Family Travel: Traveling With Kids

Family travel is something most families do throughout their years together. Traveling on vacations is often an annual tradition families have. From the time your child is born, it is likely you will take him or her on trips to see family members, theme parks, and even just one day drives. While safety is often the first thing parents consider when traveling with their kids, keeping them happy and busy along the way also adds to the success of the trip.

Safe Travel Tips

Safety is the most important factor with children traveling. Family travel should always been done with caution paid to safety above anything else. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe.

• Insure everyone is using proper safety belts and car seats throughout the trip. It’s tempting to loosen the belt for long trips, but high speed accidents on highways are common during the summer months.

• Be sure that the driver gets enough sleep and that parents are able to stay alert not only in the car but also on airplanes and buses.

• Keep items out of the car that could be choking hazards for small children. Travel games often have small pieces and are meant for older children. The jarring of a car can easily cause these to slip down the child’s throat.

• Be sure everyone knows where to meet if for any reason the group is splitting up. Cell phones are a good communication device and the responsible person’s within each group should have one.

• Talk to your children ahead of time about the risks of strangers and who to talk to if they do get lost. For family travel to be fun, everyone has to remain safe.

Family Travel Things To Do

When it comes to being on the road or in a plane for an extensive amount of time, busy kids are happy ones. Parents can do a number of things to keep kids active and busy so they don’t become overwhelmed with the long trip.

• Pack snacks. Kids are hungry every few hours and snacks are the best way to keep them quiet. Prepackaged items are sold in individual sizes, but you can also choose crackers, grapes and other small foods and place into small bags. Juice boxes and bags travel well.

• Pack an activity bag. For younger children, these goody bags can be a surprise for once you are on the road. Load them up with small toys, coloring supplies, stickers, and other activities you know they will enjoy. Don’t let them go into the bag until they are on the road.

• Pack things to do in backpacks. For older children, keeping them busy will help to cut down on your stress. Handheld games, video games, a deck of cars and travel size games can work very well. Include a few comic books, a magazine or even a book they want to read.

Many of today’s ultra fun activities for the car are in the form of technology. Portable game players, tablets, and movies are sure ways to keep everyone busy. Download the latest songs, movies and books. Challenge each child to a photo scavenger hunt using a camera or phone camera.

Family travel is often best when everyone on the trip is looking forward to something that interests them. When there are two completely different opinions, cater to both. For example, if you are traveling to an area where there is a lot of camping and wilderness hiking, and one child does not care for this, find out if there’s a local show or museum nearby they may like to stop in during the trip.

Traveling with kids is enjoyable when you plan ahead. Take the time to talk to your kids about the trip alerting them to the length of the drive. While traveling at night is not always an option, this is also a good way to cut down on the boredom factor. Many kids are happy enough with a few things to do and the conversation of the parents to keep them busy. Make this a trip that everyone enjoys by sharing stories, ideas and thoughts in an open forum. Everyone will feel welcome and happy before, during and after the trip.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

5 Reasons To Choose A Traditional Kids Summer Camp

A traditional kids summer camp is one that generally begins in June and continues through August. This type of recreation is a popular activity among children of all ages as it gives them the opportunity to experience new things, meet new people and embark on a journey of independence. With that being said, the following are 5 popular reasons to enroll your child in a traditional kids summer camp. 

Independence. During their experience at a traditional kids summer camp, children will experience their first taste of independence. Being away from home for the first time can be scary, but new friends and fun activities will help to make the transition easier. This will also be an important step toward college preparation, which often requires that the child leave home for months at a time.

Responsibility. A traditional kids summer camp will teach children to be responsible in a variety of ways, including the organization of their personal items. While away, they will be personally responsible for maintaining their living quarters and personal items. In addition, they will be required to pack their belongings at the end of their stay and will have to learn the responsibility of organizing their items for the trip home.

Teamwork. One of the most important experiences at a traditional summer camp is that of learning to work together as a team. Whether it be during a sports event, a canoeing trip or other group activity, teamwork is often required. Much like in adulthood where teamwork is essential to everyday life, children will learn the valuable lessons of working with their peers toward achieving a common goal.

Friendship. While at a traditional kids summer camp, new friends will be met and there is plenty of fun to be had. Learning to make friends and how to be a good friend is an important life lesson that is not only important at a traditional summer camp, but also in every day. Situations are always presented when individuals are placed with new faces in school, the workforce, families, etc. Therefore, it is important for children to learn the value of friendship and how it can make every day a little brighter.

Experiences. Traveling to new places, embarking on an exciting journey and exploring the wilderness are all a part of what makes a traditional kids summer camp so special. A nature hike, sailing on a blanket of calm water or sitting around the campfire with friends are just a few of the experiences that a child may encounter while enrolled in a traditional kids summer camp.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Is Make-Believe Healthy?

