Tag Archives: Kids

Valentine’s Day Is Almost Here…

4 Feb

Valentine’s Day is a little over a week away, are you ready? My girls have been ready since we took down the Christmas tree, adding hearts around the apartment, hanging Valentine signs, and making Valentine’s for their friends.  I however, always wait to the last minute to get the girls and their teachers a little something. Every year our Valentine favorites include flowers, something sweet, a good read, and/or a little piece of jewelry.  This year, I’ve come across these sweet ideas for friends, family and/or your little Valenitne(s).

Teleflora’s Sweet Embrace Bouquet: Flowers are one of our favorite gifts for any occasion.  They brighten a room and put a smile on a face.  The Sweet Embrace is a 3-in-1 gift that includes a pink and red bouquet of roses, carnations and chrysanthemums in hand-blown red glass vase wrapped with an adjustable bracelet made of golden wire and shimmering red hearts.  Once the flowers come to an end you can reuse the vase for many more occasions.  The bracelet can be used as a great accessory. The perfect gift for friends, family or a teacher.

Image from Teleflora

Image from Teleflora

From the Heart, Homemade Raspberry Jam:  Ever since the girls made homemade jam for jam cookies, it’s the only jam they want to eat.  We use the Driscoll’s recipe and it is delicious.  They decided they want to make more and give it as a gift to their teachers, friends and family.  Add a special touch to the jar(s) by letting them write a special saying and decorating their jar.  To make a cute saying on the top of your jar, trace the inside of the lid to create a template you can glue or tape on when you jam is complete. Make your own gift tags with this printable.  Use red paint to create thumb print hearts.  Tie your tag to the jar. photo 2-6 photo 1-6 An Awesome Book Of Love by Dallas Clayton: We stumbled across this book at Barnes & Noble and loved it.  It’s an adorable book about the many faces of love.  Recommended for kids ages 4-8.  A great read to snuggle up on the couch to or a great gift for a teacher, to add to their classroom library.

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Image from Barnes and Noble

Vintage Stamp Jewels Rose Gold Heart Bracelet on Etsy:  I love this delicate bracelet.  I came across it on Etsy when I was trying to find Valentine’s ideas.  You can choose any chain length.  My girls have a hard time separating.  This would make a wonderful gift so they could have a reminder of how much I love them and that I will always be there.

Imge from Ety

Imge from Esty

What are some of your favorite gifts you’ve received or given your kids for Valentine’s Day?   Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Keeping Busy Indoors with Creativity For Kids

15 Jan

When the cold weather arrived, we started getting too attached to our iPads. They wanted to watch it breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  One of my goals for the new year is to get my girls off their iPad and use their imagination and creative side more. It’s been so cold out recently and my daughter was home sick on one of the coldest days yet, so trying to keep the girls off the iPad was challenging. Luckily, we had a few Creativity for Kids activites by Faber Castle  the girls hadn’t used yet.  We completed a book my daughter started over the break, made headbands, and read a lot of our favorite books.  Here’s what we made:

Creativity For Kids Create Your Own Pop-Up Books:  These books are so great for sparking imagination and creating your own story.  My daughter was studying animals in science and loves learning about them so she made a book about the rainforest.  We used the mini book which is ten pages long and comes with mini-markers, stickers, and pop-up accents.  Larger books are available in a 2 pack.  They come with stickers, 8 markers, pop-up designs, and illustrated instructions with story starters.  

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Creativity For Kids Fashion Headband Set: My girls love accessories, so we spent a lot of our day making them.  They tried to put together different designs, some simple and some more elaborate.   We used the materials in the kit and added some rhinestone we had lying around.  We also used duct tape we had to make valentines bows for our headbands.

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Other Creativity For Kids products we’ve completed and loved that are perfect for keeping busy while stuck indoors on cold winter days:

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Creativity For Kids have many great products that are perfect to keep handy for these chilly winter months. Their activity kits are also perfect gifts for holidays and birthdays.  Make sure you sign-up for the Creativity Club for access to the craft of the month and other activities you can do with your kids this Winter (or any time).  For more information and to see all Creativity for Kids Products visit: http://www.fabercastell.com/creativity-for-kids.

Disclaimer:  This was an unsponsored post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I wanted to share because we are big fans of Creativity For Kids.

 

Sunday Funday: Getting To Know Ozobot

23 Nov

The past few days have given us a glimpse of what winter will be like.  I see many states blanketed in snow and the temperatures are ridiculously cold.  Finding engaging activities when stuck inside is challenging.  It’s easy to throw on sweats or pj’s and turn on the TV.  My girls love technology and they love drawing.  We were recently introduced to Ozobot, an interactive robot.  Ozobot teaches robotics and coding through fun, creative and social games. The perfect activity for cold, rainy or snowy days.

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How Ozobot works:

Turn on your Ozobot.  Let it calibrate and start playing.  Ozobot comes to life when you create mazes, tracks and playgrounds on paper, game boards and digital screens.  Ozobot follows a set of instructions by detecting color sequences you create. Once Ozobot recognizes the color sequences it flashes its light letting you know it read the code and continues to move.

There are several ways to play:

  • You can let your child explore or create different play grounds, mazes using different codes on the FREE OzobotDraw App.  There are two types of codes used.  Static codes which are short color segments and Flash codes which are rapidly changing combinations of colors.  You speed, direction, when to start and when to stop.  You can create your own or use pre-made mazes for Ozobot.

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  • Your child can create their own path using markers to create various codes found here.  Your child is in control and sets the boundaries as to where Ozobot goes, if it turns, speeds up, slows down, spins, and more.  They can make a small maze on an index card or a large maze on a piece of computer paper.  Learn how to draw and create codes in the Drawing Area.

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An example of a printable activity.  Image from Ozobot.com

An example of a printable activity. Image from Ozobot.com

Single box sets are available in crystal white or titanium black for $49.99.  Each set includes 1 Ozobot, 1 cover skin, game & instruction cards, 1 protective carrying case, 1 micro-usb cable for charging. Purchase a set here.  Also available at brookstone.com, momastore.org and amazon.com.

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Our thoughts:

My girls and I enjoyed getting to know Ozobot together.  They are still a little young so it’s taking us a little while to learn how to use Ozobot independently.  They enjoy helping me come up with instructions for their Ozobot, especially when we add the spin and zig-zag commands.  My oldest attempted to make her own mazes using markers because she LOVES to draw.  At first she made the codes too thick and long.   When she realized they weren’t working she made them a little smaller.  My husband saw her working on it and was so amazed that our six-year was learning how to code.  Our mazes are starting out simple but as we get to know Ozobot more we hope to make more complex activities and instructions for Ozobot to follow.  We think Ozobot would make an amazing gift for any boy or girls this Holiday season.

Ozobot is really cool and you can make your own patterns on paper.  My favorite activity was making my own maze on the paper with my markers and watching Ozobot follow. -My 6 year old

Wow, this is so cool! You have to tell my mom to get me this for Christmas! – My daughters 6-year-old friend who was over for a play date

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For more information, how-to-videos, games, and more visit www.ozobot.com.  Click to see Ozobot in action.

Disclaimer:  I received an Ozobot single pack for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics (not bolded) are from ozobot.com.  All images are mine unless otherwise noted.

Fabulous Styles From RUUM American Kid’s Wear and Clarks On The Runway at petitePARADE NYC 2014 #RUUMrunway

29 Oct

RUUM American Kid’s Wear recently opened a store in TriBeCa.  When my youngest took notice to the outfits in the store window as we passed by, she immediately had to go in.  She picked out nearly the entire store, because she LOVED all the gorgeous styles that were displayed.  We walked out with her favorite dress, which she wants to wear almost every day. When I was asked to attend petitePARADE’s 7th (bi-annual) fashion show, featuring RUUM American Kid’s Wear, I asked my girls if they wanted to go.   Their eyes lit up and they started picking out their outfits (even though it was a week away).  My youngest picked her favorite RUUM dress and my oldest picked a dress by Isobella & Chloe. 20141028-234903-85743827.jpg On October 19, the girls put on their outfits they and we headed to Bath House Studios on the Lower East Side. They took their seats, waited for the lights to dim and the show to start.  Out first was RUUM American Kid’s Wear, showcasing their Holiday looks for the upcoming season.  There were so many gorgeous styles for girls. Faux fur, dresses for a princess, stylish knit sweaters, and just enough sparkle and shimmer my little girls loved.  Below are some of our favorite looks from RUUM on the runway:

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We love the gold and the shimmer. Perfect for sisters who love to dress alike (like my girls). Love the subtle differences.

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Beautiful! And love the two styles together for sisters. Perfect for Holiday gatherings or for New Years Eve.

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Love this look for everyday wear. It has all the sparkle my girls love yetlooks comfy and cozy for chilly winter days ahead.

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Tristan and Tyler walk the runway in these trendy looks for boys this winter.

Tristan and Tyler walk the runway in these trendy looks for boys this winter.

Up next was Clarks shoes, previewing their kids line for Spring 2015.  The mini-models hit the runway with tons of energy, showcasing all you can do in comfortable Clarks shoes.  The stylish tots to tweens danced,  took the dog for a walk, and did back walk overs down the runway. Here are some looks you will see from Clarks this Spring: petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 petitePARADE / Kids Fashion Week, NYC October 2014 - Day 2 My girls had an amazing time watching the kids walk the runway.  They are ready to skip a play date with friends to have a play date with mom to shop for new shoes and  their Holiday outfits.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I received a gift bag for attending the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you to The Bromley Group for sharing your images.  I attended the event on behalf of my friend, Brianne from Stroller in the City.

Spooky Snacks & Crafts For Halloween

21 Oct

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My girls couldn’t be more excited for Halloween.  This year we were unable to get our decorations from where we store them so we have been busy making our own to decorate the house.  While we decorate it’s always fun to have Halloween Themed snacks (these could also be a fun afternoon craft activity with food).  Below are some of the activities we have done together and snacks you can make for your halloween play dates, parties or bake sales:

Spider Hands with Web: A simple activity you can do with almost anything you have in your house.  Have your child trace both hands on black construction paper or use computer paper and have them color in their hands after traced.  Cut out hands and glue together.  Have your child make the eyes or you can use google eyes if you have any available.  On a piece of white paper, draw a web and then cut it out. Hang somewhere around the house.

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Creatology Foam Pumpkin Kit:  This kit is available at Michaels.  It’s perfect for making signs and Halloween pictures to hang around the house.  It comes with foam stickers for eyes, ears, nose, black cats, and spiders as well as google eyes to glue on.   We also made a Halloween mobile out of them by punching holes in the stems and hanging them from a hanger.  (use can also punch holes in the hand spiders mentioned above and hang them as well on the mobile).

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The Sparkly Pumpkin:  The easiest craft to keep busy.  All you need is miniture pumpkins and crayola glitter glue. To give it a little spooky touch, add rubber rats or spiders.  A great decoration for around the house.

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GoGoSqueez-enstein: I made these for a snack when my girls came home from school one day.  I made one on the computer and the other I made with construction paper, glitter glue and a black marker.  My oldest thought they were so cute, she went and made a bunch to bring to her friends Halloween party.

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There Was A Little Girl Who Swallowed A Spider:  My girls love the series There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed….A Fly, A Bat and so on.  The other day I made these snacks for a Halloween craft play date.  We started joking around about The Little Girls Who Swallowed a Spider.  These snacks are simple to make.  All you need are brownie bites from Whole Foods (note that they are made in a facility that also processes peanuts and tree nuts).  UTZ Halloween Pretzels, edible Eyes, and Wilton Gel Writers.  Break the wings off the pretzel bats and push them into the Brownie to make the legs,

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The Haunted House : We made this house last year and will continue making haunted houses with some of our favorite halloween candy.  See my previous post to see how you can make them.

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Happy Decorating and Crafting this Halloween!

 

 

 

How I Got My Daughter To Try Zucchini and Zucchini Noodle Dishes I Love

8 Oct

 

I never thought I would be able to get my girls to eat zucchini.  Not long ago my mom gave me a Veggetti™ Spiral Vegetable Cutter. It’s been the best gift.  It turns Veggies into thick or thin “spaghetti” noodles.  I use it almost every day for lunch and dinner, mostly with Zucchini. One day my youngest, who won’t touch zucchini when its cut into chips or sticks, saw me eating the Zucchini Noodles. She loved zucchini noodles. She prefers the simple version with olive oil, garlic, salt and a little parmesan cheese or in vodka sauce.

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Below are some of my favorite creations that I put together using simple ingredients:

Simple; with olive oil, salt, garlic.  Topped with parmesan cheese.

Simple; with olive oil, salt, garlic. Topped with parmesan cheese.

 

Sautee noodles with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red onion, adding tomatoes at the end.  Top with feta cheese.

Sautee noodles with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red onion, adding tomatoes at the end. Top with feta cheese.

Sautee with chile olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, adding heirloom tomatoes a few minutes later.  Top with goat cheese.

Sautee with chile olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, red pepper, and carrots. Add heirloom tomatoes a few minutes later. Top with goat cheese.

Zucchini Noodles topped with Whole Foods pre-made Eggplant Balls that were simmered in Cucina Antica Vodka sauce.  One of my favorites.

Zucchini Noodles topped with Whole Foods pre-made Eggplant Balls that were simmered in Cucina Antica Vodka sauce. One of my favorites.

Sautee Zucchini Noodles with salt, pepper, olive oil, crushed red pepper.  Heat two Whole Foods ready-made Turkey Balls and mix in.  Top with parmesan cheese.

Sautee Zucchini Noodles with salt, pepper, olive oil, crushed red pepper. Heat two Whole Foods ready-made Turkey Balls and mix in. Top with parmesan cheese.

 

Cook Pancetta and roast butternut squash first.  Cook Zucchini Noodles.  Add pancetta and butternut squash, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic. Top with goat cheese.

Cook Pancetta and roast butternut squash first. Cook Zucchini Noodles. Add pancetta and butternut squash, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic. Top with goat cheese.

 

 Veggetti™ is available at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for $14.99.  It is top rack, dishwasher safe

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I am not a professional chef by any means but I love mixing simple ingredients together to come up with something delicious.  I also love to share products that help my girls eat more vegetables.  I’m still working getting my oldest to try them because I know she will like them if she does.

 

 

 

 

Fun (FOOD) Friday: Under the Sea

3 Oct

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I should be talking about Halloween and pumpkins but my girls can’t stop reminiscing about their summer trip to  Magic Kingdom.  The highlights of course, meeting the princesses.  A new attraction from our last visit a few years ago was Ariel’s Grotto.  It was simply amazing for them to go “Under the Sea” and meet their favorite Mermaid.  For dinner the next night, I decided to do something a little fun with their food.  I made a mermaid (or Ariel) themed dinner, not as beautiful as the “real” Ariel but it was fun and exciting for the girls.

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It was simple to make.  For the…

Head: I got ready made Turkey meatballs from whole foods and heated them up. I then cut eyes and a mouth

Hair: I made spaghetti with Vodka sauce.  I placed the spaghetti around the head so that it looked like hair.

Shells: I used two Driscoll’s Strawberries.

Tail: I sliced up kiwi and placed it on the plate to look like a tail.

Arms: I used two carrots.

Fish: I had S’More Goldfish and took the chocolate fish out and placed them on the plate for an “Under the Sea” look.

The next time I make our Mermaid meal, I will use cooked spinach for seaweed or broccoli for “under water” plant life.

 

Does your child love mermaids as much as my girls do?  Here a few activities you can do to continue your “Under the Sea” themed evening:

 

Happy Friday!

Disclaimer: All images, ideas and opinions expressedare my own.   I was not compensated for this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips For Making It To School On Time And Having A Smoother Day

29 Sep

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My oldest started first grade this year and my youngest Pre-K. One of the biggest challenges to every school year, is making it out of the apartment on time, without tears. But we also have a busier schedule with a late evening soccer practice, a late religion class, an afternoon of dance class, and homework. Even though we are a month into school, returning from long weekends become challenging too.  We’ve recently implemented these strategies at home to help the day go smoothly:

  • Create a check list/ schedule for the day.  I created a morning checklist and an afternoon checklist.  Included is the schedule for the day so they know what is coming next.  If they complete everything on their checklist, they get to watch a tv show or have a treat before they head to bed.
  • Plan ahead.  What days will you have play dates?  Set a specified time for homework.  We have 15 minutes of reading that we do every night.  Lay out Clothes for the night before.  Talk about what they would like for lunch the next day so you are prepped and ready to go in the morning.  All of these activities and responsibilities can be included on the check list.  Having them there has helped so my daughter doesn’t have to ask what to do next.
  • Limit TV, Computer/IPad time, especially in the mornings.  It’s always more stressful in the AM to get out in time when the girls have a TV show on.  They never want to leave.  After we get shoes on, I have my girls look at a book or work on words/ letter sounds we created on the back of our door while they wait.  We use the Leap Frog Magnetic Fridge Phonics Set and Sylvan Spelling Flash Cards.  You can also make your own cards adding the words of the week for Friday Spelling Quizzes.

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  • The Bored Jar Trying to coordinate play dates is challenging with all the after-school commitments.  Often, my girls come home and entertain each other.  I’ve received lots of tugs on my arm followed with the famous words “I’m Bored”.   To create a The Bored Jar, use any jar, bowl, or vase.  Fill it with strips that contain various activities or chores.  I used the wonderful printable suggestions from imom. Activities include do a chore for mom  ( I created a separate list of chores for them to choose from), play a board game with someone, help make dinner, call a grandparent, and more.  We modified and added a few of our own: build a tent, dress-up and act out a scene, ask mom to set up uKloo, make a book, do a chore for Dad and try on clothes for the upcoming season to see what still fits and what needs to get donated.  The Bored Jar is a fun way to keep kids busy and not constantly asking what’s next, especially when the weather gets colder and you are stuck inside.
Printouts from imom.

Printout from imom.com

  • Stick To Your Bed Time.  I have a hard time with this because of the evening activities. We started eating dinner before her activities so when she comes home we can have a snack, take a bath and hit the bed.  When my girls are tired in the morning, it’s never easy to get out the door.

 

 

What do you find helpful to get your children out the door on time?

 

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own unless stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Friday: Design Your Word Your Way With The Littlest Pet Shop Style Sets

12 Sep

The Littlest Pet Shop Style Sets my daughter has been so anxiously waiting for since the Season Premiere a few months ago are available.  We recently had the opportunity to review the Littlest Pet Shop Roof With a View Themed Pack, which I gave my daughter for her birthday.  The Littlest Pet Shop Roof With a View Themed Pack, available for $12.96 at Walmart.com, includes:

  • a backdrop, stickers and accessories to create a rooftop hangout
  • Minna Swimley and Russell Ferguson pets
  • Deco Bits and stickers for decoration
  • Deck chairs, grill and other fun accessories (the mini hot dogs and umbrella drinks are adorable),perfect for creating a party on the roof top

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My girls used boxes and the top of a shoe box to create their roof until they get more style sets. They also added their Hydrant Hangout and other Littlest Pet Shop Toys to create their a fun hang out for the pets.  It’s been a life saver at keeping the girls busy after school too.  One day they pretend it’s Minna’s Birthday Party, the next day they are sun tanning on the roof.  They are excited to collect more sets.

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Why I love the the Design Your Way, Littlest Pet Shop Sets:

  • It allows your little one to get creative.  They can create and build their own Littlest Pet Shop Downtown City any way they want.
  • Your little one(s) will engage in dialogue with their favorite Littlest Pet Shop characters and can let their imaginations run wild.
  • You don’t have to buy everything at once, you can start with one and give more for birthdays or the Holidays.  My daughter plans to use birthday money to buy her next set in addition to adding other Style Sets to her Christmas list.
  • Each pack includes a code you can scan to bring your pet to life in your virtual world. Just download the app from the App Store or Google Play to your smartphone, then use the app to scan the code and start designing your digital Littlest Pet Shop your way!

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Sets available:

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  Thank you to Hasbro for the sample to use for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from Walmart.com

Five Favorites To Keep Kids Entertained While Traveling

15 Jul

The girls and I headed down South a couple of weeks ago to spend the Summer with family. My girls have only flown once but I had my husband with me to help. I have to admit I was a little nervous going without my him this trip, especially when I received a text message on my way to the airport that my flight had been delayed. Thank goodness for these five activities packed in their Boost-A-Paks, featured below, because the delay and flight were a piece of cake.

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Boogie Board: An eWriter that allows kids to draw and simply push a button to erase. My girls spent majority of the time using this while we waited and on our flight. They drew pictures, wrote notes, and played tic tac toe. Definitely worth purchasing if you have any travel plans this summer. No marker or pen marks all over your car and you won’t have to worry about picking up several crayons off the floor. It’s also great to bring to restaurants to keep the little ones busy.

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Melissa and Doug Scratch Art: All you need is your wooden pencil/ stick to scratch off and discover beautiful colors below. There are several different activities, notebooks or stickers to choose from. My girls love their sketch books but their favorite on the plane was the window glass scratch art. The girls would scratch a design then stick it on the plane window and see the light shine through.

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Images from Melissa and Doug

Tegu Pocket Pouch Blocks: I got a set for each of my girls. They worked together to create and build.

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Image from Tegu

iHome Disney MiniMouse Headphones: My girls were so excited to see their favorite shows playing on the screen in front them. They also enjoyed listening to music while they drew and built their creations. The iHome headphones stay on their head and have in-line volume control. Also, great to plug into an iPad, tablet or phone when using Apps or watching downloaded movies on a car ride, train ride or next flight.

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Image from ToysRUs

Travel Wind Up Fishing Game: I used to love this game as a kid. I found it in an isle at a grocery store, also available on Amazon. The girls loved playing and we took turns playing against each other. Keep it stored in a ziplock and place fish back in the bag to keep from losing the pieces.

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image from Amazon

 

Happy Traveling this Summer!

 

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post, all opinions expressed are my own.