How to prepare for road trips with the kids

If you have kids you know that even a short drive to the store can quickly turn into a nightmare so just imagine what a road trip could be like. If you are getting ready to pack the kids up for a family vacation and are driving to your destination there are a few things you can do to prepare for the upcoming road trip. Who knows these tips could even make a long road trip fun for you and the kids.

 

 

Prepare

 

Remember when you were younger and single, a road trip could be easily planned in an hour. Know that you have kids this isn’t possible, unless you actually enjoy being stuck in a car for hours at a time with miserable children. I’ve learned that it actually takes me a week to pack before a road trip and chances are I still forgot something, but it is usually pretty minor and we can happily survive the trip without it.

 

 

Checklists

 

4Don’t laugh, a checklist can actually be your best friend when you packing for more than one person. Simple items like socks or even underwear can be easily forgotten when you are stressed and in a hurry. I like to create a list for each person in my family, and I even have a general one where I keep track of games, toys and snacks so everyone can stay happily organized in the car. You can even keep a checklist of the maintenance needed on your vehicle so you really are prepared for your upcoming trip.

 

 

Snacks

 

6Trust me when I say one of the most important things you will want to prepare for any road trip with kids are drinks and snacks. You also want to make sure that you pack enough for the adults. Bottled water is always a great choice, along with juice boxes. Filling a thermos with hot coffee will help you stay alert when driving, and it is definitely less expensive and time consuming than standing in a long line. When it comes to the snacks remember that kids will be eating in the vehicle so you don’t want to pack anything too messy. It should also be easy for smaller kids to eat by themselves since you probably won’t be sitting next to them. Fruit, sliced veggies and crackers are all great snacks to bring on a trip.

 

 

Emergencies

 

5With kids an emergency will always happen and it is easy to be prepared. An emergency first aid kit should be one of the first things you pack in the car, and you will want to make sure that you can easily reach it in a hurry. Extra diapers if applicable are also a must, along with extra wipes, paper towels and I always bring small bags so I can keep the trash relatively contained.

 

 

Another tip that I’ve learned is to always make sure that your devices are fully charged before you leave on your trip.

Why you should get a dog for your children

do1Many parents tend to think that getting their children exposed to pets can make them prone to developing all sorts of health conditions such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues. The fact of the matter is that pets, especially dogs, are loving beings that are compassionate and trustworthy, and that can sometimes prove to be a valuable protector for your children. Of course, there are a plethora of reasons you shouldn’t get a dog if you don’t have space or time to devote to caring for an animal. If you live in a house with a small garden or just patch of grass where your kids and the dog can have some fun outdoors, you shouldn’t have any second thoughts. To make matters easier, I decided to put together a short list of the reasons you should consider getting a dog for your family. A pet dog can:

  • Help your child cope with anxiety and behavioral problems. Playing with a dog has been shown to calm hyperactive children, as well as significantly reduce stress. Whenever your kid might be sad or scared, interacting or cuddling with a dog can stimulate the release of oxytocin, a hormone that’s known for soothing the human body.
  • Promote your kid’s emotional development. The main advantage of owning a pet such as a dog is that it’s capable of uplifting anyone’s mood. Especially when they are young, puppies are always in the mood for play, which is why they can entertain children at any time. The neat thing about dogs is that they can also promote the bond between siblings, especially if both kids choose the same pup and care for it by the same measure.
  • do2Develop social skills. Kids who might be just a tiny bit socially awkward can understand values such as having a responsibility just by caring for their dog. At the same time, it is important to underline the importance these pets can have on developing the reading skills of children, particularly if toddlers take the time to read books aloud to their dogs. It goes without saying that the best feature in a dog is the fact that it cannot ever criticize the child. Last but not least, it’s worth underlining that socializing can be improved by getting out there and walking the dog along with your kid. Everyone’s heard about friendships being struck thanks to pets, and there are high chances that another kid at the park might come to your son or daughter just to be able to spend some time with the dog, as well.
  • Keep your child’s immune system in top shape. While some argue that being a dog owner isn’t all fun and games, the most notable pro consists of spending time outdoors, running around, and simply walking the dog. Physical activities should be a priority of parents because overweight and obese children are a common sight nowadays. If you’d like to be on the safe side, try to spend at least thirty minutes in the garden or walking the dog with your kids every day. Just remember that you are the core protector of your child, and not the dog, at least until your kid grows up and is capable of choosing right from wrong.

