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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

50+ Travel Toys in an Altoid Tin

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!


Now that it's the New Year, I've started thinking about SUMMER!  In fact, I've already started planning our next themed road trip (which I'll be revealing soon).  About this time of year, I start up my Travel Time Tuesday posts, and today is the first one!



50+ Travel Toys in an Altoid Tin from In Our Pond  #miniatures #altoidtin #travel #airplane #roadtrip In this digital age, it's easy to hand your child a device and pacify them with movies and games the entire trip.  But, as we all know, you miss so much when you're living life through a screen.  Wouldn't it be nice if our road trips could be simpler, even a bit old fashioned?

Altoids may be associated with grandfathers, but the tins they come in are a great size for pocket toys.  If you don't have anyone in your life that eats altoids, you can buy crafting tins on Amazon.  If you have family members (like I do that can't get enough of the mints), then you might want to try making your own candies with this recipe.

Once you've collected your tins, you're ready to craft.  After the jump, you'll find 50 travel toys contained in a tiny tin.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Road Tripping with Crystal Lite Containers

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!




Road Tripping with Crystal Light Containers from In Our Pond

We don't drink Crystal Light powder mixes, but I buy the containers frequently.  I use them for storing Safari toobs and have even written about using them for travel.  I just can't stay away from searching them out on Pinterest.  Here is yet another list of uses for Crystal Light Containers for travelling.

All of these Picture are "no-pin" so you'll need to go to their original sources to save them for Pinterest or Pin the Collage at the end of the post.


Favorite Idea
Road Tripping with Crystal Light Containers from In Our Pond

I was so excited when I came across this idea- to attach the lid to the container with a zip tie.  In many ways, it is the top of the pyramid for Crystal Lite organization, all other ideas on this post could also include this idea.  For our road trip, I used stainless steel key rings, which screw into themselves and can be removed.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Camping with Kiddos

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!




From the vast amount of gear that they seem to need to the swirl of "what if" questions, camping with kiddos is not for the faint at heart.  After sharing my experiences in person and on internet forums, I decided it was time for another camping with kids blog post.  Last year's post was about getting kids mentally prepared for camping.  This year, I want to focus on the actual event.



..... BASICS ......
Because we usually camp in the mountains, we pack clothes for cold and hot weather: sweatshirts and shorts, swimsuits and coats, flip flops and rain boots, plus pjs.  It's a lot of gear, but there are few things worse than being cold and wet.  I usually bring a laundry basket to throw dirty clothes in or to collect stuff from around the campsite at night.

Each kid would probably appreciate their own camp chair and their own sleeping bag.  We bring a queen-sized air mattress for the kids and pile them on it.  I'm sure they could sleep on the ground, but I think this keeps them warmer.


..... SAFETY FIRST .....
Probably the biggest concern for parents who want to bring kids camping is safety.  We have five rules that my kids (ages 5, 4, and 3) can recite.

1- No Playing with Fire
2-  Stay with the Grown Ups 
3- No Going in the Road
4- Go to the Bathroom with an Adult You Know
5- Ask before going in Tents

We set the camp chairs around the fire, and the kids are supposed to stay behind the chairs.  If adults are sitting around the campfire, then the kids can get help to sit in their own seats.  We're constantly reminding the kids that fire is dangerous.


...... EMBRACE THE CLASSICS .....
Camp food doesn't have to be only hot dogs and s'mores, but kids love them!  Carry on traditions from your own growing up, add some new ones, and make some family memories.

An easy way to clean up sticky kids is to give them a bath.  Water can be heated over the fire for a "spit" bath or can be added to cold water in a plastic tote to make a soaking tub.  Or, you can take a tip from the developing world and fill a plastic jug or tote in the morning and leave it in the sun all day to warm up.  After dinner and s'mores, wash up the young ones, and dress them in diapers and pjs.  Then, the kids aren't allowed to touch the ground until morning (wink).


