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Showing posts sorted by date for query family travel. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query family travel. Sort by relevance Show all posts

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing is a form of Word of Mouth Advertising


Did you ever have a homepage with Microsoft or are you even old enough to remember those? There's been a steady progression in the world of blogging and I've been along for the entire ride. Now, I'm considered a social media influencer. Influencer marketing is the latest trend on the world wide web, remember that term? Ha. It's been a wild ride. What is Influencer Marketing? 


This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


What's influencer marketing and a sponsored post?

Influencer marketing is online word of mouth advertising. It goes like this. I went to a new ice cream shop, I loved the pineapple flavor, I took a picture and shared it all over my social media pages. It's true. I do love pineapple ice cream. If I tell you how much I love it, maybe you'll try it and love it too. Generally, influencers are trusted or are recognized as a celebrity or specialist in their area of influence.


Me? The influencer progression went like this: 


  • Microsoft Homepage - I shared my page with my family members to update them on the status of my new baby. (He's 17.)
  • MySpace page for my family - like a scrapbook.
  • Blog - Here's what we've been doing, doesn't it look fun?
  • Facebook page - So, you want how to instructions for the kids activities we've been doing?
  • Twitter profile - Because someone told me I had to have at least 5k followers to be of any value. (Twitter doesn't really fit my niche.)
  • Pinterest profile - Picture this and save it to make later! My stats skyrocketed quickly, so I wrote a how to book which ended up on Amazon's Best Seller's list and that boosted my influencer status.
  • Instagram profile - Everyone's doing it, it's the place to be. So, I did it too.

In between all of those social media platforms, I tried Snap Chat, Periscope, Blog Frog, Google+, and a host of other platforms that you've never heard about. My influencer status grew by leaps and bounds on Blog Frog. Once I caught on to how they got paid when I wrote an article or allowed ads on the page, it was a game changer.


Suddenly,  I realized that I could do that on my own website. I solicited brands, got free product, and a small payment for my articles. This method later became known as the sponsored post. The more sponsored posts I did, the more I was hooked. Next thing you know, I'm a huge (one of the first) Pinterest influencer. It happened while I was looking the other way. 


Over the last several years, my influencer status has grown to include Instagram. People like to see what other people do behind the scenes. That's why these unboxing YouTube videos are all the rage. While I do love to receive free product, as an influencer, it is important that I am compensated for my time. It's how I make my living. Never heard of me? Just Google it.


These days, I like to focus on educational kids' activities and budget friendly family travel. However, my blog is considered a lifestyle/parenting website so I get offered all sorts of influencer marketing proposals. I can afford to be choosy. 


Back in the day, Paris Hilton was one of the first social media influencers. Now, anyone can be an influencer, celebrity not required. You just have to be patient and persistent. There are many bloggers who became influencers by accident. I particularly like this story about the Barefoot Marathoner in the Influencer Spotlight. Like me, she was just doing her own thing, minding her own business when people began to take notice. Surprise, you're an influencer! 


Some Influencers make their money with YouTube advertising. I haven't found the time to focus on YouTube. Notice, I forgot to even mention it my progression list, it fits in somewhere after Facebook. I've helped other websites market themselves with YouTube, but my own profile falls flat. Maybe someday.


We don't have to all love the same things! There are some platforms I just don't love, and they obviously don't love me back. If you want to start building your own influencer marketing business, pick a social media platform that you love. Build it, love it, and they will come. Don't be fake. Just be yourself.


So, how do I use Influencer Marketing?


I get offered products to try. I do a lot of kids' recipes and snacks. So, influencer marketing platforms pair me up with food brands and retail stores who send the product and offer a small payment - they call it a fee. That can be confusing to newbies. It's a fee that I require to publish the article on my website. It's a payment to me.


I also get free tickets to events in exchange to promote the event on my social media pages and write about my experience on my blog.


I get pitched various things to post on my Instagram. I try to curate these to include only things that my followers (largely teachers and homeschoolers) will appreciate learning more about. I charge a fee per post or story.


When I do a sponsored post on my blog, I almost always share it to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. I charge an additional fee to share it to Instagram because it seems to be a premium service. If sponsors just want me to pin something on my Pinterest profile, I'm happy to do it for a fee. Time is money. Even adding a link to an existing blog post takes time, so I charge a fee for that too. 


