Are we there yet? Quiet backseat whiners
Are we there yet? Quiet those backseat whiners
Family road trips mean a never-ending chorus of “Are we there yet?” and “I'm bored!” These creative and stimulating products from Alex Toys — www.alextoys.com — will keep your kids entertained:
Scribble & Doodle On the Go: The hardcover book has 50 activity pages to color and play on and two pages of stickers. The “On the Go” book is about travel and travel activities. Other books in the series include “Girly Swirly,” and “My First Scribble.” $11
Desk to Go: One side of the Desk to Go is a firm desktop surface, while the other is soft for resting on a child's lap. Pockets on the side hold crayons, markers and more, while the top has a handle that makes for easy carting from place to place. The desk comes with elastic straps to hold paper in place and the whole thing folds up and zips shut. $20
Car Valet: This baby packs a lot into a small, tote-able package. The play area is huge. There are tons of pockets that you can load up with art supplies, decks of cards, paper and anything else you can think of. The Car Valet can fasten to the seat in front of the child and folds down, giving a nice workspace. $44
Typic Kids tricks-out your children's pics
Sophisticated photo-editing software is beyond the level of most kids (and, let's face it, most computer users) but that doesn't mean that they can't add some flair to their favorite smartphone snaps.
Typic Kids is a photo-editing program aimed squarely at children, which lets users pick filters to lay over photos, custom frames, text and digital stickers to customize pictures from a smartphone camera roll. You can also take a picture straight from the application, for an instant opportunity to get creative.
There are in-app purchases in Typic Kids, but buying extras requires parents to not only enter their password but also do a quick arithmetic problem for authorization. A full sticker pack costs $1.99, although there are still quite a few free options that come with the app. Typic Kids will require access to your camera roll. Free, for Apple iOS devices (7.0 or later).
Everybody freaks — about college funds
The thought of saving for college can be stressful, but chill out with “Everybody Freaks Out! But It's Going To Be Okay” (T. Rowe Price, $5 on Amazon), an illustrated parents' guide to smart saving strategies.
Follow the Parkers as they lose their wits, and then learn that there are several plans in place to smooth this financially daunting process. The book's companion website provides parents with educational information on 529 college savings plans and connects them with other parents experiencing college freak outs. All proceeds benefit Junior Achievement USA, a nonprofit organization that helps children develop financial literacy skills.
Car sick? How to survive queasy kids
Cars.com expert moms suggest the following tips to help prevent car sickness in your children:
Plan to travel during naptime: If your schedule permits (and your child is known to sleep in the car), consider syncing travel time with naptime.
Ditch electronic devices: If you can, keep your kids looking out the window or toward the horizon by playing an old-fashioned game of I Spy or license plate bingo. If the kids are too young, try distracting them with a family sing-along. If you're going to have to listen to the “Frozen” soundtrack again anyway, why not make it a bona-fide in-car event?
Keep the air flowing: If your child is seated in the middle of the backseat, aim the air-conditioning vents straight at them. Or crack the windows to let fresh air inside the cabin.
Pack the right snacks: Bringing along mints, a cool bottle of water, or saltines or soda crackers to sooth nausea always helps. Avoiding greasy snacks and fast-food meals while on the road is even better.
Explore natural remedy options: Many health-food stores and pharmacies carry natural products that are safe for children to use. Anything from wristbands to behind-the-ear oil treatments or ginger tablets may help your child beat car sickness. Do your research; call your pediatrician to learn what's safe for your child before you hit the road.
Allow for frequent stops: Sometimes, just getting out of the car and moving around can keep car sickness at bay. If your child is on the verge, find a rest stop and have him lie down outside on his back with his eyes closed, with a cool towel on his forehead to help him recalibrate.
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