Car Trip Games, and Road Trip Adventures, Traveling with Kids
 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids
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Hearing Aids for Children

Hearing aids are a must for many people who have a hearing deficiency of one kind or another. A loss of of the sense of hearing can be complete, early-onset, later-onset, or gradual in conjunction with another disorder or condition. Irrespective of the disorder or the amount of hearing loss, there is a hearing aid that can benefit every person.

Hearing Aids For Children

Children who have hearing loss have difficulties in school, socializing with their classmates, and learning rudimentary sounds that other children can learn simply by being around adults and other children. Children who are hearing impaired need a chance to hear as clearly as possible, and the hearing aid cannot be cumbersome or difficult for the child to wear.

Hearing aids can be fitted to a child’s developing ear and allow for the child to continually get the hearing aid fitted as they grow. There is no reason for a kid to feel like they are different than the other kids, and having a fitted hearing aid hides the hearing aid, helps the child with self-esteem, and improves their performance in school. There’s no greater gift than allowing a kid to be able to talk to their peers and interact with their teachers normally.

Hearing Aids For Adults

Adults who may have recently discovered they need a hearing aid or have worn one their whole life can get a hearing that is going to last them the rest of their lives. However, that hearing aid can take on many forms. There are some adults who only need the hearing for conversation in loud places while other adults need the hearing aid all day long because their hearing deficit is quite large.

The adult who must wear a hearing aid for conversations in loud places needs the option to turn the hearing aid up and down as needed. Perhaps they need only a little correction when they are at work, but at a working lunch, they made need to turn up the hearing aid in order to keep up with the conversation. After they return to the office, the hearing aid can be turned back down.

More powerful hearing aids can be fitted to an adult’s ear in order to allow them to have enough correction throughout the day. These more powerful hearing aids can be measured and fitted to the ear just as the hearing aid for someone who needs less correction.

When children and adults alike need hearing aids, they can find the options they need in a fitted and small hearing aid that is not going to be noticeable. Anyone who wears a hearing aid deserves the chance to hear what is going on around them without feeling self-conscious about their appearance or the fact that they are wearing a hearing aid.

Find the best options for hearing aids and fittings at MiracleEar. There are many options for every child and adult who needs help hearing things a little more clearly in their day-to-day activity.

January 21, 2014   Comments Off

Staying Safe this Summer

The heat of summer is in full swing, and with that I present this public service announcement  info-graphic with tips on how to avoid common summer time illnesses. As moms, we know that prevention is always the best medicine! Keep your summer fun with this information on how to avoid dehydration/heat exhaustion, swimmers ear, asthma and allergies, and food poisoning. In addition, here is a whole list of ways of prevention tips and ways to treat different types of insect bites. Keep your summer safe and healthy!

Staying Safe This Summer

Keep it cool and stay safe!

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July 13, 2013   2 Comments

Duct Tape Fixes Everything …Almost

Ever have one of those road trips where you are at  your wits end, and you are actually considering the all-inclusive fix-it tool –  duct tape? Before resorting to this extreme parenting method, consider a couple of alternative car games instead:

“Sweet or Sour” is an amusing game for all ages.  When you are stuck in traffic on the highway, this is a great time to play this game.   Wave to the people wave at one of the cars close to you, or do something else to get their attention.  If the person waves or honks back they are sweet.  If  you know they can see you, but they are pretending they don’t, then that car is sour.  You play as a whole car or individually, but keep track of the people who are sweet and sour. You get extra points if the person honks.  Keep score or just a record of all the Sweet vs. Sour cars, and see if you can improve your results on the next trip.

THE QUARTER GAME  (A variation of The Quiet Game, but with reward!)
“When the kids start getting bored and my nerves are getting frayed, we play the “Quarter Game.” It’s simple — which ever child doesn’t speak for the longest time gets a quarter. It’s a fun, friendly competition plus it gives Mom and Dad a few quiet moments to regain sanity.  Kids love it too!”   (Submitted by reader, Samantha. Thanks!)


So, before you break out the drastic car management tactics like duct taping your darling children’s smiles, renew their dental insurance and let those pearly whites gleam as you travel the highways in harmony because you kept them happy and occupied on the road.  And before anyone gets excited, the kids featured in the photo are my darling nephews who volunteered for this shot! Thanks guys! You are too cute.

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February 16, 2013   1 Comment

Turning 100,000

Somewhere in the middle of a beautiful rural Kentucky byway,  while I was on my way to Kentucky Lake for my annual Pirate Adventure , my minivan had a birthday.  Or rather, a birth-mile.   Sylvia (my minivan, also known as “The Mother Ship”) turned 100,000 miles.  I took a picture.

