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November 2014 Monthly Topic

Center for Pediatric Therapy

Family Road Trips


The holidays are quickly approaching.

Do you have any long car trips planned?

Here are some ideas to consider as you prepare to travel.

Sensory Strategies


  • Use a calendar to count down the days leading up to the trip. Highlight the days of the trip with a bright color. Bring it with you to help your child see when he will be going home.
  • Allow your child to wear comfy clothes in the car, even if it means wearing his pj’s for the ride.
  • Gather pictures to track your progress on the trip. Print pictures of planned stops, state lines, or miles traveled. As each milestone is passed, have your child put the picture in an “All Done” envelope.
  • Pack sensory smart snacks. Chewy foods like dried fruit and bagels or drinking liquids (even yogurt) through a thin straw can be organizing.
  • Use bathroom breaks as sensory breaks. Encourage wall pushups against the car or a tree, or have your child help you “rearrange” the luggage.
  • Attach a fidget toy to your child’s seat. This will provide tactile input without the risk of a flying projectile in the car.



Speech and Language Activities


  • Work with your child to come up with a list of Thanksgiving foods, which contain their speech sound. Practice using these words in simple phrases throughout the car ride to pass the time. (ex: Pass the ____ please; I like ____).
  • Give your child verbal clues to a food item typically eaten during Thanksgiving and have your child name the item described (ex: it is creamy and white and made from potatoes). This works on listening comprehension and vocabulary.
  • Before leaving home, speak to your child about what it means to be polite in social situations. Give your child tips on how to be a good guest.
  • During the ride, think of a category. Have your child find three things outside which belong to that category. (ex: something green, something round, restaurants). Switch and have your child think of a category. \
  • Talk about where you are going and what you are going to do there. Talk about whose house you are going to, what you are bringing, who is going to be there, etc. Engaging in conversation with your child is most important to language development.  


Click here to download a pdf of November’s Monthly topic:  Monthly Topic 2014 November