What should you know? There are regulations on sponsored posts. Sponsored posts should be noted as such. On my social media pages, I am required to add #ad or #sponsored. Amazon affiliate links require a disclaimer at the top of the blog post. I always say, "This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience." For other sponsored posts, I use different language, 'This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own." or "Post sponsored by INSERT BRAND." 


What's the biggest rage in influencer marketing these days? I'd say it's tiktok. Notice I don't have that listed above? I'm still thinking about it. Still. I've never been an early adopter, but I do okay. Juggling all of those different social media platforms is very time consuming. Many times, by the time I get around to thinking about signing up for a platform, it's already obsolete. 


Now, how do I find these influencer marketing gigs? Well, these days most of them find me. However,  if you're just starting out, just do a search for 'influencer marketing,' 'sponsored posts,' or 'become an influencer.' There are a ton of sites that help pair influencers with sponsors.


Good Luck! If you have any questions on your journey, feel free to reach out to me.



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How to Get your Kids Excited About Nature at a Young Age

How do you Get Kids to Enjoy Nature?


There’s no refuting that encouraging our kids to get out in nature and engage in outdoor play will result in your family reaping a myriad of benefits, spanning from improved physical and emotional health to providing your children with a ton of fun opportunities for both learning and family bonding. But we also know how difficult it can be to get your kids genuinely excited about outdoor time in this age of screens, screens, and more screens. So, how can you get kids to enjoy nature? Here are a few quick tips!


This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links.

How do you Get Kids to Enjoy Nature?


NATURE APPRECIATION TIPS


1. Plan regular outings

Hands down, the best way to get your kids excited about being out in nature is to make sure that you take regular family trips to beautiful places. Make full use of your local hiking trails on weekends, and set some time aside every week to go on a nice, long (and maybe even educational) bushwalk! If you’ve got younger kids with you, be sure to come equipped with a sturdy Joolz stroller, or another kind of stroller that you’re certain can handle off-road terrain if you plan to stray from the beaten path. 

2. Watch nature documentaries

It’s safe to say that young children have very few opportunities to engage with the wonders of the wider world, especially if your family has no upcoming travel plans. But you don’t need to go to Africa to see the lions of the Serengeti or to the Arctic Circle to see polar bears! If you have an allocated family movie night, be sure to flick on some David Attenborough and other nature documentaries every now and then to keep your kids in absolute awe of the natural world. Not only this, but documentaries can also be a great tool when it comes to teaching your kids about the effects of climate change and the importance of decreasing your household’s carbon footprint. Putting these complex issues into real-world contexts can really help your kids develop and maintain healthy living habits.



how to get kids outside in nature


3. Grow your own garden

Speaking of healthy living habits, did you know that even the pickiest kids are more likely to eat veggies that they’ve grown themselves? And that not only is gardening a natural stress reliever, but it’s also been proven to boost our immune systems and strengthen our fine motor skills? Both suburban and city-dwelling families alike, are jumping on the gardening bandwagon and using any free outdoor space to cultivate their own little veggie patches. And you don’t need to go all-out here to reap the benefits either! Even families living in apartment buildings can utilise balcony space to nurture their own herbs and potted produce like tomato plants. If you’re uncertain of where to start, here are five low-maintenance plants that will be sure to get your kids excited about flexing their green thumbs for years to come.

4. Play some outdoor games

Some of our strongest memories from childhood are made during outdoor play, whether we’re bouncing on a trampoline in the backyard or swinging from the monkey bars of our nearest playground. For this reason alone, it’s highly recommended that you take any and all opportunities to play some outdoor games with your kids and to encourage your kids to play sports and other outdoor activities with their peers. Even younger kids can join in on the fun with some inclusive activities like a sandcastle-building competition, and older kids will have a whale of a time with age-old classics like ‘Tag’ and ‘Capture the Flag.’


Finally, it’s a good rule of thumb to always have a small debrief with your little ones after any outdoor activity, just so you can gauge what interests them and what you can do to nurture those interests. If you listen well, you’ll be sure to have some very avid little hikers, bikers, and gardeners on your hands who will only find more ways to keep themselves learning and developing new skills as they grow up!



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24 Best Educational Toys To Gift Your Kids This Year

Gift Guide: 24 Cool Toys for Kids


As a parent, one of the biggest dilemmas for every birthday and holiday season, is what gifts to buy for your kids. Recently, it's become a trend to give kids gadgets, but always giving the gift of technology is proving detrimental for your kids well-being of our future adults. Instead, why not invest in something that's both educational and enjoyable. This way, your children will develop and grow into well balanced adults and still have fun along their childhood journey.



