going places together
From Superkids by Jean Marzollo - Illustrations by Irene Trivas


Going Places Together supertot

Going somewhere is usually fun for supertots. They like jackets, boots, raincoats, cars, stores, gas stations, and visits to other people's houses. They like the variety that new sights and scenes bring to them; they like to talk about what they see. Car trips can provide a different way for you to be together, sometimes talking, sometimes singing, sometimes just being quiet.

Time spent traveling in a car can pass pleasantly for thirty minutes or so before all hell erupts. Your child can't sit anymore, is hungry, is thirsty, is wet, is excruciatingly bored. When this happens, stop and provide relief. Most supertots need to take a break from car riding at least once an hour. More suggestions for pleasant car trips are provided in this chapter.


Putting on your jacket "all by yourself"




Going to the store

Ordinary trips to the store are fun for children and teach them a lot about things you can buy and how people deal with each other. To a child, a store is a museum, and supertots want to touch everything; so, for your own sake, teach your child that things in the store are for “looking at, but not touching." Instead of touching, talk together about the different things you see, the people who work in the store, and the way money is used to buy things. Take your child to different kinds of stores: toy stores, clothing stores, book stores, shoe stores, bakeries, supermarkets, hardware stores, delicatessens, and pharmacies.

supertot   supertot

Supertot's car bag supertot

When you go on trips, keep a supertot's car bag
(it could be just a plain old paper bag) in the passenger part of the car. Fill it with:

car trip toys
plastic bag for dirty diapers
premoistened towelettes
an extra change of clothing
a sweater



supertotThis bag plus some good humor on your part plus a child who is healthy should enable you to take a two-hour car trip with your supertot without too much hassle. But if there is hassle (let's say, for example, that your supertot is screaming his or her head off in the back seat), keep driving calmly until you can pull over to the side of the road. The best thing you can do for your child when he or she freaks out is to keep driving safely until you can stop.

Car trip toys

Leave some toys in the car so they'll always be there when you need them. On trips lasting more than half an hour, it's good to have someone sit near your child to play with him or her. Not until a supertot is almost three can he or she sit for very long without some sort of diversion. The following toys may provide help.

Old baby rattles and teething toys - ones and twos like to shake and chew on them as they ride in a semihypnotic state induced by the lulling sound and vibrations of the car.

A small doll to talk with and show things to.

Two small people figures - one for each hand. Some children will clutch them for the whole trip.

Four car games

Finding cars and trucks: Two-year-olds like to learn the names of different types of vehicles (car, tow truck, bus, pickup truck, and so on) and their different colors. After a while, they get pretty adept at describing what they see.

Shut your eyes: Touching different parts of the body with one's eyes closed is a challenge for a two-year-old and something he or she can practice in the car.


Chanting the alphabet: Because of Sesame Street, many young children can chant the alphabet before they know what it means. They like to say it as it if were a poem or sing it as a song, and they enjoy the approval such performances produce in most adults.


Nonsense alphabet: At certain tired, silly moments, making up an alphabet chant from nonsense syllables can greatly amuse two-year-olds. A sophisticated and more educational version of this chant is to make the nonsense syllables start with sounds of the alphabet. You can do it only with consonants:

F - Foo-foo
G - Goo-goo
H - Hoo-hoo, etc.



Based on the book SUPERTOT: Creative Learning Activities for Children One to Three
and Sympathetic Advice for Their Parents
Text © Jean Marzollo, Illustrations © Irene Trivas

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