Tag Archives: kids

Traveling with kids this spring break? We have tips!

22 Apr

With the weather warming up and the kids on break and looking forward to summer, many families are beginning to plan their family vacation.

Traveling with kids can be challenging- especially when the trip is long- but if you are prepared with all the right toys and travel gear your traveling experience can be headache free.

The Toy Insider visited “Money Matters” this morning to give her very best tips on how to occupy kids on the go!

Toy Insider Mom Travel Tips:

– Start with a great mom bag that keeps all of your travel toys and gear in one place,
always ready to go!

– Pack lots of healthy snacks and something to drink—no-spill cups and containers are
great!

– Look for toys that are portable and small enough to throw in any carry on bag;
storage compartments are key if there are tiny pieces.

– Toys that make noise should have volume control

– Keep travel toys separate from house toys to make them new and exciting for kids

For families traveling on spring break, here are some great toys and games that will keep the
kids entertained without breaking the bank:
Graco Carina Flap Messenger (Baby Boom Consumer Products)
Spacious interior holds everything needed for your outings
Lots of pockets (7 total) to keep you organized and allow for easy access
Removable changing pad for on-the-go diapering
Adjustable strap for comfy carrying
MSRP: $19.00

Snack Catchers (Munchkin)
Easy access for little hands, with no spills
Holds 9 oz. of dry snacks
Protective bottom keeps tabletops scratch-free
A place to write child’s name on the bottom
BPA free
Top rack dishwasher safe
Ages: 12+ months
MSRP: $7.50 for 2-pack

Nûby No-Spill™ Easy Grip Cup (Love n’ care)
Valveless, leak resistant spout ensures no spills! Made from the same safe, soft silicone material as Nûby™ nipples, gentle on your child’s tender gums  Unique contour shape easily fits small hands
BPA free
Ages: 6+ months
MSRP: $2.99

Are We There Yet? Keep Me Comfy Neck Rests & I.D. Tags (Aurora)
Neck Rests: Makes long trips easier with soft & cuddly support for sleepy heads.  Ideal for napping on planes, trains, buses and automobiles
Ages: 18mos+
MSRP: $13
ID Tags: Clip on kids bags and backpacks, in case they get lost.
Ages: 3+
MSRP: $ $6.00

Beat the Parents (Spin Master)
Parents and kids go head to head in this fun filled family trivia game that puts your knowledge of the other generation to the test Adults answer questions about kids’ stuff, and the kids answer questions their parents should really know
A perfect travel card game for families to play in the car or while on vacation
Ages: 6+
MSRP: $5.99

Mini Games to Go (Briarpatch)
“Play’em, Clip’em, Take’em, Collect’em!  Mini Games to Go are compact card games you can play anywhere
After you play, just clip’em to your backpack or belt. Assortment includes: I Spy Memory Game, I Spy Shadow Match Game, Fancy Nancy Game, Dino Duel Game, Pirates Brawl, Princess Matching Game
For 1,2,3, – 4 players per game
Ages: 4+
MSRP $4.99 each

Fun on the Run Games (Hasbro)
Fun on the Run Games are compact, travel-size versions of the classic games we love
Assortment includes Connect 4, Hungry, Hungry Hippos, Battleship and more
For 2 players
Ages: 4-7+
MSRP: $5.99 each

SpongeBob SquarePants Clam Catching Game (Cardinal)
Mini fishing game perfect for the car, plane or bus
Catch the moving clams while the board is spinning
The player with the most clams wins!
For 2 Players
Ages: 4+
MSRP: $2.00

Elmo Travel Songs and Games on DVD (Warner Home Video)
Lots of travel fun starring Sesame Street favorites Elmo and Abby
Follows Elmo and Abby as they embark on a fun-filled road trip to the zoo with Elmo’s Dad
To help pass the time, they play stimulating travel games featuring the alphabet, counting, shapes and rhyming
Sing along with them to family favorites “Let’s Go Driving” and “The Bear Went Over The Mountain,” as well as the new “Are We There Yet?” song
Don’t forget to buckle up and go to the bathroom before you go on your trip, Elmo shows you why that is important!
On DVD May 3, 2011
MSRP: $14.98

Mad Libs On The Road (Penguin Books)
Help create car songs, spot some historical sights, even stop at a roadside diner–with a Mad Libs® twist, of course!
Includes 21 stories to fill-in-the-blanks – educates and entertains simultaneously
There is also an iDevice app edition that allows fans to email their wacky stores to friends from the car ride itself!
Ages: 8+
MSRP: $3.99

3D Dry-Erase Activity Set (Crayola)
Unique surface lets kids draw cool, eye-popping art and amazingly bright messages
Images appear as if they are floating without 3D glasses!
The board comes with Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Crayons in bright colors that burst off the board with boldness for doubly dazzling drawings!  Washable dry-erase crayon formula makes it easy to remove marks from walls, clothing and skin  convenient built-in crayon holder on front keeps contents organized
Includes: 5 Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons, E-Z erase mitt and crayon sharpener
Ages: 5+
MSRP: $12.99

DadStreet Talks On The Go Travel Play

22 Mar

I have two children. O will be turning 3 in 4 weeks and Jake is almost 19 months old. They’re close enough in age that they can share a lot of the same toys but just far enough apart that there’s certain things O has outgrown and that Jake just isn’t old enough to understand. With both kids at home we’re able to cater their activities and play toys to their developmental stages, and of course moods! They actually play really well together for the most part, sans the normal course of “it’s mine!” and “you’re a bad boy, Jakey!” Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often and in fact they love each other very much. It’s not uncommon, in fact, to see them holding hands in the back seat.

