Archives for category: travel with kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chew on this idea for the little readers at your house. Plus, what a great idea for reluctant readers.

Have your small person pop a gum ball into their mouth and chew, chew, read, read away…….

Another brilliant idea discovered at 30 handmade which was guest posted there by Everyday Chaos, both great blogs that are packed full of ideas.

Let us know how this goes with your little readers.

Summer brings more kids outside to play, often times independently, which means there’s no better time to talk to your children about stranger danger.

This for many children this can be confusing. Some very good advice that I heard for talking to kids about stranger danger was to teach them “you can talk but never walk.” They see us talking all the time to people we don’t necessarily know, so never talk to “strangers” always seemed like a confusing message. But saying “never walk” seems so much more real.
The International Crime Prevention Council offers this information.

What to Teach Kids About Strangers

Information about the differences between strangers kids should look out for and strangers kids can trust

Kids see strangers every day in stores, in the park, and in their neighborhoods. Most of these strangers are nice, normal people, but a few may not be. Parents can protect their children from dangerous strangers by teaching them about strangers and suspicious behavior, and by taking a few precautions of their own.

Image result for stranger dangerWho is a stranger?

A stranger is anyone that your family doesn’t know well. It’s common for children to think that “bad strangers” look scary, like the villains in cartoons. This is not only not true, but it’s dangerous for children to think this way. Pretty strangers can be just as dangerous as the not-so-pretty ones. When you talk to your children about strangers, explain that no one can tell if strangers are nice or not nice just by looking at them and that they should be careful around all strangers.

But don’t make it seem like all strangers are bad. If children need help–whether they’re lost, being threatened by a bully, or being followed by a stranger–the safest thing for them to do in many cases is to ask a stranger for help. You can make this easier for them by showing them which strangers are okay to trust.

Who are safe strangers?

Safe strangers are people children can ask for help when they need it. Police officers and firefighters are two examples of very recognizable safe strangers. Teachers, principals, and librarians are adults children can trust too, and they are easy to recognize when they’re at work. But make sure that you emphasize that whenever possible, children should go to a public place to ask for help.

You can help your children recognize safe strangers by pointing them out when you’re out in your town. Also show your children places they can go if they need help, such as local stores and restaurants and the homes of family friends in your neighborhood.

Recognizing and Handling Dangerous Situations

Perhaps the most important way parents can protect their children is to teach them to be wary of potentially dangerous situations – this will help them when dealing with strangers as well as with known adults who may not have good intentions. Help children recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior, such as when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without permission, asks them to keep a secret, asks children for help, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way. Also tell your children that an adult should never ask a child for help, and if one does ask for their help, teach them to find a trusted adult right away to tell what happened.

You should also talk to your children about how they should handle dangerous situations. One ways is to teach them “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” If in a dangerous situations, kids should say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and tell a trusted adult what happened right away. Make sure that your children know that it is okay to say no to an adult in a dangerous situation and to yell to keep themselves safe, even if they are indoors. It’s good to practice this in different situations so that your children will feel confident in knowing know what to do. Here are a few possible scenarios:

  • A nice-looking stranger approaches your child in the park and asks for help finding the stranger’s lost dog.
  • A woman who lives in your neighborhood but that the child has never spoken to invites your child into her house for a snack.
  • A stranger asks if your child wants a ride home from school.
  • Your child thinks he or she is being followed.
  • An adult your child knows says or does something that makes him or her feel bad or uncomfortable.
  • While your child is walking home from a friend’s house, a car pulls over and a stranger asks for directions.

What Else Parents Can Do

In addition to teaching children how to recognize and handle dangerous situations and strangers, there are a few more things parents can do to help their children stay safe and avoid dangerous situations.

  • Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
  • Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
  • Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.
  • Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
  • Encourage your children to play with others. There’s safety in numbers!

What’s your take on strangers and safety? Do you let your kids talk to strangers?

Farewell Bri

Today we have to say “farewell” to our fabulous Bri.  As she heads south to her new home in Nashville we wish her safe travels and all the best in her new home!

Scootcase at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys

If this Scootcase was available in a larger version we could have sent Bri off on one.  It is however, a stylish way for the younger set to travel. Fill it up with favorites, then hop on and scoot along your way.

Skootcase filled with favorites

Notice the generous space inside.

Flip to Win Hangman at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys offers many classic travel toys aka: backseat boredom busters.  Anyone remember Hangman?

License Plate game at Totally Kids

The classic license plate game is an all time favorite for road trips. It is also a geography refresher for some. Without mentioning any names, we know a few road map challenged folks in our midst.