Why is that mile different from any other? When I posted the photo to my facebook, I had many friends comment on their locations when their own vehicles hit this milestone. They all remembered where they were when that odometer turned over  99,999 –> 100,000 .   I guess it’s just really fun to watch all those 9′s turn over!

One friend commented, “Keep going! You’re halfway to the moon!”

I remember one of my previous cars turning 100,000.  It was a Toyota Camry and I was on my way to work teaching school when it turned.   Considering the Camry cost of ownership, it would be nice to still have it since it would have kept going forever. But, after my 3rd child and a hoard of Girl Scouts, I traded it in for my series of minivans and became a minivan mom.

So, happy milestone, Sylvia.  Here’s to many more fun miles on the way to more adventures!

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December 18, 2012   Comments Off

Product Reviews: Melissa and Doug Travel Games

Melissa and Doug travel games I have added two new videos where I show some of my favorite travel products that are available online.  They are travel games by Melissa and Doug toy company that I really like.  My family has played with these for years, and as a bonus, you can finally see ME in these videos telling you about the items!

I’ve been working hard on my Youtube channel recently and added a lot of new videos. I would love for you to check it out and subscribe to my channel, or at least leave me some comments and hit the “thumbs up” on a few of the videos if you like them.  Please let me know what you’d like to see more!



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December 1, 2012   1 Comment

Bad Parents Guide to surviving a road trip!

kid tied to roof of carAdmit it, we’ve all been there.   Your patience has run out and you begin to entertain deranged thoughts about how to keep our kids under control in the car just so you can have some peace!  Tying your kid to the roof of the car, or duct taping their mouth closed doesn’t seem all that bad, does it?!

If you’ve had “Bad Parent” thoughts, then you are probably normal, providing of course that you don’t seriously act on these thoughts!  The best advice I can give if you feel guilty about it, is to just turn it into humor.  It’s really our brain’s way of dealing with the stress, and you can actually have fun with these ideas with your kids in the process.

Take a look at the video that my nephews and nieces helped me make along with my own children  recently.   Obviously I don’t seriously recommend these techniques, but  you can’t tell me you’ve never thought of some of them!

While you’re there, please subscribe to Momsminivan on YouTube!  I have instructional how-to videos for fun kids activities, as well as product reviews and hopefully a few more humorous parenting videos!   Now, get out that duct tape, and get busy!

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November 30, 2012   1 Comment

How Safe is Your Baby’s Car Seat?

baby car seat safetyIf you are expecting your first child, you have begun to experience the wonderful world of baby stuff. Even if this is your second, third, or eighteenth child, you’ve learned that you need to keep up on the latest trends, recalls, and safety wisdom. While every piece of gear you buy is important–with the possible exception of those videos that show toys while classical music drones in the background–the one that both parents and the government require the most from in terms of safety is the car seat.


You’ve got the latest edition of Baby Bargains on your iPad, you’ve narrowed down which houses for sale are in the best school district and don’t have any exposed wiring or trap doors that lead to crocodile pits, your auto insurance is all up-to-date, and you’ve sold the ’72 Chevy Nova for a newer model with LATCH. Congratulations–you are doing an excellent job of building the illusion that you are ready for life as a parent! Your next assignment is to spend a minimum of forty solid hours researching the best infant car seat. Whilst poring through the myriad books, magazines, websites, and parents’ brains, keep the following questions at the front of your mind:

  • Does it exceed government standards? Try not to settle for just meeting them. That’s not how modern parents roll.
  • Is it easy to use? If it’s hard to get junior in and/or out, your frayed nerve ends may force a brain shutdown, which you don’t need when there’s a diaper that needs changing and a mouth that needs feeding.
  • Is it versatile? You really shouldn’t care if the seat matches the upholstery, but at the prices seats go for these days, you might want to consider a seat that will keep your progeny safe for a few years down the road.
  • Holy #*%@–$300 for a *$&# car seat? “Costlier” is not a synonym for “safer.” While three large will get you a seat that is safe, feature-rich, and stylish, one of the best-reviewed car seats of 2012 will only set you back $170. If you are not sure what features you need, this is one time when you can trust in online user reviews and friends’ recommendations.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

A car seat could have an impact-activated forcefield, gyroscopic stabilizers, and inertial dampers, but if it is not used properly, that kid ain’t gonna be safe. Before you even think of installing that thang, read through the included manual–heck, read it in every language, just to be thorough. Check the manufacturer’s website; many feature videos that walk you through the steps. Many local police departments offer child seat inspections; call for a schedule.

Before you leave the house, though, do your best to install the seat to manufacturer’s specifications. This probably requires that you not put the child in the seat and then leave them on the car’s roof, trunk, or hood–it’s a safe bet that the police would not approve of such usage.

