How to Choose the Right Family Car

Choosing a family car can be somewhat difficult. There are more options than ever before at your local car dealership. From a van to an SUV and a full-size car, these are just some of the ideas that will work for your new family car. When it comes to buying the right family car though, you’ll want some ideas on how to make the right choice. That’s why I’m featuring some tips to help you choose your next family car purchase and choose right.  This post is brought to you by BarkauAutomotive.net.

How to Choose the Right Family Car

How to Choose the Right Family Car

Seating and Storage

Any parent out there knows that when it comes to having a large family, as in a family with more than one child, seating and storage is a must! That’s why it’s important to think about how many seats you’ll need, remember to think about those friends that come over, and how much storage space will be feasible for your family. Make a note of this data so that you can share these details with your local car salesmen before buying your next family car.

Simple Features

Some of the cars on the market today may be too much for the average family. If you have younger children then you’ll want to make sure that your family car has features that help you stay safe on the road, even during those little kid distractions. You’ll also want to make sure the features in your new family car easy to figure out, that last thing you want to do is have some complicated procedure to turn the blinker on during your time driving the family around in the new family car.

Consider Your Budget

Lastly, remember that buying a new family car means that you’re bringing a new expense into the household. That’s why you’ll want to follow some easy tips for setting a new car budget. You’ll need to review what expenses you already have and how much income is flowing into the home before determining the best price range for your new family car.

When it comes to choosing the right family car, there are many different things that each family must take into consideration. You may find these tips helpful and have more ideas to add to my list, but at the end of the day, each of these tips I’ve shared today will inspire you to be financially smart and careful when it comes to choosing the right family car.

5 Car Hacks Every Mom Needs to Know

Whether you’re planning a long road trip or traveling frequently in your car, there are some car hacks that every mom needs to know. Traveling with kids is not an easy feat, that’s why you have to make sure your car is in tip-top shape and you’re traveling equipped with the best car hacks for moms everywhere.

Today, I’m going to share some of the top hacks I feel every mom needs to know. These hacks will help you get through life without too much of a headache during high travel seasons. Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or simply find yourself in the car frequently with kids, these car hacks that every mom needs to know will help you survive and keep your sanity during car time with kids.  This post is brought to you by www.newarkcjd.com and contains an affiliate link.

5 Car Hacks Every Mom Needs to Know

5 Car Hacks Every Mom Needs to Know

Entertain Kids

Give your kids dry erase markers and a winter glove. This will keep your kids entertained for hours during long road trips. Kids can easily draw on the car windows and erase them easily using their winter gloves. This car hack is best suited for older kids who won’t draw on the car’s interior.

Use Organizers

Let’s face it, traveling in a car with kids makes for a messy car! There’s a meme that features a funny depiction of mom’s car versus dad’s car, it shows mom’s car being the messiest one. I think this holds true, so use organizers like fabric collapsible bins to keep kids stuff organized and off your car floor.  There are some great ones here on Amazon to choose from.

Use Cupcake Liners

Gather up some reusable cupcake liners to place inside your car cup holders. This will keep from having spills seep into those small areas and keep the kids’ drinks held more securely during long-distance traveling in the car with kids.

Make your Own Car Fresheners

Kids are messy and sometimes pretty stinky! So if you’re going to be driving with kids in tow it’s always cheaper and best to make your own car air fresheners. There are many DIY car air freshener recipes online that will work using Essential Oils and last much longer than store-bought options.

Get an Emergency Kit

Lastly, make sure you and your kids are always safe by investing in a car emergency kit. This kit should have jumper cables, a first aid kit, road flares, hand warmers and everything that one would need in case your car breaks down on the side of the road while traveling with kids.

There you have it, my top car hacks every mom needs to know. These simple car hacks will keep your car organized, clean, smelling fresh, and staying safe every time you travel with kids.

Tips to Care for a Used Car

If you make the choice to purchase used, these tips for keeping your used car in top shape are going to keep things running for years to come. Any vehicle investment is something you want to have last for many years. Being able to keep your car or truck running smoothly will make your investment even better in the long run.  This post is brought to you by Waynesborocdjr.com.

Tips to Care for a Used Car

  • Have regular tune ups.

This is key for any vehicle but is definitely a must do tip for keeping your used car in top shape. Regular tune ups will alert you to underlying problems, as well as keep things running smoothly. At least once per year have your mechanic take the time to do a thorough check of your car You should also regularly take it in for oil changes and basic maintenance needs.

Things to have your mechanic check or change regularly:
-Oil and oil filter changes
-Air filter
-Fluids
-Belts checked or replaced
-Spark plugs
-Brakes and tires
-Air conditioning and heater upkeep

  • Repair things before they break.

