Fun Ways To Entertain Kids During Holiday Travel
Traveling with kids is never fun. They get bored. You are stressed from being in traffic. You all might be on the road or in a plane for a few hours or more and need to prepare for delays. Here are a few tricks and tips to help maintain sanity and make the holiday start off in a positive way.
- If you have young kids plan travel around nap time or bed time. That way they’ll be asleep during some of the trip. I even did this once when my son was 14-months-old and we went to Trinidad and Tobago. It was harder to get him to sleep but he slept almost the whole flight and I didn’t have to fight him on wanting to get up and walk around.
- Wrap presents from the dollar store in wrapping paper or Sunday comics and let the kids have one for each 45 miles you drive (or set your own mileage or time). Warning- do not wrap in aluminum foil. It makes too much crinkly noise while driving and will drive you up the wall.
- If during the day play games like ‘I Spy’, the ‘Alphabet Game’ or the game where you spot license plates. There is even an app on smart phones to check off the plates you have seen!
- Invest in something like Car Bingo. Kids can buddy up to help younger ones play. There is an airplane addition too.
- Spot It! on the Road is another good car game. The whole family can play this fun, fast paced game from BlueOrange.
- It is always great to invest in some good books. Getting them from the local library is free and can provide hours of quiet time. My kids have small book lights they use in the car when it is dark. LED Book Light
- Thousands of audio books are available for free or cheap on Kindle Edition. If not free a lot are only 99 cents. Anything from chidren’s books to teens. Even a lot of classical books.This is great if it dark outside or kids get carsick reading. In car trips we listened to all of the Series of Unfortunate Events, The Little House on the Prairie series, Harry Potter, Story of the World and more!
8. If you can get kids a lap tray (or have one if on an airplane) then check out Brick Builders Club. These are super awesome Lego kids that come with sets and some extra. It is a monthly subscription box. My kit came with a poster, t-shirt, two small Lego sets, a Lego drinking cup and some Lego playing cards.
Music! You can’t forget music. The Music Box has a monthly subscription to get cds from brand new hot artists on the market plus cards for free song downloads.
If your car has a TV you can always pop in a movie for some of the ride. Especially if kids are fighting and you want some quiet time to concentrate on the road. My kids are so excited about Minions that just came out with 3 new Mini-Movies on Blue-Ray with 3D feature available!
Kauzbats offer cuddle time, nap time or when kids want something to snuggle with in new bed, like a hotel or guest’s house. There is always time for a ‘lovie’ and these ones are so adorable. This one is called Khloe and I brought it to my mom when she was in the hospital.
Creative Ways To Save Water In Your Home
People often think of ways to save water by using less but there are many ways to be creative and reduce monthly water usage. With California in an all-time-record drought it is important to discover every way possible to use less water.
- Niagara Conservation has high-efficiency toilets. With a vacuum system they use up to 60% less water yet have a powerful flush. Right now select water districts in California are teaming up with Niagara Conservation and Home Depot to offer $150 rebates, which covers the cost of the toilet. They just had an event in Lake Forest and next weekend there is one in Irvine. Visit their YouTube site to see just how these toilets work.
- Reduce the amount of water used in a shower by using a timer. This awesome timer has a suction cup to attach it to the shower wall. The timer holds 5 minutes of sand.
If you shorten your shower by 1-2 minutes you’ll reduce your water 150 gallons less a month.
- When taking a bath fill up the tub a few inches less. There is no reason to have the water to the very top, especially for children.
- When you have left over water while cooking keep it and reuse it! Hard boiled eggs, corn on the cob, asparagus, etc. There is usually a pot of leftover water afterwards. There is two ways to use this water.
a-Use hot water to dump on weeds growing in cracks of the sidewalk or driveway to kill them.
b-Let water cool off to dump in the garden to water plants.
- Niagara showerheads let you save money by doing nothing. They restrict the flow of water so less is used.
- If you need hot water from the sink and are running water until it turns hot put a pot under the faucet. Keep that water to reuse in the kitchen or in the garden.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl instead of letting the tap run.
- When you are waiting for your shower water to warm up put a 5-gallon bucket in the shower to collect the water. You can dump it in your garden later.
Visit Help Save Water for ways to save up to 60% on water for your household.
Check out Home Depot’s Eco Options department to find water saving appliances.
Irvine Ranch Water District also recommends turning off automatic sprinklers when we have rains as a way to conserve water.
What other ways do you and your family try to save water?
Summer Boredom Buster Ideas For Kids
- Easy Magazine Flowers (Organized 31).
- Dolly Bookmarkers (My 2 Sisters).
- Less Mess Tie-Dye (30 Minute Crafts).
- DIY Water Spray Table (Hello Creative Family).
- 80’s Style Painted t-Shirts (Organized 31).
- DIY Custom Flip-Flops (Northern Cheapskates).
- Easy Painted Flag (Organized 31).
- Beach Wreath– great for summer memories (Northern Cheapskates).
