Keep your kids busy on the plane: DIY travel activity kits

The last time I flew with the girls, I was by myself. So I schlepped two kids, a couple of carry-ons, Peeper’s lovey and a whole bunch of anxiety onto a plane. I was, understandably, worried about flying with kids solo.

How do you keep your kids busy on the plane—especially when you only have two hands? I wondered.

With luck, and the kindness of a few understanding strangers, we survived that flight. I learned a few lessons, though, that I want to share here: tips on building travel activity kits we’ll be using when we’re doing road trips and flying with kids over the holidays. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and the busiest travel days of the year staring us down, we could all use some ideas to travel as a family.

Looking for ways to keep your kids busy on the plane, too? Want to limit their screen time? Want to survive the flight without the rest of the passengers threatening to throw your family out an air lock?

Learn from my experience—and be prepared. You’ll stress less at 30,000 feet in the air when your kids are happy with these travel activity kits!

Traveling on the busiest travel day of the year? Keep your kids busy on the plane—or on a road trip—with DIY travel activity kits. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Chew on this: The 10 best teething products and tips

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I’m considering starting a baby consulting business. Consultations will go like this.

My baby is cranky. She’s probably teething.

My baby doesn’t sleep. He’s probably teething.

My baby wants to eat all the time/won’t eat anything. She’s probably teething.

My baby bites me/other kids/the dog/wood chips at the playground. He’s definitely teething.

But after having two kids who have grown lots and lots of teeth, I have tried just about every product and technique to relieve teething pain. Here, then, are my recommendations for the best teething products.

Teething hurts! Thankfully, these tips, toys and best of the best teething products will help your baby feel better ASAP. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Weekly smile: Rock of ages

Driving home from preschool earlier this week, we got stuck in horrible traffic. A semi and car had crashed ahead of us, and we had no opportunity to exit before becoming mired in the standstill. As my car crept along, idling more often than moving, my impatience grew.

Then Peeper started singing from the backseat.

“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,” she began. She paused then added, “Sing it with me now, Mom!”

We spent the rest of the trip home singing Raffi and Christmas songs at the top of our lungs.

A music-loving family

Music has been central to many smiles in the last week. I brought out a tiny toy piano, which has fast become Kiwi’s favorite toy. She’s clearly a virtuoso, as this video shows.

Tummy time jams from Catherine Ryan Gregory on Vimeo.

Another night, Peeper exclaimed, “Let’s start a band!” The whole family got in on the action—banging drums, strumming a ukulele, tapping piano keys and jingling bells.

If only we’d remembered to break out the mini accordion Nana got Peeper for Christmas!

We’ll announce our tour dates soon. Until then, we’ll keep jamming.

Rock of ages

Trent’s World hosts a Weekly Smile link-up, where bloggers post tidbits of happiness. The internet could use a little more positivity, and I’m glad to share what made me smile in the last few days!

Hurricane Peeper

One morning this week I woke up as one half of my head imploded and was sucked into a black hole behind my right eye.

At least that’s what it felt like.

I haven’t had a migraine in years, but this one woke me around 3am. It kept me awake as I tried to alleviate the pain—massaging my scalp, plopping a bag of frozen vegetables over my face—between retching into the garbage can. Yeah, not pretty.

Peeper, luckily, slept in as late as she ever has, and the headache had mellowed quite a bit by that time. Even still, I was nowhere near the top of my game all day.

By the time Eric got home from class around 5pm, the house was a disaster. He laughed as he stepped over the shoes scattered across the hallway, the DVDs spread out over the living room and the cookbooks, bags and utensils in the kitchen.

The chaos made me realize how much I tidy up after Peeper throughout the day.

Imagine a wrecking ball dismantling a 10-story building. During a hurricane. In a town recently hit by an earthquake. Such is the destructive power of my daughter.

Ten Thousand Hour Mama
She loves to “help” with laundry.

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