a love and passion for what God has done for them.

 

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1. Meet them at their level. Use age appropriate language and activities as you introduce your children to the greatest story ever told. If you are talking above their level, boredom can set in and their attention will wander—along with their little bodies. Presenting the gospel at a level they can understand will not only encourage learning but will also help it stick with them for the rest of their lives. If you are looking for a book to help explain the gospel in a simple, but profound way, take a look at Wow! The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall. You and your kids will love it!

 

father-with-daughter-on-dock2. Make it interactive. Children are kinesthetic learners, meaning they tend to learn by physically engaging in the learning process. Studies show that kids retain more information when they use multiple senses as they take in new concepts. You can capitalize on this by playing games, creating opportunities for them to recreate what they have learned through artistic expression such as coloring and painting, and acting out various Bible stories together.

 

 

mother-researching-with-kids3. Engage kids in the learning process. Think of ways your children can help you research Bible stories, figure out the meanings of words they don’t already know, and learn more about the cultural and geographical background of a Bible story. The more they are responsible for learning themselves, the more they will remember as they grow up.

 

 

 

family-together-by-river4. Let them see your love for God and His story. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to model a genuine love and thankfulness to God for who He is and all He has done for us. Children are very perceptive, and your authentic excitement for the gospel will help to create a desire in them to build the same type of relationship with their Heavenly Father.

 

 

 

Developing a love for God and an attitude of gratefulness for what He has done for us can be a delight for you as a parent and a life-changing experience for your child. Start today and watch your kids flourish as they grow to love the One who created them.


Linda Howard is Associate Publisher for Kids and Youth products at Tyndale House Publishers. She has been with Tyndale since 2007.