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Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts

Sep 3, 2015

Summer Family Trip to Norwalk CT

Trip to Norwalk CT


Originally, our weekend trip was going to be to Mystic, CT. After looking into lodging and accommodation for just one night, it was way too expensive in this well known town. Broadening our search for a fun and light family weekend getaway, we came across Norwalk. At it turned out to be much better than expected.

We started out driving up to CT on Saturday morning. Even though it was a weekend and early, traffic was horrendous. We finally arrived in Norwalk around noon. Which actually worked out fine as our kiddo got a nice nap in and was up just in time.
Our first stop and the major attraction for the trip was The Children's Museum.
This place is built specifically for toddlers. We had no idea such places existed. Usually most places are 3 years and up. This one actually says that it is 3 and below. Older kids would find it boring. However, our 1.5 year old loved it.


There are a lot of hands on activities. And since most of the parts are built for the age group, they have a bit more freedom to run around and do what they want without getting into too much trouble. They could fish from a small boat, play dress up and make believe, run up small stair to play in the fully stocked kitchen, or have dinning room or reading room experience with a large table and their size chairs. And that is only one small part of the place. Just in that area we spent probably an hour. Than it was time to slow down a bit and have lunch.
After refueling we went to check out the next area of the museum, the Energy lab, aka water fun. There are a couple of tanks with moving water and plastic balls all around. The ball swirl, swim, and get pushed into tubes and up with the water for whirlwind effects and other fun science type of constructions. It seemed to be the most liked area by the kids as there was always quite a few and even parents got in on the fun of throwing the balls, pumping the water, and making the water rush through pipes.


With all the water and splashing, we all got a bit wet. Next up, was to get outdoors to warm up and dry up. The outdoor section is covered up and has foam everything. The ground is rubber and all the activities are foam or soft plastic.
With so many activities for our little one and her running around, we had a chance to try out our new GoPro HERO4 SILVER camera. It took some time to get used to it as the controls are bit different and the camera itself is tiny. And with the case closed, the amount of control over the type of shot is limited and cannot be adjusted easily on the fly.
Also with all the activities, kiddo passed out on the way to the restaurant we were going to for dinner. We went to Harbor Lights, an Mediterranean restaurant on the waterfront with great seafood selection. And she actually slept through our entire meal. It was great to spend some time enjoying a great dinner, with no interruption, for almost an hour. Towards the end of our dinner, kiddo woke up, and got a meal of her own.
After the meal and some hanging out by the docs at sunset, we made our way to the hotel. Overnight we stayed at Hampton Inn. It was very nice, with plenty of parking, great layout inside, and a pool. After checking in, we walked by to check out the pool. And after settling in the room, we changed, and headed to the pool. All of us had a blast in the water with almost no one being in the pool.


Getting back and getting ready for bed, kiddo laid out all of the content of her own backpack. The backpack that she brought is a mini version of full size book bag that has side pockets for bottle, front pockets for favorite animal, and also a leash attached to keep them close in crowded areas. Also she brought her favorite toy of the moment, a clapper, and a travel doodle board.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel. It was not free or included, but it was pretty good for the price ($12.95 per person) and also very convenient. After eating and packing up, we were onto the next adventure, Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. On the way there, once we were a few blocks from the place, we ran into more traffic issues, as it turns out there was a large street fair happening with several blocks closed off. It was not much fun circling around for some time as GPS was not very helpful. Though our munchkin didn't mind. She was getting her early afternoon nap in. Since she was sleeping once we got there and parked, we decided to stroll down to the river and enjoy the views. This was made even better by a couple of ice cream trucks nearby. One of them turned out to be a promo for Wall Street Journal app and they were giving out waffle cones of ice cream for FREE. Win win.


Inside the aquarium one of the first exhibits are the seals. We saw them swimming around back and forth between inside and outside areas. We just missed the show, so we were going to come back later in the day. The next portion in hallway was a large tank with rays and small sharks that you can lean over and pet. I did that. Though neither my wife or kiddo wanted to touch the creatures. The rays’ stinging barbs have been removed and sharks are very friendly. Some of the rays purposely swam up to get patted. Some other fun exhibits included jelly fish (also could touch), lizards and meerkats, sharks, and huge turtles. The seal show was short though fun and educational. Our kiddo clapped when the seals jumped on rocks and two of them kissed.