This post contains Amazon affiliate links.








For More Help
Buying presents for infants and toddlers is even more difficult than for older children. Luckily, there are many websites and blogs to guide you with gift ideas and recommendations. Snugbaby is one such helpful blog. From reviews about the best strollers for your young ones to life-saving advice for new struggling parents, Snugbaby.net has it all. So, be sure to check it out for more helpful gift reviews and advice on parenting little ones.



0-1 year olds Educational Toy Gift Ideas

Melissa and Doug Shape-Sorting Set
This classic toy is a popular educational toy for kids and comes in a variety of themes. See the farm sorting set pictured above, It gives a basic introduction to shapes and colors, as well as, problem solving skills and manual dexterity.  Kids have to insert the blocks into the correct shape.






VTech Musical Rhymes Book
This colorful book with baby-friendly pages engages your toddlers with nursery rhymes while providing a fun way to learn the rhymes.


Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups
Another simple game, it's an excellent way of teaching colors and simple math skills. Here, toddlers learn to put the bear in the matching colored cup. They also have to count the number of bears available to fill each cup, which makes it a helpful lesson in mathematics.



Download our counting math activity printable to use with this game.


VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker
This popular toy encourages 9-month-olds to walk while engaging them with colorful activities and sound, thus developing their sensory skills and coordination.


1-3 years (Toddlers)




Learning Resources Alphabet Island Game
Using the classic ABC rhyme doesn’t have to be the only way to teach kids the alphabet. Make learning fun for your toddlers while they go treasure hunting for the alphabet.




Learning Resources Fine Motor Hedgehog
The spikes on the hedgehog are color-coded and easy to grip, making it a great game for kids to play to  enhance motor skills, color coordination, and sorting abilities.

LeapFrog Scribble and Write Tablet
What a great way to introduce letters and numbers before your kids start preschool. Kids trace the letter or number using the tracing tool without the need for writing with crayons or pencils.

The Learning Journey: Match It! Spelling
Visual learning is a great method to teach kids. Linking words with images helps children learn more quickly. Moreover, the puzzle nature of the game also develops kid’s dexterity.








VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
This game is a great way to introduce an active toddler to sports. The Smart Shots Sports Center comes with a net and two balls. It teaches counting by scoring hoops for points and also teaches shapes, songs, and simple words.






ehome Toddler Musical Instrument
People of all age groups enjoy music, kids are no different. This set contains various musical instruments, so parents don't have to worry about which instrument to buy. Encourage your kids to try out playing the different instruments. Who knows, you may have the next Michael Jackson in your house. These also make a great gift for Easter baskets!


3-5 years (Preschool)


Magnetic Drawing Board Mini Travel Doodle
There's nothing wrong or right when it comes to art. This is the basic concept behind this old, yet popular toy. Give your kid free reign over the board and let the pen do the rest. It's fun for trips with family too!





Learning Resources Pretend and Play Doctor Kit
Playing doctors is still just as popular as ever. The doctor kit is a great gift for aspiring doctors and it's also a great way to teach kids to be kind, helpful, and patient.

ThinkFun Zingo Bingo Board Game
This award-winning game is a fun family activity. Essentially bingo with tiles that have labeled images, it teaches kids word-picture association, and it's also a great way to teach preschoolers new words.

Ideal My First Magic Set
Magic is always fascinating to kids, and what better way to teach your kids confidence, social skills, and self-discipline than using this fun magic game? The 25 tricks in this set, which comes with props, instructions, and online videos, make a great Christmas gift for children.

Back To Nature Outdoor Toy Set
For little explorers, this set includes a flashlight, binoculars, compass, and a magnifying glass. Make the game more fun by making a map and preparing a treasure and set your kids out treasure hunting. Can you imagine a memorable childhood play experience?


5-12 years (Elementary School)


Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Exploration Kit
Does your kid love tinkering around with electronics? This is the perfect gift for engineers in the making. The color-coded circuit components come with a guide and after they have mastered the basics, watch your kids build their own circuits!





Melissa and Doug Fashion Design Activity Kit
Science isn't the only subject of educational toys. Let your child's creative side flourish with this attractive fashion design kit that contains fashion plates, pencils, and crayons.