Bri, as you travel, be sure to stop and smell the roses along the way.

 

 

 

Blue Orange DayAll kidd-ing not aside, part of today at Totally Kids was “all fun and games” thanks to our “game guru”,  Jack, from the game company, Blue Orange. He introduced us to their newest games, Spot it Party, Nada, Flash and Ooga Booga.

Spot it Party

I have to tell you Michelle, you’re going to love Spot it Party even more than Spot It. It has 6 new mini-games guaranteed to hook everyone in for hours of fast paced fun. The next time you pay us a visit, good luck beating Lindsey at this new game.

Flash

There was Flash, a lightning-fast dice dash where players race to complete eight challenges of dice combinations while racking up the most points. We’re told, best not blink when playing this game as any player could score in a flash!

Ooga BoogaThen there was Oooga Booga that got Karin’s vote.  That game was way over my head, well actually my memory. But Karin, mother of three school aged children voted it in with a Yonka, Iga, Moki, Paya, then sticking out her tongue! If your listening skills are better than mine you will enjoy the challenge this game offers; listen closely, remember the cues, and recite the chant without any mistakes. If you hold out the longest and become the last chanting caveman standing, you will win.

Nada

Unfortunately, there was Nada enough time to play all of the games. With just a few rolls of the dice, Nada quickly became my favorite.

Begin by scooping up two batches of dice and let them roll. Quick! All players scan the array for matching symbols between the orange and white dice. The first to call a match gets to grab all the dice with that symbol.
No Matches? No problem! It‘s another chance to win. Shout “Nada!” to collect all the remaining dice. Think sharp and act fast to match, snatch and win.

Stop by Totally Kids fun furniture & toys Saturday, November 9th for Neighborhood Toy Store Day 2013,  and challenge our experts on any of these new games. Everyone’s a winner that day; there will be prizes for all who play.

The most simple of games can be the most fun. This new dice game can accommodate two to four players and includes 36 attractively designed dice—18 of them white with orange images on each side, 18 orange with white. Designs on each side include a palm tree, an anchor, a skull-and-bones symbol, a rabbit, a shark, and others.

Players start the three-round game by shaking up six white dice and six orange dice. They then throw them. Players scramble to find matching images, at least one of each color, and call out the match (“Palm trees!”). They get to collect the matched pair, and play continues until there are no more matches. The first to yell out “Nada!” at that point places his or her hand over the dice and collects the remaining ones. Anyone who does so prematurely must sit out during the next round.

This goes on for three rounds. The winner is the person with the most dice, making for a very simple game reminiscent of Pit. Nada is pure fun, something that kids living in a complicated time can use.

– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=31591&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.sYDPbrbR.dpuf

The most simple of games can be the most fun. This new dice game can accommodate two to four players and includes 36 attractively designed dice—18 of them white with orange images on each side, 18 orange with white. Designs on each side include a palm tree, an anchor, a skull-and-bones symbol, a rabbit, a shark, and others.

Players start the three-round game by shaking up six white dice and six orange dice. They then throw them. Players scramble to find matching images, at least one of each color, and call out the match (“Palm trees!”). They get to collect the matched pair, and play continues until there are no more matches. The first to yell out “Nada!” at that point places his or her hand over the dice and collects the remaining ones. Anyone who does so prematurely must sit out during the next round.

This goes on for three rounds. The winner is the person with the most dice, making for a very simple game reminiscent of Pit. Nada is pure fun, something that kids living in a complicated time can use.

– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=31591&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.sYDPbrbR.dpuf

The most simple of games can be the most fun. This new dice game can accommodate two to four players and includes 36 attractively designed dice—18 of them white with orange images on each side, 18 orange with white. Designs on each side include a palm tree, an anchor, a skull-and-bones symbol, a rabbit, a shark, and others.

Players start the three-round game by shaking up six white dice and six orange dice. They then throw them. Players scramble to find matching images, at least one of each color, and call out the match (“Palm trees!”). They get to collect the matched pair, and play continues until there are no more matches. The first to yell out “Nada!” at that point places his or her hand over the dice and collects the remaining ones. Anyone who does so prematurely must sit out during the next round.

This goes on for three rounds. The winner is the person with the most dice, making for a very simple game reminiscent of Pit. Nada is pure fun, something that kids living in a complicated time can use.

– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=31591&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.sYDPbrbR.dpuf

The most simple of games can be the most fun. This new dice game can accommodate two to four players and includes 36 attractively designed dice—18 of them white with orange images on each side, 18 orange with white. Designs on each side include a palm tree, an anchor, a skull-and-bones symbol, a rabbit, a shark, and others.

