Featured Post: Fun for kids: 5 Things Every Parent Should Do for a Road Trip With Kids

Any expert will tell you that it pays to be well prepared before attempting a road trip with kids. Having some fun things to keep the kids occupied, along with snacks, drinks and the expectation that you’ll need to stop often, a road trip can actually be an enjoyable way to travel for kids and parents. The following ideas are sure to make the miles speed by without taking the smiles off your faces.

Make a Map

Kids, especially younger ones, like to ask repeatedly whether you’re there yet. By making them a map, they can assess how much further you have to go. Make a child-friendly map that features photos or drawings of the landmarks you’ll encounter along the way. Your child can mark off the landmarks as you drive so they know when you’re getting closer.

Make Some Stops for Fun

If you plan for stops along the way, you’ll all have fun and you won’t have to stress so much about making good time. There are all sorts of great attractions all over Britain and making time to see some of them makes for great memories and keeps kids from getting bored and cranky in the car. Look for museums, roadside fruit stands, quirky truck stops and other stuff along the way. You won’t be sorry! If you think you would make a better trip with a bigger or better car, take the opportunity. IntelligentcarLeasing.com offers the best prices for car leasing and you can lease a vehicle ideal for your trip.

Bring a Portable DVD Player

Any parent who has taken their child on a road trip will tell you that a portable DVD player is the best investment you’ll ever make. You can hook the device up the car via the Bluetooth or cigarette lighter, allowing your child to watch his or her favourite movies along the way. This is a great way to keep things calm and quiet along the way and a movie can also help a child fall asleep if you’re traveling at night or during naptime.

Save the Electronics for a Last Resort

Kids love their tablets and handheld video games, but even those will get boring after playing for hours. Stash them until your child is on his or her last bit of patience with riding in the car or when you’re stuck in traffic. Just when things are reaching their breaking point, hand over the device and things will be immediately better.

Consider Elevation

If you plan to drive into the mountains or otherwise climb in elevation, pack some snacks your child can chew or suck on. This helps relieve the pain and pressure in your child’s ear and gives them a tasty treat to look forward to on the road. You might even want one for yourself if you’re uncomfortable with changes in elevation. No one turns down candy!

A road trip doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. By planning it well in advance, you’ll have plenty to keep the kids entertained and everyone will look back on the trip with fondness because your memories will be pleasurable rather than disastrous.

Book Blog Tour: Witchy Travel Tales by Sibel Beadle

We were thrilled to be asked to be part of the Witchy Travel Tales book blog tour as we love to support new and emerging authors.  Witchy Travel Tales are written by Sibel Beadle for her daughters and are about all the places that she has visited. We were asked to have a look at Book 2 which is inspired by Stonehenge.

Witchy Travel Tales Book 2: Sleepless in Stonehenge

 

Sleepless in Stonehenge is about a little girl called Viva and her fear of the dark. Its a magical story all about how to overcome this fear and have an adventure on the way.

I often find that there are only essentially a few different types of children’s book stories and themes and authors tend to write imaginatively around them. This book is a little bit different though, it deals with facing a fear (which is a common theme) but in a really quite unique way. It isn’t at all like the usual books we review. My children really enjoyed it, not least because they’ve been to Stonehenge. The illustrations were unusual enough to spark their imaginations and actually get them trying to copy them. In fact, the illustrations really make these books very unusual and quite special. Its nice to have the option to read something slightly different to the usual picture book format and we really enjoyed that element of this book.

In terms of the story, as I mentioned its very original and quite special. You can really tell that its well thought through and tested on little ears. My eldest enjoyed reading it to herself whilst our six year old had to have it read to him over a couple of nights as its too long for one sitting when you’re a six year old boy!

Witchy Travel Tales are clearly a labour of love and the books are really quite delightful. Its a privilege to read something which is born from family love and trying to deal with real issues. If you’d like to find out more have a look at the website and follow Sibel on Twitter:

Usborne Books for Easter

If you have a little one you’ll know how hard it is to restrict their sugar intake over Easter. Fortunately Usborne books have come to the rescue and I think these little board books would make a great gift instead of yet another Easter egg!

For children who love the ‘That’s not my…’ series there are volumes on bunny’s and chick’s which are so adorably cute you wont be able to resist reading them. At just £6.99 each you’ll get loads of use out of these, my eldest who is ten had lots of the “That’s not my…’ books and reading them with him was such an important part of his toddler years I’ve still got them.

For toddlers that like peep through books Usborne have produced Are you there little bunny? which is so lovely that you’ll definitely end up reading it many times! It priced at just £5.99 which I think is money well spent!

Usborne books have also got lots of great free Easter activities on their website: www.usborne.com/easter

Disclaimer: We were sent these for review

Book Review: The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes

I’ve started the countdown to Christmas and have been looking for perfect gifts for people who have everything. Its a tricky one as i’ve got a reputation for finding great gifts but this year i’m quite stuck.

Fortunately earlier on in the year we were sent these fantastic Colouring Books by Noisy Crow who have been collaborating with The British Museum. I’ve reviewed some of their other books and they are just great, they would have been perfect for me as a child or as a mum reading to my child. However, these colouring books are even better as they meet the criteria for doing something crafty and mindful, they’re useful and interesting.

You can chose from either Fabulous Flowers & Perfect Patterns or Amazing Animals & Beautiful Birds. Both are illustrated by Rachel Cloyne who was inspired by objects in the British Museum collections. Her illustrations are real works of art in themselves, but brilliantly once you’ve coloured them in you have a card and an envelope (each book makes 24 cards)!

colouring card

A card to colour

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a history/ museum loving creative friend then this is it. You can find more information here

 

 

Book Review: Angel’s Great Escape- A Christmas Story by Kirstie Rowson and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

angels great escapeAt this time of year its a good idea to start building a bookshelf of Christmas stories for the children. I have a friend who wraps up the books and they act as an advent calendar which is a great idea. From experience it is best to be organised well in advance as it takes the stress out of Christmas and so i’m already focussed on gathering our books with a view to creating a book advent calendar this year. Angel’s Great Escape is definitely included!

The book tells the story of Angel and her decoration friends who are trapped in a box in the home of the mean family who live in the same street as the good family. Angel and her friends need to escape on Christmas Eve in time to meet Father Christmas. This is a delightful, original Christmas story with beautiful illustrations. One of the problems I tend to find with Christmas stories is that they are either too long, too short or simply retell the same story. Angel’s Great Escape is a perfect length for 5- 8 year old bedtime reading and its original with nice quirky illustrations.

The first book from the independent publishing company And So We Begin which was set up by Kirstie Rowson Angel’s Great Escape sets the bar high, we cant wait to read more from her.

You can find out more about the book here

Disclaimer: We were sent a review copy, this hasn’t influenced our opinion.