Are we there yet? How much longer? How many times have you heard that question on a car trip? And with three kids – I get it in triplicate! So here’s our solution for helping preschoolers understand how far away things are and how much longer you have to drive. They don’t understand time, but they do remember the last places they went. So use that to your advantage! Time is an abstract concept, but they can picture a destination in their mind – and remember getting there. In fact, it’s a great way to teach preschoolers the concept of time, even when you’re not in the car.
If we need to be in the car about an hour – we pick Zia and Zio’s house. Half an hour? How about Hutch’s. Malls are really good for things that aren’t quite around the corner. And then friend’s houses are great for when we’re really close.
If we have a really long drive, we tell our kids it’s as long (or longer) than Rochester. We’ve been to the Museum of Play several times, and it’s usually a 2 ½ hour drive.
And my kids love to hear how close we are getting – If we start off as long as Rochester, then the “countdown” begins. We have a very good friend, Josh, who lives around the corner – so by the time we say “We’re as close as Josh’s House” – the celebrating in the back seat begins! The best part is, there’s no whining. They know what they’re in for, and what to expect!
Here’s a list of a few places you can try to use for “How Much Longer”
- The mall
- Grandma’s House
- Mommy’s/Daddy’s Work
- The Zoo/Day Trip you’ve recently been on
- Aunt/Uncle’s House
- Last Year’s Vacation Destination