Family & Consumer Sciences Extension

School of Human Environmental Sciences




Traveling Light: Family Language Fun to Go
Program Overview

Don’t we all know parents and grandparents who wish for more time to spend with their children? Perhaps you are among them! Days are so filled with work, organized activities, and family routines. Before we know it, our youngsters are ready to leave home and fly on their own. How can we make room in our hurried, harried lives for building close, invaluable, adult-child relationships?
Traveling Light: Family Language Fun to Go intends to meet at least part of the need for quality parent-child time. This research-based program offers light-hearted, beneficial ways to utilize otherwise unoccupied time while family members are traveling together in their vehicles or waiting for something to happen. Program goals are to:

enrich children’s interest and skill in using language.
enhance parent-child communication, respect, understanding, and love.
minimize or avoid conflict between family members in tight spaces.

Studies show that hearing and speaking one’s native language in purposeful and enjoyable ways aids children’s school readiness, long-term academic achievement, and social success.

Traveling Light: Family Language Fun to Go is a Web-based collection of oral language activities for adults and youngsters from infancy through early adolescence. Rhymes, fingerplays, poems, stories, songs, riddles, fables, legends, and conversation starters are organized within six broad age groups. The colorful camera-ready sheets may be printed and inserted in plastic sleeves or three-hole punched to place in a flip pad or three-ring binder for easy access. Families are encouraged to add their own language treasures. Children may enjoy illustrating the resources with crayon or felt marker pictures.

Activities are non-copyrighted and most require no supplies. Each activity sheet includes the title, “What Children Gain” (developmental benefits), any supplies needed, instructions for implementing the activity, the words for the activity itself, and a section called “To Think About,” where adults can reflect on children’s developmental progress.

Curriculum Resources for Use with Groups of Parents
Current program resources for educators include a facilitator’s guide with research rationale, suggested teaching outlines, an evaluation instrument to assess behavior changes, a list of research-based references and additional readings, a CD containing selected songs, and a DVD of illustrations for implementing activities using body motions. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension hopes that this program will find wide use among diverse parents, other primary caregivers, and parent educators, supplying many hours of enjoyment, learning, and bonding with youngsters of all ages.

Please stay tuned for additional resources and updates!