Welcome

Hello! I created The Trip Clip® when I needed something to keep my kids busy at the grocery store. When I realized how much they liked having their own list and clipboard, I started creating more Activities to keep them busy at restaurants, on road trips, on plane trips, even at each other’s soccer games. Check out all the printable activities for kids that The Trip Clip® has to offer:

bingo checklist mazegrocery  more…

This blog will tell you about updates to The Trip Clip®, introduce you to fun ways others are using the Trip Clip, and give you some insights into what it’s been like for me to create it.

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Week 34: Practice Executive Functioning Skills with an After School Checklist

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 34: Practice Executive Functioning Skills with an After School Checklist

Using a visual schedule to prompt a discussion about how to use the time after school is a great way to teach time management, planning, and organization – all things that fall into the executive functioning bucket.

A visual schedule can also be a huge help during those crazy after school hours. As my kids get older, and their homework gets more involved, and their activities multiply, I find that it’s harder to make sure that everything that needs to get done actually gets done every afternoon.  And it’s even harder to make sure the responsibility for getting everything done falls on the kids and not on me!

Daily After School Checklist

For some, a simple daily checklist may do the trick.

If after school is a crazy time in your house, try this editable after school checklist.

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When my kids were younger, this list was a great way to put them in charge of their own after school schedule and help them make the necessary decisions about how to spend their afternoon. Here is how the visual list helped them, and the skills they practiced:

Planning Skills

  • Have your kids help you make their list. They will feel more ownership this way, and they will learn the important skill of enumerating all the tasks.  This will also make it very clear what your expectations are.

Task initiation

  • Once you have the list, leave it up to your kids to work through it. They may need help, buy make sure the tone you set is that you are helping them get their jobs done, rather than them helping you get your job done!

Time Estimates

  • One thing your kids may need help with is time estimates so they can plan their after school hours. Get in the practice of talking together after school each day about the items on their list.  In particular, it’s helpful to talk through whether they have a lot of homework, or a little homework, and then make a plan for when and how it will all get done. If there are other variable tasks on the list (like a daily chore that changes each day) talk that over too. Practicing these time estimates will serve them really will as their homework gets more complicated.

Monitoring Progress

  • The printed schedule makes it really easy to visualize whether or not good progress is being made. If school has been out for 2 hours, and only 2 of the 6 tasks on the list are completed, that’s a good indication that something needs to change!  You can put the list in a plastic protector and use it with a dry erase marker so that you can keep using the list over and over.

Weekly After School Chart

Older kids may need to be able to plan for a week at a time, especially as their homework and activities get more involved, or you expect them to do more of their own time management

Use a weekly routine to get through those tough after school hours. It empowers your kids and can even help parents keep track of a kid's busy schedule!

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Longer-term Planning/Prioritization

  • Older kids may be doing more advanced time estimates, like figuring out that they are extra busy on Tuesdays and Thursdays with soccer practice, so the bulk of the homework needs to happen on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Or they may need to be scheduling longer-term projects, or figuring out how to fit in enough practice sessions for a musical instrument over the course of a week. The visual scheudle helps make this clearer.

Chores

  • I find this weekly planner also allows me to do things like more easily split up the chores between the kids.  My kids trade off nights for setting the table, and with this weekly list we avoid fights about whose turn it is.

Flexibility

  • Some people worry that a checklist will be too rigid, but in reality it can help your kids be more flexible. If a last minute invitation comes along, it’s much easier to evaluate whether or not there’s time to fit it in if you have a good idea of what else needs to be done that day!

There are lots of skills that have to be learned in order to be good at executive functioning, and practicing them daily can go a long way towards helping to tackle this complicated goal!

 

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Week 33: Early Reading Practice with Alphabet Bingo

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 33: Early Reading Practice with Alphabet Bingo

This deceptively simple activity packs in a lot of learning opportunities.

