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Monday, April 30, 2018

Moana Alphabet Flashcards

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!

FREE Moana Alphabet Flash Cards
We're going on a Moana themed road trip!  My kids love the movie right now, and we play it quite frequently.  They are also all in various levels of pre-reading.  I like to have not only fun things for the kids to do on the road but also things that are educational.  I'd like to think that these Moana themed alphabet cards are both.

They can be used for reading practice, letter identification, memory match, or spelling.  I'm going to laminate them and put them on a key ring for the kids to flip through while we drive.  I tried to make the cards easy for kids and parents to identify the items.  I've kept them hidden from the kids, and I'm excited to see their reaction to them.



FREE Moana Alphabet Flash Cards
FREE Moana Alphabet Flash Cards


Sunday, April 29, 2018

How to Plan a Star Wars Themed Road Trip

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!



Star Wars Themed Road Trip Ideas from In Our Pond

It's almost May the 4th, which means it's time to start thinking about Star Wars!!!  I'm a bit obsessed with themed road trips.  In honor of May the Fourth, I present a totally nerdy Star Wars party on wheels.



Star Wars Themed Road Trip Ideas from In Our Pond
To keep everyone from turning to the dark side, be sure to pack lots of fun, themed foods and drinks.  From snacks to meals, Star Wars is the only way to travel.


light saber silverware // Amazon

teddy graham ewoks // Over the Big Moon

grape light sabers // All Betz are Off

Princess Leia Chips  // All Things with Purpose

Vader-Aid // Catch My Party

Darth Vader sandwich bento box // Wendolonia 

cucumber tie fighters // Lunch Box Dad

BB8 lunch box // Bento Ninja


{More}
freeze Hans Solo in ice for the cooler
mac and cheese lunch box
light saber honey sticks and fruit





Star Wars Themed Road Trip Ideas from In Our Pond
Keep your young jedi happy with lots of Star Wars themed activities, both from on the road and while you're stopped.  Don't forget to grab the Star Wars soundtracks to make every moment of your vacation epic.

visual dictionary // Amazon

printable activity pack // Hazen Home and School

Lego drawing book // Amazon

glow stick light sabers // Keeping It Simple Crafts

i-spy printable // Live Laugh Rowe

quiet book // Phill and Mandy

Lego i-spy book // Amazon

sound storybook // Amazon

{More}
SW printable puppets
- light saber fine motor activity
- light saber dive sticks




Star Wars Themed Road Trip Ideas from In Our Pond
Costumes, of course, can be anything from a themed t-shirt to a full costume.  Remember that comfort is key in the car, so chose wisely.

spray shirt // Eclectic Momsense

flight suit hoodie // Filth Wizardry

painted shirt // Architecture of a Mom

BB-8 Mickey shirt // Desert Chica

Rey costume // Oui, Cest Chic

Lego shirt // I am Momma, Hear Me Roar

Vader shirt // Pinterest User

robot shoes // Disney Mamas


















Star Wars Things We Love from In Our Pond
Things We Love




Star Wars Crafts for Christmas from In Our Pond
Coming November 2018




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Star Wars Themed Road Trip Ideas from In Our Pond

Saturday, April 28, 2018

DIY Magnetic Tangram Set

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!


DIY Magnetic Travel Tangram Set from In Our Pond

Tangrams, which originated in China, are popular puzzle for kids and adults.  They can be very simple or very complicated depending on how the puzzle is presented.  For this week's Travel Time Tuesday, I'm sharing an airplane travel version of tangrams that's cheap and easy to DIY.


I started with this Plastic Tangram Set from Learning Resources, which came with six compete sets of tangrams in six colors.  I loved all the different colors because it allowed me to make many sets for my family and had some left over to give as gifts.


Next, I stuck the tangram pieces onto Magnetic Sticker Paper and cut around each shape.  The tangram set is now magnetic and can be played with on a whiteboard, a cookie sheet, or the fridge.


I used my scrapbook program and the tangram puzzles from The Tangram Channel to make puzzle cards for my kids.  Each card fits in a pencil pouch along with all the tangram pieces.  Unfortunately, I can't share my puzzle cards since I didn't create the pictures.  However, you can print puzzle worksheets on the Tangram Channel website.  I think this memory game would work really well and could fit in a small tin for travel.


DIY Magnetic Travel Tangram Set from In Our Pond


Does this sound like too much work?  Check out these other sets for sale on Amazon:

Friday, April 27, 2018

Airplane-Themed Activities for Travel

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!



