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 article and image by Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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Miles of Smiles:  101 Great Car Games & Activities
Anyone who has ever been trapped in a hot car with bored kids is well aware that they need a sure-fire way of easing the resulting tensions.  This book (written by yours truly) fills that need and, according to one enthusiastic user, "may be the ultimate solution for back seat squabbling."  It contains games and activities with travel-related themes.  97 games require just minds and mouths to play, and the other 4 need only simple props: a penny, a pencil, and some crayons.  Recommended for ages 4+.


No-Jet-Lag homeopathic tablets
I always take these tablets when I am flying on a long trip that crosses several time zones.  I have found that when I take them, I adjust to the local time faster and I don’t experience that dizzy jet-lag feeling.  I actually am able to hit the ground running.


luggage rack
This luggage rack is the best.  It is made well, sturdy, and easy to store.  I bought one for each of my adult children, so that when I visit I have a comfortable place to put my suitcase.  I no longer have to bend over to the ground to extract things.


butterfly kit for kids
I gave this kit once to one of my grandkids, and I plan to give it again a few more times.  This particular kit includes the live caterpillars and is ready to go.  Consider the weather when you give it.  If it is cold wintertime, consider giving a gift certificate for the child to redeem when the weather is more suitable. 


3-D safari book
Last Christmas I gave this to both my son and my son-in-law, figuring they would enjoy sharing it with the family.  I was right.  I always look at it, too, when I am visiting.


rice cooker
Though this rice maker does make rice, everyone I know uses it to make oatmeal.  It is such a treat to add the ingredients the night before, then wake up in the morning to piping hot cereal.  It plays a little song when it is ready, in case you are up early.  Each of my adult chidren also has one of these, but I think they bought it themselves. 


The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Written by Beatrix Potter, this classic was first published in 1902.  It is a popular and well-loved tale that “tells  the story of a very mischievous rabbit and the trouble he encounters in  Mr McGregor's vegetable garden!”  I was quite surprised when my granddaughter showed no interest in it, but I intend to give one to my other granddaughters as well.  Hmmm, maybe next time I see her I will ask her to “borrow” the copy I gave her.  Or maybe I’ll read it to her again now that she is a little older.  


Insect Shield Bandana
I am just back from a trip to Trinidad, where the Zika virus is a danger.  Before I left I was quite concerned about mosquitoes and repelling them.  I was given one of these bandanas and wore it around my neck whenever I was in a mosquito-possible situation.  I loved the bandana--it has no odor and is just like a regular bandana and quite cute.  It repels more than mosquitoes.  By the way, I only saw a few mosquitoes  on my trip, and did get a few bites on my feet, but none of them messed with my neck.  



desk calendar
I still buy a calendar desk diary calendar every year to keep track of my appointments.  I love looking a the new picture each week, and I like to think in terms of an entire week at a time.  The Royal Horticulture Society Desk Diary and the French Country Diary are my two favorites.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
This pop-up version of the classic tale is spectacular.  I gave it to my granddaughter when she was five but am having even more fun reading it with her now that she is eight.  The pop-ups are intricate and somewhat fragile, so you will want to read it with children and make a rule about no reading it alone until they are older.  I'm will be buying it for another grandchilden when she turns five. 


Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
This colorful toy is a must to entertain babies.  They become mesmerized by its songs and don’t drive adults too nuts from hearing it over and over. 


clock that projects time onto the ceiling
I discovered this amazing clock as a houseguest.  It projects the time onto the ceiling so you don’t have to move to see the time.  I like it so much that I bought one for my home bedroom and love it every day.  (Note that the clock I bought was actually a now-discontinued Emerson CKS53528.  But this one looks very similar.)


Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book
Though this little board book was written more than thirty years ago, it is as popular now as even.  Toddlers adore lifting those flaps! 


The SheepOver (Sweet Pea & Friends)
This sweet book won me over because it is inspired by a true story and was originally self-published by the author.  I also like that it is oversize.  Now it has a major publisher, but it is as sweet as ever.  My three-year-old granddaughter loves it, and I love reading it to her and so does everyone else. 


sticker books for kids
Everyone knows kids love stickers.  I keep a stash of these inexpensive Dover sticker books for my grandkids, and dole them out when things start to go downhill.  These are my favorites: 
Make Your Own Pizza
Decorate a Birthday Cake
Make Your Own Aquarium
Create Your Own Monsters
Make Your Own Butterfly
Decorate a Snowman
Gingerbread House
Glitter Cats


Sabon Body Scrub
I love the Sabon products.  They are made in Israel.  In addition to this body scrub, which I like to use at the end of a shower because it leaves my skin so smooth, I also really like the body lotions, which completely absorbs into the skin.  And my all-time favorite fragrance is patchouli-lavender-vanilla.  I really should open my mind and try another fragrance, too, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon.  Sabon shop in NYC

Carole Terwilliger Meyers blogs at Travels With Carole.
copyright 2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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