For parents out there who’ve ever fielded questions of “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?” a new book seeks to give them the tools to help kids stay busy while on the go.
“On-the-Go Fun for Kids!” by Amanda Morin contains ideas for more than 250 activities for kids that can keep them occupied and entertained during car rides, in the grocery store, while waiting in line and more.
“I have three kids of my own and have spent a lot of time in waiting rooms,” Morin, a former kindergarten teacher, said. “This is definitely something that was needed for those in between moments.”
Morin, formerly of Bangor, drew on her experience in the classroom and as a parent to develop the book. Many of the activities for use while waiting in lines or in waiting rooms were ones she employed with her students for “transition times,” while lining up, heading to specials such as music class. Others came from things she has done with her own kids.
“The ones that are more hands on are not things I necessarily would have done in the classroom,” Morin said.
Many of the activities are designed for kids to do independently. From a variety of license plate games and activities to brain teasers and grocery store bingo, there’s something for so many scenarios. “Coaster Hockey” is among Morin’s favorites in the book, though she said it’s hard to choose just one favorite.
The book already has gotten the seal of approval from Morin’s own kids, too.
“My youngest is 5, and over the Fourth of July weekend, I had just gotten one of my author copies [of the book], and I looked in the rearview mirror and he was working on the dot-to-dots,” Morin said.
Morin advises parents avoid working through the book cover to cover and instead pick and choose the activities that will be most interesting to their kids. She also suggests slipping the pocket-sized book into purses or bags to have on hand whenever you need it.
“Knowing your child, knowing what they enjoy is really going to help,” Morin said.
She also said that although the activities are categorized by when they might be most useful, parents should feel free to use car games in hotels and shopping trip games whenever. The activities are flexible like that.
“On-the-Go Fun for Kids!” by Amanda Morin is available at bookstores around Maine, including The Briar Patch on Central Street in Bangor, where Morin will be signing copies of her book at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.