Spending a great weekend with your kids – a few tips

When both you and your children are home on weekends, free from the usual weekday commitments, how can you spend a fruitful time together? Weekends are the best times to have bonding moments with your kids. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done since you can find fewer shared interests especially as your children grow older. Hope is not lost, however. There are plenty of activities you can do together with your kids when they you’re not tied to work and they don’t have to be in school.

 

Go on road or nature trips

 

Road trips should not simply be relegated to the status of holiday activities. Take them every weekend to discover the road less traveled with your kids. Visit new, unexplored places together or go food hunting in different towns and explore more than the ordinary. Plan picnics along the way. Road trips can serve as live geography lessons where you and your children learn about the people in various locations and their culture. See the soul of the area in the eyes of the locals as you get a taste of their culture and breathe their air, albeit only shortly. Who knows what rich insights your kids and you could pick up along the way?

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Go on hiking trips. This can help you become one with nature. Participate in organized community hiking trips if there are any in your area. Those kinds of group activities present an excellent opportunity for your children to mingle with other kids who share the same interests. Besides, the exercise will do you all a wealth of good. Navigate a different trail every month.

 

Explore what your neighborhood has to offer in the way of entertainment

 

While most kids nowadays no longer appreciate the silver screen, if you can motivate your kids to watch movies with you, bring them to cinemas that play age-appropriate movies. A lot of today’s animated movies are a hit among adults and children alike, and even the in-betweeners. Movies make for a fantastic night out on weekends, especially when capped with an equally fantastic dinner at a family restaurant afterwards. Go shopping for groceries together, and let them decide which cereals to buy or which milk brand they like best, among other things.

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You could also visit the neighborhood playground or park. Just seeing your kids bike around or run around with others their own age can be stress busting or relaxing. You can even have picnics or family outdoor games there. An alternative would be watching live or outdoor shows or art performances. Tell your friends and relatives who also have kids to join you. After all, the more, the merrier! Or you could simply visit relatives and friends together with your children. Agree with the adults to meet for lunch or dinner so you can all catch up on each other. Do some volunteer work together. You and your kids can participate in animal rescue activities or you can visit a retirement home together to introduce them to the concept of caring for the elderly.

Stay home and do something interesting/exciting together

 

Board games are a fantastic way of engaging children in mind-developing concepts. Face-to-face games are better than computer games that only promote interaction on a non-personal level. Play games in the yard. An alternative to visiting an art gallery would be doing arts and crafts at home. Encourage your kids to collect leaves during outdoor trips so they can use them for making art pieces. Remember that the simple piece your child creates today could help them grow to be an artist in the future. You can always have a good laugh together if the art piece does not really match your and your kids’ expectations.

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Do some baking or cooking together. The best thing about these types of activities is you can always eat your mistakes. You can also check out the stars at night, and for starters, get a star chart and a good quality telescope. The fresh air can even help your children sleep better later.

Fishing in Colorado

These days we are mostly in a hurry. Unfortunately, other occupations take most of our time and leave less space for us to leave the horrendous urban environment. Even so, busy and stressed, we managed to make some time for a new fishing trip. We’re planning a getaway in one of Colorado’s most popular fishing places. As the options are numerous, we’re having a hard time deciding on the specific spot we are going to visit, but also on the gear that we need to take with us. For starters, as my little kids don’t deal well with intensive heat, we’re searching for some heat protective gear for them and a pair of new waders for me. If we went on a trip including various activities, I wouldn’t be thinking about buying a new pair or even about packing my old ones, but as this trip is solely intended for fishing purposes, I think their addition to our baggage is an absolute must.

