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Win This Basket of Travel Games, Arts & Crafts for Kids
Archives, bella luna toys, Giveaway, Travel

SUMMER GIVEAWAY! Win This Travel Tote for Kids

Traveling with Children this Summer?

COMMENTS FOR THIS GIVEAWAY ARE NOW CLOSED.

Thank you to all who shared a travel tip! I was amazed at all the wonderful suggestions our readers shared for traveling with children.

As a result of the large number of entries received both here on Moon Child and on Instagram, we chose TWO winners!

Congratulations to Meredith Baldwin (no relation) who won one of the Travel Baskets for sharing the following tip:

Travel tip: go to the bathroom before you leave 😉
I stapled a bunch of blank pieces of paper cut down to a smaller size for little children and told them to “write stories” by drawing pictures or using stickers and to tell me what was going on in their story. (They couldn’t write yet)
You can play this game: every person takes a turn saying a word or two going around to create a story. My girls LOVED a version of this when we made up quick fairytales-each person getting a turn.

Amanda Gregg @wholenessmom was the Instagram winner of the second Travel Basket. 

All Moon Child readers are invited to SAVE 10% off all items our Travel Games and Toys Collection through July 31, 2017 with coupon code: TRAVEL10. Valid only on in-stock items, while supplies last. 

 Enter Our Summer Giveaway to Win this Basket of Travel Games, Art Supplies, & Crafts!

Last week on Moon Child I shared my “Top Tips for Stress-Free Travel with Kids.”

This week, Bella Luna Toys is delighted to host a giveaway for a basket full of exciting games, art supplies, and crafts that will make traveling with children a lot more enjoyable.

This exciting travel tote includes one of each of the following:

⭐️ String Game from Sarah’s Silks
⭐️ Children’s Card Games Set
⭐️ Travel Bingo Game
⭐️ Bag of Crayon Rocks
⭐️ Box of Stockmar Modeling Beeswax
⭐️ eeBoo Jumbo Double-Sided Colored Pencils
⭐️ Quick-to-Knit Scarf Kit
⭐️ Rainbow Covered Woven Lunch Basket

Basket of Travel Games for Kids

TO ENTER

Earn one entry for each of the following actions:

  • SHARE A TRAVEL TIP:  Receive one entry by sharing your own travel tip or leaving a comment in the Comments section below this blog post.
  • TAG FRIENDS:  Receive one additional entry for each friend that you tag in the comments section of our Instagram Travel Goodies Giveaway photo.

Entries must be received by midnight PDT on Saturday, July 22th, 2017. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Sunday, July 23th, 2017. By entering, you confirm that you are 18+ years of age, release Instagram of all responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

Happy Travels and Good Luck!

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Enter our giveaway by sharing your own travel tip or leaving a comment below!

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Traveling with Children
Archives, Parenting, Summer, Travel

“Are We There Yet?” Stress-Free Travel with Children

Summer is here which means traveling by planes, trains, and automobiles for many families.

Here are some tips to help make vacation travel easier and more enjoyable for you and your children. Pack some of these recommended items in a travel tote before you depart, and you are unlikely to hear cries of “Are we there yet?” every half hour.

1. Allow Plenty of Time

We all know that travel is stressful. Alleviate some of that stress by planning ahead and allowing plenty of time to get there. If you’re traveling by plane, get to the airport at least two hours early to get through security during the summer  without worrying about missing your flight. If you arrive at your gate early, relax and pull out a game or art supplies from your travel tote to keep kids happily occupied.

If you’re traveling by car, plan on frequent rest stops (every hour or two) to to let kids go to the bathroom, run around, and blow off steam. Figure out how many 15-minute stops you will need to make along your journey and calculate your departure time to allow plenty of time for rest stops.

2.  Pack Plenty of Snacks and Water

Pack healthy snacks with lots of protein. Snacks high in protein, like nuts, peanut butter, or hard boiled eggs, will stave off the crash that comes after consuming high-carb sugary snacks and can lead to meltdowns. I think all parents would agree that there are few things more stressful than a child having a temper-tantrum on a plane!

And don’t forget to keep your child well-hydrated during flights which are notoriously dry. Dehydration can lead to headaches and crankiness.

Grimms Wooden Magnetic Puzzle

 

3. Play Games

Share the driving games you remember from your own childhood with your children. There is the classic “20 Questions” in which players try to guess what someone is thinking of by asking no more than 20 yes-or-no questions.

And there’s the “Alphabet Game” in which players try to spot each letter of the alphabet in sequence while driving down the highway—on signs, license plates, and billboards. The first person to get to Z wins.

On longer drives or when traveling by play, you can pull out your family’s travel tote filled with things like magnetic puzzles, books, and art supplies to keep children more quietly active.

4. Arts and Crafts

Pack art supplies. A pad of paper, crayons, and colored pencils not only get a child’s creative juices flowing, but can also be used for playing games like Tic-Tac-Toe or Hangman.

Crafts like knitting or crochet will occupy a child’s head, heart and hands on the road and produce a beautiful handmade item by the end of the trip!