Airplane Themed Travel Activities from In Our Pond

When you have airplane loving kids, you have to get the most traction out of it that you can.  This list is full of plane activities that can be used before the trip or taken on the trip.  Lots of free printables and just plain fun stuff.  Enjoy!







Travel I-Spy by Teepee Girl

Airplane Toys by In Our Pond







Airplane Themed Travel Activities from In Our Pond />


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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Toys for Your Airplane Trip

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!




Continuing our series on Airline travel, this Travel Time Tuesday looks at toys for the journey.  It was crazy as I was making up this list how many activities have been replaced by devices.  If you're looking for an "old fashioned" airplane trip, these un-plugged toys are exactly what you need.


1- Green Toys Plane

2- United Airlines Airliner

3- Lego Duplo Airplane Set

4- In the Air Toob

5- Planes Matching Game

6- Bamboo Plane
















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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Airplane Travel Wish List for Three Kids Under Six

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!


As I mentioned last week, we're talking about an airplane trip sometime in the near future (if we don't drive).  Although many activities and accessories are useful for both the road trip and the airplane, these are a few things on my wish list if end up flying.



Sort of a funny one for the first item, but probably one of the most important things for my transportation crazy boys.  All the major airlines have their own diecast planes (United Airlines, Southwest, Alaska, and more).  If you don't mind taking up the space, we love our Green Toys plane.  And, of course every young pilot needs a pilot hat (wink).

I saw a neat idea to use plastic Easter eggs as small containers for snacks and gifts.  This pieces in this In the Sky toob would be great for the eggs.  You could even customize your eggs so that all the purple ones had snacks and the yellow ones had toys, etc.






Over and over, the blogs I read keep talking about how wonderful it is to have "car seat wheels" when going through the airport with little kids and carseats.  This folding cart turns your carseat into a stroller, allowing you to drag the seat and the child at the same time.  This cheaper strap option allows you to attach your carseat to the rolling suitcase for transport, but it isn't secure enough to use as a stroller.

If checking your carseat (which is free on every airline) sounds like a better option, these plastic bags offer some protection from dirt and handling.  If you're not using a carseat on the plane (which isn't a requirement) but still want something to hold your little one in his seat, this travel harness is just the thing- if you have the money for it.






Husband and I got Kindle Fires for Christmas this year, plus we have a decade old one that I'm going to try to make work for the kids (I'll have to do more research).  I'd like to get a few movies for the kids, which will mean a few accessories for the Kindles.  We already own this pink pair of headphones, but I'm liking these flexible foam ones, which come in lots of colors (we need green and blue).

Of course, that many headphones mean we need a headphone splitter.  It would be good to get a mount for them, so there is less fighting about who gets to hold the tablet.  And, if the kids are going to be holding the Kindle, we should probably get a kid-friendly case for it.  This is beginning to feel like I gave a mouse a cookie.






We loved our monkey backpack and wore it completely out controlling my wild man, so we're in the market for a couple new ones.  The same company also makes an adorable bee, a dinosaur, a butterfly, and a giraffe.  It'll be hard to pick.  These backpacks are just the right size for a couple diapers and wipes or clean undies and a change of clothes.  I wish the pack was slightly larger, but the main reason for it is the leash.

This backpack is safer than most because the leash is located at the bottom of the pack so it's harder for kids to wrap it around their necks.  It also has a chest buckle to make it harder for the kid to slip out of it.  I don't use a backpack leash very often anymore, but I think it will be invaluable in a crowded airport with two busy boys.

Other options: the basic harness and leash without the backpack, the wrist cuffs, and this airplane backpack leash.





These are sort of an indulgence for me, as they are completely unnecessary.  I'm banging around the idea of DIYing them as well (so you might want to check back on a future Travel Time Tuesday).  This fabric tray cover comes in lots of fun fabrics, and has good reviews and a dry erase pocket.  This one is more suited for babies and comes with lots of things to fidget with.  This one looks good for grown-ups and has a knit spandex fabric to keep everything in place.




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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tips for Flying With Kids

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!




It's almost spring break time, when a lot of people will be braving the (un)friendly skies for vacations.  Although we don't have any immediate plans for air travel, we are talking about a cross-country trip in the near future.  These are the blog posts that I've found most helpful in my pre-planning.


