Think and Be Creative.
This is what I always tell Rianne as we travel through South Africa by land.
Ricky had this idea of travelling South Africa via what they call The Garden Route. We started in Johannesburg aboard Baz Bus travelling to Durban. Believe it or not, we were on the bus for a gruelling 14 hours. We could have arrived 4 hrs earlier but an accident on the highway kept us stuck and without any choice but to stand the long wait. And add to that, a humid temperature.
Try to imagine that ride with 3 kids ages 4, 3 and a 9mo.? What are we thinking?!! We must be the craziest of crazies!
Note that, we have NO Ipads or tablets of any sort to entertain them other than a handful of family videos saved on our phones.
So, how did we do it?
Our kids are not robots or angels. They are kids full of energy and wonder and they get bored as we all try to patiently wait for the gold at the end of a rainbow.
Midway through our trip, my eldest, with a deep sigh, exclaimed, “I am bored”.
I knew that was coming.
I replied, “Think… (pause)… Be creative”.
As I gaze through the majestic hills of South Africa filled with grazing herds of cows, sheep and many others, I remember my family travels to my mom’s hometown when I was young, perhaps a year or two older than Rianne. There were no ipads and iphones back then. I would look at the moutains and trees until I would fall asleep.
She then looked at the window and thought of a game. I was amazed! She is learning and putting my command into action.
“Howbout I look on the left and you look on the right and let’s shout the name of the animals we see?“, she exclaimed in excitement.
Soon after, her little brother joined in. The bus had turned into a chorus of alternating “I see cows, sheep, goat” etc., etc. which I would rather hear than a chorus of cries.
Now, you might think that these are magic words that turns a child into the most adorable thing. That is not my point.
I think, if we give our children a chance to THINK and BE CREATIVE without the distraction of an easily accessible form of entertainment, we do not disrupt their natural process of creative thinking. Since it is there, easily accessible, the tendency is to not think beyond what is already there. They lose wonder and opportunities.
As a parent, I always think of my responses to my children’s needs. I want them to learn from experience and for them to have the ability to solve their problems, because in life that is how you win. You analyze, look around you, you think and be creative.
What other ways to keep children entertained while travelling do you do? I’d love to know.