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For the moment, I’m having a hard time choosing the right material and design for me, but it will all sort itself out once I have a little time to inquire into the matter. Right now we have more pressing matters like deciding what fishing area in Colorado we should visit, so that we can start researching the main species we can fish for there and, thus, decide on the type of gear we are taking with us. As many species of trout are to be found in the Colorado River or South Platte River, I’m seriously thinking to invest in some quality fly dog2fishing equipment maybe 1 or 2 rods, lines and baits. Of course, one of the rods is intended for my wife’s personal use, as I have never tried to convince her that fishing is a lovely activity by showing her a new and funny technique (I think I’ve exhausted all other ideas). Another option would be to visit Mount Evans, where besides the many fish species, the kids can see deer and other animals. As it is not far away, while in the area we can also make a stop at the Colorado Scenic Byway to admire the scenery and spend a little more time into the wilderness. I’ve gathered that is one of the best places to visit with family and offers excellent lodging facilities – always a great news for my wife.

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Surprisingly, she didn’t object to my plan to try fly fishing yet, giving me hopes that she’ll try it herself, though she doesn’t yet know she’s getting a new rod for our marriage anniversary. My kids are just excited with the idea of being near water and nature, and they’re also curious about the types of fish we’re going to catch here. I’ve hindered and decided that, in the end, we’re taking Marshmallow with us, though he had some health problems this past week, fortunately nothing serious, but I’m quite sure leaving him behind would worsen or, at least, delay his healing process, so there’s no way he’s staying at home while we have so much fun.

Fishing hats for all

As the weekend approaches, I’ve decided that my family needs some new hats. In our last tent trip I didn’t manage to convince my wife to go fishing with me because she claimed it was too hot and she didn’t have the appropriate hat with her to protect her from the sun. Because of this, I had to fish alone and had 0 success rate as well. In the evening we had to stay with our children and there were too many mosquitoes at the lake, so… all in all, a great fishing occasion wasted.

 

dogs4When talking about fishing hats, this is an item that probably interests many outdoor lovers for various reasons. It’s really hard to find a multipurpose hat, especially for ladies. So I’ve spent awhile looking for one that would be suitable for a day at the beach, and for a fishing trip as well. I reckoned it should be comfortable, heat and water resistant, and with a delicate design, as my wife doesn’t like heavy clothing items in the summer. Therefore, I opted for a waterproof Australian canvas hat on a light shade with a wide brim to protect her against the baking sun. The hat is fitted with a chin strap so that the wind doesn’t blow it away.

 

dogs5I have my own basic fishing hat with a neck cape, but since I was in the hat shop already, I acquired a new one for me as well. I always wanted a navy cap, so when I’ve run into one made with Nautical cotton canvas, white with a navy blue bill, I didn’t think twice and just bought it. I don’t believe I’ll be sweating much when wearing it, as it is fitted with ventilation holes on both sides and doesn’t feel heavy when I put it on.

 

dogs6The hardest part came when I had to find hats for my kids. I bought them two nylon hats last year, a pink and a blue one. My daughter wanted the blue one, as she said pink was a girl’s color, so my boy wore the pink hat, then he gave it to Marshmallow, and from that point on we don’t know what happened to it. We never found it again. That is why I decided to take two hats for them. Bought them two bucket hats, to protect their necks as well, as they play a lot in the sun, and then I purchased two sailor hats (that they can wear when we’re in a crowd so that we don’t lose them).

 

They totally loved them, except for the buckets, but I told them it was for their own good, as the sun can be damaging for their skin and they might end in the hospital if they don’t comply to wear those when we ask them to. Even my wife loved hers when she tried it in front of the mirror. What is left now is finding something that fits marshmallow’s head too. I think he felt a bit left out. Ahoy!