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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

DIY Play Dough Kits for Travel

I'm absolutely addicted to the DIY play dough kits that are popular among mom blogger right now.  I just drool every time I run across them.  Although I haven't made one of my own yet, but I'd love to assemble some for my own crew.  Play dough is not something most people think about bringing on vacation, but these DIY kits are great for grandma's house, hotels, camping, airplanes, appointments, restaurants, and more.  Since I love them so much, I decided to put together a roundup of my favorites for everyone to see.

Little Toys for Playing

Many of the play dough kits use the tiny toys from Safari Ltd. to establish the theme.  I rounded up some of my favorites for your convenience.  Click the colored text below the picture to see more information.  Also, I have Montessori-inspired 3-part cards for most of the Safari toobs on my other blog- Homeschooling My Kinetic Kids.

Divided Containers for Kits

Many of these play dough kits are inside of a divided container that you can only buy at Ikea.  I don't have access to the Swedish superstore, so I put together a list of different plastic containers that would work as well.  I'm not sure that once I start that I'll be able to stop, so many of these containers come in multiples.

Play Dough Ideas

Although most of these play dough kits are assembled with homemade play dough that extra step isn't necessary.  Here are a few store-bought play dough options as well as some awesome tools for modeling fun.  Click the colored text under the pictures to see more details.

What do you think?  Is this something you'd want to make up for your road trip?  Is it a horrible idea?  What theme is your favorite?  Have you made one for your children?  Tell me all about it in the comments.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Mystery Snack Road Trip Game

When I was a kid, my mom would play 20 Questions with our road trip food.  We called it "Mystery Snacks."  She would secretly buy items that we'd either never tried before, a new flavor of a favorite food, or something we rarely go to eat.  Then, at snack time, we'd have to play 20 Questions to guess the food.  Sometimes, it was very frustrating and no one got the answer for hours and hours (ok, probably only 30 minutes or so).  My mom wouldn't let us give up after 20 Questions, we had to continue until we finally guessed it.  Other times, we guessed it right away.  I haven't played this game with my own kids yet, because I felt like they were a bit too young to understand it.  I think they're ready though and will be trying it with them soon.

In Between Snacks, Read a Good Book!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Avoiding Road Trip Toileting Emergencies with Kids

One of my childhood travel memories involves a plastic ice cream tub.  For years, my mom would keep a empty bin with a snap-on lid on the floor of the minivan in case of potty emergencies.  The only time I remember us using it was when we were stuck in the line for a ferry crossing.  One of us had to go RIGHT NOW, so Mom got out the ice cream tub.  It saved the day and made a lasting impression on the memory of everyone in the car.

Although I haven't gotten as smart as my mom yet, I've been thinking a lot lately about our upcoming road trip and what a huge pain it is to take our kids to the bathroom.  Public toilets are gross and germ-filled, and you know kids just have to touch everything in sight!  It's always challenging to know which parent should take the kids with them or how many trips Mom should take back and forth to get everyone pottied (last summer's road trip often had me doing 3 every stop).

If you have a child who is easily overwhelmed by bathrooms like I do, you know that public toilets are even more challenging!  Every stop is a new location with different experiences.

Will the toilet flush automatically or will I have to push a button?  Or pull a lever?  Will the result be different if I flush 10 times?

Will the sink water start automatically or will I have to turn it on?

Is the soap magic or do I need to do something to make it come out?

Is the bathroom only for one person or a bunch of people at once?

What's that smell?  What's that bin for?

Why is there a koala bear on this shelf thing?

Will my voice echo if I scream really loudly?  (I don't know- but I have to test it).  How will other people react to my big voice?

Can I go straight to the bathroom or will there be a gantlet of exciting and interesting things to see first?

Will there be a line?

Do I talk to the people in the bathroom?

Why is this bathroom so different from the one we used a few hours ago?

I had the hardest time naming this blog post!  I just couldn't narrow down all of my feelings about this topic.  I really wanted to call it "Beyond Potty Training- Rest Stops with Kids."  Or maybe "Avoiding Dirty Bathrooms on Road Trips."  Or "Drop in a Bucket- Potty Stops with Kids."  Basically, I was looking for solutions to all the toileting problems moms face when we're on road trips with our kids.

I started looking at all the travel potty solutions on the market and looking at Pinterest for DIY ideas.  I also ran into a hilarious video from the guys at Good Mythical Morning, where they test out a few travel toilet options.  Because I think best in graphics, here's a smattering of the DIY potty ideas I found.

We already own this travel potty, which we've underutilized in our few years of parenting.  This post has motivated me to get a system set up so we'll have it ready at all times.  My current plan is to use diapers, since they're already designed to be portable.  I will hang a grocery or garbage bag off the toilet seat (the one we own has little clips for the bag) and put an open diaper on the bottom.  My husband and I both agree that diapers are far preferable to cat litter, since they will be lighter and less messy when spilled.  Then, we can just tie off the bag and throw it away- no different from any other diaper disposal.  I'm looking forward to faster potty stops, less stress, and more family memories.

Do you have a brilliant travel potty solution?  Comment below!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

50 Ways to Play on the Beach with Kids

1- make sand slime (Frugal Fun 4 Boys)

2- fly a kite (Party USA)

3- eat sand dessert cups

4- blow giant bubbles (Red Ted Art)

5- build a tide pool (JDaniel 4's Mom)

6- paint shells (Sixth Bloom)

7- make a sand drizzle sculpture (Still Playing School)

8- build a sand volcano (Growing a Jeweled Rose)

9- make sand play dough (Mama, Papa, Bubba)

10- bury yourself in sand

11- play trains (Play Trains)

12- build a sand snowman

13- collect seashells (Come Together Kids)

14- build a driftwood town (Skip to My Lou)

15- make a sand mill (Handmade Charlotte)

16- play driftwood instruments (Red Ted Art)

17- stamp your name in the sand (Views from a Step Stool)

18- chase waves (Sixth Bloom)

19- check off a scavenger hunt (Natural Beach Living)

20- read a book (Party USA)

21- dye beach sand (Diana Rambles)

22- take adorable beach baby pictures (Natural Beach Living)

23- make a shell mandala (Nurture Store)

24- draw in the sand (Artful Parent)

25- play sand bowling (The Nerd's Wife)

26- have a water relay race (Playtivities)

27- play with trucks (My Silly Squirts)

28- float a garbage boat (Inspired by Family Mag)

29- take a nap

30- play with some new toys (Party USA)

31- explore tidepools (Rainy Day Mum)

32- play tic tac toe or hangman in the sand

33- find some critters (Mother Natured)

34- play with cars (Adventures and Play)

35- blow a ping pong ball (Mom Me)

36- build a sandcastle (Centsable Momma)

37- play beach i-spy (Next Comes L)

38- walk the shoreline

39- play seashell letter matching (Pre-K Pages)

40- cast footprints (Beauty and Bedlam)

41- measure shells and driftwood (Little Bins for Little Hands)

42- collect shells, sea glass, and treasure

43- track the incoming tide (KC Edventures)

44- paint recycled cans for your castle (Crafts by Amanda)

45- build a mermaid city (The Craft Train)

46- make an impression with cookie cutters (Raising Whasians)

47- go sand sledding (Mommy Poppins)

48- build a sand cast starfish (Crafts by Amanda)

49- cook your dinner (The Nerd's Wife)

50- beach ball bounce (Motherhood on a Dime)

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