Young children take life literally. They view all situations as “good” or “bad.” Water is either “hot” or “cold.” Young children do not assign “degrees” to any situation, and in the young child’s world, everything is real. The three-year-old has absolutely no doubt that Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer really exists. These characters are just as “real” to the child as Mommy and Daddy. Santa can circle the globe and visit every child on the planet in a single night and the Easter Bunny can deliver baskets of colored eggs just like Daddy can make the car go and Mommy can make food magically appear. 

In my opinion, make-believe is not only healthy, it is essential. Make believe helps a child to make sense of the world around him. He assigns his perceptions of a person, place, or thing with the help of make-believe.

There are those who advocate removing all make-believe from childhood. These experts tell us that make believe causes children to delay their perception of their reality. Shame on them! Too much “reality” isn’t good for adults much less little kids.

Grown-ups attend movies and plays and get caught up in the action on the screen or on the stage. Just for a moment, they believe what they are seeing and hearing. Adults, of course, can separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality. Kids will learn to make those distinctions as they grow older. Meanwhile, that fantasy is helping them learn how to deal with life in a safe and nonthreatening way.

As long as the make-believe is healthy and doesn’t desensitize the child (make killing seem good and evil seem desirable), I see no harm in make-believe.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

10 Ways to Enjoy a Stay-cation for Spring Break

Staying home for Spring Break? There are plenty of ways you can have loads of fun for little to no cost. Don’t forget – book your TLC Spring Break Sitter today! 

  1. Create a Scavenger Hunt. Fun for any age. Make a list of items to find around the house – think outside the box – and each find has a clue to the next. The prize? How about a Make-Your-Own-Sundae party!
  2. Take your Scavenger Hunt into the community. Head to a local museum or zoo. Hit up the gift shop first, or do a little planning online and find photographs of exhibits or animals and have them ready for your scavenger hunt.
  3. Bring the beach indoors. Let the kids wear their swimsuits in the tub. Bring along your beach towels, favorite tunes, sunscreen and shades.
  4. How about Community Service? Find a local shelter, food bank or charity that you can volunteer for the day. Or check your local animal shelter to volunteer with the animals. We’ve heard reading to the animals has a wonderful effect on them.
  5. Go hike a new trail and bring along a picnic. Take photos and make a memory book, or grab some rocks and paint them when you get home.
  6. Create a restaurant at home. We saw this idea on Regarding Nannies and can’t wait to try this with our kids.
  7. Make your own movie. With today’s smart phone you can record and put together your own Academy Award worthy short featuring the kids and even the family pet. Everyone has a part – and don’t forget the director, sound effects, costumes, makeup and special effects! Have fun, then host a screening of your film with popcorn for everyone to enjoy.
  8. Rock the runway with your own Fashion Show. Pull out that dress you no longer wear, or dad’s old shirt and tie and strut your stuff down the runway. Invite your friends over and make it a day everyone will enjoy.
  9. Declare it a tech-free day and visit the bookstore or the library. Everyone grab a new book, then head to the park or beach and read. Bring along a picnic and games and everyone will forget about their phones / tablets for a while.
  10. Do a little Spring cleaning. Have the kids go through toys they no longer play with and donate to a local shelter. Toss broken toys. Go through clothes they’ve outgrown and donate.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Valentine’s Day Fun!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. There’s still time to surprise your special people with some love and creativity. Check out some of our favorite Valentine activities:

A Dozen Poses from Regarding Nannies

TLC Valentine’s Pinterest Board 

Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup from Nanny Magazine

For a little humor, check out these Valentine’s Day Jokes!

No matter if you make something or buy something, a simple Hello, I Love You, How are You, go a long way! Brighten someone’s day with a smile, a compliment, a simple act of kindness.

And don’t forget …. need a Valentine’s Day date night sitter?  Give us a call today!

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

 

Creating Family Traditions

What are some good ideas for creating family traditions? Here are some ideas based on the holiday. These can be useful to get you started but remember that your own family traditions can be whatever you want and they don’t have to be centered around a holiday at all. Part of the fun of a family tradition is that it is yours and you can do whatever you want.

• Create your own special day or holiday such as “unbirthdays” or “family day”
• Never go to bed without saying I love you
• Have a special birthday meal whenever a family member has a birthday
• On Saturdays, everyone cooks breakfast together
• Have a monthly movie day where you watch movies that explore traditions
• Sing a special birthday song made up by the family
• Keep a family journal and let everyone write in it
• Make a scrapbook for every family vacation
• Always eat dinners together as a family and talk about your day
• Take turns choosing topic of discussion at dinner

These are just some ideas for creating family traditions. You can use these to boost your own ideas and be sure to ask your family members to think of their own. You can have everyone write down their ideas for traditions and then vote as a family on the ones you want to make happen.

Ideas for Passing on Family Traditions

When it comes to passing on family traditions, there are many ideas here as well. The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent. It’s important to do something over and over again each time to become tradition. If your family does not seem enthusiastic about it right away, you will have to help motivate them by being consistent.