..... EXPECT FUN ......
Camping is supposed to be fun!  We love to bring trucks and digging tools for the beach and campsite.  Glow sticks are also a must for us.  Older kids love to play with the light (try a capture the flag game or take pictures of the glow).  Younger kids can use the glow sticks as "light sabers" to fight shadows or as a nightlight in the dark tent.  Group games like Bocce Ball are great for family fun, and we always have lots of table games (cards, board games, etc) and coloring to do at the picnic table.






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Tips for Hiking with Kids that Parents Should Know

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!


Hi, Everyone!  Today, I have a special treat for Travel Time Tuesday.  Eric from Life Under Sky has agreed to do a guest article for me!  Please visit his blog to read more camping, hiking, and backpacking tips!


One of the ideal ways to keep your kids connected with nature is to hike with them. However, it might be a problem for parents to plan how to do that effectively.
Let your kids commune with nature this season. It’s really important for future generations to have a deeper understanding of the value of the wildlife world and enjoy it. The following are some helpful tips for you.
Tips for Hiking with Kids- a Guest Post from Life Under Sky.  In Our Pond blog.  Camping.  Hiking.  Children.  Outdoor Recreation

Keep it easy and feature-friendly

When you first plan to hike with your kid, remember to avoid choosing a trail which requires great effort or is too long. You should bear in mind that it’s just the experience that your kids need to gain. Picking the one having some features, such as waterfall, stream or lake or something like that. They will draw your kids’ attention. Then give them the final destination. But the important thing is not that destination; it’s the journey itself.
If your kids appear to enjoy kneeing down to explore the nearby undergrowth, it would be a good sign showing their interest. And they will certainly do that again in the next time.

Take lots of breaks

You should take breaks often to rest as well as refuel. It might seem that your children appear not to get tired- they are always active. But don’t be fool. In fact, the children get tired quicker than you think. It is because of the fact that their legs are actually small. So our one step is as long as three or maybe four steps of children.
Stop and rest at any time possible. You can tell your children where is the next ‘break stop’ by marking with any signals on the trail, such as unique trees or a bridge.

Start your hike with kids early in the morning

Morning is the time when people tend to get more energy. Besides, whether you live in a location which is hot all the day or the one having thunderstorms in the afternoon, you’ll surely want to avoid them all.
In addition, in the morning, your kids are more active so they will not demand you to carry them. In the later time of the day, they will easily get cranky.

Make it fun

The main thing to have a successful hiking is not only keeping your kids continuously motivated, but also making the journey fun. Think about any game which can be played during the hiking, such as counting nearby wild animal like birds or butterflies or wildflower species. Organizing a small hunt and have them looked for things which are small, big, smelly, bumpy, wet or anything you can think about. It’s easy and fun.
In case your children have the age of over 8, it would be the right time to teach them how to use a gun. But remember to supervise them carefully. It’s a good way to help your children clearly know how powerful these firearms are. Then they will see what the gun really is and give more respect for it.
Air rifle would be the suitable gun for your children to have a go because its price is affordable and doesn’t have much recoil; therefore, it’s far safer.

Hike often

Creating a habit of frequently going hiking in your family, maybe one time or more times a month. Children usually seem to enjoy exploring new things as well as interesting adventures. There’s a wide variety of terrain, sights, and trails for you to choose.
If your kids have stayed indoor during the week, the great way to keep them connected to the nature is to hike in the weekend. Wideness area or urban park trail would be ideal sites.

Watch your children signs

Notice when your kids get tired.
One of the easiest ways to know is looking at your children’s eyes. It likes my situation. I can know the feeling of my kids whenever looking at their eyes. At times, I usually suggest having a rest or turning around.
The tired feeling can either make the kids difficult to control or easily get accidents. In that case, you should cut off lots of walks even if you haven’t reached the goal.

