Travel at 2

It’s hot.  You’re confined to an uncomfortable seat.  You’re bored.  Maybe hungry.  You want to get up and do something, but you can’t.  For an undetermined amount of time.  You’re tired.  And you’re 2…

If we think travel is tough on us, what must it be like for a little person who doesn’t understand one bit of it and, by the way, didn’t really give her/his stamp of approval to this itinerary.

We know travel is worth it.  We get to see friends and family, and experience new places, smells, sites and tastes.  So, we continue to do it.  With every new stage of development we try our best to make the journey fun or at least manageable for everyone involved.  Traveling with a 2 year old (or nearly 2 as the case may be) is much different than traveling with a 1 year old  and we want to be armed with a “discovery bag” full of options to keep things running along smoothly.  So, here it is, my top 5 travel tips for Travel at 2…

1. Bring lots of SNACKS.  Obvious, I know.  This isn’t your first rodeo.  But, I like to introduce new snacks to keep things exciting.  I found these and they were a huge hit and best of all they’re organic: http://www.diapers.com/p/little-duck-organics-strawberry-mango-tiny-fruits-39705

2. Bring some portable activities.  These packable sticker books are fantastic, reusable and a steal: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Airport-Sticker-Activity-Dover/dp/0486412725/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344974156&sr=1-3&keywords=dover+activity+book  Add a small sketch pad and a baggie filled with crayons for more fun.

3. Bring snuggly items for that nap you’re hoping for.  Favorite blankets and this type of compressible packing pillow helped seal the deal for us: http://www.rei.com/product/794982/rei-backpacker-pillow

4. Bring a brand new toy.  I Spy Bags are fun for travel and they are lightweight: http://www.etsy.com/listing/106042408/i-spy-bag-mini-with-sewn-word-list-and

5.  Lastly, when all else fails…Ipad.  We aren’t video/tv fans for our toddler but when it comes to travel, we bend the rules.  Here are great headphones for little ears: http://www.amazon.com/Kidz-Gear-Wired-Headphones-Kids/dp/B0007NWL70 (I recommend practicing with them to get your child used to wearing these prior to travel).  I searched high and low for a video I felt was sweet, slow-moving and accessible and the winner for us was “Kipper the Dog”!  It comes as a series of 8 minute stories, so there are multiple places to stop the show and transition into something else.  If you are looking for Ipad games, we have found the Apps by Duck Duck Moose to be pretty straight forward, educational and least annoying 🙂 : http://www.duckduckmoosedesign.com/educational-iphone-itouch-apps-for-kids/fish-school/  And, of course, there are so many books to download as well, your entire library is now portable!

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Miracle in a bottle. I mean it.

Where has this product been all my life???  I had tried everything on my beautiful wool carpet but nothing would take the stubborn spots out.  Some stains are even named.  I remember the time our handyman accidentally got the first big smudge on our pristine rug…he felt so badly about it, and I affectionately named the spot after him: “Melvin.”  After much trial and error with natural concoctions, I resorted to some harsh stuff (so against my “green” conscience) as a last resort and still the spots prevailed.  Then, one day, the Folex Carpet Spot Remover bottle caught my eye…it’s a no-frills, nondescript, boring bottle, which to me is like a badge of honor.  People are buying this stuff even though it is completely devoid of sparkly, eye-catching packaging tested in market research panels for efficacy.  It’s old-school.  Another mark in its favor?  I found it at my local Gelson’s – this overpriced grocery store has a limited selection of its favorites, their “tried and trues,” and sometimes they really know what they’re talking about.  So, I gave it a shot.  The directions called for rubbing the product in with my fingers and then blotting with a clean cloth, and instantly the stains were gone!  I really, really hope it’s as non-toxic as it claims to be because I am a believer.

Homemade Playdough :)

It’s great for little ones to experiment with textures and forming shapes.  They have fun while working on their motor skills.  Check out this playdough recipe!  It’s all natural, as organic as you want it to be, and it’s ready in a flash.  Store it in a zip-top bag or covered container and let the good times roll!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon oil

Directions: Mix all the dry ingredients, then slowly add water and oil.  Heat the mixture on the stove in a pot over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until much of the moisture has evaporated.  Dough will form a ball when finished.  Allow to cool.