Players start the three-round game by shaking up six white dice and six orange dice. They then throw them. Players scramble to find matching images, at least one of each color, and call out the match (“Palm trees!”). They get to collect the matched pair, and play continues until there are no more matches. The first to yell out “Nada!” at that point places his or her hand over the dice and collects the remaining ones. Anyone who does so prematurely must sit out during the next round.

This goes on for three rounds. The winner is the person with the most dice, making for a very simple game reminiscent of Pit. Nada is pure fun, something that kids living in a complicated time can use.

– See more at: http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=31591&StepNum=1&award=aw#sthash.sYDPbrbR.dpuf

Leave Your Mark

We plan on doing this for the 4th of July since the ice is barely off the Minnesota lakes for Memorial Day 2013.  For those of you in warmer climates, you may be able to kick off summer fun sooner than we can.

It is so very simple, just hot glue foam letters, numbers or shapes on the bottom of flip flops. Think of the fun – leave your mark in the sand. Hint: remember that the prints will be a mirror image, so arrange the letters backward.

I Spy

Holiday travel is right around the corner. Just in case you’re traveling with small children, look what we have for you! The foot powered Skootcase looking much like the iconic Italian scooter wouldn’t you say? Available in pink or blue and ride ready for airports or a spin around Grandma’s house. There is plenty of room inside to store your child’s favorite things.
Plus, it features a sturdy tow strap that makes it convenient to throw over your shoulder when your child gets tired. It is approved for carry-on luggage plus boasts a full steering column and can hold up to 110 pounds.

Check out these tips for traveling with kids and beating backseat boredom. The love story video is sure to put a smile on your face.

 

 

Yesteryear’s pint size suitcase has been up-cycled to a hanging vanity.

Schools out, now what do you do to keep your kids from falling into the frightening world of boredom?  Lisa, from Little Bird School of Stitchcraft can show you how to cast a spell on your kids (fingers) this summer. She has a super trick for keeping little hands entertained while learning an age old craft at the same time.
Thanks Lisa for sharing your Finger Knitting post with us.
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Finger knitting is a really good way of getting children interested in wool crafts, and it is very easy to learn.  It also helps to improve a child’s dexterity and ability to concentrate.  No extra implements are required,  just fingers, the best tools in the world!  I often carry balls of yarn in my bag to pass the time in the doctors surgery or similar.
Finger knitting produces a long thin strip of stocking stitch and there are many things you can do with these strips.  In this tutorial, which is suitable for children, I will show you how to finger knit.  You can use any weight of yarn for finger knitting but for this tutorial I used chunky which produces a nice stocking stitch.
To cast on, begin with the palm of your hand facing you with the tail end of the yarn between your thumb and index finger.  Weave the yarn over your index finger and behind the middle finger then over the ring finger.  Wrap the yarn around your smallest finger and weave back to your index finger:
Weave the yarn around the index finger again and continue in the same manner but above the first rows of stitches returning to your index finger again:
Try to keep the stitches fairly loose otherwise it will be difficult for you to make the following moves.
The first row, begins with the little finger, lift the bottom row of wrapped yarn up and over the tip of your finger (see below).  Ensure that you keep the top row of wrapped yarn on your finger as you go.
Continue the process of lifting the bottom row of stitches over the top row of stitches along your hand until you get back to your index finger:
For all subsequent rows, weave the yarn around the fingers again ending with the index finger. It should look like the image below:
Beginning with the little finger, lift the bottom row of yarn over the tips of your fingers.  Continue weaving and lifting the yarn over the fingers.  As you continue the process you will see a long strip of stocking stitch appearing behind you hand:
To cast off, do not weave the work around your fingers instead, lift the stitch off the little finger and pass it across to your ring finger:
Then lift the bottom stitch over the top stitch on your ring finger.  Continue to pass the stitches across and over until you get to the index finger with one stitch remaining.
Cut the yarn, lift the stitch off the index finger and pass the end of your yarn through the stitch and pull to secure the end:

Finger knitting is very addictive and children love it for its simplicity and ease.  I have loads of strips of finger knitting laying around the house and there are lots of things that you can do with them.

For more crafty ideas, be sure to visit Lisa’s blog  Little Bird School of Stitchcraft.

Thanks again for sharing Lisa!

Before we had kids, my husband and I would eat out all the time and enjoyed our time together discovering new foods and restaurants. Now that we have two little boys, eating out isn’t so easy or enjoyable. We are now mostly limited to kid-friendly dining and even at the most kid-friendly restaurants, we are susceptible to melt downs, whining, crying, and restlessness among other things. So I made a list of restaurant table games to play while waiting for your meal, or even during meal time when the kids are done eating but the adults aren’t. These fun little games can be played using items found at your table and have really helped us keep the kids busy and calm while dining out.