Practice safety

Make sure to tell your kids the trail safety as well as hiking rules before any hiking. Some of the most important rules are:
·         Always follow the trail
·         Avoid throwing rocks or something like that
·         Don’t run
·         Stay within the adults’ eyesight, arm’s length or earshot during the hiking. It is extremely crucial to tell this rule to pre-teens because they usually intend to get ahead uncontrollably.
You should also teach your kids about the etiquette of trail to get them safer
.
Tips for Hiking with Kids- a Guest Post from Life Under Sky.  In Our Pond blog.  Camping.  Hiking.  Children.  Outdoor Recreation

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Tangled-Inspired Bow Tying and Hair Braiding Activities for 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!


Tangled-Inspired Bow Tying and Hair Braiding Activities for Kids from In Our Pond

It's Travel Time Tuesday again, where I share with you a tip, printable, or toy for your family adventures.  Today, I'm bringing you a quiet book ideas that can also be made into a stand-alone activity (which is how I'm presenting it to the kids).  Dragonfly (age 6) has been learning to braid and tie her shoes.  I made these two activities so she can practice her skills in the car.



Tangled-Inspired Bow Tying and Hair Braiding Activities for Kids from In Our Pond

Shoe tying is a needed skill, but for this activity, I thought the dress was more feminine.  Plus, Dragonfly loves Tangled, and I thought she would appreciate the theme.  I found bow-tying directions on an autism site that I'm intending to shrink down and attach to the activity with a binder ring.

The dress pattern is borrowed from a doll pattern and was easy to print and trace onto the felt.  I loved working with felt because it was easy to sew.  I added the grosgrain ribbon as I stitched it with the machine, then I melted the edge of the ribbon with fire.



Tangled-Inspired Bow Tying and Hair Braiding Activities for Kids from In Our Pond

The other side of the board is for hair-braiding practice.  I contemplated for quite a while about what I wanted to use for hair (felt, fabric, yarn, etc).  In the end, I decided to use paracord, and I'm glad that I did.  These strands literally don't get tangled!  It's so great for an activity that is going to get moved around a lot.  The cords are a big stiff, but I love that they're thick, feel good in your hands, and come apart from each other easily when you're done braiding.

To secure the braids and decorate the hair, I made a few felt flowers (free pattern).  I cut out the flowers and then hot glued them to a snap clip.  Super easy.   My daughter loved them so much that she wants me to make more for her to wear all the time.  The pack comes with 50 clips, we we'll have lots to use for crafting.


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Tangled-Inspired Bow Tying and Hair Braiding Activities for Kids from In Our Pond

Friday, May 25, 2018

Crafts for Camping

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!



Crafts for Camping // In Our Pond

All this week, I'm going to be bringing you awesome camping posts to get you ready for summer!  We're very excitedly counting down to our first trip.  One of the best ways to spend the time when you're not camping is to craft for your outings.  I've teamed up with the Kid Blogger Network to bring you the best projects for camping.  Enjoy!


Crafts for Camping // In Our Pond // Camping is just another excuse to do some crafting!  Whether you're an adult who likes to DIY things for kids or a kid who wants to make something nature-themed at camp- we've got you covered.
Crafts Kids Can Do





















Crafts for Camping // In Our Pond // Camping is just another excuse to do some crafting!  Whether you're an adult who likes to DIY things for kids or a kid who wants to make something nature-themed at camp- we've got you covered.
Crafts Adults Can Make for Kids





















Join us every day this week for more camping fun!






Thursday, May 24, 2018

Adventuring with Asthma

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!


I've been an asthmatic almost my entire life.  Sometimes my lungs were better, and sometimes they were much worse, but my nebulizer has been my constant companion.  I just ordered my third Pari Trek Travel Nebulizer in preparation from all our summer camping trips and travel.  I tend to burn them out, so I was very excited to find a company today that will sell each part separately.  The air compressor by itself is only about $15!

