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:
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.
Week 39: Learn Healthy Habits with Walk to School BINGO
International Walk to School Day is Oct 5! Walking to school helps kids concentrate during the day, reduces traffic, is great exercise, and helps the environment.
And a great way to encourage kids to walk is to give them this Walk to School Bingo Board:
With The Trip Clip’s Custom Bingo Board, you can create your own walk to school week bingo board to encourage your kids to make walking a habit. You can also customize the board to make it appropriate for your neighborhood, or for your kids. You can focus on safety, or fun, or community, or whatever is best for you and your family!
Week 38: Practice Problem Solving with Mazes!
Mazes are great for teaching kids problem solving skills. They need to plan ahead, come up with different strategies, and keep different paths in their head. As a bonus, mazes are also great hand-eye coordination and handwriting practice!
The great thing about the mazes from The Trip Clip is that you can make them as easy or as difficult as you like. Younger kids can practice their writing and problem solving skills just like older ones can. And a completely new maze is generated every time you refresh the page, so you can print an endless supply of mazes for your kids!
These also work great when paired with a kid-sized clipboard from The Trip Clip.
The 4-color click-pen can be great for encouraging your kids to improve their skill with the mazes. Each time your child gets stuck, have them switch pen colors and go back to the last decision point. If theycan do it all in a single color (no mistakes), they’re an expert! If theyneed all 4 pen colors before they find the right path, challenge themto do the next one with just 3 colors.
This is a great way to help your kids work on improving their problem solving skills by getting them to work on beating their own best score. They’ll gain confidence too!
Week 37: Learn a Foreign Language while Grocery Shopping
Get in a little Spanish practice at the grocery store with a Lista de Compras! Try it with any other language you like.
The Trip Clip lets you edit the the title of the list, and the text next to every picture. So you can easily turn a trip to the grocery store into some fun vocabulary practice in any language you like!
Week 36: Nutrition Lessons with a Lunch Packing Checklist
Having kids participate in packing their own lunch offers some great life skills lessons. But it can also be great for teaching nutrition!
We talk about a lot about healthy eating at our house, and I thought my kids had a pretty good handle on what foods are nutritious and why. But when we started using a lunch packing checklist, here are a few of the beliefs we had to correct:
- Strawberries are vegetables
- Whole wheat bread was a vegetable (because it’s made out of wheat, a plant, right?)
- Really, any food they didn’t like must be a vegetable
- Bananas contain protein
- Avocados contain protein
- A bagel with cream cheese is a main meal, so it counts as a protein
Seeing is Believing
We found that when our kids could see the food categories on their printed Lunch Box Checklist, it made a big difference for them understanding and remembering what foods belong in each category:
We also found that creating each child’s individual list helped them identify foods they did like in each category. One of my kids would gladly pack only fruit and starches in his lunch if we let him. Surprisingly, protein was the category we struggled with the most. He doesn’t like deli meat sandwiches and hates peanut butter, which tended to be our go to suggestions. So we looked at all the protein options on the lunch box checklist website, and he was surprised to find a large number of proteins he really likes (here is the list he created himself):
Doubling Up on Nutrition
These lists also prompted some good conversations about food that can double up in multiple categories. My son loves to take edamame because it covers both protein and vegetables, and he uses this fact to squeeze in an extra fruit or starch. We like that he’s learning about foods that have even more bang for their buck.
There are tons of good resources out there for helping kids learn about nutrition. Here are a few you might want to check out (click on the pictures below to jump to the website):
Click here for great nutrition resources your family can use
Week 35: Practice Writing – Write a Book!
Having your kids write their own book is wonderful writing practice! These simple templates from The Trip Clip are a great way to get inspired – the small size (half sheet of paper) feels less overwhelming for a new writer, and they’ll enjoy making their own pictures!
This activity is especially helpful if you combine it with a Custom Bingo Board to get the creative juices flowing:
You can have your child pick one picture as an idea to inspire a story, or you can even ask them to pick a row or a column and incorporate all of the pictures they see into their story!
You can also print out templates with a center dotted line for really little authors.
Give it a try. You might be surprised at what your child can dream up!
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!