  1. Start with the basic game we all played as kids. You simply find each letter in the alphabet on road signs. For young kids, this is great letter recognition practice, and you can play it just driving around town as well as on road trips.
    So many possibilities with this twist on the alphabet game! For younger kids use it to find items that start with each letter. Try it in the car or at the grocery store. Write the found words to in some handwriting and spelling practice. Challenge older kids to try to find a bingo all in one sign, or print two different boards and find them all in order before your opponent. Click through for more ideas for this alphabet bingo board!pinit2
  2. Next, try playing it at the grocery store (or any store) to keep little ones entertained. Have them find the letters on the signs at the store. You can even mix upper and lower case letters to make this trickier.
    Keep the kids entertained at the grocery store with grocery store or alphabet bingo boards!
  3. You can also just have them find items in the store that start with each letter (doesn’t need to be on a sign).  This is great early reading practice that has them think about those first letter sounds.
  4. Add in some handwriting and spelling practice by having them write down the items they find that start with each letter.  This clipboard and 4-color pen make it super easy to use on the go.
    This cute, half-size clipboard comes in blue, red, yellow and green. Use it with The Trip Clip's printable activities for fun on the go!pinit2
  5. For older kids who are sick of the traditional alphabet game, you may want to add some more challenging goals. Make the game harder by requiring the words they find on road signs to START with the letter for it to count. It will take them longer this way, though you may have to make an exception for the letter X!
  6. Mix it up (for big and little kids!) by printing  bingo  boards with the letters in a random order, and have them find the letters in the order they appear on the board.  This works great if you have more than one player and you can give them different boards because they are looking for the letters in a different order.
    So many possibilities with this twist on the alphabet game! For younger kids use it to find items that start with each letter. Try it in the car or at the grocery store. Write the found words to in some handwriting and spelling practice. Challenge older kids to try to find a bingo all in one sign, or print two different boards and find them all in order before your opponent. Click through for more ideas for this alphabet bingo board!
  7. Challenge kids to find a bingo (5 letters in  row) all in a single sign.  This one takes patience – keep track of near misses (3 or 4 letters in a row) to keep them engaged.

 

There are so many possibilities with this twist on the alphabet game! Your kids can have hours of fun and do a little learning while they’re at it. Let me know if you think of other fun ways to use the alphabet bingo board!

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Week 32: Learning Independence with a School Schedule

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 32: Learning Independence with a School Schedule

A visual school schedule is a great way to help kids know what to expect from their school day. It’s great for kids with ADHD, Asperger’s, and Autism. It’s also great for kids being home schooled! With over 40 images to choose from you can easily make a visual schedule of your child’s day.

I originally created this activity because I have a niece who has autism. Her name is Gaby. Gaby is an adult now, but for many, many years at school, Gaby used a visual schedule to help her get through her day. When I realized that many of my Trip Clip customers are using The Trip Clip lists with special needs kids, I asked my sister (Gaby’s mom) what I could do to make the website better for these families. My sister recommended that I make a School Schedule Activity.

This drag and drop school schedule maker is a great visual support for kids with Autism, Asperger's, ADHD, and other special needs. It helps them know what to expect from their school day.

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Here is what my sister had to say about using a visual schedule with Gaby:

Gaby used a daily schedule with both words and icons throughout elementary school and high school. It included the written name of the class, room number, teacher’s name, hour or time and an icon to represent the subject matter. This allowed Gaby to preserve her independence and dignity (no one likes to be nagged by authority figures – especially not mom) and also encouraged her to continue to develop her organization and time management skills. It also allowed us to signal/prepare her for important changes to her day. For example:

  • when she was going to have a substitute
  • when an assembly was scheduled
  • when a fire or tornado drill was coming
  • when the usual order of her day was going to change due to special activities at school or testing
  • when she had a doctor/dentist appointment and had to leave early
  • etc.

Transitions are typically very difficult for people with autism and so are changes to routine. Knowing in advance when these things were happening and having a stable, visual reminder greatly reduced Gaby’s anxiety and helped her successfully adapt to these kinds of events.

The schedule helped with social interactions, as well. Gaby typically doesn’t pay much attention to new people. Seeing the classroom teacher’s name written down on her schedule every day helped her remember it and use it when addressing her teacher.

Gaby was almost the only student in her autism homeroom in high school who still had a visual schedule like this. Interestingly, most of the kids in that room knew Gaby’s schedule by heart – even when they couldn’t remember their own.

Since creating this activity, I have had many families who home school contact me about how helpful this school schedule has been for them, too.  Here is a comment I received from Homeschooling Mom of 2 in MT:

This has been our game changer. We needed a little help with transitioning from public to homeschool. This is exactly what we needed. It was getting a bit too hard, even for myself, to remember what we needed to do in order to be prepared and stay on track. Hand written, ever changing, and never-where-I-needed-them-to-be-lists were failing us. I have made Routines for each school day and put them into plastic page protectors right alongside their Morning, Lunch, Supper, and Bedtime Routines. No more crazy eyed mom. No more wandering and wondering children (ages 7.5 and 9). Just productivity…so long they can find their folders!😉 Thanks Trip clip for adding a ton more options to your website within this last year!

 

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Week 31: Learning Life Skills with School Supply Shopping

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 31: Learning Life Skills with School Supply Shopping

I’ve always loved school supply shopping – even as a kid.  I love it in a whole different way as an adult:). There is something wonderful in all the potential stored up in those fresh crayons and clean sheets of paper.

I always take my kids to do their own shopping.  They are surprisingly excited about it. Although they complain some about it being the signal that summer is ending, they really do love to choose their folders and their pencil cases.  To help them stay engaged and excited, I let them have the list and walk through it themselves so that they can really feel ownership.

For younger kids, a picture list can really help them to do this and take charge of their school supply shopping.

Empower your kids with this school supplies checklist. Younger kids will love being in charge of finding all their own supplies at the store!

