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2 posts from August 2007

August 15, 2007

Gadgets That Keep Young Boys Entertained On Airplanes

I recently took a plane trip with my three young sons and found these gadgets to be very helpful in entertaining them. They did get fidgety at times, but overall it was a smooth trip thanks to the gadgets below.

1.  The Boostaroo Hi-Def Portable Headphone Amplifier & Audio Splitter:
Gray_boostaroo_2
This is a great tool for families with multiple kids who need to listen to the same movie on a laptop or portable DVD player with headphones. We had three headphones plugged in and all the boys were very happy. Better yet, it is also an amplifier which helped the kids hear over the roar of the airplane engines.

2. Leapster:
Leapster
I blogged about the Leapster in a prior post. I like the Leapster because I can control the games my kids use and most are educational. My 8 1/2 year old especially enjoyed the Math Mission, Nascar and Sonic X games. My 4 1/2 year old enjoyed the Nemo, Letter Factory and Backyardigans.

3. Headphones that fit nicely on kids heads.

4. Laptop or Portable DVD player to play DVD's (and a good selection of DVD's).

5. Books, Books and more Books...

Simple_science

Our 4 1/2 year olds enjoyed this series by Nora Gaydos because their are ten books in a cover with stickers to keep the kids busy. My 8 1/2 year old enjoyed reading Harry Potter books.

6. Wikki Stix (updated after the ride home):

Wikki_stix_2

The Wikki Stix are light to carry and fun to use for making shapes. Just watch out if they make a big ball of Wikki Stix, it will be too tempting for them to throw it.

7. Anything Lego (with a small amount of pieces - also updated from my ride home):

Lego_builder_2 

This Lego Mini-Digger is for 5 - 6 year old boys (my 4 1/2 year old twin boys love lego sets like these because they have a figure included). And they only have 36 pieces.

Night_blazer_2

My 8 1/2 year old enjoys car sets so this Night Blazer Lego set is small enough to take on the plane and only has 66 pieces.

Better yet, they can play after they build them to extend the entertainment time. The sets should only be opened on the plane so that it feels like a new toy (I save mine as a surprise after the plane takes-off).

8. Low Tech Item - Cheerio Necklaces:

Cheerios

My friend sent me an email just before we boarded that suggested making cheerio necklaces using dental floss. I had one of those "darn it" moments because that would have been the perfect activity to feed and keep them busy when they were not reading or using their electronics. Maybe next time.....

What are your favorite gadgets to keep your kids busy on airplanes?

For more information on how to deal with other passengers on the plane that can not deal with fidgety kids, check out my post on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.....


August 13, 2007

BarCampBlock, MomBloggers and the Like Welcome

Barcamp_logo_3

When I first saw the word "BarCamp", I could only think of a summer camp that has a bar for the parents to get Martini's after they drop off their kids. But in Silicon Valley and many places across the world, BarCamp is quite a phenomenon of a different sort. Wikipedia explains that BarCamp  "is an international network of unconferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants — focusing on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies and social protocols."

Liz Henry, a local mom blogger and part of the extraordinary team organizing the event, sent us an email to make sure we know that is a great opportunity for mom bloggers, she said "There will be lots of bloggers, videobloggers, super hard core techie types, entrepeneurs, and all sorts of people." Best of all, being a mom herself, she is trying to organize a babysitting room. My fellow blogger Glennia from Silent "I" also emailed me about the event.

Coming from the technology field BK (before kids) and now being a blogger, I find these "unconference" events a great opportunity to learn what is going on, share ideas and meet interesting people. People come to these events with an open mind so whether you are a techie without kids or a mom interested in blogging/technology, there is opportunities for all.

In Palo Alto the event will be August 18-19th, 2007, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM -at 655 High Street. As the BarCampBlock details page explained "It will be a multi-office party starting SocialText's offices... and maybe looping in nearby neighbors like Facebook, iMeem, IDEO, Edgeio and so on." For those not in Silicon Valley, there will be other BarCamps at locations around the country and world.

Cross Posted at the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

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