- FireCracker Fruit Kabobs (Mission To Save).
- Teen Tie-Dye Shirts (Organized 31).
- Homemade Sidewalk Chalk (Practically Functional).
- Retro Canvas Shoes (Thinking Closet).
- Surprise Dinosaur Rocks (The Kitchen Is My Playground).
- Truffula Tree Pencil Craft (My 2 Sisters).
- DIY Noodle LightSabers (The Jenny Evolution).
- Scented Glow-in-the-Dark Slime (Really, Are You Serious?).
SENIOR DISCOUNT LIST
Not mine, saw a friend post it. Definitely worth sharing with others. Some I knew about and other I’d never heard of.
Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan’s: Discount varies by location (60+)
Bob’s Big Boy: Discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55 +)
Dunkin’ Donuts: 10% off or free coffee (55+)
Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+)
Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off (55+)
Jack in the Box: Up to 20% off (55+)
KFC: Free small drink with any meal (55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
Long John Silver’s: Various discounts at locations (55+)
McDonald’s: Discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+) diane
Shoney’s: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off (55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off (50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy’s: 10% off (55 +)
Whataburger: 10% off (62+)
White Castle : 10% off (62+)
RETAIL & APPAREL :
Banana Republic: 30% off (50+)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month (50+)
Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
Big Lots: 30% off
Bon-Ton Dept 15 % off on senior discount days (55 +)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 20% off (55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) (50+)
Kohl’s: 15% off (60+)
Modell’s Sporting Goods: 30% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: Up to 50% off (55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55 +)
Albertson’s: 10% off first Wednesday of each month (55 +)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday (50 +)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+)
Fry’s Supermarket: Free Fry’s VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday (55 +)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday (50 +)
Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe’s Marketplace: 15% off (62+)
Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+)
American Airlines: Various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods (Tuesdays – Thursdays) (62+) and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: No initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Rail: Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
Bus: Greyhound: 15% off (62+) Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+
Car Rental :
Alamo Car Rental: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP membe rs (50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
Hertz: Up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: Up to 30% off for AARP members
Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+)
Best Western: 40% off (55+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Waldorf Astoria – NYC: $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: Various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler’s Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+)
Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off (55 +)
Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+)
ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT :
AMC Theaters: Up to 30% off (55 +)
Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets (50 +)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: Up to 35% off
Massage Envy – NYC: 20% off all “Happy Endings” (62 +)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket (55 +)
SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets (50 +)
CELL PHONE DISCOUNTS :
AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service (50 +)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).
Great Clips: $8 off hair cuts (60+)
Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+)
NOW, go out there and claim your discounts —- and remember —- YOU must ASK for your discount —- no ask, no discount.
Disclaimer:One or more products below were provided for free. However the review is my honest opinion. This post may include affiliate links.
Fighting The Good Fight: Tidying Your Kids’ Toys
It’s like the turning of the tide. Every night before bed you tidy your kids’ toys away perfectly, leaving your living room the spotless image of perfection. But every morning the same landscape of destruction and carnage greets you.
It can often seem like even trying to stem the onslaught of child-based mess is a futile exercise. However as a veteran of the field I consider myself to have some inside tips. These should help any weary mother in her war on Lego-strewn carpet, skateboards on the stairs and cookies in the VCR.
So here you go. My top tips for keeping your kids’ mess in tow.
Recruit the Kids
The real winner is to have your kids picking up after themselves. Cleaning their own mess will make them more conscious and responsible, as well as lessening your workload considerably, so start while they’re young. Explain to them the value of their possessions, and how if we value something it’s good to keep it safe. Remind them of the time you stood on their brand new model, or accidentally ran over their bike they left in the drive.
A lot of the petty annoyances of your life as a parent have a huge bearing on the type of adult your child will become. If you want to cultivate in them a sense of responsibility and honesty, a simple issue such as this is a great way to start.
That said, you need to have the tools to succeed. By making storage as easy and practical as possible, you’ll save everyone man hours, and your shared spaces will continue to look attractive and inviting. With practical storage solutions, you’ll also help your children to be organised. Maybe you’ll even avoid those last minute panics as some toy of vital importance has disappeared while you’re on your way out of the door for an important appointment.
This doesn’t have to be as arduous as it sounds, and in fact it can be a fun aspect of your whole interior design. If you do it right, your living room will be a versatile space with plenty of room for any number of playdates over lunch as well as a much-deserved glass of wine at the end of the day.
Creating a timetable of responsibilities is another great way of encouraging organisation, as well as a sense of fairness in the family. If you’re tripping over dinky cars while making dinner, you can explain to your kids that it isn’t fair for them to expect you to do their jobs for them.
You can sit down as a family to write the timetable, which is also a great way of showing your kids all of the work that goes into keeping the house running. In addition to helping you, it should show your kids that the day-to-day routine that they take for granted is sustained by your hard work. All in all, it’s another way to turn your kids into responsible and mature participants in your happy household.