Working parents can find it pretty hard to get all of their errands done. Unless you can magically get them done while your kids are in day care, or with the nanny, you will often find you have to bring the kids with you, and you will inevitably be trying to get a lot done in a short period of time. And with young kids, that can feel totally impossible.
I found that making sure my kids were entertained made a big difference in how quickly we made it through errands. One super successful game for us, especially when errands involved lots of time in the car traveling to different stores, was Count On It.
With The Trip Clip you can choose what pictures you put on your kids’ list, and change it each time you run errands. I recommend choosing pictures of things you’re likely to see at least a few times, and things your kids will be interested in. Maybe your kids love buses, or police cars, or dogs!
Once you head out in the car, your kids can color in a box each time they see one of the items on their list. A small clipboard (or even a book) and a pen work great for this:
The whole family can play together to spot as many of each of these items as possible. It’s surprisingly fun (even for adults!) to keep your eyes peeled for the items on the list. And it also leaves room for conversation while you drive and play because it’s not all absorbing. It’s just a great backdrop to errands – and the kids won’t always mind getting back in the car to head to the next stop when they know they can pick up the game where they left off.
If you want to make it educational, too, have your kids predict at the beginning of the errands which item on that day’s Count On It you’ll see the most. All of you can write your prediction next to the picture you choose. The squares on this activity act like a graph, so it will be easy to see at the end which one was the most common, and who the winner is! Your kids will get a lesson in scientific data collection while you get the errands done – what could be better?