10 Terrific Road Trip Movies for Kids

Today we are combining two of our favorite summer activities -- family movie night and road trip adventures -- in the last post of our Summer Movies for Kids series!

Just in case you missed that previous posts, here are the other movie lists we've shared:

The 25 Best Kids Books Made into Movies

9 Totally NOT Boring History Movies

12 Movies that Inspire Kids to Tinker

 

Summertime is a great time to travel -- head out on an adventure and explore the unknown!

Even if the unknown is only 30 minutes away and the adventure only lasts for a few hours, kids really benefit from visiting new places & having new experiences.

Since most families will venture out on a road trip at least once in their lives, I thought it would be fun to feature some of the more famous kid-friendly road trip movies.  Whether you watch these films before you set off on vacation or pop them in during your trip, I'm sure you'll identify with more than a few of the antics and escapades that accompany a memorable family road trip :)

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The Best National Park Adventures for Kids

This weekend, we're celebrating Kids to Parks Day on May 16th!

It's a day to visit your favorite park or your kids' favorite park or ever a park you've been wanting to visit and haven't had the chance to yet.

The goal is to get the kids outside & connected with their local, state and national park resources.

You'll find some outstanding Family Resources along with events in your area at the National Park Trust website.

 

If you visit our blog frequently, you'll know that we are BIG fans of getting kids outside :)

Our first post featuring Kids to Parks Day focused on 30 Games & Activities to Play at the Park.

Today, I thought we would share some of the secrets about the awesome kids programs at our National Parks.

Yep, secrets!! 

Shhhh.....

 

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Recycle End of Year School Supplies for Back to School

Have your kids started their countdown for the last day of school yet?

The clock is quickly ticking away at our house!

And I adore that last day of school -- all the excitement about summer, the hugs for the teachers, our special end of school traditions and the kids knowing they are "one year older" in school years ;)

But I do dread all the end of the school year stuff that comes home with them -- stuffed in an "I-just-couldn't-get-it-zipped" backpack and overflowing brown paper bag.

They run into the house carrying that huge lot -- their whole desk or locker just dumped in it (UGH!) -- and it just spills out on the floor, quickly forgotten.  

So before they ditch their school supplies and reach for their bathing suits, have them follow these quick & easy steps that will save you time & money come Fall!! 

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How Do Leaves Breathe? A Simple Science Experiment for Kids

Learn how plants breathe with this easy outdoor science activity that makes the invisible visible!

I just realized that we haven't shared many Simple Science Experiments lately.

Our goal with Simple Science activities is to provide you with quick & easy ideas that help kids explore science! 

Most of these require very few items (many of which are found around your home) and can be set up in less than 5 minutes. If you'd like to introduce your child to science, these experiements are the perfect place to begin!

For today's Simple Science experiment, we're going to head outdoors and learn how leaves breathe!

All you'll need is a bowl of water and a leaf!

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12 Movies That Will Inspire Kids to Tinker

This week's topic in our Summer Movie Series for Kids is all about inventions!

There are a number of wonderful films that will inspire children to tinker and create new things -- kids always come up with the most amazing ideas when given the chance ;)

For example, my daughter wants a robot that will do all her chores (wouldn't we all love one of those!)

In addition to some very creative inventions, these movies also offer a peek into the process of trial & error.  No one gets it right on the first try -- being an inventor is all about not giving up which is a great message and important life skill for kids to understand.

So pop some popcorn and turn down the lights -- reminding the kids that both of those things were created by some awesome tinkerers!

Then offer the kids the opportunity to do some inventing of their own with some of the hands-on tinkering activities we've also featured in the post -- here's to a creative summer!

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15 Things to Build & Create Using Newspapers

Even though we only get the newspaper once a week, we always seem to have a pile of it lying around the house or tossed in the recycle bin.

In fact, that was my inspiration for our DIY Eiffel Tower project!

Why go out and spend money on building materials when you have some great stuff around the house, right!

So, since I know that newspapers are easy to come by and usually just recycled once read, I thought we'd share some inspiration for a few high fun, low cost summer projects for kids!

 

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40 Free Printable Road Trip Activities for Kids

Grab these free printable road trip games & activities for your next car trip and keep the kids busy!

We are gearing up for a HUGE family car trip this summer & I'm on the look-out for some road trip activities for the kids.

The trip is going to be much longer than we thought -- 10 days through 11 states covering 2600 miles!! 

I know - crazy!  But we're really looking forward to it -- we believe that family travel is a great way for kids to learn all kinds of things.

This year, we'll be seeing lots of family, celebrating my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary and attending freshman orientation for our oldest who is starting college in the Fall.

It's going to be a monster of a trip with lots of overnight stops and quite a few hours in the car.

Soooo .... time to start planning on how to keep everyone busy, happy and fed ;)

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9 Totally NOT Boring History Movies for Kids

Inspire kids to learn about the past with these great history movies that are perfect to us in the classroom or at home!

Welcome back to the 2nd part of our Summer Movies for Kids series!

Last week, we featured outstanding kids books that were made into movies -- this week, we're focusing on movies that make history FUN!

When I was younger, I would complain to my Grandmother about my history homework all the time!

I hated memorizing all those dates. 

I never understood why we had to know what happened in the past.

It was all so boring to me.

But there was a method to my madness -- you see, my Grandmother LOVED history!

When I started complaining, she would tell me super interesting stories about the topic -- things they never taught in the classroom.  I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more.

And I quickly learned THAT was the key -- find a way to make learning about the past interesting!

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Exploring the Parts of a Flower: A Science Project for Kids

Today we are going to have a look INSIDE nature at the parts of a flower with a fun hands-on science project – flower dissection and pollination.