I absolutely love my Travel Nebulizer!  The one in the link comes with the air compressor, medical tubing, mouthpiece, and instructional DVD.  But, what makes this nebulizer absolutely awesome is that it runs on 12 volts, which means it can be plugged into a car lighter.  It also comes with a wall plug (US standard).  It's great to be able to use one machine for at home use and travel, especially when you need 2-5 treatments a day.


This is NOT a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own.



I grew up camping with my family, hauling my nebulizer and camping chair through the woods to do breathing treatments.  Through the years, I have also used my regular nebulizer with an inverter, hooking it up to the car battery while the car runs.  We've also tried a jump start battery pack, which had the advantage of not needing the car running to work, but it wasn't very reliable.  Two previous times, I've also had the Travel Nebulizer.

With my Pari Trek Nebulizer, I don't have to leave our campsite or need help to get the machine plugged in.  I just have to start the car and put the 12 volt plug into the lighter.  Then, I can have five to ten minutes of quiet reading time while I medicate my lungs.   I'm actually a bit excited about using it in a few weeks at our first camping trip.




I just told my husband that I wished I had a picture of him carrying my 20-pound, suitcase size, specialty nebulizer through the airport at Johannesburg.  We have managed to have some good adventures in spite of my asthma.  Fortunately, there have been many times when I've been able to get by with just my "rescue" inhalor.  Still, many times, my nebulizer has been necessary.

With the Pari Trek nebulizer, I'll be able to do breathing treatments while we're cruising down the road on our trip.  I'll have just one thing to pack and one thing to carry into the hotel- just the nebulizer in the travel bag.  Having asthma is absolutely no fun, but I'm excited to have this travel one available this summer.




Although we don't have plans to visit a Disney park anytime in the future, I wanted to include it as part of my post.  As many of you know, the parks are enormous with tons of walking required.  It can be challenging for a healthy person, but for a person with asthma, it can be very difficult.  Disney is very good about having services for special needs people, but a regular nebulizer can weigh five or more pounds.  The Pari Trek only weighs 1.5 pound!

I haven't mentioned it yet, but one of the best features about the Pari Nebulizer is that is comes with a battery pack!  The battery charges when the nebulizer is plugged in to either the wall outlet or the car's lighter.  The company says that the battery will last eight treatments.  It would be great to not have to worry about finding an outlet when you're in the park (although you can find electricity at Guest Services).  I wish this nebulizer had existed when I visited Disneyland almost 20 years ago.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this is not a sponsored post.  I'm just really excited about my new nebulizer, and I wanted to blog about it.  Whether you're an adult asthmatic or the parent of an asthmatic, this little nebulizer is just good to have around.  Order yours today! (wink)





Update: I ran across a great article from a fellow KBN blogger for making an epipen case for travel.  She includes a free pattern and good tutorial.  Go to Moms and Crafters for all the details.







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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

DIY Felt 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!



DIY Felt Travel Activities for Kids // In Our Pond  // free patterns  // road trips // airplanes  // children // sewing // hot glue // do it yourself // crafting

Early this year, I did a Travel Time Tuesday post with lots of magnetic road trip activities.  At the same time I was working on that article, I had the idea of doing this post full of travel activities made with felt.

I hadn't realized how many felt travel activities I had made myself prior to putting these pictures together.  It was fun to look back and them and remember the excitement and reason for making them.  I hope you enjoy them too!


DIY Felt Travel Activities for Kids // In Our Pond  // free patterns  // road trips // airplanes  // children // sewing // hot glue // do it yourself // crafting
Pirate Map // In Our Pond
I still really love the way this felt treasure map looks.  I made it free hand for our Pirate Road Trip.

Button Chain // Tips from a Typical Mom
This reusable, skill-building felt chain is perfect for kids who love making paper chains.

My boys would love this car track.

Sneak some learning on vacation.

Felt Dinosaur World // In Our Pond
This amazing volcano fits inside of an Altoid tin!