Traveling with Kids

5. Listen to Recordings of Stories

There are lots of wonderful audio books of stories for children of all ages. The storyteller Jim Weiss offers a wide variety of stories for preschoolers (fairy tales and animal stories) to stories of Greek Mythology and King Arthur Stories for older children.

The whole family can listen while traveling by car, or a child can listen to an audio device with headphones when traveling by plane, while children are being introduced to classic literature.

6. Relax

Allow your child to be quiet with her own thoughts when she is calm. Time spent looking out the window and daydreaming are healthy activities and eliminate stress. Allow you child to sleep, when he is sleepy. A well-rested child will be much more cheerful upon arrival.

7. Toys and Supplies to Keep Kids Occupied

Here are some of my top recommendations for keeping kids busy on the road, by rail, or in the air:

Bon Voyage!

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What are some of your tips and tricks for traveling with kids? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below!

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Waldorf costumes dress-up play
Archives, Childhood, Dress Up Play, Education, Halloween, Play

10 Benefits of Dress-Up Play for Children

Children throughout the ages have enjoyed dressing up in costumes and engaging in dramatic roleplaying. Whether your child is a dragon, a princess, or a fairy, your child’s brain is going into high gear when she puts on a costume!

And although it may appear to you as just play, when your child dons that cape, crown, or pirate’s eye-patch, his brain is developing in more ways than you can imagine. As early childhood educators know, play is the work of the child, and children benefit cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally through dress-up play.

Here are 10 developmental benefits of dress up play for kids:

1. Brain Building

Dress-up engages your child’s brain and memory. Dramatic play requires kids to remember what they’ve seen or heard. They remember how their mother behaves when performing household chores when they are imitating her. Or they recall the details of a fairy tale they’ve heard before acting it out.

2. Vocabulary Building

Dress-up play builds vocabulary as a child decides what his or her character would say. It gives them a chance to expand their vocabularies with words and phrases that they might have heard in stories, but wouldn’t ordinarily use. Children may then begin to use these new words in conversations.

3. Problem-Solving

Who’s going to be the doctor? Who’s going to be the patient? Children must make decisions when they engage in dress-up play. They practice problem-solving problems when deciding on what costumes elements and props each character needs to act out a scenario.

4. Empathy

When a child is engaged in role-play, it helps her see the world through another’s eyes which increases empathy – whether pretending to be a parent nurturing a baby, a doctor taking care of an injured patient, or a firefighter putting out a fire. Dramatic play helps children understand the role that helpers play in in our lives.

5. Emotional Development

Children are constantly confronted with scary situations that they don’t understand – whether witnessing an accident in real life, or seeing violent images on TV. Children process their fears through play, which helps them make sense of the world, and overcome their feelings of helplessness.

By allowing children to act out their fears through dress-up and role playing, we are helping their emotional development.

Wooden Toy Bow and Arrow - Bella Luna Toys

6. Motor Skills

Children develop fine motor skills by putting on dress-up clothes, whether buttoning a shirt, zipping up pants, or tying on a pirate’s bandana

They use their large motor skills when engaged in role-play, whether they are jumping like a superhero, running like a baseball player, or twirling like a ballerina.

7. Gender Exploration

When children choose costumes and characters to be, they are able to explore different gender identities and the behaviors of those characters.

While boys often want to be superheroes, firemen, or pirates, and girls often want to be fairies and princesses, it is normal and healthy for children to try on different gender roles as they learn about the world. A child should never be ridiculed for pretending to be a different gender.

8. Imitation

Children are naturally imitative creatures. They learn about the world by imitating the lives of the adults and others around them. Through dress-up and dramatic role-play, children explore the lives of other people by imitating their actions, feelings and words.

9. Socialization

Dress-up play encourages cooperation and taking turns. Children learn how to negotiate as they agree on stories and rules. They develop interest in others and learn how to give-and-take.

10. Imagination

Children’s imaginations are limitless, and have not yet been hardened and constrained by the “realities” of the world. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, believed that imaginative play in early childhood is the key to creative thinking during the adult years.

When children engage in dress-up play, their imaginations are given free reign. There is no limit to who, where, or what they can be.

Wishing the children in your life many hours of fun dress-up play!

Warmly,

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Here’s a list of recommended items to include in your child’s dress-up basket:

  • Play Silks can become capes, veils, a pirate’s head band, a belt, or a baby blanket.
  • An elastic waist Fairy Skirt can become a fancy dress or a veil when worn on the head.
  • Our knight’s Sword Holder Belt can hold a wooden toy sword or a tool like a hammer.
  • Sunglasses, long gloves, strands of beads, and headbands add glamour.
  • Hats of all kinds– a cowboy hat, a fedora, a Robin Hood hat, a tall cone-shaped princess hat.
  • A chef’s hat and child-sized apron.
  • A doctor’s scrubs, and face mask.
  • And don’t forget to add your child’s Halloween costumes to the basket when the holiday has past!

What items are in your child’s dress-up collection? Please add your suggestions in the comments below!

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