1. Origami Fortune Tellers. I used to make these all the time when I was younger and they were always a camp favorite. If you don’t know how to make one of these, HERE is a step by step tutorial.  All you need is the kids menu and crayons. Colors go on the outside, numbers in the center, and a fortune on each of the 4 inside flaps. Here is how to play: First your child chooses a color. If it’s red, then spell out R-E-D while moving the fortune together and apart with your fingers 3 times. Then choose a number from the center. Again, count while moving the fortune teller. Then pick another number and whichever number they choose, lift up the flat and that is their fortune. Here are some fortune ideas: “You will have good luck today” or “You will go to a party soon.” Or they could be a direction like “Give someone at the table a hug” or “Make a silly face.”

2. Sugar Packet and Penny Trick. This is a restaurant table version of the old cups and balls magic trick. Take three of the same color sugar packet and a penny or small coin. Show you child which packet the coin is under and then quickly mix them up while they are watching. See if they can follow which sugar packet the penny is under and when you are done mixing, ask them where the penny is.

3. Guess Which Hand. Hide a sugar packet/piece of a napkin/coin (or other small table object) in one of your hands. Make a fist with both hands and have your child guess which hand the object is in. My son likes to play this game on us! He (not so) discreetly hides something in one hand and then we get to guess. Of course I like to humor him and pick the wrong hand :o)

4. Straw and Sugar Packet Tic Tac Toe. Here is a fun way to play Tic Tac Toe. Ask your server for a couple extra straws and use them to make the game board. Use sets of two different color sugar packets as the markers for each team or player. Three in a row wins!

5. Straw Wrapper Worms. When you are unwrapping your straws, scrunch the paper up. Lay it on the table and drip a drop of water on it. Watch it wiggle and grow! See our Straw Wrapper Worm video:

6. I Spy. Choose an object at the table or within view of your table and using the phrase “I spy with my little eye, something ___” Provide a descriptive word about what you see and let your child guess what it is. Then let him/her pick something and you try to guess!

7. Dot Game. This is also called Capture the Squares. The object of the game is to connect dots to get as many squares as possible. Start by drawing a grid of dots and take turns connecting two dots at a time with a vertical or horizontal line. When a person is able to finish a square, put your initial in it. When all dots become squares, count the initialed boxes and whoever has the most wins!

8. ABC Spy. Using the kids menu, or in this case we used the fry basket liner, ask your child to find an “A” and so on. Each time they find the letter, they can circle it. This seems too simple, but believe me, this kept my 3-year-old occupied for a good chunk of time and he really liked searching for each letter I called out.

9. Disappearing Objects. Arrange a group of objects together in the middle of the table. Tell your child to look closely at all the objects on the table then tell him to close his eyes. Take an object away and see if your child can tell you which object is missing.

10. Table Football. There are actual rules to this game (that we don’t follow). We just like to make a paper football and enjoy flicking it around. To make the ball: Start by folding a piece of paper in half longways and fold the corner down into a triangle. Continue to fold down, making triangles until you get to the end of the paper. Tuck whatever excess paper is left on the end into the “pocket” on the top of the ball.  The object of the game is the flick the football across the table and if it is hanging over the edge when it comes to a rest, you get a touchdown. We like to hold our hands up into a field goal and try and flick between the posts (aka fingers and thumbs).

Thank you Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me for sharing these entertaining ideas.

Ralph, you do not have to send Alice to the moon to have this incredibly fun Moon Sand.

Did you know how easy it is to make Moon Sand, (the sand that you can mold) at home? Even with this recipe it is amazing moldable, holdable, squishable, squashable, sand that never dries out!

Now that you know there’s not need for a trip to the moon or the store, here is the recipe for DIY Moon Sand:

  • 6 cups of play sand (really fine sand) found at Home Depot or Lowes
  • 3 cups of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water
  1. Mix the water and cornstarch together thoroughly, this will take a few minutes to get it nice and smooth.
  2. Gradually mix in the sand, one cup at a time. You’ll need to really work it in with your fingers. Little fingers especially like assisting with this task.
  3. Play with it!
  4. Once mixed, store it in an airtight container.
  5. When you next play with it, you may need to revive it with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Just sprinkle it over and work it in.

Play sand comes in different colors, so buy different colored bags if you wish.

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If it’s really a trip to the moon that you were looking forward to, here is the rocketship to get you there!

Blast off and have fun!