Family Travel

6 Great Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Families

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel holiday in the United States; according to AAA, more than 36 million Americans will hit the road for turkey and cranberries this year. If you’re one of the nearly 3.15 million folks flying for your feast, a little strategy will save you a lot of stress, and hopefully get you to your family dinner with a smile on your face. First, leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and through security. Next, pack some patience, and read our Thanksgiving travel tips for flying families, below:

  1. Power Up: Great news for families flying this holiday season: the FAA has just given the thumbs-up for electronics to be used below 10,000 feet. This means you don’t have to power off your iPod during takeoff and landing, and the kids can keep listening to their favorite Little Pim language lesson uninterrupted. (Note that rules differ based on airlines, and you still can’t use cell phones at any height, so stash some crayons and coloring books in your carry-on as well).
  2. Shoe-phoria: More good news from the FAA: Although adults still need to kick their kicks at security, children 12 and under can keep their shoes on–-great news for little feet everywhere.
  3. Stroller Success: No matter what age you are, you’ll still need to take off your jacket and bulky layers before you go through the metal detectors. And all children, no matter how big or small, must be removed from their stroller, and the stroller has to be folded and placed on the conveyor belt. Think quick-folding umbrella strollers for ease of travel.
  4. Be an Early Bird: Most airlines allow you to check in and receive boarding passes 24 hours in advance. Take advantage of this opportunity to guarantee your seat assignment; airlines routinely overbook planes, and if you’re the last one to check in, you could be bumped from the flight.
  5. BYOF (Bring Your Own Food): If you’re flying domestic coach, repeat after me: bring your own food! Most carriers no longer provide even a mini bag of pretzels for cross-country flights, and food for sale isn’t always guaranteed. Pack easy to stash food and snacks such as dried fruit, nuts, granola bars, pre-spread cheese and crackers, and PB&J and you’ll be your family’s food hero.
  6. Lollis, and Pacis, and Bottles – Oh my!  Don’t let ear pain ruin a flight for your little ones. Have them suck on a pacifier, bottle, sippy cup, or a lollipop during takeoff and landing---sucking helps combat pressure changes in the ear from altitude changes, and helps keep Eustachian tubes open and pain free.

--Melissa Klurman 

Melissa Klurman is an award winning travel writer who has dispensed holiday travel advice in outlets ranging from ABC News to the Wall Street Journal. She’s also a global traveling mom and a contributor to our blog pages here at Little Pim.

Memorial Day Traveling With Kids & Little Pim

We believe that treks with kids are made easier with a little preparation and these days it doesn’t hurt to have an iPhone, car DVD player, or tablet to make the trip that much more enjoyable. With Little Pim you can combine entertainment & learning. Does it get any better for your wee travel buddies?

We’re thrilled to announce that Little Pim was selected to win two prestigious awards this month!

Dr. Toy has chosen Little Pim’s Gift Set Plus- a gift set that includes three of our language DVDs, a set of Word & Phrase Cards, and a plush panda- to win a Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Product Award! Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, has been for many years one of the nation’s and world’s leading experts on play, toys, and children’s products. With 30 years of direct experience, Dr. Auerbach includes educationally oriented, developmental and skill building products from the best large and small companies in her four annual award programs.

We also received another new award from the Dove Foundation Review Board for our Spanish 3-Pak (Vol. I).

 

As you plan your seasonal getaways, be sure to take Little Pim along- our Digital Downloads are compatible with your mobile device or smartphone. With 10 languages to choose from and our two iPhone Applications: Little Pim Talking Coloring Book and Little Pim Word Bag, the only thing left to pack is sunscreen.

Here are some travel games you can play: 1. My favorite car game as a child was I spy. This is a GREAT game for your kids to build their vocabulary, both in 
English and in a foreign language. Even if they can’t spell yet, you don’t have to play I spy with letters – you can play it with sounds, or other descriptors. Passing by a field? I spy something that goes “moo”. Whether it’s a cow or una vaca, it’s a fun game to keep your kids engaged with what’s going on around them, and build their vocab and ability to describe their surroundings. 2. Make a map of where you’re going. Or rather, let your kids make a map – it doesn’t have to be to scale. Getting them to draw landmarks they see along the way – whether it’s a strange tree or a wacky building – this is a fun game for any aspiring cartographer. 3. Counting cars, counting cows, counting anything really. This is a fun game even as an adult (you can play it with license plates while your kids play it with car colors). Again, get them to count in English or in a foreign language. You can make it a quest to find a house or car that's red/rouge/ 主要翻译, and helping your kids count in another language.

4. And last, but certainly not least – what journey would be complete without Little Pim? Get a digital download, put it on your smartphone or tablet, and let your kids watch and learn as you weave through traffic. Alternatively, pop in the Spanish or French bop CD, and have yourselves a good old-fashioned road trip sing-along!

To celebrate our awards, we're holding a special contest! In the comments below share one item you never leave behind when traveling with your children. One person will win any one DVD or Word & Phrase Cards deck of their choice!

Happy Bastille Day!

 

Today is Bastille Day, or as the French say, le 14 juillet. On July 14th, 1789 the Bastile prison was stormed and the French Revolution officially began. If you're lucky enough to be in Paris today you'd be enjoying fireworks, parties, and an incredibly jovial environment.

Today is the perfect excuse to use the French word in your vocabulary. Eat traditional French foods like croissants, baguettes, French fromage (cheese), wines, fondue. Make reservations at a French restaurant and be sure to learn the words to La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

Fun with languages while traveling

With the arrival of summer you may be planning a family trip by car, plane, train, or in this economy, bicycle! When you have your little ones captive during travel time, it's a great opportunity to play language games that reinforce their budding skills. And most importantly, it is something fun to do together. By initiating these games you will be showing your child that foreign language matters to you. That will make it much more likely it will matter to them too... You don't have to speak the language yourself to play most of these games! Fun things to do in the car: 1) Play a game where every child gets a point for naming an object you see out the window in another language. Whoever gets the most points gets a treat at the next rest stop or on arrival. you can help out by naming objects the first time (a tree = "un arbre" or a car = "une voiture") and your kids can call them out the next time. 2) Print out the Little Pim coloring pages from our web site and have kids color them in the back seat (you'll need crayons and a lap desk or a hard cover book to lean). Go to GAMES [link removed] on the web site and print out up to 10 pictures of Little Pim to color in, with vocabulary included. 3) Play music in a foreign language and encourage your kids to sing a long 4) Bring flash cards and award prizes for the child who gets the most right, or with one child, a small treat if they can get 5 right in a row. 5) Play "I spy" in the language they are learning. Point out things in the car, in other cars, or in the scenery.

Fun stuff to do on an airplane: 1) Play with flash cards (home made or store bought) 2) Color in Little Pim coloring pages (see above) 3) Get some snacks and put them on the fold out table (i.e. peanuts, pretzels) and count them in the foreign language 4) Write a letter to a member of the family with some foreign language words included (or pictures your child draws, labeled in French/Spanish/Chinese, etc.). Make a big production of mailing it when you arrive at your destination.

Fun stuff to do on a bicycle (you thought I was kidding!): 1) Shout out all the parts of the body in the foreign language 2) Sing verses from simple foreign language songs you both know together 3) Play a made up game where each time you stop, point out an object and if your child can name it in the foreign language (i.e. bus, ice cream, car) then they get a point. When they get to 5 points they get a special treat at home!