Car Trip

Be a "backseat driver" and describe your next road trip.

  • Target Age:  4-7 
  • Learning Goals:  vocabulary, oral language development, social studies, geography, dramatic play
  • Related Episode: Martha Doesn't Speak Monkey!, Martha Fails the Course

Target Words

around, behind, direction, follow, hurry, left, right, rough, smooth, speed, stop




The next time you are in the car or on a bus, encourage your child to be a "backseat driver" and act out the motions as you describe the ride. Talk about the road, the route, and the things you see out the window. Invite your child to join in the conversation.

  • Ah, this is a nice smooth road. What a pleasant ride this will be.
  • Oops. The road is getting a little rough and bumpy. We'd better slow down.
  • Look, we're coming to a stop sign. Time to step on the brake.
  • All clear. We can go now. Let's pick up some speed and go a little faster.
  • We're going to go around the corner. Let's turn the steering wheel to the right.
  • Do you think that dog will follow us all the way to the library?

Take it Further
Before you and your child go on a neighborhood errand or on a longer trip, draw a simple map and talk about where you're going to go. Draw some familiar landmarks on your map, for example, a friend's house, the park, the bus stop. After your trip, revisit the map. Your child can draw additional sights on the map. You could ask, "Do you remember where (you found the quarter)? Let's draw it on the map."

Related Books
  • Mapping Penny's World by Loreen Leedy
    Travel with Lisa and her dog Penny as they map Penny's world.
  • A Drive in the Country by Michael Rosen
    A family packs the car with snacks, maps, joke books, and more and sets off on a favorite day trip.
  • Jonathan and His Mommy by Irene Smalls
    A mother and son turn a neighborhood walk into a game of zig-zag and giant steps, crisscross and hip-hop steps.

DW's Unicorn Adventure


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