We also stepped into the butterfly exhibit tent they had set up outside. There were many different types and size butterflies. One of them landed on our Canon camera to get a close up:

Before heading back home, we stopped for lunch at restaurant a few blocks from Aquarium called the Washington Prime. It was a walking distance, so no need to get the car of parking garage, and they had a pretty good selection.

Related links:
Kids Travel Gadgets



Sound-off: What has been your favorite trip this summer? Let us know below

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Sep 16, 2014

Family Weekend Getaway for the First Time

family getaway vacation
Family Weekend Getaway for the First Time
To finish off a great summer with lots of first, we took our first family road trip as our little one turned 6 months. We drove up to Pocono Mountains region in Pennsylvania where we enjoyed local fair and stayed overnight. It was an inexpensive family mini vacation.

First stop on our kiddos first road trip, was a winery. Of course.
We went to Mountain View Vineyard to sample some of their wines. They also have a distillery with flavored vodkas. We arrived there early, before the place even opened as we were planning to feed the baby before hand so she would be nice and full and less fussy. It worked at least for half of the visit. While waiting for the place to open and getting some food, we met a big dog that turned out to be quite friendly. And also met a rooster, which turned out to be the bad-ass of the place and we were warned, after the fact, to not let him get to close to us.

dog chasing chickens

There was good wine at this winery but no phone service. We have Verizon as the provider, and we barely had any bars. This rarely happened in many of our travel. We were trying to look up the address of the next winery and could not get to it. Since we were not too far from our home base, I didn't even think about doing the Google Maps offline ahead of time. We did get pointed to correct way by some of the locals and were on our way.
Next stop was the (Sorrenti) Cherry Valley Vineyard. Unfortunately, on their site and other marketing they chose to exclude Sorrenti from the name, hence why it was so hard to find.
The food there was great, we enjoyed our pizza with some sangria and bread sticks. The property is spread out and has a fountain, gazebo, and lots of sitting areas.
The wines are ok, though well made. Though the wine servers were impersonal and standoffish. Which dampened the experience quite a bit.


While in the car we had some kids gadgets along. A very helpful one that I use even on shorter trips around the town is the mirror that you can view in your rear-view to see your kin in a back facing carseat. The one we have, BRICA In-Sight Magical Firefly Mirror, also has entertainment for the little one with music lights and shapes. It comes with a remote, so that I can easily turn it on from the front seat. One caveat, is that it has to be manually turned on before starting the drive, which is actual an OK feature, though would have like on/off button on the remote.

Overnight we stayed at the Holiday Inn. At check-in we were able to upgrade to a Jacuzzi room for less than $10. The room looked great. It was huge, see picture below. Just enough room for 3 of us :)


holiday inn hotel room

The bathroom could have been cleaner. There were some hairs around it and some small stains left over. Overall, the place looked clean

The phone chargers came in handy. I was charging my phone throughout the trip via the Griffin Dual USB Car Charger in the car and my wife powered up hers with Pebble Smartstick 2200mAh Portable Charger and with the Griffin USB AC Adaptor in the room. It saved a lot of time and worry while traveling and not having to look out for the power remain percentage.

While those are great, I have updated our mobile charger just recently. We got the Mophie Powerstation that has 4000mAh

The next day, our first stop was a butterfly farm. I have never been to one of these, and we were both wondering what the kiddo's reaction is going to be since she is so little. It was quite an experience. There were a whole lot of pretty free flying butterflies. She loved every moment of it. It was fun for an entire family


The following stop was the Largest County Store. That was also an experience. A whole lot of space filled with all kinds of stuff






We had one more stop afterwards at a winery. This time at The Big Creek Vineyard, where we met one of the owners and had a nice sampling of their wines as well as a chat. We ended up getting a couple of bottles for the road home as their wine was good and their atmosphere was pleasant.

Other gadgets that we had with us in our trusted Lowepro Passport bag:
Canon Rebel XSi DSLR Camera
TP-LINK Wi-Fi Range Extender
iPhone cable
iPhone
Blue Panasonic Lumix waterproof camera for selfies and just quick shots

None of this is sponsored, except for amazon links. All opinions are my own

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

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Jan 19, 2012

10 Great Travel Gadgets for Kids

10 Great Travel Gadgets for Kids:

1. MobiGo Touch Learning System
- a great little gaming system for little hands, with both a touch screen and a real Querty keyboard, plus no little parts to get lost. Kids can use the touch screen and also type letters on the keyboard. Both educational and fun.

