Christmas is just two days away, and we’re in major prep mode to get everything ready for family time, dinners, and of course the big reveal! It’s easy for us to tune out while driving, letting those to-do lists demand all our brainpower. So we created one final activity to keep us present through this last push. This one works as a year-round DIY — it’s a great blank canvas for all sorts of games and activities — and you can add specific elements for each season (in this case, the holidays!)
Start out by grabbing a few Matchbox cars. Then hot glue circular magnets to the bottoms. Now it’s time to create your magnetic board. We simply wrapped a cookie sheet with butcher paper, added color lanes separated by craft tape, and voila! Your magnetic cars should hold firmly to the board.
To customize the board for the holiday, we made it the road to the North Pole. Each child has their lane, and you can easily play the game based on behavior (Sitting quietly in the car? Move forward! Throwing things at your brother? Back you go!) But to help us fulfill our goal of being more present during trips, we based the progression of the game on questions stemming from our conversations. Here are some examples of questions for the road:
What is one nice thing you did for a friend at school today? What was something interesting you learned from your teacher today? And tailored follow-ups based on their responses: What was something you could say or do next time your friend doesn’t want to share?What is something we can do to include schoolmates who might need a friend?
The conversations that ensued were so priceless, sometimes all we need is a little incentive and focus. We had their rewards for getting to the North Pole (healthy snacks), but really, once we get our kids talking they don’t usually need a reason to keep going!
Do you have any tried and true tricks for quality car ride conversations? We’d love to hear!
This content was created in partnership with Ford to help make creativity a part of every drive this holiday season.