I find this sweet doll very eye-catching, and I would have enjoyed having her as a child.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How to Plan a Minion 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 Minions Road Trip for Kids // Party Through the USA // party // travel // road trip // travel with kids // party on wheels // despicable me // minions // banana // yellow // minion party

We're going on our first camping trip soon and since it's going to be a long drive (over 8 hours), we've decided to make it a party on wheels!  As a surprise to the kids, I'm doing a Minion theme!  We enjoy the Despicable Me movies and have been watching the 3rd installment on Netflix, so it seems like a good fit.  I'll try to update this post after our trip with some more pictures, but here are my inspirations.


Food
I was very excited to see that I can purchase many Minion-themed foods at Target and have them shipped to our house.  We live several hours from the store, so this is even more exciting.  Don't forget to grab some party supplies for serving up the food!

How to Plan a Minions Road Trip for Kids // Party Through the USA // party // travel // road trip // travel with kids // party on wheels // despicable me // minions // banana // yellow // minion party

Monday, May 21, 2018

Lego Road Trip Ideas

official picture from Lego

Did you know that it's Lego's 60th Birthday this year?  It's the perfect year for a Lego-themed road trip!  I really enjoy putting together "parties on wheels," and  my kids enjoy participating in them.  I particularly like how it focuses my buying and planning around a specific theme and makes both easier.

The funny thing about our Lego-themed road trip is that we don't own ANY Legos (edit- now we own a few).  We're not going to buy any for the trip, either.  We are also not heading to Legoland, although I think we'd like to go someday.

We're putting together a kid-friendly, family-oriented Lego road trip with all the primary colored things we can find.  We're also throwing in a bit of official Lego franchises like Batman, Star Wars, and Friends.  Everything is going to be AWESOME!!!


Lego Road Trip Ideas // Party Through the USA // travel with kids // road trips // themed road trips // lego fun




Sunday, May 20, 2018

Free Printable Camping Notebook Organizer

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 Printable Camping Notebook // In Our Pond // RV // tent camping // tent trailer // pop up tent trailer // camping with kids // camping organization // half binder // free printable

About five years ago, I found a link on Pinterest that brought me to a printable camping organization notebook from All Those Details.  I was so inspired by her ideas that I created one of my own and gifted it to my parents.  At the time, I didn't want to post my own notebook printable, because I felt like it was too close to when she posted hers.

Well, as I said, it's been a few years.  My parents love their notebook and have been encouraging me to add the free printable to the blog.  I started completely from scratch and added more pages than I had originally.

Binder Cover- slip it into the half binder

Three Year Calendar- summer months (May-Sept) of 2018-2020 for planning your trips

Notes and Lists- space to write

Campground Review-  keeping track of where you camp and all the details

Hobby Supply Lists- packing lists specific to types of hobbies (fishing, boating, climbing, etc)

Who's Coming and When- for group trips

Thing We Want to Do- bucket lists, places you want to visit, campgrounds, etc.


Favorite Camp Foods- master list for creating the menus

Don't Forget- things you always forget OR things you need to replace

Things to Buy- products others used that you want to buy or replace

Camp Menu- list of foods you're bringing or making

7-Day Menu- plan and post the food for three meals and snacks*

3-Day Menu- plan and post the food for three meals and snacks*


*My parents like to display their menu on the tent trailer for everyone in the group to see.
They also write who is responsible for which foods on it.*


UPDATE!
Score Sheet- keep track of your game scores and rivalries here (and download here)


Free Printable Camping Notebook // In Our Pond // RV // tent camping // tent trailer // pop up tent trailer // camping with kids // camping organization // half binder // free printable
Click on the Picture to Download the Printable


I recommend printing a few copies of this notebook and putting them in a half binder.  The pages can be put in sheet protectors to make them dirt and waterproof.  I would also add some pocket dividers to the binder for separating sections and holding bits of papers like licenses and reservations.

