We seem to spend a lot of time in the car — way too much time, really, despite my best efforts to combine trips, put limits on activities, and just stay home.
But we try to make good use of the time.
For the long trips to co-op, we’re back to finishing Narnia (which we abandoned for some time), but we also have a fun Spanish CD, Hop, Skip, and Sing Spanish for Kids that the both kids seem to enjoy. It seems to be pitched at older preschoolers and early elementary, with lots of songs and games, many of which we can play in the car.
We’re also trying to find ways to include Victoria in those ever-popular word games. Violet’s grandma taught us “The Minister’s Cat,” in which you go from player to player, each person adding an adjective for the minister’s cat according to the letter of the alphabet.
Thus the first player: “The minister’s cat is an angry cat.”
Second player: “The minister’s cat is a black cat.”
Third player: “The minister’s cat is a confused cat,” and so on . . .
This seems to be an appropriate level of difficulty for Victoria, but she does sometimes need a hand. (And the only “X” word we’ve thought of is “xenophobic.”)
You could increase the level of difficulty, of course, by making each player recall the adjectives that have already been said, but that defeats the purpose of getting Victoria playing.
Violet enjoys the game in which players go around endlessly, saying a word that begins with the last letter of the word just said. To make this more interesting, we require all words to be from Harry Potter books. (We do have a fairly broad definition, so things like “yelled” or “excitement” or “earnest,” etc., are acceptable, but the fun of playing is trying to think of a spell or name or creature (especially creature)).
In addition, one goal of the game is to say the name of all four houses (Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw) — and once you’ve met that objective, then — and only then — can you use “Hogwarts” in the game, which is how the game ends.
Violet and Victoria play as a team, because Victoria loves the idea of Harry Potter (which is to say, she loves her sister, who loves Harry Potter), and she can throw in a few words now and then (“Neville Longbottom!”), especially now that they play Harry Potter legos with the babysitter, with Harry, Ron, and a bunch of new characters Violet has made up (including Sharky, Ollie, Merma, Rowena, and sometimes Ruby, often fighting unknown and hapless bad guys who look suspiciously like pirate legos).