Scientific Explorer Mind Blowing Science Kit
This kit is equipped with 11 fun activities that will entertain your little ones’ inquisitive minds. Build curiosity for new things and a love of science with this science experiment kit that's easy to clean and will quickly become your kid’s next favorite toy.







Grow ‘n’ Glow Terrarium
A unique toy that even adults have fun playing, is this gardening terrarium game. Kids plant the Chia seeds in the terrarium. The kit also comes with glow in the dark stickers and resin figurines to decorate.

IQ Builder Building Toy Set
This building toy set, featuring various shapes and sizes, challenges your kids to expand their creative boundaries in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Equipped with a storage box, this must-have STEM toy, barely takes any space in your room. 

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game
Develop strategic thinking skills with this innovative game. It uses blocks arranged in different ways to  creatively work around the effect of gravity. The difficulty level increases as the game gets more complex.

Scharkspark Telescope For Kids
This birthday, gift your kids something out of this world. This wonderful telescope helps kids realize the beauty of our vast universe. Introduce your kids to the amazing world of star-gazing and also teach them to take care of their toys with this real working scientific instrument.

National Geographic Break Open Geodes
For the little James Huttons and Florence Bascoms who love scavenging and exploring, this amazing geology set is the perfect gift. Watch your kids squeal in delight when they discover beautiful gems after breaking open the included rocks.






Thames and Kosmos Candy Chemistry Kit
Inspire your kids love of chemistry with this fun game that rewards kids with handmade sweet treats. Sweets and science have truly undeniable chemistry together, a match made in heaven.


Summary
Parents spend a lot of money and time trying to give their kids the best gifts. From toys to education, parents try not to compromise anything for the sake of their children. However, the best gift that parents can give their children are good values and a strong support system. Always encourage your children to try new things on their own and give their best effort. Eventually, your little one will grow to guide you on the journey of life, instead of the other way around. 

Good luck on your journey of parenthood; you'll need it!



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How to Throw a Birthday Party People Will Always Remember

Throw a Birthday Party Tips


Looking for the perfect gift to give a loved one for their next birthday? Research shows that experiences are much better remembered and received than tangible gifts. Throwing a big bash is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday milestone. With the right birthday party planning tips, you can even make the event more entertaining and memorable. 
 Hosting the party at a home gives you much more flexibility over the event date and other details, but read on for more ideas on where to host a birthday party in case your home isn't the best option. These tips on how to throw a memorable birthday party will help to impress everyone on your party guest list. 

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links.

How to Throw a Birthday Party
Throw the perfect Birthday Party with these tips!

Pick the Perfect Theme

  • One of the key tips to plan a birthday party is to pick a theme that ties in all of the party elements. This includes party decor, games, menus, invites, favors, and other birthday party details.
  • Many adult party hosts even plan a signature cocktail around the theme of the party. You can do the same for a child's birthday party, think: goblin green punch, butterbeer, or a colorful layered  smoothie.
  • For adult birthday parties, popular party theme choices include: The Roaring 20's, Casino Night, Fiesta, Mystery Dinners, and Luaus. You can also plan the party around a special holiday, like St. Paddy's Day. A themed party encourages guests to dress up, so be sure to add dress attire requirements the party invitations.


Gamer's Theme Party Invitations.
Gamer's Theme Party Invitations.


Decorations are an important factor when learning how to throw a memorable birthday party with style. Be sure to order party supplies that fit the theme of the event. Top decor ideas include balloon arches, banners, table settings, and floral arrangements. 


https://www.kidscreativechaos.com/search?q=balloon
Decorate with Classy Balloons for an Adult's Birthday Party.