I hope this printable gets you excited about camping, and helps you organize your trips.  As always, this printable is free for personal use.  It also makes a great gift for the campers in your life!


Clipart Graphics are from JSS Scrap Boutique on Etsy.



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Free Printable Camping Notebook // In Our Pond // RV // tent camping // tent trailer // pop up tent trailer // camping with kids // camping organization // half binder // free printable





Saturday, May 19, 2018

Catch a Spider Fine Motor Travel Activity in an Altoid Tin

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!




I have been blogging like crazy this month!  The first week was all about Star Wars, the second week was camping, and the next week will be donuts.  This week was supposed to be my week off, but I can't stop blogging!  I posted Sea Turtle Life Cycle cards on Monday, a Minion Road Trip on Tuesday, and this game today.

I've also had so many Travel Time Tuesday posts lately that I've been posting twice a week!  Today, I'm sharing an activity I made for a friend's preschooler.  I took an empty Altoid tin and filled it with leftover Halloween spiders.  I also added a pair of tweezers.  The child can dump out the spiders and move them back into the tin with the tweezers.  The pinching motion is very good for developing finger strength.


Click on the Picture to Download the Printable


The printable includes a label for the Altoid Tin and counting cards for numbers 0-10.  As well as transferring the spiders with the tweezers, the child can also count the spiders and match them to the cards.  If you include 15 spiders in the tin, the child can do numbers 0-5 at the same time.  If you want the child to be able to do all 10 numbers at once, you'll need 55 spiders.  The spiders can be used for simple addition and subtraction equations as well.

Although this activity would probably be best for aircraft travel, it's great for homeschooling, too!  I have a whole cupboard of themed math games and counters.  You can see many of them by clicking the math tab under printables (I'll also showcase some at the end of this post).


How do you make math fun for your kids?



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Friday, May 18, 2018

Travel Donut Matching Game in an Altoid Tin

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 Donut Week in our pond as we count down to National Donut Day on June 1st.  Yesterday, I introduced a printable multiplication activity.  Today is Travel Time Tuesday, so I'm giving you a donut-themed travel game!

This game is perfect for camping, airplane travel, and grandma's house.  Simply print (I recommend cardstock or scrapbook paper), laminate, and cut.  The cards all fit in an Altoid Tin, which is great for travel, because they fit easily in a purse or pocket.

Click on the Picture to Download the Printable

Preschoolers and kindergartners will especially love this easy, colorful game.  Parents and grandparents will love its size and simplicity.  Also great for restaurants and other waiting times!  Enjoy!


Thursday, May 17, 2018

How to Plan a Mickey Mouse 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 Mickey Mouse Themed Road Trip- a Tutorial from In Our Pond

When I was a freshman in high school, my family of seven crammed in a minivan and drove from Washington state to southern California.  There are many stories from that trip, but the one that seems to stick in my head the strongest was when my dad got lost and made an illegal u-turn on a state highway.  He was pulled over immediately, and explained rather sadly that we were just trying to "see Mickey."  While I don't remember if we actually even saw Mickey at Disneyland, I will never forget the road trip getting there.

Even if you don't have any plans to visit Mickey this summer, you can still turn whatever trip you take into a memorable one with a Mickey themed road trip.  My family loves our "party on wheels" trips.  We've done a pirate one and a Moana beach one.  I love to plan them, so I have several theme ideas on this blog of ones that we haven't gotten to use yet.

For this Mickey road trip, I have listed for you some of my favorite activities, foods, and costumes to go with the theme.  The great thing about a "party on wheels" is that you can make them as elaborate or as you'd like.  Something as simple as a t-shirt can really set the mood and an easy cut-out food ups the adorable factor by quite a lot.

Shoot me a comment if you've done a themed road trip or if there are any other themes you'd like to see.




Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How to Plan the Greatest Road Trip on Earth

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!