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There are many things kids can learn even before school starts by participating in their school supply shopping:

  • Frugality: When you make your Trip Clip Packing List, take the opportunity to go through last year’s supplies and figure out which things truly need to be replaced.  My kids usually want to have all new everything, but it’s a good lesson for them to learn about which items are still in good enough shape to use for another year and save you a little money.
  • Wants vs. Needs: Along with frugality, this is a good opportunity to help kids distinguish between things they really want, and things they really need.  Work together to figure out how many “wants” should be purchased this year.
  • Prices: There are lots of opportunities to look at different brands, compare prices, and talk about when it’s worth it to pay more for a name brand, and when it’s not!  My opinion: it’s definitely worth it to get the Crayola crayons and markers!
  • Following directions: School supply lists are often very specific. You can use it as an opportunity to help your kids read each line item thoroughly and make sure they they’re not skipping important details.
  • Reading:For younger kids, a school supply shopping list can be a great opportunity for some reading practice.

Try a school supply shopping list with your kids this year, and see if they like being in charge!

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Week 30: Learning Life Skills with a Magnetic Checklist

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 30: Learning Life Skills with a Magnetic Checklist

This is my favorite Trip Clip product – my kids each have a magnetic morning checklist that they use every morning before school. They enjoy being able to move the magnets from one side to the other, and to visually see their progress through the list. I love not having to remember everything they need to do each morning! I don’t even have to remind them to check their list – they just know what they have to do. It really puts them in charge of getting themselves out the door in the morning.

Find out how capable your kids are with this Magnetic Checklist from The Trip Clip. Perfect for setting up a morning routine, an after school checklist, a bedtime routine, or a chore chart. You can even easily print your own magnets!

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In addition to saving you from being a drill sergeant barking out orders every morning, this list is a great way to teach your kids life skills.  They’ll learn:

  • Organization: I still use lists as an adult to make sure I don’t forget things! Have your child help you create their list, and then edit it as needed. You can even print your own custom magnets very easily with the magnetic checklist activity.
  • Time management: If your little one is having trouble getting everything done in time, you can add a time-line to this list to give them checkpoints along the way (you can even make the time markers magnetic to add them to your list). Since the magnets move, this list serves as an excellent visual indicator of how far along they are.
  • Responsibility: This list is a great way to put your child in charge.  The list changes the dynamic – they aren’t helping you get them ready for school, you are helping them with their job of getting themselves ready. They can ask for help along the way with tying shoes, or packing lunch, but they will be the one in charge of getting themselves ready on time. It really does make a difference that they are the one in charge.
  • Self care: It’s easy to get into the habit of doing things for your kids, but our job is to help them learn to be independent. If you step back and let them do things for themselves, you may be surprised to find that there are a lot of things on their list that they can do all by themselves.  You may need to leave more time, but your kids will feel great when they can demonstrate how capable they are!

 

 

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Week 29: Practice Spelling with a Crossword Puzzle

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 29: Practice Spelling with a Crossword Puzzle

Although adults usually think crossword puzzles are about solving clues and knowing obscure words, it turns out that crossword puzzles with picture clues can be great for helping kids practice spelling!

Although adults usually think crossword puzzles are about solving clues and knowing obscure words, it turns out that crosswords puzzles with picture clues can be great for helping kids practice spelling!

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There are a number of ways crossword puzzle can help teach spelling:

  • The number of boxes for each word tells the kids how many letters it is supposed to be. This is helpful for getting them to think about things like double consonants and silent E’s.
  • Places where the words overlap can help give clues about the tricky parts of some words. In the puzzle above, a child may initially try to spell pencil P-E-N-S-I-L, but when they fill in the word ‘computer’, they will figure out that the s sound in pencil is actually a ‘C’.
  • You can choose puzzles that contain words that are tricky for your child.
  • Kids will have the chance to figure out for themselves when a word is spelled incorrectly, which is often much better than having a parent or teacher hovering over them correcting every mistake
  • They’ll have fun solving a puzzle without even realizing that they’re learning!
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Week 28: Math Practice

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 28: Math Practice

Get in a little extra math practice before school starts with these fully customizable math practice pages from The Trip Clip. From single digit addition all the way through 5 digit division, you can challenge your kids at their level.

  • Choose addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.
  • Choose from 1-digit, 2-digit, 3-digit, 4-digit, or 5-digit problems.
  • Choose problems with or without borrowing and carrying.
  • Easily create multiplication sheets that practice multiplication tables for numbers 1-12.
  • Create division worksheets that do or don’t have remainders, depending on your child’s level.

Get in a little extra math practice before school starts with these fully customizable math practice pages from The Trip Clip. From single digit addition all the way through 5 digit division, you can challenge your kids at their level.

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You can generate an unlimited set of worksheets, and you can set the difficulty to meet your child wherever they are right now.  The Trip Clip math practice will grow with them!

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