My kids are currently 5, 4, and 3

*Also, all of these picture are no-pin.  Please pin the image at the bottom or at the original posts.*























The Motherload of Tips by Where the Smiles Have Been



What Not to Do on a Plane by Mommy in Sports




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Monday, April 23, 2018

How to Plan a Frozen-Inspired Road Trip

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!



Disney's Frozen-Inspired Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

I'm a bit obsessed recently with themed road trips.  Check out the big Pirate themed one we did last summer and the zoo and dinosaur themed ones that I did as examples.

The kids have been asking about another road trip, so we brainstormed some ideas for the new theme.  Dragonfly suggested Frozen, which made the boys happy because they love Olaf.  It also seemed like a good winter-theme.  We don't have any road trips planned for right now, but here's some ideas in case anyone else might want to plan a party on wheels.



Disney's Frozen-Inspired Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond
The spine of every good road trip is the food, actually, of every party as well.  Here are some easy, fun Frozen themed munchies for your party-on-wheels.  Basically, anything blue, white, or snowflake-shaped works for the theme.
















Disney's Frozen-Inspired Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond
It's very important that you keep your "guests" busy during the party. Here a few activities for the car and the destination.











{Destination}







Disney's Frozen-Inspired Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond
Disguises are a fun way to get everyone in the party mode.  Frozen costumes and clothing are probably one of the easiest things to find, but here are some ideas.























Face it, this is Frozen.  There are so many sway options.  Check out the dollar store for random things like ziptop bags with the girls on them or little toys.

plates // Amazon

Elsa wands // Amazon

cups // Amazon

blanket // Amazon

waterbottles // Amazon

playset // Amazon

suitcase  // Amazon

















Winter may be a good time to stay in and snuggle, but if a road trip is on the agenda, then I hope this themed plan is helpful.  And if you do what snowmen do in summer, then maybe this theme will help cool you down.


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Disney's Frozen-Inspired Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

Sunday, April 22, 2018

How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!


How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

As I was growing up, my family used to spend our vacations road tripping to zoos in our area.  We'd drive to a city, stay in a hotel with a pool, do a day at the zoo, and drive home.  It was the perfect way to spend a long weekend.



Now that I'm the mom, I get to share my love of zoos with my children.  Although we don't have any zoo trips planned for the future, I've put together this post as a guide for next time.  I always tell my husband that I'm just one grocery trip away from a road trip!



How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

I'm writing about a zoo vacation, but I think this process of creating themed road trips (or a Party on Wheels) can be used for other themed trips as well.  I've already written about a dinosaur themed one, and I think a Disney one would be really easy to host.  Perhaps you're heading to the beach, so you'd like to plan a pirates or beach themed road trip.  Or a historical-period theme for a road trip to a battleground or famous house.  There is only the limit of your imagination as you plan your party.



How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

If you type in "zoo party food" into Pinterest, all sorts of fun ideas come onto the screen.  There's healthy foods like tiger-striped oranges, hummus and pepper lions, and birds made of of fruit.  And, there's cute foods like banana penguins, snake hot dogs, and avocado alligators.  Even easy food like licorice jungle vines, animal crackers, zebra cakes, peanuts, and bananas.  All of them would make great party snacks.

For lunches, look at "zoo bento boxes," for lots of fun ways to pack basic foods.  I like how sweet this elephant one is and how simple this lion one looks.




How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

I like to divide my activities into three groups: in the car, at the rest stop, and at the destination.

CAR

REST STOP

DESTINATION




How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

A great way to get into the mood for a themed road trip is with costumes.  They can be as simple as a mask or hat, or as elaborate as a full costume.  With the zoo theme, you have even more options, because you could be an animal or a zookeeper.  I found these neat DIY masks that the kids could color in the car.  And, here's an easy way to dress comfortably and still look like a zookeeper.  If you don't want to go too elaborate, themed t-shirts for the whole family are an easy way to go (plus it's safer to all wear the same outfit in public).




How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond

With a themed road trip or any party, the easiest way to set the mood is with themed stuff.  Set the table at the hotel with these animal plates and these nose cups.  Stick these animal toothpicks in your bento lunches.  Run around the rest stop blowing these zoo bubbles.  If you know about the trip a few weeks before you leave, you can have a lot of fun searching at party stores, dollar stores, and thrift stores for fun swag for your Party on Wheels.


I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and have found it interesting and motivating.  If there is a specific road trip theme that you'd like to see me do, write about it in the comment section below.




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How to Plan a Zoo Themed Road Trip from In Our Pond