Archives for category: travel with kids
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!

Exciting new colors are now available for our classic flip chair. If you are  curious about the colors, just click on the chair to view what’s new. If you are not familiar with this popular chair, it opens to a sleeping spot. This chair will shorten any MIL visit, but is most popular with the under 10 year old set.

 

 

 

You can’t help flipping over this one, Flip to Win Hangman. It’s an all time favorite for traveling kids.

This Friday’s no mess recipe requires no cooking, just a ziplock bag, fingerpaint, Q-Tip, and a piece of tape.

Younger children can scribble and doodle  making their own  designs. When a little older, what a great way to practice writing the alphabet.

Instructions are provided by Let’s Explore.

For on the go doodling there is the tried and true Etch A Sketch which a great travel companion.

Are you aware that you can not donate a drop side crib or even give it away on Craig’s List or Freecycle.

Look at this brilliant idea of an up-cycle for a defunct or whatcha gonna do with it crib! A Little Learning for Two has the the how to for “green” cribs.

On June 28, the Consumer Product Safety Commission  put new crib safety regulations into effect that not only prohibit the manufacture or sale—including resale—of traditional drop side cribs, but impose stricter guidelines for crib manufacturers.

These new standards,  will require that all cribs have fixed sides, and also require the slats to be made stronger to prevent breakage.  Safety testing will be even more stringent in proving compliance. Crib manufacturers will have to meet these new standards or face possible mandatory recalls and civil penalties.

These new mandatory standards, now gives the U. S. the most stringent crib standards in the world.   After years of advocating by many consumer groups these standards were approved in December 2010 and as of June 28, 2011 they are in effect.

This also applies to cribs used by hotels and childcare centers, although those organizations have been given an extension and won’t have to replace their cribs until December 28, 2012.

Now for a little green cribs and Sp-ham:

You grew up with the great taste of SPAM® (maybe)! Now, play SPAM™ The Dice Game. An instant classic, and it’s fun! Use the SPAM™ tin container as a dice cup and for travel.

Oh, the exciting places part of this chair may have visited.

In its previous life it was a traveling companion and desired  piece of Samsonite luggage. Today South African interior/furniture designer Katie Thompson has brilliantly repurposed it into this chair which is  included in her collection called  Recreate.

Now there is a new kid (suitcase) on the block!

It’s a  carry-on – it’s ride-on! The Trunki is a unique suitcase that doubles as transportation for your little ones.  Featuring lightweight and durable materials, the Trunki Ride-On Suitcase is an easy-to-carry piece of luggage. When you close and stand it up, your kiddos can take a seat on top and start riding! It holds up to 100 lbs plus features integrated wheels and stabilizers, making it a safe ride for all children. What a great carry-on and way to pack for an airplane trip, a long weekend, overnight at Grandma’s house, or even as the perfect place to store toys at home. It includes a tow strap, carry handles, and secure catches.

Time for a trip! Where in the world will we go next?

Look at Halle Berry’s daughter with her Trunki

How to Beat Backseat Boredom….

With summer travel there is always the question of how to keep young travelers happy and occupied on their journey. Whether you travel by air, land or sea, here are some super toy ideas to entertain the kiddos and help prevent the dreaded backseat boredom.


Flip To Win Hangman
Classic word game with a twist! Think of a word and try to
stump your opponent. Includes one game board with erasable
whiteboard, self-storing dry-erase marker and eraser. No loose
pieces! For 2 or more players. Ages 6 and up.


Backseat Travel Books Set
Four great travel books make for hours of fun on the road! This  series is your source
for fighting those boredom blues. With this Kids’ Travel Activity Pack you get all four
books for hours and hours of travel fun. Are We There Yet? features great on-the-road
games, trip-tracking tools (including travel journal pages), mini mysteries, crossword
puzzles, road games, and much, much more. An answer key is also included in the
back of the book. Best Travel Activity Book Ever! features hundreds of coloring activities,
dozens of dot-to-dots, lots of mazes, and a ton of other fun games and activities.
Kids’ Road Atlas
features real road maps, great travel games, state-by-state puzzles,
state facts (including the nickname, capital, flower, tree, and bird), an index, and much,
much more. An answer key is also included in the back of the book. Coast-to-Coast
Games
travels around the United States by region through National Park puzzles, city
games and activities, fun facts and trivia, and much, much more. An answer key is also
included in the back of the book. These fun-filled books are perfect for keeping the kids
busy at home or during those long stretches.  Ages 6 and up.


Travel Bingo
Great for travel! Both players select a Travel Bingo board, insert matching game
cards into the slot at the top of their boards, and flip open all of the doors so that
the pictures on the cards are exposed. Players close the doors as they spot objects
along their journey. Includes 4 double-sided, laminated, themed game cards.
No loose pieces! For 2 or more players. Ages 4 years and older.

Find these and many more great toys visit http://www.shoptotallykids.com or call a Totally Kids
personal shopper at 952-881-2425 to help you find just what you are looking for.

Totally Kids ships worldwide and offers FREE gift wrapping on most toys.

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Have Family Will Travel offers: Top 10 Tips for Flying with Kids.

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Be certain everyone gets plenty of rest before you travel. Hydrate especially before air travel. Remember to keep washing hands so you will return home happy and healthy. Do not forget to have fun and take lots of pictures.

A lesson in cooperation.

Begin by cutting a few swimming noodles in half.  Give each player a noodle. Scatter 20 or more colorful balloons (blown up) on the ground around a 2 laundry baskets.

Give players five minutes to move as many balloons as possible into the laundry baskets without touching the balloons with any body part. The catch? The only tool they can use is their pool noodle. At first, players may try  batting the balloons into the basket alone. A lesson in cooperation will happen once they realize it takes two! Using the two pool noodles like giant chopsticks to lift the balloons into  the basket and you’ll have a team of winners! Be sure to have prizes for everyone.

Another oldie but goodie from Parents.com.

More Noodles….

Brain Noodles are like pipe cleaners on steroids. You can use your noodle to bend, twist, and create anything you can imagine! Craft fun for kids of all ages; birthday gifts, quiet play time, party favors, learning tools, brainstorming, ice breakers for parties, centerpieces, stress toys, luggage id, fundraisers, and more! The list goes on and on…With all the possibilities, Brain Noodles™ can be used again and again in unlimited ways.

All Aboard?

Any little person that you know go loco for locomotives? Do the names Thomas, Percy, or Topham hold a special meaning in your household? How about The Little Engine That Could?

Today is the 4th Annual National Train Day, a coast-to-coast celebration of America’s love of trains and the 40th anniversary of Amtrak service in the U.S.

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Totally Kids fun furniture & toys invites all young engineers to stop by today and help us celebrate Amtrak’s  birthday. There will be fun contests, prizes, juice and cookies.

Best of all, today or any day, practice your engineering skills with our classic wooden train sets.

Guide colorful engines, coal cars, freight cars, and caboose around great lengths of curves & straight track, whizzing by workers, trees and traffic signs. They steer engines in to fill the expansive roundhouse engine shed. Concentrating intently, they lift and carry railroad cars and freight with magnetic tipped cranes.

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Test you train terms skill with this printout from Amtrak: