26 June 2010

To the Beach.... don't forget these!

You've made a list and checked it twice.... no forgetting the sunscreen, sunglasses for all, hats, the towels, beach umbrella, beach chairs, lunch, beverages, dry clothes for the kids, even your own stuff (and how nice it would be to have that 'assistant' to carry some of it?!).

You arrive at the perfect beach spot, be it an ocean, lake, pond. The kids get stripped
down to their suits, as you realize, beach toys are at home!? (oops....)You won't want to be without at least a basic Beach Bucket - makes a great snow sculpting set too! Ours (as pictured above) may contain any of the following (though contents may vary)
  • watering can
  • shovel
  • rake
  • Shaped mold
  • assorted colors
  • ALL sets include the bucket w/ handle
Windy and a little too chilly for the water?
This fits in a travel pocket, and unpacks for easy flying fun. Made of nylon, so much more durable than 'plastic' kites of a similar price. The Pocket Kite from HQ Kites (and, as a bonus, it's not hard to get back IN the bag after use!) will last many beach, park, camp, or backyard uses. String and handle also included. Tell your kids to "go fly a kite" (and MEAN it!).

One last suggestion (we could go on and on but will spare you by
stopping with our top picks....) is a flexible, soft flyer. It's 6" diameter and easy for anyone to throw. We like it for the smallest of 'frisbee' players, who tend to throw a bit more erratically and complain about how 'hard' a plastic frisbee is when they try to catch it.

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19 June 2010

Get a Handle on it

Here are a few things that those young and old should have NO problem getting a 'handle', so to speak. These are also great, as there are no loose parts, so you can play almost anywhere and avoid chasing pieces!

We recommend packing any (or ALL) of these for that next trip, or, they make a perfect gift for that hard to by for kid or adult!

Flip a Ring from Schylling: simple enough, just 'flip' the ring on the string, and get different point values based on where it lands. My 4 year old (with NO technique) is better at this than me. Don't over think (or, over flip) this one - worth every cent of the $2.99 it costs

Wooden Catch Ball: Not completely unlike the Flip a Ring (but, in our humble opinion, a bit easier!). The sense of accomplishment will still prevent you from putting this one down, as it too is addictive. Another gem for $2.99.

Bounce Back Paddle Ball: you can't lose at this one!? A classic wooden paddle and 'pink' ball we all remember from our childhood. Kids will love just pounding at it, and the skilled will try to hit the 'bulls-eye' repeatedly. Yes, another $2.99 bargain!

That's THREE simple, unplugged games for less than $10 (TOTAL!). No more "when is it going to stop raining", "can we watch something"? or restless kids at the reststop!

MORE under $5 ideas? Check 'em out HERE!

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12 June 2010

Get in on some KidsTravelHappy.com sponsored giveaways

We're linking up several sponsorships for reviews and/or giveaways on blogs this summer. With 2-4 per month across the web this summer, you'll have fun trying to win products, gift certificates and/or gain access to special discount codes.

Currently we're sponsoring these sites
Easy to enter... what do you have to lose? You could be shopping 'on us' by the end of June.

Good luck!

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05 June 2010

Festivals & Fairs - affordable travel

Do you ever find yourself really wanting to travel over the summer, but there just never seems to be enough time or money to go very far for very long?

We often find a spot (picking a radius of miles from our home) with a particular interest: sometimes a good mountain biking spot, a fun beach/coastal area, a historical site, and this summer, we're making a point to journey to new fairs or festivals that are family friendly.

The first one we've chosen, is new to Maine and Saddleback Mountain, the Saddleback Blue Grass Festival in August, at Saddleback Mountain. The only downside (but totally understandable) is that Pets are NOT allowed, even in the camping area. However, adults are $35, and kids under 12 are FREE for the 11am (gates open at 9am) - 7:30pm outdoor festival. On-site primitive camping is also FREE for those who have tickets to the show - tents, cars, RVs (no hookups, however). We're making a weekend of it, going up on Friday, and coming home on the following Sunday. We're also meeting other families there, which always makes it even more fun for all of us.

Need some inspiration? Looking for something in your area (or, maybe a bit away?). Here are some fun sites to get you thinking "festival trips with the family" this Summer.
Still not inspired? Check your local region's "calendar of events" - we often check our local papers, our NPR station's event listings, or do a search for a town/region you'd like to visit and see what is going on.

When you concentrate on choosing a Family (that is "KID") friendly destination with a variety of activities, the 'adult's can travel happy too!

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