Al Natanagara is a writer, journalist, and blogger whose career includes stints with ZDNet, CNet, CBS, LexisNexis, and Law Enforcement. (Guest Blogger for

Get great games to play in the car, or shop for a carseat!

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October 18, 2012   Comments Off

Let Kids Ham It Up for Family Vacation Pics

Universal Studios Jurassic Park photosDo your kids refuse to cooperate for family vacation photos?  If you are a photo-taking maniac, chances are good that they are sick of posing in front of touristy spots for family pictures.  If you can’t get them to cooperate at all, then I have the cure. Let them “not cooperate”.  Have you looked at your teen’s facebook page lately?  It is loaded with really strange and goofy self portraits of themselves and equally odd photos of their friends. That is apparently what teens are after these days.

So let them be goofy. You already have enough “pretty” pictures of your kids, so why not just let them be dorks, and take photos of them having tons of fun!

In other words, when you’re on vacation, don’t pose them in front of cool stuff and and order your children to put on fake smiles — get involved!  Ham it up!!  Your photos will really capture the fun they are having and they won’t whine every time you want to take their picture.  It will make the trip all the more memorable, and they’ll have fun at the same time.  No doubt they will probably even share these “family pictures” with their friends, and you’ll have memories for a lifetime.

(These photos were taken during our Thanksgiving trip to Universal Islands of Adventure Tips at the Jurassic Park section of the park.)

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October 4, 2012   Comments Off

Pride in My Ride

It comes as no shock to my readers that I drive a minivan.  What you may not know is that my minivan has a name.   It is aptly referred to by my family as “The Mother Ship”.   She is the third Mother Ship minivan in my fleet.

At the touch of a button, the back hatch opens and closes automatically, while displaying an array of extra terrestrial beeps, noise, and blinking lights, not unlike a spaceship.  On a personal level, her other name is “Sylvia”, because she is silver-colored, and because the built in navigational system has a female voice.

To help me identify my Swagger Wagon in a universe full of look-a-like silver minivans, I have deliberately tagged mine with distinctive decorations which include a “United Federation of Planets” bumper sticker, a Star Fleet Academy logo on the back window, and a silhouette of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the side window.   The Mother Ship indeed.  It helps that I’m a fan of Star Trek and sci-fi in general. This also fulfills my responsibility as a mother to embarrass my teenage children in public.  Despite my outward tendency toward nerdiness, I take pride in my ride as I cuise the open road with my children across the galaxy on our travels, seeking out new life and new civilizations.

Sadly, I know that someday my minivan days may be behind me. Then I’ll opt for another sweet ride like one of these limited edition cars.  My teenage daughter is currently saving up to buy her first car and has been eyeballing some of the sporty wheels from Scion.  Her first car will no doubt be nicknamed alien escape pod.

Do you have a name for your vehicle?  And what would you call your teen getaway pod?

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August 1, 2012   1 Comment

Mistaken Identity – Oops that’s not my car

OK, seriously, who else has done this? I cannot be the only person who has actually gotten into the wrong vehicle by accident. With all the look-a-like minivans around here, surely someone has even gotten into mine!

The first time it happened to me, I was chatting away with my friend Devra on my cell phone as I left the grocery store with one small bag in my hand.   I was immersed in our usual hilarious banter and her delightful puns as I opened the door to my silver minivan,  sat in the driver’s seat, and started to set my bag down next to me.  As I looked in the rear view mirror, I was stunned to see the hatch was open and there a man loading groceries into my van!  What the ?!   Then it happened — my brain kicked in.    This is not my minivan.    It’s his.


I grabbed my bag, slipped out of the door, and started to walk back so I could apologize to the man.  Then I realized that he was so immersed in loading groceries into his man-van that he had NOT EVEN SEEN ME!  I began laughing hysterically to my friend on the phone.  From her perspective I had just taken a double dose of crazy as I cackled like a hyena, and I could barely even tell her what had just transpired.

I gets better.  If you were reading carefully, you may have noticed that I wrote, “the first time it happened…”   This bit of foreshadowing tells you that it has happened again.  My poor Sylvia (the name I give my current Mother Ship) must be suffering from an identity crisis, and I am getting a reputation for not recognizing my own car!  There have been several other times I have walked up to the wrong shiny  silver van with keys in hand, frantically clicking the unlock button until I realize my mistake.  I swear that I am not even on the phone when I’ve done it, however, I do get the urge to call Devra when it happens.  Sometimes I do.  And we laugh.

Seriously — Has this happened to anyone else?

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July 23, 2012   Comments Off