2. Fisher Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera
- Have a young photographer in the family? This kid-friendly camera is great for travel. They can take as many shots as they want or until ran out of available space. Camera stores over 2,000 pictures and has 256 MB built-in memory. As the name implies, this digital camera is built to take a drop or two or more and keep on going.

3. V.Reader
- The V.Reader Animated Ebook System is like a kiddie Nook with animated stories, learning games and an easy-to-use touch screen. Now they can read like grown ups, or at least look like it. Plus no multiple books to drag with you as you travel as the V.Reader comes with small cartridges, has a USB port and SD memory card slot for expansion. It features a sturdy plastic body with see-through plastic screen cover for durable

4. LeapPad Explorer
- It's a tablet built for kids and for learning. Includes a library of 100+ cartridge games, apps, digital books, videos and flash cards. Has a built-in camera & video recorder, 5" touch screen for use with finger or included stylus. And comes with 2GB of memory, enabling it to host a robust suite of apps including: innovative book apps that provide a fully interactive, cinematic reading experience with word-by-word support and state-of-the-art gameplay; a Story Studio to combine art, audio and writing; Art, Animation and Photo studios to inspire imaginations. Software includes broad curriculum such as reading, mathematics, science, geography, art, music, language and culture, health and more. Plus, skill levels automatically adjust the challenge to match each child's pace and remember progress from game to game and book to book. (via leapfrog.com)

5. Ultimate Ears Earphones for Children
- To keep the beeps and other noises from above gadgets to a minimum, headphones are a must-have gadget when traveling with kids. These ones are specifically designed for children. They have a built in volume control that limits any music source by up to 40% and the ear cushions fit comfortably to create a seal. This means kids don't have to crank the volume to focus on their music, movies, or games, therefore protecting their ears.

6. Uniden Walkie Talkies
- easy to carry and pack, making them a must-have for travel families.
They’re rechargeable, too—and can run up to 10 hours on a single charge. Stay in touch no matter where you are… up to 15 miles away!

7. Travel Chess and Backgammon Game
- On the road cannot always plug-in or just want to unplug, board games are a great stand-by.

8. Advanced Alarm Child Locator
- With this transmitter fitted you will be alerted automatically by a loud chirping noise as soon as your child wanders out-of-range by approximately 30 feet/10 metres. Perfect for busy places such as airports, festivals, new cities or anywhere where you or your child might get distracted. Can easily be fitted to your child's wrist, footwear, clothing or bag. Locate your child with the push of a button long life batteries already installed and ready for immediate use. This gadget is water and shock resistant.

9. Mini-Laptop/Netbooks or portable DVD player
- Kids can have fun playing games, writing, drawing, or watching movies or shows. If you are able to obtain Wi-fi during the trip, they can also play on their favorite sites.

10. iPad
For a bit older kids, iPad might be a great idea as it can replace both gadgets above and also games systems, books, and music players. And here also earphones come in handy.
ColorStudio HD app for iPad is a great companion. It is a high-tech coloring book, where kids can use marker, crayon, pencil and paint brush to draw that also has animated characters, music, sound and visual effects that bring scenes to life.

For more kids travel gear visit: Kids Travel Gadgets

How do you keep your kids or yourself entertained while traveling? Let us know below


What others are saying about Travel Gadgets for Kids:
Travel Gadgets for Families by USAToday Travel

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Oct 7, 2011

How to Pack Accessories for Travel

Pack like a pro: accessorize



Gadgets in this video that are part of my travel arsenal:
-Combination lock by Samsonite - had on our checked bag on the way back from Cali trip
-Hefty travel bags
-Travel size toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, and other personal products. Great for space saving and more room in suitcases on the way back as these would be disposed off by then.
-Canon PowerShot SX120IS

Aug 13, 2011

Top ten Labor Day destinations

Top 10 list of Labor Day destinations as compiled by Hotwire:

1. New York, NY, $195

2. Boston, MA, $129

3. Chicago, IL, $90

4. Las Vegas, NV, $95

5. San Francisco, CA, $135

6. Toronto, ON, Canada, $93

7. Vancouver, BC, Canada, $116

8. San Diego, CA, $94

9. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, $59

10. Washington, D.C., $89

Explore more deals on Hotwire.com:




Jun 22, 2011

New gadget by US Government and what you need to know about it

In the last couple of years, State Department has started issuing E-Passports. Anyone applying or renewing their passport will now receive these technologically enhanced travel document.
E-passport has a RFID chip on its front, you can see the comparison pictures below of previous version of the passport and new. It also has more colorful pages inside.
I got one of those when I renewed my passport. It was brand spanking new with hard cover pretty pictures inside, though not of me, and the extra technology. It a cool feature that allows for easy and faster access to information and getting through passport check. However, with new technology there is also concern of digital information being a target for not so scrupulous folks. Here are some details of that the new features are and how the work for the new passports

