A new study from the AAP says parents should skip all of the high tech electronic toys this holiday season, and instead, give the the basics to your kids. If you are looking for some great toys that don’t need to be plugged in, paired with an app, and will tap into you kid’s creativity and imagination, check out my latest segment on Fox and Friends
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is not only a holiday that is filled with delicious food and great company, but a very stressful time to travel. So before all of the Thanksgiving festivities can start, you’ll need to make your travel plans. From packing, figuring out when is the best time to leave, and actually getting on the road with every other person trying to arrive to their turkey dinner on time, this wonderful holiday can leave you feeling stressed rather than full from turkey. Since we would all rather enjoy pumpkin pie than be stuck in awful traffic, here are a few tips to help you save your sanity if you are traveling this Thanksgiving.
- Take Care of your Car Before Turkey Day- From filling up the gas tank early to making sure everything is running smoothly in your car, take the time before the holiday rush to make sure your car is ready to hit the open road. When you don’t have to stop for gas and wait in busy lines or worry that your car needs serviced on Turkey Day, you’ll be glad you were prepared.
- Be flexible with your Travel Days- While no one wants to be stuck in holiday traffic or long lines at the airport or train station, it seems that is par for the course when it comes to holiday travel-but it doesn’t have to be. If you are hitting the roads for Thanksgiving, try traveling on a day that will be a little less crazy. Most people travel on Wednesday-the heaviest traffic is Wednesday after work- so if you can leave the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving or even Thanksgiving morning, you are less likely to hit the major holiday rush. The same goes for the days you are returning. Most people head home on Saturday. If you can travel on Friday or Sunday, you are less likely to hit the majority of the traffic. You will still have some traffic, but you will miss the heaviest times.
As we count down the days until we get to dig in to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, you may be worried about how you are going to travel with the dish you are bringing to dinner. But there’s no need to fret, you just need a few hacks to safely get the yummy food from your house to the Thanksgiving host’s home.
- Use a Crockpot- Not only will the crockpot keep your food warm-think mashed potatoes or sweet potato but it is also the perfect “suitcase” for your side dish. You can even place the slow cooker into a larger box and support it with a few towels so it doesn’t move around during the car ride.
- Use To-Go Containers- If you are going to make some of the food when you arrive, you can chop and cut up the food at home and pack the food in to-go containers-like stuffing ingredients. This way you can cut down on the mess when you arrive.
- Grab Some Towels- Find a few big beach towels and put them in your trunk or wherever you are placing the food. Start by putting towels down on the bottom of the car before you begin packing the food. Then wrap the food containers with more towels so they don’t move or bump into any other dishes while you’re on the road. As an added bonus, you can use the towels for a quick cleanup if anything does spill.
There’s nothing quite like a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and if you aren’t the one hosting the dinner, then you won’t want to show up empty-handed. Instead of simply bringing a bottle of wine or a small hostess gift, why not volunteer to bring a dish that travels well. Here are a few Thanksgiving sides that travel well and will impress everyone at dinner.
Mashed Potatoes – A Thanksgiving fan favorite and an easy dish to travel with. Simply pack the mashed potatoes into a slow cooker. Just be sure the slow cooker is warm while you travel. Then when you reach your destination, give the potatoes a stir and set the slow cooker on warm.
Mac and Cheese – For homemade mac and cheese, you can put the dish together and cook it once you are arrived at the host or hostess house for dinner.
With the busy holiday season in full swing, your toddler may be spending more time in the car traveling to family and holiday functions. While you can pack lots of snacks, games, and toys to keep your little ones entertained—sometimes it is nice to give your toddler a little technology break so they are happy and everyone else in the car is happy too. So if you aren’t’ sure what apps your toddler will like, here’s a few education apps that will help them learn letters, colors, numbers, and shapes. The best part of these educational apps is they are having fun and learning too! So there’s no need to feel mom guilt of their technology time while in the car.
1. ALPHATOTS ALPHABET
The educational app focuses on 26 different action verbs that can help toddlers learn their ABCs. AlphaTots Alphabet has cute sing-a-longs and fun puzzles to keep your toddler interested and encourage them to learn letters and their sounds on their own.
2. PBS KIDS
This app allows your toddler to view all of their favorite PBS shows child friendly app. This one has always been a favorite of my kids.
3. MONKEY PRESCHOOL LUNCHBOX
This wonderful app is a parent favorite as an educational app for toddlers. It’s easy to use and teaches basic literacy and mathematics.
4. PEEKABOO BARN
With many different versions of this app, it’s a great app for toddlers to learn about farm animals’ names and sounds.
1. Take a drive and enjoy the fall scenery
2. Get outside and go to a pumpkin patch
3. Have a family photo session outside in the beautiful fall foliage
4. Carve pumpkins and try a few new designs
5. Roast the pumpkin seeds
6. Go apple picking
7. Turn those apples into apple pie or apple crisp
8. Go on a hayride
9. Collect leaves on a nature walk
10. Then make leaf art with your new collection
If you are looking for a few hacks to keep your car more organized-all you need are a few bungee cords You probably have a few bungee cords floating around in your garage, so instead of letting them gather dust, it’s time to put them to work! From keeping your groceries from spilling everywhere to keeping your kid’s toys together, bungee cords are going to become the key to hacking car organization.
1. Grocery Bag Hack- Keep all of your groceries organized and upright in the back of your car using a bungee cord. Start by stringing the bungee cord through all of your grocery bag handles. Then attach the bungee cord both sides of your trunk. Now your groceries won’t spill while you drive and will save you time when you are unloading your groceries at home.
2. Stroller Storage Hack- Save space in your trunk by using a bungee cord to keep your stroller upright in your trunk. This way you will still have space for other large items. This also works great for suitcases too.
Looking forward to your next family vacation but not really looking forward to long hours in the car with your kids? No worries, because with these five hacks, your kids will be happy, entertained, and become the perfect traveling partners. OK, that might be a bit of a stretch, but these hacks are a great way to keep your kids happy while you are on the way to your vacation spot. So grab the kids and pack your bags because, it’s roadtrip time!
· Plastic shower caddies are inexpensive and are perfect for serving snacks and drinks in the car. Just load up a napkin, food, utensils, and a drink in each compartment and pass back to your kids. Now your roadtrip partners can balance the shower caddy on their lap and everything they need for snack time is in one convenient place.
· An inexpensive cookie sheet becomes the perfect travel item for your kids. They can place it on their lap and it becomes a spot for coloring pages, books, and any toys your kids have brought in the car.
· When you are limited on space in the cooler, make room but ditching ice packs. Instead, freeze a few water bottles and juice boxes. They will keep the food cold and when they melt, they are the perfect cool drink for your kids.