Despite the enormous controversy surround the circus industry, the Big Top continues to trill us and ignite our imaginations.  With fewer shows traveling around the country than ever before, the pageantry has come to us with blockbuster hits like The Greatest Showman.  Books for children and novels for adults are popular and continue to be published (that's another blog post, though).  Children still pretend to tame lions, walk on a tightrope, or lead the Grand Spectacle.

A friend of mine asked me to put together this very special circus "party on wheels" for her.  She wants to take her family on the Greatest Road Trip on Earth!  I enjoyed putting this performance together for her (while watching The Greatest Showman, of course).  I'm confident that she'll be a great ringleader and tame all the wild ones in her family.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Best Group Games for Camping

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!


The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend


I was chatting with my mom about summer camping trips, and she suggested this blog post.  We play a lot of games on our camping trips, and encourage people who camp with us to bring their favorites.  There is always a lot variety, since we try to stay "unplugged" during our trips.  Below, I'm sharing group game ideas that wash easily, pack down small, and involve the whole body.



Stormy Day Games
We always hope for beautiful, sunny days when we're camping, but we don't always get them.  Great rainy day games are ones that won't blow away in the wind and that can be cleaned if they get muddy/gritty.  Most of these games have some form of tiles.
The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend















Best Cards Games
We also play quite a few card games when we go camping.  While these don't always work well at the picnic table, they're great for recreation vehicles and tents.  They don't take up very much room so you can pack a lot of them.

The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend
This classic game in available in many versions.

You want to be the person who names something last before the timer goes off.

This is a silly comparison game for kids and adults.

Draw 2 cards and find the similarities between them.

This would be a good road trip game too.

Watch out!  This can be a fierce game!

I have been known to get quite animated with this game.

There are SO many games you can play with a plain deck of cards!

You've Got to be Kidding!
A funny "would you rather" game for all ages.




Full Body Games
When the weather is nice, but it's not time for swimming, these action games will get everyone moving and participating.  Many of these are classics, but there are a few old favorites.

The Best Group Games for Camping // In Our Pond // card games // tile games // active games // outdoor // camping // camping games // memorial day weekend // 4th of july // labor day weekend
This portable version would be great for travel.

This yard bowling game can be played anywhere.

Get points for landing balls on different levels.

This set is glow-in-the-dark.

This game could be played with a large group.

This giant set blows up and packs away small.

The game of kings and queens

Look for an open fields suitable for a game of catch.

                                                                         Throw a rubber chicken and aim for a target.




Free Printable Game

Animal Tracks Matching Game in an Altoid Tin // In Our Pond // kids games // DIY // printable // free printable // crafts // camping // summer camp // learning // summer learning // homeschool  // montessori

Recently, I've been working on a lot of printable games that will fit in an Altoid tin (you know how I love my tins).  This matching game features animal tracks from Etsy shop Digital Art Card and animal pictures from Pixabay.  I put the animal names on both cards to make the game useful for learning and not just challenging.  Put your tracking skills to use and make some matches!


Animal Tracks Matching Game in an Altoid Tin // In Our Pond // kids games // DIY // printable // free printable // crafts // camping // summer camp // learning // summer learning // homeschool  // montessori
Click on the Picture to Download the Printable

This game is suitable for ages 4/5 to adult.  Just print (I recommend cardstock), laminate, and stick it in a tin.  The printable comes with a label for the tin as well.  Either modge podge or hot glue the label onto the tin.  To play, lay all cards face down in rows and columns, then take turns flipping over two cards at a time to make a match.  If you're successful, keep the match as evidence and play again.  If you're unsuccessful, turn the cards back over and let someone else have a turn.  The game is over when all the cards have been matched and the winner is the person with the most matches.


As always, this printable is only for personal use.


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Animal Tracks Matching Game in an Altoid Tin // In Our Pond // kids games // DIY // printable // free printable // crafts // camping // summer camp // learning // summer learning // homeschool  // montessori




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