What is an Electronic Passport?
An Electronic Passport is the same as a traditional passport with the addition of a small integrated circuit (or “chip”) embedded in the back cover. The chip stores:
- The same data visually displayed on the data page of the passport;
- A biometric identifier in the form of a digital image of the passport photograph, which will facilitate the use of face recognition technology at ports-of-entry;
- The unique chip identification number; and
- A digital signature to protect the stored data from alteration.


The special features of an Electronic Passport are:
- Securely stored biographical information and digital image that are identical to the information that is visually displayed in the passport;
- Contactless chip technology that allows the information stored in an Electronic Passport to be read by special chip readers at a close distance; and
- Digital signature technology that is used to verify the authenticity of the data stored on the chip. This technology is commonly used in credit cards and other secure documents using integrated circuits or chips.

How does the ePassport work?
The chip in the ePassport is a proximity contactless chip that must be held within ten centimetres of a reader in order to be read. Moreover, the data on the chip cannot be accessed unless the machine-readable zone on page 2 has first been read, which means that the passport book must be open. It is therefore extremely unlikely that the data stored on the chip could be read without the knowledge of the passport holder.

Border authorities equipped with ePassport readers will insert the traveller's ePassport into a scanner, which will read the machine-readable zone, thereby opening the chip so that it can be read as well. The machine also checks other security features, such as the country's signature. Border authorities who are not equipped with ePassport readers will continue to examine travellers' passports as they do now.

Will the ePassport contain any kind of tracking device?
No. The chip in the ePassport is passive, which means that it does not have a power source. It cannot transmit signals over long distances. An ePassport reader must be held within 10 centimetres of an open passport book before it can capture the information on the chip. The ONLY information that is on the chip is the information from page 2 of the passport. The chip does not transmit or record any other information.

Why good to have on a trip:
- Automated identity verification;
- Faster immigration inspections; and
- Greater border protection and security

Did You Know?:
Old version
New Version






May 20, 2011

Summer is just around the corner - enjoy the sun, protect your skin

Update: The Sun Authority - sun safety guide from sunglasswarehouse

With summer just around the corner its time to think about outdoors, beach, sun, and most importantly sun protection.
There is a great article on hubpages.com regarding protecting your skin and details on different types of sun rays and protection: Sun Protection Against Ultraviolet Rays and How to Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen

Protect Your Skin Against the Damaging Effects of UV Rays.
Source: hubpages.com
The sun emits electromagnetic radiation in the form of heat and light. In fact, 99 percent of the electromagnetic radiation reaches the Earth in the form of ultraviolet (UV) rays, infrared rays (heat) and light. While heat and light are necessary for sustaining life, too much UV exposure can have undue effects on the skin and health. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, UV radiation, from the sun as well as tanning beds, is classified as a human carcinogen. It is not surprising, therefore, that UV radiation is the main culprit behind the ugly effects of photoaging—wrinkles, premature aging skin, age spots and the risk factor in skin cancer. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) also has grim statistics to show the dangerous effects of UV radiation—one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and it claims the life of one American every hour.
Sounds scary?  If you’re a sun-worshipper or have been negligent about sun protection, there is good news: Skin cancer can be prevented by limiting unprotected exposure to UV rays. But what are UV rays? Are there different types of UV rays and what do they do to your skin and health. Here’s the lowdown:

What are UV Rays?
UV rays are energy emitted by the sun and they travel in wavelengths. Shorter wavelengths have more energy and vice versa. By definition, UV rays are shorter than infrared rays and therefore have more energy than visible radiation. This attribution makes UV rays more harmful than infrared rays. Why? The higher energy found in UV rays is strong enough to cause the breakdown of molecules of any substance, changing the chemical structure of the molecule. Prolonged periods of UV radiation can cause cell damage and deformities by altering its genetic code. For the skin, it can mean premature wrinkles, photoaging and in the worst case scenario, skin cancer. Eyes can develop cataract, pigmentation or macular degeneration.
However, not all UV rays exert the same kind of effects. Within the UV rays spectrum, there are 3 main types and they’re classified according to their wave ranges: UVA, UVB and UVB

UVA Rays
UVA rays have the longest wavelength and therefore exert the least energy of all the UV rays. They range from 320 to 400 nanometers (nm, or billions of a meter). You can get technical and further divide UVA into UVA1 (340 to 400 nm) and UVA2 (320 to 400 nm). They also account for most of the radiation from the sun, a whopping 95 percent. Although they are less intense due to their longer wavelength, they are 30 to 50 percent more prevalent and their effects are more consistent throughout the day. Their longer wavelengths also enable them to penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB rays. Premature wrinkles, skin aging, age spots –in one word—photoaging develops with unprotected exposure to UVA rays.