For example, hold an event every year at the same time and continue to encourage the family to participate. Remain positive about it even if others do not and always continue even if only a few show up. By doing this consistently and with enthusiasm, others will begin to join in and the tradition will continue. As soon as all parties give up and miss an event, the tradition dies along with any enthusiasm to do it.

Holiday Traditions

Here are some holiday traditions that we enjoy and might help you get started:

• For Easter, color eggs together or have an Easter egg hunt
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving or Christmas
• Collect or make an ornament each year at Christmas
• Have Thanksgiving dinners together with everyone helping to make a dish
• Have the children dress up as pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving
• Re-enact holiday events or perform a small skit as a family
• Act out the Christmas story
• Make cookies and milk for Santa
• Leave shoes outside for “baby New Year” to fill with goodies
• Create family New Year resolutions together

These ideas should help you with creating and passing on family traditions of your own. Whether you have your own family now or hope to one day soon, we hope that you will explore these options and ideas for family traditions. The memories you will create together as a family will last a lifetime.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Happy Halloween!!

 

Halloween is just around the corner!  Are you still  stumped for costume ideas?  TLC is here to help, with our favorite costumes that kids can make themselves with a parent or nanny’s help.

1)      M&Ms/Skittles bag: With some felt, carefully cut out circles of “candy.” Next, sew or glue the candy pieces onto a black (M&M) or red (Skittle) outfit.  Your kids will transform into little packets of their favorite candy!

2)      Bubble bath: Cut the bottom out of an inflatable kiddie pool to go around your child’s waist and attach suspenders so it stays up, then glue on some small balloons to look like bubbles.

3)      Pig in a blanket: All you need to turn your kid into an adorable little piglet are pink clothes and some easy homemade pig ears and nose. Then wrap them up in a blanket and you’re all set!

4)      Raining cats and dogs: Dress your child in rainboots and a raincoat, and attach felt cat and dog shapes to an umbrella. They’ll love that it’s “punny”!

5)      Watercolors: All you need is a kicky felt beret, and a paper or felt poncho with round patches glued on to look like a watercolor palette.

6)      Sailor: Dress them up in stripes and a sailor hat, then fashion a boat out of paper and hang it around your child’s waist like you would with the bubble bath costume mentioned above.

7)      Wind-up doll: Dress your child up like a little doll, and attach a big paper key to their back. You can even try “turning” it and getting them to dance!

8)      Hot-air balloon: A laundry basket with the bottom cut out and a balloon attached should do the trick.

9)   Rain cloud: Dress their torso in white felt or a ton of cotton balls, and attach little blue paper raindrops to their legs. It may seem dreary, but we promise it’ll be cute!

Happy and safe trick or treating!

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Sharing Rosh Hashanah with Kids

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and is celebrated in early Autumn. It is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and no work is allowed on Rosh Hashanah.”

Here are some helpful resources to explain and celebrate with your children.

Rosh Hashanah Facts & Worksheets

Rosh Hashanah for Kids!

Rosh HaShanah Explained, for Families with Young Children

The Olympics are Coming!

The Olympics are happening Friday, July 23 – Sunday, August 8. Though they may look a little different this year with COVID, the spirit and celebration of the athletes remains the same.

The Olympics are a great way to learn about each sport, athletes and countries participating. It’s a great way to introduce teamwork, sportsmanship, commitment and respect to your little ones.

Check out our Pinterest board full of Olympic celebration ideas.

Check out Amazon’s Best Selling Olympic Books.

More craft ideas!

 

 

Summer Enrichment Activities

This article originally appeared on Regarding Nannies. Reprinted with permission. 

Sharon Rief of Teacher Resources for Parents has put together a list of helpful Summer activities to enrich the lives and development of children, and help keep them busy as we get into summer.

1) Mix primary colors together to form new colors.
2) Go on an ABC garden hunt.
3) Make coffee filter flowers or butterflies.
4) Make alphabet soup.
5) Make a masking tape raceway and city.
6) Make flags using Lego.
7) Make shapes using craft sticks and velcro.
8) Write a letter to your favorite Frozen character.
9) Play bubble wrap hopscotch.
10) Practice addition and subtraction using a deck of cards.
11) Have a reading picnic outside with your stuffed animals.
12) Listen to stories online at www.storylineonline.net.
13) Practice writing letters using shaving cream on a cookie sheet.
14) Print lyrics to your favorite song and practice reading them.
15) Decorate a frame or trinket box with sea shells and jewels.
16) Make a crayon resist card using a white crayon and water color paints.
17) Make an alphabet city using pipe cleaners or wikki sticks.
18) Create a city using Magna Tiles.
19) Do pepper and celery paint stamping.
20) Collect “Pixie Dust” sprinkled by Tinker Bell around your yard.

 

 

 

 

 

Find more inspiration at Facebook.com/teacherresourcesforparents or visit her website at www.teacherresourcesforparents.com 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.