Preparation: Fill an easy to open ziplock bag or container with a variety of items such as peanuts, cereals, raisins, marshmallows, dried fruits, fruit snacks, seeds, etc. The key is to use very small items and a wide variety.
The Game: Explain that the kids need to watch for something specific out their window to match up the letters in the snack. For older kids, you could make them watch for license plates or road signs. When they have a match, they call it out, and then can eat that item. For example, “I see a pig, so I’m going to eat a pretzel!” or “I spy an California license plate, so I’m going to eat a cashew.”
The winner are the parents and driver of the vehicle, who have happy kids content to stay busy and eat a snack.
Kids these days are far more comfortable with technology than any previous generation. A tablet or Smartphone can go a long way toward pacifying youngsters for a long journey. Parents who are tired of the squabbles and whining that come with road trips will probably agree that a silent back seat is one of the most significant benefits of mobile computing. One of the most important tips for traveling with kids is to get the right apps for your mobile device.
The best apps will depend on your child’s age and personal tastes. Here are a few ideas of apps that might be good for your next road trip.
For kids under six years of age:
- Cobypic: This app comes in both free and full versions and provides pictures to color and the tools with which to do it. Cobypic is much more than just an electronic coloring book. It allows pictures taken with the device’s camera to become a part of what is being colored and implements textures into the coloring experience. Cobypic encourages kids to express themselves with color and to pay attention to details.
- Memory Train: Players can improve their memory with the help of Spacey the elephant. They are shown a series of objects and asked to recall such elements as their shape and color after they have gone out of sight. The game is fast paced most children should find it engaging and entertaining.
- iStoryBooks: These books provide pictures text and audio to keep your child entertained for hours at a time. The app comes with 11 books to start and new ones come out every two weeks.
For kids ages six 6 and up:
- Mad Libs: Many may be familiar with the older version where ad libbed nouns and verbs are used in a story to produce funny results. The electronic version operates on the same principle. LOL Libs is an Android app that provides this same game for Google’s OS.
- The Night Sky: This app is perfect for those interested in astronomy, or it could be used to develop that interest. Simply point the device at the night sky anywhere and it will provide information on the visible constellations. It is the perfect way to make learning fun.
One of the more important tips for traveling with kids is that apps should be installed prior to trips, preferably where there is strong, reliable Internet. Mobile Internet is not always consistent and slow downloads can lead to frustration. Do your kids have a favorite app they use when traveling or can be incorporated into the road trip experience? Please share:
Pumpkin seeds make a great snack to eat while traveling. Packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants, pumpkin seeds are nutritious too. And the best part? They are free, if you are carving a pumpkin and would otherwise throw them away.
Making Pumpkin Seed Snacks in 6 Easy Steps
Step 1: Clean the seeds and separate them from the pulp.
Step 2: Wash the seeds and really agitate and scrub them until they aren’t slimy.
Step 3: Arrange on a cookie sheet in a single layer coated first with spray oil or olive oil.
Step 4: Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, season salt, dill or any other flavor you’d like.
Step 5: Roast in the oven 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until toasted. Stir and move around every 10 minutes.
Step 6: Allow to cool completely before putting in an airtight container. Enjoy!
We all spend enough time in the car. Some of us spend more time than others. If you commute to work or drive carpool, the time really adds up. It helps to be organized in your vehicle and ready for any situation, right?
Just for fun, take this quiz to see how organized and ready you are for any event while driving. If you were to go out to your vehicle right now, how many of these items could you find tucked away somewhere?
- Reusable Grocery Bags
- Phone Charger
- Extra Diaper
- Spare Change
- Tire Iron
- Garbage Container
- Wet Wipes
- Bungee Cords
- First Aid Kit
- Camp Chairs
- Travel Mug (clean or dirty)
- Sweatshirt or Jacket
- Pens and Pencils
- Kleenix and/or Napkins
- Phone Book and/or AAA Card
How many did you have? I suspect we all travel with quite a few things “just in case”. If your vehicle is pristine and doesn’t contain an ounce of clutter, you win the “clean award”, but you won’t have a band-aid readily available or any spare change if you hit a toll road, then what will you do?
While the metro area of Minnesota and out state areas are home to some very good Chinese markets and restaurants, Minnesota does not have designated Chinatown. Many states do have Chinatowns, many of which have involvement and/or representation from the American Chinese Associations. What designates a Chinatown could be disputed, but if tourists consistently visit it as such, it likely made our list. So get your oil changed, check your tires, and head out for a road trip to one or more Chinatown’s across the United States. If you are visiting one of these cities home to a Chinatown area, you’ll be able to experience a little piece of China. Sights, sounds, produce, cuisine, art, books, furnishings, gifts and more are waiting for you. What is your favorite Chinatown you’ve visited?
Map of US States with one or more Chinatowns
List of States with Chinatowns
What is your favorite Chinatown you’ve visited?