5 Kid-Friendly Products That I Can Personally Vouch For

If only headlines had unlimited space, my headline would be this: “5 Kid-Friendly Products That I Can Personally Vouch For and Are Great For Traveling.” Sigh. Am I that wordy? (Yes…)

I just had the saddest conversation with my daughter. You know, the one that just turned 10. She told me that all the girls in her class had decided that they didn’t like another little girl that Kinsen is just getting to be friends with. Kinsen likes this little girl. They have been playing together a lot these past few weeks.

Now, Kinsen’s feeling sad because no one wants to be her friend, as long as she’s friends with this other little girl. Oh, the drama of fourth grade! It seems so ridiculous, but it’s so real to my poor little sweetheart.

So we’ve been chatting tonight, spending some special time together. And while we were chatting, she helped me come up with an idea for today’s blog. Between Christmas and her birthday last week, this kid really is an expert on toys! Here’s a list of five really great kid-friendly products that would be good for traveling, too.

So, these are all things we’ve personally tested and enjoyed. Two thumbs up from both kids and mom! Enjoy!

Dual-Sided Dry Erase Board Set by Crayola

This is a great little toy. It’s just a dry erase board, but it is with CRAYONS! What a great idea! SO much less mess that with markers! I have to admit — I wasn’t crazy about these before we tried them. I just didn’t think a crayon dry erase board would work well. But I was SO wrong! The colors are vibrant, and it’s easy to erase.

My kids use these every week to study for spelling tests, but they play on them a lot in between, too. I haven’t taken them in the car yet, but I will for our next long trip. The kids could play Hang-Man, tic-tac-toe, or keep tallies of the colors of cars driving past. So fun!

Suspend Game by Melissa & Doug

We are LOVING this new game that Kinsen received for her birthday! It is SO much fun!

First off, I didn’t even know that Melissa & Doug (think — wooden food toy makers) made games. But apparently they do, at least one, anyway.

It’s SUCH A GREAT GAME! It’s another that you can play with your kids or with other adults, and it’s fun either way.

Here’s how it works: You build a simple suspending structure with a hook at the top. Up to four players are given six bendy metal bars, each with a different color at the end. In turn, players roll a colored die, then take turns trying to balance that color piece on the growing structure. It’s great fun — kind-of a cross between Ker-Plunk and Pick-Up-Stix.

So, it’s not a good game for the car, because the motion would throw the whole thing out-of-whack, and there are too many little pieces. But it’s in a small, cylinder container and would be a great game to take along and play in a cabin or hotel room. Kids over age 5, I’d say, can totally play this by themselves.

And again I’ll stress, it’s so much fun. Kinsen got it last Tuesday, and we’ve probably gotten it out at least ten times since then for games. Really!

Oh, and it was selected as one of the best games for 2012 by the Best Toy Guide. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?

Punky Brewster

Maybe it’s just that I had a rough day as far as girl drama goes. But sometimes, it’s worth it to pull out a good old TV series for our kids.

Did you obsess about Punky Brewster like I did as a kid? I LOVED this show! So when I realized that you can buy the seasons on DVD, I quickly bought one.

Now, I have to admit something here. Though I’m pretty strict about the amount of TV our kids watch in general, I pretty much set them loose on long car rides. There just isn’t very much they can do, all strapped in their seats. So they watch movies.

Punky Brewster is perfect because it appeals to both boys and girls (there are main characters of both boys and girls, and Punky, the main character, is a tom boy, anyway). It’s also wholesome, sweet, and every episode has a great message, unlike some of today’s sitcoms that our kids like to watch. The other perfect thing about buying a TV season to take on a long trip? With all the episodes included, those things can go forever!

Shimmer N Sparkle Weekender Bag by Cra Z Art

It’s another new birthday present! You know, I’m often pretty skeptical of birthday presents from other kids. Everyone’s letting their kids pick something out — and often it’s cheap and breaks and just not that good.

But this was definitely an exception.

This cute tote back comes in a neat black and white design that kids can color themselves. Fun idea, huh? But the really neat thing is how VIBRANT the colors are! The included markers and bright and bold and just plain beautiful. Kinsen’s bag is almost finished, and it looks AMAZING! She will get tons of compliments on it, I’m sure. It looks like a really fabulously colorful bag that she bought somewhere. So neat!

The kit retails for only $14.99, so it’s a pretty good deal! Note, though, that the bag isn’t large. I don’t know why it’s called a “weekender” bag — that’s a bit misleading, I think. More purse-sized.

This could be a fun thing for a responsible kid to do in the car. Don’t hand this to your 6-year-old — you’ll probably have marker all over the backseat. But for older kids, this is perfect. Or it’s a great thing to bring out when the kids get bored in the cabin.

Dance Star Sketch Portfolio by Fashion Angels

Well, you can definitely tell that my daughter helped with this list. But this is another really great product.

This was a Christmas present. And my daughter LOVES it. Basically, it’s a book with outlines of people dancing. It comes with tons (and TONS) of stencils of clothes and accessories that kids can draw on the people to create fun outfits.

It’s a dream come true for little girls.

Kinsen has been using some high-quality colored pencils to create the outfits and color the backgrounds. The people really look amazing! And, again, this is a steal at $8.99!

Perfect for in the car or a quiet evening in the cabin! Trust me, this is a neat little toy!


Next time you want a fun new toy to surprise your kiddos, try one of these! Trust me, they are all high-quality, solid products! Got any suggestions for me?

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