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OTHER STORIES BY MARGOT
Products for parents to manage traveling with kids!
Innovative products that will make your family day out fun, fun, fun!
By Margot Black
Now into my second year as a parent, I figure I'm getting the hang of this mommy business. I've had some super fun days out at zoos and theme parks with my husband and two-year-old son but I also know how stressful it can be if you don't have the right gear. For a start, stroller parks can be an absolute nightmare: rows upon rows of identical strollers make it impossible to find which one is yours (unless you go rooting through other people's diaper bags!) and my fluffy stroller blankets are constantly falling on the ground. Fortunately, there are lots of sassy new products on the market that make leaving the house a treat and not a chore - and also encourage your little ones to have fun too (not to mention sit still for five minutes while they eat their lunch). So here's how to make your family day go off with a bang and not a whimper!
Personalized Lunch Box and Place Mat
This personalized lunch box from Frecklebox.com is such a phenomenal find. Whenever we go on the road, we break it out and bring it with us. Always bouncing around with loads of energy, my toddler actually stood still as I packed his lunch for the first time, in his great new lunch box, personalized with his name on the front.
I even love the personalized place mats for when youíre trying to get your rambunctious little one to sit still at the table, in public! So no matter where we are, he always has his own lunch box and place setting, making him feel right at home. These personalized and fun items will keep him saying, "Mine, mine, mine!" Ė right when you need it.
Lunch Box $26.95 Place Mats $9.95
Moms on-the-go definitely need all the help they can get. My aching back thinks picking up after my little one is enough, let alone having to pick up after myself! I hate it when I drop my beautiful babyís clean blanket on the ground, especially when Iím outside, so thatís why the Blankyclip is such a neat little product. It doubles as something sage and soft for my little one to grab and play with but functions as a convenient clip for my babyís blanket. And itís especially useful when youíre trying to keep the light out during a nap. Easy to use, versatile and convenient, its plush toy-looks make it fit right in with all your other baby stuff. I thought this was a helpful find to cure a common problem, slipping blankets. Invented by a mom, of course.
Two Cuddly Blankyclips with Blanket $48.00 each
Personalized Zoo Book
As families try to find great outdoor places to visit with their kids, the zoo is a common stop for most. Frecklebox.com makes personalized books for kids Ė and the Zoo Book is my favorite one. Get your kid psyched to learn about the outdoors and wildlife by reading their very own personalized Frecklebox story. Just as the zoo serves as your little oneís first outdoor travel adventure, the personalized Zoo Book can be another way to tie into teaching him about it. Now my little one can see himself as a part of the story and then live it as we take him to the zoo. What an ingenious, engaging and personal way to learn about animals and the outdoors.
Soft Bound $19.95
Hard Bound $34.95
How many times have I gone on a trip with my family only to find out that I canít take my ultra-handy (and oh so expensive) stroller? Along our travels our family discovered that many places ask you to leave your strollers behind before you get on a trolley, ride or train, as recently happened to us at the zoo. Amid all the other strollers, mine can easily be mistaken and taken by a confused and frustrated parent who "just wants to go home already!" Not to worry- I canít make it through any major park or attraction without a stroller, but now I have peace of mind when I have to leave it behind thanks to the Buggyguard. Itís simple, durable, and you can use it on any stroller. You can even choose different color bow ties and have your familyís name printed on it. $24.99 each
Guardian Angel Bracelet ID
Finally, youíve gotten your family packed and out of the house, but nothing can ruin a getaway quicker than losing track of your child at a park, aquarium or a zoo, causing endless amounts of stress and worry. This Guardian Angel Bracelet ID bracelet is perfect when you have a raring-to-go kid like I do! Simple and effective, a great feature is that you can write whatever contact info you want on this wonderful waterproof bracelet. Family Pack (10 bracelets) $9.95
Tail Wags Helmet Covers
These helmet covers are completely adorable. My little one absolutely refuses to put a helmet on and I absolutely want to end the dreaded experience that is getting him to wear one, so step forward the Tail Wags. Now the helmet isnít some cumbersome, clunky thing anymore, itís a lion and he loves to wear it! Animal Covers $40.00 - $45.00
As the default diplomat in a family, momís abilities in managing the internal affairs (aka "arguments") between siblings, can give us headaches they donít need. So I thought the Pocket Referee was a neat little idea moms could add to their tool belt while out and about. Whoever has the "coin" (Pocket Referee) gets to make the decision to have things go their way this time and then simply pass the coin on to a sibling for the next time. It's genius, fun and everybody wins. Donít leave home without it! Antique Brass Coin $12.95 *Please tell us what you think of this story!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Margot Black developed a love of travel and tourism as a senior account executive at an international public relations/marketing firm in New York City. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America and the South Pacific. A move to Los Angeles expanded Margot's expertise and writing skills into the world of entertainment/comedy. She has appeared on NBC, A&E, TNN, GSN and Comedy Central. Her writing has appeared in Written By, Sheís So Funny, Joke Soup, and The Comedy Thesaurus. Margot Black recently launched Black Ink Communications, a writing/marketing company and likes to be outdoors when ever possible. An avid traveler, Margot Black knows how to say "whatís for lunch?" in twelve different languages.
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