The Perfect Summer Road Trip

summer road tripThe open road is a great way to see the country. Once school’s out, it’s a perfect time to hit the road and enjoy some good old fashioned family quality time. From planned adventures such as hikes and river rafting, to getting off the beaten path and experiencing some local flavor, road trips can offer a unique travel experience. Be prepared with all the basics such as snacks, road entertainment, convenient technology, and basic safety supplies. And before you hit the road, check your tires’ tread condition and air pressure to help secure a smooth ride along the way.

Here are a few things you won’t want to leave behind:

1. Snacks

While driving long hours in the car, a variety of snacks can help pass the time. But don’t reach for the traditional road trip foods like beef jerky, chips, and sodas that can leave everyone in a slump. Instead, pack some energizing, nutritious snacks. Load up on natural granola bars, sliced fruit, nuts, and sliced veggies such as baby carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers and grape tomatoes.

2. Road Trip Apps

Avoid the typical road trip complications such as getting lost or wandering around in search of the cheapest gas prices. There are road trip apps galore available to make your trip go as smooth as possible. Download apps like Glympse, which automatically relays your GPS location to family and friends back at home. Your information will be sent only to pre-determined contacts in your phone book, for select windows of time—making it easy to keep your eyes on the road. Apps are also available for GPS, finding the best gas prices nearby, identifying landmarks, and beyond!

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Understanding and Loving Your Emerging Adult + No More Sleepless Nights + Dads Get the Blues

[amazon asin=0761162410&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Elizabeth Fishel, coauthor of When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?
Loving and understanding your emerging adult.
Issues: The zigzagging road to adulthood; the college years; the boomerang kid; the bank of mom and dad; when things go wrong; having–and enforcing–expectations; emerging at last.

[amazon asin=B001G8WQU2&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Jodi Mindell, author of Sleep Deprived No More.
Topic: Helping you and your baby sleep through the night, from pregnancy to early motherhood
Issues: Determining how much sleep your body needs; catching up on lost sleep; getting babies to sleep through the night; understanding sleep problems faced by school-age kids, tweens, and teens.

Dr. Will Courtenay, a psychotherapist and creator of
Topic: Even new dads get the blues.
Issues: What is paternal post partum depression? How big a problem is it? What are the causes? When men can do to prevent and/or treat it?

Avoiding the Summer Brain Drain + Virtual Schooling + Unplugged Play

[amazon asin=1620576112&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Nicole Green, VP of Communication, Carson-Dellosa Publishing, publisher of Summer Bridge Activities
Preventing summer learning loss.
Issues: Reading comprehension; multiplication and division; social studies; grammar; character development, and more.

[amazon asin=1250035856&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Laura Overdeck, author of Bedtime Math.
Making math fun.
Issues: Clever, smart ways to get kids interested in math; teaching math through stories; why it’s never too early to start math; why we should do math with our kids just like we read to them.

[amazon asin=B005MZDBL8&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Lisa Gillis, coauthor of Virtual Schooling.
Optimizing your child’s education.
Issues: How to ignite your child’s passion for learning; easily and effectively improve your child’s current school work; powerful learning resources that can help kids excel; the proper use of computers and technology in education.

[amazon asin=B00BUA90Q4&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Bobbi Conner, author of Unplugged Play.
Battery-free, plug-free, electricity-free games and activities for kids of all ages.
Issues: The importance of unstructured play; coping with “I’m bored,” low-tech fun that can stretch the imagination, spark creativity, build strong bodies, and keep the kids busy while you’re making dinner…

Am I Boring My Child?

I’m a stay-at-home dad, and I’m worried that my daughter will get bored at home with me and with the same toys. I want to be a great father and make sure my child is stimulated and learning new things, and is enjoying her surroundings. What do I do?

Wow, what a great question! You’ve really hit on an incredibly common fear-not only for dads but for stay-at-home moms too.

Rather than come up with a list of activities, the best way you can deal with your concerns is to try to think about things a little differently. First, try to remember that you’re not a walking video arcade; you do not have to entertain your child during her every waking moment.
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Being an Involved Grandfather

Dear Mr. Dad: When my kids were young I worked a lot and wasn’t around as much as I wanted to be. But now that I’m retired and a grandfather, how can I make up for it and build strong relationships with my grandkids?

A: There’s no way to make up for lost time, but there are some excellent ways to be an active, involved part of your grandchildren’s life.

  • Stay connected. Call, write, email, text, Skype, or twitter. There are tons of ways to keep in touch.

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Low-tech and no-tech summer fun

Dear Mr. Dad: My seven-year old’s birthday is coming up and he’s been asking for all the latest tech gadgets. Can’t kids these days have fun without electricity? Got any suggestions?

A: I have to confess that I’m something of a gadget-loving techie. But I’m also tired of fancy electronic toys and games that get used once and tossed–and I think kids are too. Feeling nostalgic for “the good old days,” I put out the word that I was looking for low- and no-tech games and activities. I wasn’t expecting many suggestions, but the response was incredible. So here are a number of simple, wholesome, no-batteries-required, and sometimes-free ways you and your kids can have a ton of fun this summer and beyond.
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