Thursday, July 22, 2010

TOS Review: Travel Kits

HSCrew468x60Animated

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given the opportunity to review the E-book Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others, published by the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

travelkits_cover_sm

This 91 page downloadable E-book is brimming with wonderful ideas of how to create a travel kit for others, or for your own family. What is a travel kit you ask?  In a nutshell, it is a “blessing in a box”—or bucket, or bag, or basket—tied up with ribbons and bows! Or even tied up with colorful shoelaces!”. It is compilation of things created by you for a specific child or family, in order to entertain, excite and make the travel time go more smoothly.

The thing that impressed me most about the e-book is the detail that the author goes into. She really equips you with everything you could possibly need to create a travel kit. It is overflowing with detailed information, tips, vivid photos and specific examples of things to include in the travel kit you create.  After reading it, I felt ready to put it to the test with my own kids.

TravelKitspagespread2

Our Experience:

Last weekend was a great opportunity to see if I could keep my 3 and 2 year old boys content during a 2 hour car ride. I love that this E-book gave me specific ideas for what to put in the kit.  After thinking about my own kids and their interests, I went to the Dollar Tree and a few other stores to put together my kit. Here is what I came up with…

IMG_3630
The kit included some stickers, a snack, a new CD, water balloons  and a water ball (for our camping trip), some new books, a dry-erase board, and some preschool activity bags that I had already made up. I wrapped up all of the “gifts” and gave the first, the snack,  about 20 minutes into the trip when I sensed they were hungry. Just unwrapping it alone was a huge thrill. I spaced out the gifts about every 12 minutes and handed them out 2 at a time. I quickly learned that they both had to have a gift or there would be major tears. The second gift was the CD, and I told Garrett to listen for “Itsy Bitsy Spider” etc. and when he hears it, to ask for his next gift. This went on until we reached our destination.

My Opinion:

I think most of us know to throw a thing or two in the car when we’re traveling with kids, but this really gives you specific ideas and takes the guesswork out of it. There is valuable information and tons of additional travel tips. It was successful with my kids and I honestly think I will do it again. They really loved opening the gifts and looked forward to receiving the next one. The 2 hour ride honestly didn’t seem so long.

The only thing I was apprehensive about was the “clutter” that it might create in my already packed car. Camping with 2 young children is already challenging, and I wasn’t sure I wanted wrapping paper and other little gifts cluttering it up. Honestly, I would have to say that it didn’t bother me too badly, and we just pitched the paper when we got there. Also, I tried to make sure that the “gifts” were practical, usable things and not just junk that I would throw away when we got home. I would highly recommend this resource to anybody who travels with children, or anybody who wishes to bless others. No doubt, to receive a travel kit would be a huge blessing!

The Travel Kits E-book can be found here for $12.45.  Go to the TOS Homeschool Blog to see what others are saying about Travel Kits.

The Old Schoolhouse  Magazine Customer Service line is
1-888-718-HOME

Disclaimer:The Travel Kits E-book was provided free of charge for my review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I received no other compensation, and this review is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Marshmallow Painting

Here is a cute, simple activity we did this morning. Below are their “masterpieces”.  (Garrett’s is on the left, Colin’s on the right)

IMG_3614IMG_3615

I just put tempera paint on paper plates and plopped a large marshmallow in each color.

IMG_3608
Then I gave them each a white piece of paper and let them do whatever they wanted. I was surprised that for the most part, they kept the colors separate and returned the marshmallows to the correct color.

They loved it! (That is Colin’s new smile by the way :-)

IMG_3612 IMG_3613