As Spring sets in, we are all treated to blossoming trees and beautiful flowers.

I'm sure your kids will pick flowers, smell their scent and then give the bouquet to Mom.

Ahh... to receive a handful of wilted but picked-out-of-love blooms is a mother's delight ;)

We've had more than one dinner at our house spruced up with a home-picked bouquet, whether they were the wild orchids growing in the backyard or the dandelions that popped up all around (much to my husband’s chagrin).

With the recent plight of the disappearing honeybees , some plants and flowers are in danger of not being pollinated.  So I thought this would be a great opportunity for kids to learn more about the process of how plants reproduce.

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How to Start a Mother Daughter Book Club

As much as I love read aloud sessions with my kids , I also know that I can’t read to them forever – although I’ll certain keep trying ;)

As kids get older, the next logical step in having a ‘book relationship’ with them is to start a laid-back parent-child book club.  

Why continue to read with them as they get older?  

Parent/child reading sessions can be a crucial step in keeping kids reading as they enter their tween and teen years.  It’s also  a wonderful opportunity to kick-off discussions about issues they will face as they get older that they may not readily want to discuss but will happily talk about if it comes up in a story you are reading together.

 

This month, we kicked off our first Mother/Daughter book club!  

It came about as a matter of circumstance – my daughter came home telling me about this ‘awesome book’ the same week that I received an email asking me to review the very book she was “dying to read”.

So I thought I would share our tips for starting your own Mother/Daughter book club along with a free printable and some recommended books you & your daughter might enjoy.

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30 Games & Activities to Play at the Park

Did you know that there's a special kids' day coming in May?

Yep -- it's not just the month for Moms but also the month for celebrating at the park!

May 16th is Kids to Parks Day!

It's actually the 5th year of this awesome celebration and part of the National Park Trust's goal to get kids outside more often!

And you know how much we LOVE getting outdoors and exploring so we're helping them to celebrate.

Today we're sharing some fun games & activities that are perfect for your next park visit.  Then later in May, we'll be highlighting some of the awesome experiences your family can have during a park visit.

And BONUS -- we have a super giveaway for some park gear too!

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25 Best Kids Books that were Made into Movies

This week we are beginning our Summer Movies for Kids series!

I know you're looking at the calendar right about now thinking "What?  Summer can't be here already!"

It always sneaks up on us too -- in fact, our kids only have 19 more days of school left until they are officially on summer break (that countdown gives me a bigger jolt that my 2nd cup of coffee on these mornings ;)

One of the resources we have on the website is a master list of kids books that have been made into movies --  more than 100 titles!

I've often used (and recommended) the technique of pairing reading with a movie during the summer -- an incentive to get kids to pick up a book and also (once they've seen the movie) have a great discussion about which they enjoyed more. 

But I know a list of 100 can get overwhelming and with limited time over the summer, you really want to offer kids books & movies that are engaging so they'll want to read more.

So we've narrowed down the list to our top 25 book/movie combos that are perfect for summertime!

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Mastering the Art of Home Organization = Enjoying More Time with Your Family

A few months ago, I shared my secret to the Best Place to Begin Organizing Your Entire Home.

I wrote the post because I wanted to inspire other busy moms like me to find their starting point when it comes to putting some organzational systems in place.

Amazingly, it's been one of our most read posts this year!

Obviously it's not just me who is working toward a more organized home ;)

So with Mother's Day coming, I thought I would share another post that's "just for Mom" -- even though we all know that anything that's done for Mom actually benefits the whole family ;)

Today we'll look at some AMAZING books that can help us to get control of clutter, make meal planning simplier, inspire us to take time for ourselves and give us more time with our families!

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12 Amazing Citizen Scientist Projects for Kids

Happy Earth Day!

I love days like today -- everyone across the globe can celebrate together regardless of their location, religion or beliefs -- because we all love the planet we live on :)

We've already shared a great list of eco-friendly books & websites for kids and also have some easy ideas on how to involved kids in 'going green' at home so I wanted to share something different today.

Since celebrations like Earth Day are about protecting nature, oceans, clean air and all the other great stuff we sometimes take for granted, it's important to help our children find hands-on ways to experience what is happening to the world around us.

 

One of the best ways to offer kids real life opportunities is through Citizen Science Projects where they can learn firsthand what is happening in the world!

I know that the name 'citizen scientist' can sound kind of, well, super research-y but it's really not -- there are hundreds of great projects that any of us can be involved with no matter what our age or background. 

And today, I'm going to introduce you to a dozen family-friendly projects that you can do at home or in your own backyard while teaching the kids about nature, the environment and a little bit of science too!

 

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How Can I Tell if My Child Needs Glasses? Making Kids' Vision a Priority

Wondering how you can take care of your vision and help a child in need of vision care? One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem.

Right now, when you purchase an individual vision insurance plan from VSP Direct™ for as low as $17/month, a child in need receives a free eye exam and glasses, up to a retail value of $1 million. Find out more at VSPDirect.com/EyeGiveBackThanks to VSP for sponsoring this post.

 

When’s the last time your child has their eyes checked?

If you’re anything like me, I’ll bet you said “at school, when they do the yearly eye check-up”

Every Fall, my kids have the nurse at school give them an eye exam.

Trying to get kids to sit still in the dentist's chair pushes me to my limit but an eye exam?  I didn't think I needed to worry about that until they were much older.

When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she came home one October day announcing that she had “perfect vision”!  

Great!  All was well so I just put it out of my mind and figured we’d have her eyes checked again the following Fall when she was back at school.

Oh, if life were just that easy ...

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