UVB Rays
UVB rays fall mid-range in the UV spectrum, ranging from 290 to 320 nm. Although the ozone layer does much to absorb UVB rays, some still manage to find their way to Earth. With increasing depletion of ozone layer, more UVB rays will reach Earth. Unlike UVA consistency, the intensity of UVB rays varies by location, season and time of the day. Higher altitude will have more UVB rays and reflection off light-reflecting surfaces such as snow and sea will intensify their presence as well. UVB rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM and in the hot summer months. Indiscriminate and prolonged exposure to UVB rays will cause skin reddening and sunburn, causing damage to the skin’s superficial epidermal layers. The ugly effects of photoaging will show and skin cancer may develop.

UVC Rays
UVC rays are the shortest of the UV rays and therefore the most intense and damaging. Thankfully, its high intensity causes it to react with the ozone layer, causing the breakdown of molecules. UVC rays rarely reach the Earth due to that. However, certain energy-producing procedures such welding (where high heat and light are created) can produce UVC rays. Prolonged exposure to UVC rays can cause cataracts and eye problems.

Dangers of UV Rays
While some sun exposure is necessary for the formation of vitamin D, too much sun exposure can results in health ramifications. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, UV radiation may cause the following:
Premature skin aging and other skin problems
Skin cancer (Melanoma and nonmelanoma)
Cataracts and other eye damage such as pigmentation
Immune System Suppression
How to Protect Against UV Radiation
Short of hiding indoor to avoid UV radiation, there are some ways to enjoy the sun without suffering the consequences. It is often better to err on the side of caution but if you’re in doubt as to how to go about protecting your skin and health, here’s the recommendation from the experts. The Center for Disease Control suggests the following ways:
Always use a sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. Look for one with both UVA and UVB protection.
Wear clothing to protect exposed skin. For example, wear a long-sleeved shirt while working in the sun.
Wear a hat with a wide brim to protect the face, head, ears and neck.
Wear sunglasses that block as close to 100% of the UVA and UVB rays as possible. Preferably choose sunglasses that wrap around the eyes for maximum protection.
Whenever possible, choose shade during the midday hours when radiation is the strongest.

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen
Of course, it’s easier to go to the store to buy sunscreen and some brands even carry SPF up to 90. But what if you’re allergic to some of the chemicals used or you’re quite a natural health nut and would much prefer using natural ingredients, after all, the solution is going on your skin? You can actually make your own sunscreen! Here’s a very basic recipe by Sophie Uliano of the “Gorgeously Green” series fame:
Sesame Sunscreen
2 tbs virgin coconut oil (SPF 2)
1 tbs shea butter (SPF 6)
½ tsp sesame oil (SPF 2)
½ tsp aloe vera gel
2 tsp zinc oxide
Put the first 4 ingredients in a ceramic bowl and put the bowl inside a saucepan filled with an inch or two of gently boiling water. Melt all the ingredients and add zinc oxide (the sun protection ingredient). Pour into a dark glass jar and keep it in a cool dark place. Will last for 6 months.
Note: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two of the natural minerals approved by FDA for use in sunscreen. Both are gentle and non-irritating and the least likely to cause photosensitivity disorders. Titanium dioxide offers protection against both UVA and UVA rays and zinc oxide offers an even wider spectrum of protection in the UVA range.

Oils with Natural Sun Protection
You can also substitute the oils used in the above recipe with any of these oils, all with natural sun protection, some higher than others.
Avocado oil (SPF 6 to 8): My personal favorite and I use it under foundation.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil (SPF 28 to 50)
Cannabis Oil (SPF 6)
Macadamia Oil (SPF 6)
Jojoba oil (SPF 6)
Hemp Seed oil (SPF 6)
Herbal Sun Protection
Some herbs pull their own weight when it comes to sun protection. Here are some heavy weights:
Vitamin C and E offers protection free radical damage caused by UV rays. According to the Duke University research, vitamin C and E help to counter the effects of sun exposure.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) protects against skin cancer. How? Topical application of green tea blocks UV rays by nullifying damaging effects of free radicals and reducing inflammation.
Horse Chestnut extract, esculin, is high in antioxidants and offers protection against UV rays.
Extract of Helichrysum (part of the Sunflower family) has anti-inflammatory and regenerative qualities. Acts as an effective sunscreen.