All of that is about to be put to the test in just a few short weeks. The entire family is about to embark on a trip across the country (starting out in CA), over the Atlantic, and on to Israel. My sister who decided to take up residency there some 4 years ago is now engaged to be married. So what’s the next craziest thing to getting married? (Just kidding honey!) Well, the answer is taking two kids, 2 years and under on a 10,000 mile trip! We’re going to be on the plane an ungodly amount of time and I haven’t even talked about the fact that there’s a 10-hour time difference once we land!

Oy Vey!

So how does on prepare for such a journey? Well, I suppose in many ways you don’t. However, we’re getting certain things in order. For starters our plane doesn’t leave until the evening so the hope is that they’ll sleep the majority of the trip. Assuming they can muster 7 or 8 hours of sleep (they’re actually great travel sleepers) they’ll only be awake for 3 or 4 hours. We’re still figuring out what to bring for the plane ride but for now we’re loading up on:

  • Paperback coloring books
  • Crayons
  • Tons of stickers
  • A Macbook with Dora and Sesame Street games
  • Two iPhones with kids apps/books
  • iPad with kids apps and books

I’m actually a little more concerned with Jake since O can keep herself occupied with games, etc. She also LOVES watching TV (we do limit this at home) so I’m not worried about her plopping herself down for several hours of Dora or Diego. Jake on the other hand doesn’t watch movies and won’t sit still for more than a few minutes. I’m thinking he and I will be making our rounds through the plane saying hi to everyone. Once we’re off the plane we’re facing a 10-hour time change. The wife and I can force ourselves awake but the kids? Different story. I think this one we’re going to have to play by ear and just go with the flow. Fortunately, we get there several days before the wedding. So, hopefully we’ll be able to all get acclimated in due time.

O and Jake are used to making 6 to 7 hour car drives to visit family but this is going to be a whole different story. I’ll be chronicling my journey on www.DadStreet.com should you want to share in the craziness! Although, I do have a good amount of experience traveling with them (both have flown cross-country multiple times) I can always use advice.

Have any of you traveled with small children on such a long distance? If so, I’d love to hear what worked for you.

About the blogger:

Josh is an East Coast Transplant currently living in Monterey, California with his 2 adorable children, beautiful wife and their golden retriever. When Josh is not drooling over his adorable little ones, he enjoys drinking wine, taking pictures, playing with my iPhone, listening to an audio book, trying some kind of new food, surfing online, sleeping, watching TV, yappin’ on the phone, and last but not least trying to spend quality time with “The Boss”.

You can find Josh’s take on parenthood on his blog, Dadstreet.com

DIY CRAFT: Easy as ABC Child’s Room Wall Art

16 Mar

We’ve never had a guest blogger do a tutorial before, and this one is super cute and great for any party or child’s room.

Thanks for sharing Alecia!

-The Big Toy Book Moms

Decorating your child’s room doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg; a few well-crafted accents can go a long way – especially when they’re this adorable!  This is also a great way to help easily divide a shared space – like an office / playroom.  Here is a really easy (and fun) project that you can knock out in an hour and hang immediately!

  • What you’ll need:

– Pencil

– Scissors

– Hold Punch

– Printed Letters or Numbers, cut out

– Construction or craft paper

– Ribbon

  • Step 1 –

I used our home computer and printer to print out numbers in the font and size that I wanted (make sure you use outline format to save on ink & pick ones that are fat enough to hold up when cut out).  Cut your numbers (or letters) out.  I chose to do 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 because my daughter loves to count right now.

  • Step 2 –

Trace your numbers onto the BACK side of your construction paper.  I used a different design for each number just to make it more ascetically fun – pick whatever colors/textures will work best for your space & child.  When tracing the numbers be sure that you trace them BACKWARDS and to the BACK side of your paper – so that once you cut them out, the printed side will show your number the correct way.

After you have them traced, cut them out.

* An alternative to Step 1 & 2 would be to combine the process and print your numbers directly to your construction paper, but I didn’t want the printed marks on the front of my paper and since I used scrap paper that I had leftover from other projects, my sizes were different and would not have fit easily into my printer.

  • Step 3 –

Punch two small holes in the top, center of each number.  Keep the holes far enough apart that you can easily string a ribbon through each hole without worrying about it ripping.  Sting your ribbon through the holes, slipping the ribbon from back to front for the first hole, then front to back in the second.  Repeat for the remaining numbers, in sequential order (of course).  Distance your numbers appropriately to fit your wall space and preferred amount of ribbon.

  • Step 4 –

Hang your new wall art!  I tied a bow on each end and used a small piece of sticky tack to adhere each end to the wall.  Stand back and marvel!

Because this craft is so easy, you could always incorporate the help of your kids or change the images you’re hanging to suite the seasons or your child’s interests at any given time (think using dinosaur images instead of numbers or going with a red & green theme at Christmas).

About The Blogger:

Alecia is a stay-at-home mom to two little girls, wife to an amazingly devoted husband, and an aspiring writer.  When she not sipping pretend tea, she shares savings tips, online deals, crafting ideas and recipes at Savings & Stewardship; helping the modern family survive, thrive, and live life fully.