Set a Fun and Simple Location and Time

  • Picking the right venue and location is key for how to plan a birthday party for adults. Of course, it's best to finalize your guest list before choosing a location. This way you have a better idea of how large of a space you'll need. You don't want to end up with too small a space and there's no need to pay for a large space if not needed. 
  • Another venue option is to head to the beach or lake. Guests can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball games, and camping. Make sure you research the open container policy for these types of locations. You also want to ensure there's are restrooms and a nearby pavilion in case of bad weather. 
  • Pick a venue that offers fun activities. Try a bowling alley, trampoline park, or escape the room venue. Renting a private room in a restaurant is another simple way to provide a more intimate setting. 
  • A special tip is to keep the location easy enough for guests to attend. Meaning they won't need to take time off from work or make expensive travel arrangements to accommodate attending your birthday party. If you really want people to show up, choose a location that's familiar with locals and easy for out of towners to find.
  • Keep it casual with a simple backyard soiree. Host a barbecue with fun outdoor games and a firepit. Be sure to have a weather backup plan, like renting a tent in case of rain or making space in your garage.
  • Of course, it's best to have the event on a Saturday or Sunday to ensure the best availability of guests. Early afternoon is also ideal for event timing. Many families have sporting events on the weekend and others enjoying sleeping in, so an afternoon party gives them time to plan around personal and family obligations.

Create a Delicious Menu

  • An impressive and delicious party food menu makes birthday events even more memorable. Choose heavy appetizers or a buffet-style meal. Serving cocktails and light canapes is a popular choice for an afternoon birthday party for adults.
  • An always favorable idea is to grill hot dogs and hamburgers. Then, serve a few different salads and appetizers. Include favorites like a meat and cheese board, veggie tray, and chips and dips.
  • It's creative to try and tie your menu in with the party theme. For a fiesta-style event, have a make your own taco bar. Include chips, salsa, guacamole, and margaritas.
  • Decide ahead of time if you 're going to make all of the food, host a potluck party, or hire a caterer. Catering gives you more time and energy to enjoy the party. Yet, it's the more expensive option.
  • Make sure you have enough supplies, including: cups, cutlery, napkins, and dinnerware. You should also serve a variety of drink options, including: wine, beer, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, and water.
  • Don't forget some type of dessert for guests to enjoy. Maybe you create a themed custom-made cake, cupcakes, or a variety of bite-sized sweets.
  • Get a final guest count with RSVP's, so you know how much food to serve. It's smart to have extra drinks and snacks on hand in case the party runs late into the night. No one wants to leave the best birthday party ever!

Make Sure There's Good Entertainment

  • The best adult birthday party ideas should include unique entertainment. This keeps energy levels up and avoids guests from getting bored and leaving early.
  • When hosting a fun birthday party, music is a essential party element.  The right style of music will improve the mood of your guests and influence your guest's level of happiness.
  • Hire a local band or DJ to play music. A less-expensive option is to set up Spotify to play through a speaker system or Amazon Music through an Alexa device. Another fun idea, is to rent a karaoke machine so guests can provide their own entertainment.
  • Depending on the party theme,  you can also hire out entertainment including: Fortune tellers, magicians, makeup or henna tattoo artists.
  • Fun card games or activities can go a long way to keep your guests entertained. Ladder ball, cornhole, and beer pong are popular choices. Guests will also enjoy playing darts, foosball, or pool.

Set up the Party for Style, Convenience, and Comfort

  • A key tip is to give yourself enough time to set up the decor. Ask close friends and family members for help if you need it. Try to do as much as you can the day before to save on time.
  • It helps to create an organized timeline and checklist for any deliveries. This includes: furniture rentals, catering, and music equipment.
  • Set up tables for gifts, favors, food, and the dessert ahead of time. Be sure to provide plenty of seating for guests layered with the finest chair covers and linens, both inside and outside of the venue. Some guests may want to step outside for fresh air, to talk on the phone, or take a smoke break.
  • Keep all of the bathrooms well-stocked with toiletry essentials. You may even want to consider renting a portable toilet for larger outdoor events.
  • Lighting is an important aspect of any adult birthday party. Lighting accents help to create the right ambiance for the party. Add bistro lights around any outdoor living spaces.
  • Always make sure there are plenty of trashcans and recycle bins placed around the event. This makes for a much easier clean-up when the party is over.

How to Throw a Birthday Party to Impress Your Guests

You'll want to be sure that all of your guest's needs are met and you have set the right party ambiance for the right crowd. And, if your party is outdoors, don't forget to come up with a backup plan in case of inclement weather. No one wants to go to all of the trouble planning a great party only to have it washed out.  Hopefully, these party tips will help you know how to throw a birthday party that wows your party guests. Remember, planning an unforgettable party involves picking the right theme, venue, menu, and entertainment.


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Christmas Gift Ideas for Tweens: Gift Guide Review

Find the Best Christmas Gifts for Preteens (Tweens)


Searching for the best Christmas gift ideasChristmas gift ideas for tweens? Check out our gift guide for tween boys and girls aged 9-12 yrs. These Christmas gift ideas for tweens were tested by our staff's own children and have received a two thumbs up! 