May 10, 2011

Little stone that could ... clean up your trip

  On a recent shopping trip not food related, we picked up a little gizmo that we saw in the store in the last minute before going to the checkout. I have somewhat known about these but for a different purpose. The little item we got was lint removing sweater stone.
  When I first saw it, out loud I was asking if we should get it and if it will be useful. Though to myself, almost subconsciously, I thought this might be a savior for a couple of my most favorite apparel items that from a glance look like they have had better days. I have a zip up sweater that I like a lot since it is comfortable, easily goes with most of the things I wear so great to take a long on a trip, and it has a double zipper. As with most things that you like, you tend to wear these quite a bit. I wore this sweater just about any chance I had. After awhile and a few washes, it started to look that way with a bunch of rolls and such on the front of it. The other article is my winter black wool jacket. It was a great find. It fits me well and also easy to go with and looks cool. It is warm in the winter with layers underneath and great in the fall and in beginning of spring. So as you can imagine, I was also wearing quite a bit. It came to a point where my wife was telling I need to get a new winter jacket as this just looks worn out. I didn't like the idea. However, I did indulge the request by trying on several jackets in several stores, but none of them fit as well or looked as good.


  And this is where the story goes back to the little rectangular stone with ruff surface. I first used in on the sweater and it removed a lot of the lint relatively easy. After, I decided to use it on my jacket to see if I can save it as well. It worked great. Areas that looked gray and worn out because of the lint and fuss build up on the top, started to clear up and look black again. My wife took a look at the progress I was making on small areas of the jacket and decided to help me clean the entire thing. Once finished, it looked a whole lot better and prolonged the life of the jacket for maybe another couple of years.
  The lint removing stoneis light and is easily packed into a plastic sleeve. It is also very inexpensive. It is a great tool to have on winter trips when you take along sweaters or jackets, or pants for that matter, to quickly clean them up.

Why good to have on a trip:
- light
- compact
- easily removes lint
- can be uses for other purposes: file, sharpen, stain clean, remove pet hair ...

Did You Know?:
How to Remove Lint Balls From Sweaters

Jul 19, 2010

Family-friendly travel kit

Sing along with family-friendly travel kit
by Mary Ellen Botter on dallasnews.com
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/travel/thisweek/stories/DN-wheelsnote_0718tra.ART.State.Edition1.2a3cd25.html

Everybody can sing along with this musical travel kit

Few child-oriented music CDs can entertain parents, too.

The "Wheels on the Bus Sing-Along Travel Kit" from Scholastic Storybook Treasures is an exception.

The 13 songs on the disc include new versions of tunes parents sang when they were in elementary school, such as "Wheels on the Bus" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," plus the charmer "Over in the Meadow" and the hilariously mock-serious "Tooth School Anthem."

There's plenty here for all ages to sing together.

The kit also includes two 60-minute musical DVDs containing 15 animated storybook classics.

The videos' artwork is varied enough to hold children's interest for miles, but when young eyes tire of the small screen, the kids can turn to the accom- panying 34-page activity booklet (crayons included) for more road-filling play.

The videos have been assembled from the library of Weston Woods Studios, known for film adaptations of children's storybooks.

Parents will recognize some of the stories, perhaps having read the books to their little ones.

The travel set ($24.95) is aimed at children ages 3-9. It's available for less from online booksellers.

Mary Ellen Botter


Jul 9, 2010

Tips for summer travel with kids

When planning a trip with kids, most often you start thinking about what to pack way before the departure. Here are some suggestions to make packing and the trip a bit easier
  • Etch-a-Sketch
  • Doodle pro
  • magnetic games
  • card games
  • books
  • new toys they haven't played with as surprises every so often
  • bubbles and balls for stops
  • dvd player and handheld games
Let them go to a store and pick out books and toys. Half the fun of going on the trip might be getting to pick out the trip supplies.
Skip the sugary treats or drinks, kids don't need the sugar or the extra energy it brings. Instead pack some healthy snacking options such as apples, baby carrots, nuts, raisins and other dry fruit, and lot of water.