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Monday, November 19, 2012


Ditch The Gadgets, Lose Stress, And Build Family Relationships This Holiday Season With BubbleBum Founder Grainne Kelly’s Tips For Screen-Free Travel And Handling Flight Delays

Thanksgiving and the holiday season are right around the corner, and families everywhere are getting ready to make the seasonal trek to granny’s. Whether it’s a road trip or flight, these long periods of travel are excellent times for bonding with family members. BubbleBum founder and travel expert Grainne Kelly knows that gadgets like cellphones and Gameboys can obstruct this special relationship-building time. She is also aware that flight delays and cancellations can create stress and frustration for the whole family. She has the scoop on ways to survive the switch to gadget-free traveling with kids and keep the family happy in light of flight complications.
Grainne Kelly’s BubbleBum, the first-ever inflatable booster seat that weighs in at less than one pound and can deflate in minutes, revolutionized the booster seat industry and ensured Grainne’s place as one of the nation’s top gurus on traveling with kids. Below is Grainne’s expert advice for ditching the gadgets and bonding with kids during the holidays:

Tips for Surviving The Transition to Gadget-Free Traveling:

1. Talk to your kids beforehand and let them know that gadgets are not allowed for the duration of the trip. One way to compromise is to let them know they can choose the places to eat at along the way. This will also get your kids more excited for the trip.

2. Reward your child for not thinking about gadgets or mentioning them. For example, for each day that he doesn't mention gadgets like Facebook or cell phones, he wins $2. At the end of the trip, you can add up the days your child won $2 and give him the prize.

3. Have a list of fun topics to talk to your kids about. For example, ask them about their favorite songs and movies, and also tell them funny stories from your childhood.

4. Before the trip starts, have your kids write down what they hope to see on the road trip. Then remind them that they would have difficulty accomplishing their lists if their focus is on gadgets like cellphones and Gameboys.

5. Let your kids know that you also won’t be using your gadgets while in the car or on the flight. This will make your kids think the gadget-free rule is fair.

Top Must-Haves for Gadget-Free Traveling With Kids:

1. Felt: Take a piece of felt and attach it to either the seat back in the car or to the seat back table on the plane. Cut out shapes and a "tic tac toe" grid so the kids can play while you travel. This eliminates the need for a lot of pens and paper and it is much more visual too, which makes it more enticing for kids. You can also cut out shapes and put them into the bag along with the felt base, so that kids can create pictures.

2. Plasticine: Younger kids will love plasticine on a flight. As long as you bring a laminated sheet of paper, you don't need to worry about it sticking to the table.

3. Audio Books: Audio books are a great way of passing the journey, especially if you can download them onto your smart phone. Action songs are a great distraction while driving along, and a sing-a-ong competition with older kids is also fun.

3. Velcro Bases for Toys: When traveling by plane, it is a good idea to pack a piece of felt fabric and carefully attach Velcro to the bases of toys. If you use removable sticky blue tac to attach the felt fabric to the seat back table, the action figures will not fall off of the table. This means you can read your book without having to crawl under the seats to look for little superheroes!

4. Shopping Cart Game: This fun and engaging game doesn’t require anything besides your attention and memory! In this game, you start with " I went to the store yesterday and I bought...” and name micellaneous items. Each person must remember the list and as people forget, they are out of the game. The winner is the person who can remember the list.

5. Add-A-Line Game: Start a story and each person has to add the next line of the story. Make sure an adult interacts in this one to keep the story alive!

6. Top trumps cards are a great travel game for two or more kids traveling together.

7. License Plate Game: Have your kids write down the different states they see on the license plates of passing cars. At the end of the day, the child with the most states wins.

Benefits of Gadget-Free Traveling:

1. Your kids will get the full road trip experience. They will take in all the sights of the surroundings because their focus will not be on screens and gadgets.

2. Road trips are a time where the family is together for a long period of time, and it is also a chance to have enlightening conversations with your kids and bond with them. This can be impeded by gadget-use.

3. Rather than play individual 1-person games on a Gameboy or similar gadget, your kids can build a stronger bond by playing road trip games (like the ones listed above) with each other.

4. Your children will discover exciting new games and ways to have fun that don’t include gadgets. They might even continue these gadget-free activities long after the trip is over.

5. Once the trip is over, you and your family will look back on the trip and talk about all the great times you had talking and playing road trip games with each other.

Tips On Handling Flight Delays & Cancellations

1. Let the kiddos know that they can each pick out a small present from one of the many airport shops. Browsing the store selections will make the time pass by faster, and receiving a prize will make the little ones happy that the flight cancellation/delay took place.

2. Most airports have at least one arcade in-house. To ease the boredom induced by flight delays and cancellations, take the kids to the nearest gaming area and let them know they can each spend $5 on games. Join in on the fun and challenge the kiddos to a game of air hockey!

3. If you know how long your flight will be delayed for, or if your flight is rescheduled for a much later time, use the AroundMe app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android Phone to look up nearby family-friendly destinations. Take the kids to a nearby zoo, amusement park, play area, or kids museum for a little change of scenery. The family will be a lot less irritable over having to wait for the flight.

4. Make sure to bring along a BubbleBum for each small child so that when you finally do land at your destination, you won’t have to worry about whether the taxi or rental car has booster seats available. You will be able to get the family to the hotel as quickly as possible, as you won’t have to waste any time looking for booster seat arrangements.

BubbleBum, the first ever inflatable booster seat has made traveling more easy than ever! It’s the perfect solution for car rides and fly-ins with car rentals. Weighing in at less than one pound, BubbleBum can deflate in minutes making it simple to throw in a backpack or large purse. BubbleBum includes belt positioning clips in place of arm rests so it’s possible to fit three boosters across the back seat of a car, minivan or SUV. With its satisfactory design for parents and children, BubbleBum is proud to join the exclusive winners circle selected by the PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Media Awards. BubbleBum was also recently announced the IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) “Best Bet” in their booster seat evaluation report, where they’ve branded BubbleBum as one of the best for safety!

BubbleBum was founded by Safekids USA Certified CPST Grainne Kelly from Northern Ireland who, like many other parents, was appalled by the lack of car booster seats available from car rental desks even when booked in advance. Kelly believes that every child deserves to be protected and safe while parents should be able to do just that with convenience and ease. Follow BubbleBum on Twitter at @BubbleBumUSA, “Like” BubbleBum on Facebook at BubbleBum UK LTD or learn more on their website at www.bubblebum.us.

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