This post contains Affiliate links.




Finding the right gift for preteens is tough, because they’re not little kids anymore, but they’re not quite teenagers yet. Most tweens are outgrowing their favorite toys and developing their own tastes. What they loved yesterday is old news! Tweens often like gifts that are related to their interest and seem cool and fun: Think Nifty

Because shopping for teens and tweens is difficult, it's tempting to take the easy way out and give them money or a gift card, but a great gift is much more memorable and lets them know that you really care. Below are some of our top picks for teen and tween Christmas gifts.


5 Top Picks for Tweens Gift Guide Review


  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera



holiday gift idea for preteen tween girl girls


Our tween girls love this camera! Nifty is its middle name. The Instant Camera is the perfect gift for tween girls. It’s stylish and it's an excellent value for the price. The Fuji camera comes in a range of funky colors and uses automatic exposure to help make it easy to use for beginners. All you have to do is turn the power on, adjust the dial, take the photo and wait for the film to develop. The tiny photos instantly pop out like old fashioned Polaroid pictures.

The camera is compact and lightweight so tweens can easily carry it around with them and even take photos one-handed. A highlight is the simplicity of the design because it doesn’t overwhelm kids with features and accessories they won’t use. Be sure to stock up on lots of film, kids love taking pictures of everyone during the holidays!

  • My Cinema Light Box

Last year, this was a hit with our preteens and tweens! A cinema light box is another nifty gift that helps tweens express their personality by showcasing a message they can personalize. Kids can share their own fun or inspiring messages to friends and family. Plus, there are lots of fun emojis included and plenty of room to add a range of messages that tweens will love. The light box has a cool color changing background with different settings that include fade, flash, and strobe to give a variety of effects. This is a truly unique gift for theater and other creative kids. Put their name in lights under the tree and brighten your preteen’s holidays.



  • Kanken Classic Backpack

The iconic Kanken backpack design is Retro which automatically translates to cool these days. Available in a wide range of colors, the large capacity storage space allows for plenty of room for school supplies and tablets. In addition to the main compartment, it has two side pockets and a front zippered pocket. The laptop pouch in the main compartment is perfect for a 13" Macbook Pro but won’t fit any larger laptops. Material is durable and water resistant, so if you're tweens are outdoorsy, it’s a great bag to take on hikes.





  • Electronic Drum Pad Set

Music lovers will have hours of fun with the electronic roll up drum pad set. Tweens can learn about the different sounds a drum kit makes and develop a sense of rhythm by playing a beat along to their favorite music. Use it with headphones to play at night and it won’t disturb your neighbors.

An electronic drum set pad is a great alternative to a full size drum set. Who has the room for a full-size drum set? It’s also easy to roll up and carry, so your kids can take it anywhere. We bought one of these for our tween boy last year. Pardon the pun, but it was a hit! We also bought this electric roll up piano for our musical tween daughter. She takes it with her everywhere she goes!





  • Crystal Growing Kit 

Crystal growing kits are a hit with 9 and 10 year-olds. If your preteen is into science or shows an interest in precious gems, the crystal growing kit is a perfect gift idea. Kids can grow red, blue, and white crystals and monitor their progress day by day as they transform into fully grown crystals. Once they’ve grown, add them to an LED display to show them off in their full glory. How cool is that?






These Christmas gift ideas for tweens are some of the best rated gifts for preteens on Amazon and have been proven hits with our own kids. If you didn’t find the perfect gift for your preteen, check out some more cool suggestions on Good Old Gifts. Hopefully, you'll find a gift suggestion that matches your preteen’s interests so you can give them something they’ll truly love this Christmas.



Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on our reviews and travel tips!


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Christmas Gift Ideas for Tweens: Gift Guide Review





Tips for Traveling with Baby

Traveling with Infants on Family Vacations: Do's and Don'ts


Vacations are enjoyable for families, right? Family vacations allow us to focus on loved ones and spend quality time together without being bothered by the hassles and activities of everyday life. However, for most parents, traveling with and infant or small children is challenging. Especially, if you aren't prepared and you aren't sure about what baby items to pack for your vacation. So, if you need some tips for traveling with a baby or toddler on family vacation, you've come to the right place!


