Archives for category: traveling with kids

How are you teaching stranger danger?

Summertime brings more outdoor playtime. For many kids, the play is done independently, which means now is an ideal time to talk to your children about stranger danger.

Stanger danger for most children can be confusing. Something that I learned that has been helpful is “you can talk the talk but never walk.” Young children see adults talking 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 way is to teach them “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” If in a dangerous situation, 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 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 discourage your kids from talking to strangers?

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How to Beat Backseat Boredom….

Now that we are in the Spring Break and holiday travel season, there is always the question of how to keep young travelers happy and occupied on their journeys. Whether you travel by air, land or sea, here are some super travel toy ideas to help you entertain the kiddos and also 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.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

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.

How to Beat Backseat Boredom….

With Spring Break and holiday travel happening, 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
Who hasn’t spent hours playing this game on roadtrips?

Here is the 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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

Easter Egg Memory Game

If you’re looking for a cute memory game, Mr. Printables has a colorful, you guessed it, “printable” game for you.

Children will need to recognize different colors, shapes and details while trying to concentrate on the 8 brightly colored Easter Eggs, like a spotty one, stripy one or checked one.

Colorful memory game

Remember how much fun memory games can be?

Playing memory games with your child teaches nonverbal skills such as attention to detail and concentration. They also stimulate children’s ability to notice, then think about the visual physical differences. Young children can learn the similarities between objects using their visual memory or attention to their environment.  Best of all, they offer great social interaction by allowing a positive no-tech time to spend with your children.

Thank you Mr. Printables!

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

Etch A Sketch

The Etch A Sketch made its debut as The Magic Screen at a European Toy Fair in 1959.

It all began in 1950. While tinkering in his garage, French electrician Andre Cassagnes dreamed up a drawing toy that kids could shake up and start over.  The new drawing toy was made up of a joystick, glass and aluminum powder.  Before taking it to market In 1960,  it was tweaked; a  joystick with two white knobs in the left and right corners of the screen. The idea was to make the toy look like the hot new adult toy of the time: a television.  Quickly it became the most popular selling toy during the Christmas season that year.  Since then, the Ohio Art Company has sold more than 150 million of them.

The Toy Industry Association named Etch A Sketch one of the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century.

If you have ever wondered what’s inside an Etch A Sketch, How Stuff Works will enlighten you.

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.