Snatch back some of your travel time

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Travel time

Travel timeWe mums spend so much of our time travelling. School runs, office commutes, kids’ activities, work trips… It adds up to a large amount of our week. Here are some ways to use that time to your advantage.

Car journeys

  • Get your hands on some audio books. You can even borrow them from the library. Whether it’s a novel for you or children’s stories, it’s a great way to spend a journey.
  • Ask the children to find or spell place names, or read road signs as you go. As well as helping with spelling it’ll give you a hand with directions!
  • Play games like I-Spy or “I went shopping and I bought…” It’s a fun way to develop their observation skills, memory, alphabet and vocabulary.
  • Keep children’s books in the car to read out loud to you. Siblings will enjoy listening to the story, plus it’ll improve reading and enjoyment of books. If your children aren’t reading, put cloth and board books near their car seat to keep them occupied and encourage an early enjoyment of books.
  • Younger children will enjoy listening to nursery rhymes, and once they get older you can play more educational CDs like Jolly Phonics.

Public transport – alone

  • Reading post and newsletters is a good job to get done while you travel – plus you can bin most of what you read as you go!
  • If you have a phone with internet connection, bash through your emails. Make a folder called ‘To Respond’, so it’s more manageable when you’re next at a computer.
  • Online food shopping is another chore you can knock off. Some trains have internet access too, so if you’re bringing a laptop anyway, utilise that time.
  • Reading work documents can take up an annoying amount of office time. And for those of us who can’t stay late because of childminder or nursery hours, it leaves us at a disadvantage. Print them off instead to read while you travel.
  • Jot down lists en route: party invites, food shopping, birthday presents, meals to plan. It’ll help get things in order for when you’re back home.

Public transport – with the children

  • Bring small activity books with you. Games like dot-to-dot and word searches are great for numeracy, spelling and concentration.
  • Bring a map of your journey and follow it together. Look out for things on your map along the way, and count how many roads/railway lines you cross over.
  • Let them bring a couple of books – one they can read or discuss with you, and one for you to read to them. You can’t spend enough time reading with children.
  • Explain bus and train numbers, and show your children how timetables work. Ask them to tell you when the next one’s due. It’ll teach them about timetables and telling the time.
  • If you want to indulge in a book yourself, let the kids bring a small rucksack with bits they choose to keep them occupied while you read. This way everyone’s happy!