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Tips for Traveling with Baby



Here are some do's and don'ts tips for traveling with an infant on family vacation:


Do’s

1. Make a Checklist for Essential Baby Items     
Sit down in advance of your trip and make a check list for your vacation with all of the required items you'll need for your infant. If you make the list weeks ahead of time, you can add to it as things pop into your head. The most important tip for traveling with a baby is be prepared.

While traveling with a baby, you need to be careful of every last detail. If you’re traveling by air, you'll rarely find adequate baby supplies. Be sure to bring along all of the baby items that your baby will require on the trip to avoid any disruption of your travel schedule. A check list helps to avoid last minute hassles that may cause you to forget essential items and delay your trip.

2. Carry Enough Food
Pack enough baby food, but know what works best for your trip. You don't want your baby scattering everything around; therefore, avoid messy, sticky, or crumbly foods. Also, carry some spill-proof cups for your baby's' water or milk. If traveling by air, be sure to check on what foods or how much liquids are allowed on the plane. You don't want to have to throw out items that you spent your hard earned cash on just before boarding the plane.

3. Accept Assistance from Strangers
This may seem weird, but it's okay to accept some forms of help from strangers. Whenever a flight attendant or fellow passengers see an unsettled baby, they often try to offer support. So, if someone volunteers to soothe your baby, allow them to do it, but keep a close eye on them, of course.

Sometimes, your baby is just tired of you. Babies know how to push our buttons. A change in scenery in the form of a smiling face can make all the difference. Your stressed, worried face, may cause baby to become inconsolable. Infants look to their parents for signs of safety. If you're stressed, chances are, they're stressed.

4. Carry some Medications
In the past, some parents often medicated their kids before traveling to help make the journey easier. on everyone. You may still get similar advice from friends and loved ones, but it's not always the best advice. Don't medicate your baby if it's not necessary. However, it's a great idea to pack some medicines in case of emergencies. Again, depending on your mode of travel (plane or cruise ship,) call ahead to make sure you're allowed to bring along meds for your baby.

5. Pack Extra Clothes
One of the most important factors to consider when traveling with an infant is proper packing. Pack enough clothes for yourself, but ensure that you carry extra clothing for your baby. Your baby might spill food, wet, or even vomit on their clothes.

It's gross, you don't want to be stuck without enough baby clothes when you have no place to wash the dirty ones. You may also need some warmer clothes in a warm destination, you can never be sure of the weather! A light jacket is always a good call.
Also, be sure to take along some extra plastic bags. Recycled grocery bags come in handy for catching baby puke and trapping the nasty smell of infant diapers, they may not be available in the airplane.

Keep all of your baby's essentials in your handbag, rather than a diaper bag, as it will make it easier to access when needed. It's not pleasant to think about it, but you'll be happy you prepared for puke when an incident occurs.

6. Seating Arrangements

When you book your flight, be sure to choose the best seats for traveling with an infant. Make sure that not only your comfort is catered for but also that you've planned for your baby's comfort. For instance, an aisle seat is an excellent option when traveling with a baby, as it enables you to move around with your child without annoying the other passengers.

7. Carry some Toys
When on a family vacation, the last thing you want is to get stressed out by a crying baby. To keep your baby in a happy mood, pack baby's favorite playthings to keep them distracted. Be sure to pack one or two toys that don't have detachable parts, aren't so small that they're easily lost, and are easy to carry.

Don'ts

1. Baby items - Don't assume that it'll be easy to get your baby's stuff to the airport or onto the plane. To ensure a more peaceful trip, carry on all that your baby will need.

2. Watch what you give your baby - Avoid sugary foods; a sugared-up baby is no fun on a trip! 

3. Toys - Avoid carrying toys that could harm your baby if broken or that are bulky or too heavy.

4. Avoid heavy luggage - Only pack what you need for your trip, it's much easier to travel with light luggage. For the less essential items, consider purchasing them once you arrive at your travel destination and donate or throw away any unused items before you head back home.


Final Thoughts

Traveling with a toddler or infant is often stressful, but it's easier if you're prepared and bring along the necessary baby essentials for the trip. Remember, carry enough baby food, pack lightly, have essential meds, and don't forget baby's favorite toys.

If you make a checklist for baby items and check it off as you pack, you'll be sure to have the most important things needed for traveling with your baby. This way, you'll enjoy your vacation no matter how far away the destination.


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