Road Trip Essentials for Kids

Road tripIf you are heading out of town soon and driving with kids, a large chunk of your packing list is dedicated to what you’ll need inside your vehicle to keep everyone fed and entertained so you don’t have to STOP.

I could “Google” and “Pin” much more but here’s my favorite list of what to pack and what to do to pass the time in the car.

Activities:

  • Books, magazines, comics, activity books.  Bring books they’ve never read before.  Goodwill has LOTS for just pennies.
  • Sketchbook, notebook, washable markers, twist up colored pencils (no sharpening needed)
  • Games, such as the license plate game or travel bingo
  • disposable cameras so they can take pictures – or a digital one if you trust them with it.
  • Free up space on your smart device and let the kids make recordings along the drive.  Or use a good ol’ tape recorder: Let the kids produce a vacation broadcast
  • Pre-stamped blank postcards (find them at the post office), which your kids can decorate, or postcards bought on the road; have your children write to friends, relatives, even pets
  • Doodling doodads: a small dry-erase board, Etch A Sketch, Magna Doodle, tic tac toe board.
  • Pipe cleaners, easy origami, and other scissor-less craft supplies
  • Portable DVD player and DVDs; don’t forget headphones!
  • Books on CD for the whole family, such as the Harry Potter series or “The Chronicles of Narnia”.  Rent them free from your library.
  • Scrapbook envelope—entrust your children with the responsibility of collecting postcards, ticket stubs, and brochures for a scrapbook
  • Create your trip map and track it with the kids. Print a map off Google maps & insert it into a plastic sleeve.  Use a dry erase marker which will wipe off nicely.

Food:

  • Individually packaged, crumb-free snacks such as bite-sized goldfish crackers, raisins, string cheese.
  • Hard-to-bruise fruits such as apples, grapes and berries; or try fruit roll-ups.
  • Trail mix, which will leave kids feeling full longer (and keep fingers greaseless)
  • Reusable bottles filled with water

Miscellaneous:

  • First-aid items, such as Neosporin, bandages, anti-bacterial wipes, Tylenol, sunscreen, and Dramamine
  • Grocery bags to collect trash
  • Easy wipes & hand sanitizer
  • Change of clothes, in case of accidental spills
  • A blanket for spur-of-the-moment picnics at rest areas—and naps
  • Jump ropes, football, frisbee, baseball gloves, and balls, etc. so energetic little travelers can tire themselves out at rest stops!

What has worked for you on road trips with your kids?  Did you consult Pinterest like I did?  Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas on road tripping with kids.

– S.O.
POB Agency

Why you Should Never Let A Candle Burn to the Very Bottom of a Glass Pillar

It’s amazing how the Midwest weather can change in just 10 days.  Two weekends ago we were sitting in shorts and tank tops watching our son’s baseball game under the sun on an 80 degree day.  Today – the temperature maybe topped at 45 degrees.

We turned our heat and fireplace on and the candles came out.  Don’t ask my why, but I typically only burn candles in cooler weather.  It makes me feel more “cozy”.

CandleWhen I dug out our glass jar candles, I noticed I held on to a couple that were almost burned to the glass bottom.  I’m not sure how much life they have in them but surely they’d be okay for just tonight.  Right?

WRONG!  You should never let the candle burn to the very bottom.  No matter how tempted you are to get the very last scent from the remaining wax, you should toss the candle once the wax drops below half an inch.

Candles cause nearly 10,000 house fires a year (35% from candles in the bedroom) and those candles I just mentioned, are a fire hazard.  Without enough wax in my pillar as a buffer, the flame can ignite debris (like a match particle that’s been left in the candle) and cause a blaze to flare up.  Even if a fire doesn’t ignite, the low-level of wax in the jar increases the likelihood of the flame brushing against the sides and the bottom.  If the glass gets hot enough, it could shatter.  In any case, if you let the wax burn lower than half an inch, you are putting your home at risk.

Although most of the time, the candle I’m burning is close to us like on a shelf or an end table, why risk it?  They’re going in the trash.  And, while I’m at it, I’m going to purge all other kinds of candles that are shorter than two inches.  It just gives me more reason to buy some pretty fall scented new ones!

Where should my first stop be on my candle shopping spree?

– S.O.
POB Agency