A handheld whiteboard is a terrific communication tool.
The minute you get in the car with your kids, these words ring out: “How much longer?” Riding in a car can be tedious for kids, even when those kids have hand-held electronic games in their laps.
The most avid game player eventually tires of playing with his device and starts picking on a younger sibling or complaining of hunger.
However, another kind of handheld device can ease the tedium and minimize grumbling in the car: the handheld whiteboard.
When packing the car, include one handheld whiteboard and at least two markers for each child. Write the children’s names in permanent marker on their handheld whiteboard. Make sure to include a small microfiber cloth for erasing to go with each handheld whiteboard.
Here’s how to use a handheld whiteboard for the good of all on board:
- When the kids tire of other forms of entertainment, bring out the handheld whiteboard and play games: including hangman, tic-tac-toe, twenty questions, or pictionary
- When stopping at fast food restaurants, have everyone write his/her order on the paddle several miles before the stop. You don't have to remember each order and the children can be taken to a play area to release pent up energy.
- When the bickering starts, tell the kids the argument can continue only IF they WRITE back and forth to one another. [HINT: Make a ground rule that there will be no name calling.]
- To engage the kids in the route you are traveling, have them make lists of new sightings, animals, plants, vehicles, buildings or draw a map from home to the current destination writing the names cities, towns, or landmarks along the way.
- Re-invent the license plate game of old by having the children write the different states on their handheld whiteboard as they travel down the highway.
- Bring a little cheer to other travelers by writing notes or drawing pictures in response to bumper stickers, etc., i.e. “Love the color of your car!” or “Oregon Rules!” or “Go Cowboys!” (HINT: Make a ground rule about kindness and respect.]
- Enforce a 15-minute quiet time to give the driver a break and tell the kids to communicate in writing using their handheld whiteboard.
- Have kids write thank you messages to toll booth operators, fast food clerks, or flagmen at roadwork sites.
- Use the handheld whiteboard to count things. Keep a running tally throughout the day of things like certain makes of cars or trucks, bird species, fast food restaurants, or anything else the route inspires. Talk about the statistic at the end of the day. Why was the item prevalent or not?
- As you approach the destination, have the children write gratitude statements about the trip or describe the first thing they plan to do upon arrival. Or have someone make a list of the steps that need to happen to make camp, register in a motel, or unpack the vehicle.
A handheld whiteboard is a terrific communication tool. They can add an engaging, fun dimension to car travel.