There are many things that may not need to be replaced regularly, but if they do go bad can lead to other costly expenses. Checking things like your brakes, timing belt, radiator, transmission and even simple electrical needs on a regular basis and replacing at signs of wear is important. A routine replacement can prevent you from having multiple other problems associated with a break later down the road.

  • Check for potential recalls on your car model.

One thing you should always do when you have a used car is to regularly check for recalls on your car. From ignition switches, to computers, filters or braking systems you may be eligible for a free upgrade on parts if your model has had a recall in recent years. This is a very important part of keeping your used car in good shape. Don’t miss out on any covered recall item replacements. This will keep you safe, as well as keep your resell value higher.

  • Get to know common issues with your car model.

Just like you can check for past recalls, you can also look into what are common issues with your specific make and model of car. This will help you to know what to look for in terms of potential issues later, as well as knowing what areas you need to be more diligent with for upkeep.

These tips for keeping your used car in top shape are sure to make your initial investment a great long lasting one. Purchasing a used car is a great choice for many families with limited budgets.

5 Ways to Keep Kids Busy in the Backseat

With the holiday season approaching many parents are wondering how to keep kids busy in the backseat. This is such a challenging concept for parents with kids of all ages. While you’d think preteens and teens can self-entertain, just take them on a long road trip to visit family and see how well that truly entertain themselves. Since kids of all ages may need some entertainment options during a long holiday travel road trip, I wanted to share some of the best ways you can keep these kids busy in the backseat.  This post is brought to you by Easterns.com.

5 Ways to Keep Kids Busy in the Backseat

5 Ways to Keep Kids Busy in the Backseat

Printable Games

There are so many printable games that kids of all ages can enjoy in the backseat. Car bingo and i-Spy come to mind as two childhood favorites that kids can enjoy playing while they’re patiently waiting to arrive at your next family holiday gathering.

Portable DVD Player

Whether you love or hate electronics, the sad reality is that our kids are growing up with technology all around them. A two-hour movie or two will keep your kids busy in the backseat. Have the kids take a vote before leaving what DVDs will be played in the backseat to avoid sibling rivalry on the road.

MP3 Player

Grab an MP3 player or a smartphone with a music app downloaded for use in the car. Have your kids create their own holiday travel playlist that they can listen to during the long haul to visit family. If you don’t have a device for each kid, consider playing each list over the car radio during your travels.

Paper and Drawing Utensils

Get a little holiday travel tote bag that’s full of drawing utensils like crayons, markers, and pencils as well as pads of paper. This will give your kids plenty of supplies to draw on and enjoy playing games like Hangman or Tic Tac Toe together in the backseat during long road trips.

Bring Audiobooks

Take this time to give your kids a little homeschooling on the road. Download audiobooks that will help your kids learn about your current topics you’ve been studying. This allows you to do some homeschooling on the road during the heavy holiday travel season.  Check out our Family Audiobooks.

There you have it, my top 5 ways to keep kids busy in the backseat. As you can see my ideas will work for most any age group and will help your kids remain calm so that you can arrive at your destination in one piece.

How Do You Take Care Of Your Car In Extreme Cold Weather?

With cold weather approaching, you’re probably wondering who to keep protect your car during the extremely cold weather season. Living in a world that has changing seasons isn’t easy for car owners, you always have to check your car to ensure it’s going to survive the next change of seasons. Whether you use your car for family road trips, business or just casual drives to run errands, it’s important to keep your car in tip-top shape during the cold weather season.

Since we all have our own daily to-do’s to check off before the cold weather hits, I wanted to share some tips to keep your car safe this winter, before the extreme weather hits and your car experiences a breakdown.  This post is brought to you by GatorChrysler.net.

How Do You Take Care Of Your Car In Extreme Cold Weather?

How Do You Take Care Of Your Car In Extreme Cold Weather?

 

Invest in Winter Tires

Living in an area that gets hit hard with snow and blizzards means that your tires must be in shape to handle such treacherous conditions. Consider investing in a set of winter tires that you use during extremely cold weather. The investment will pay off after just two seasons of using them to drive during the winter season.

Keep Fluids Up

Visit your local car dealership to have them perform service maintenance on your car. This service will check your tires, the fluids, brake, and all other important maintenance features to ensure your car is ready for extreme cold weather. If you want to do this at home, that’s fine, just check all fluids such as oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake fluid, and air pressure level as well as the tread on your tires.

Check Your Battery

A tired battery will surely make it difficult to get your car started during extreme cold weather. Most car dealerships advise a change of your car battery every three years, or when the warranty runs out. Check to see what you have going on with your car battery, such as a warranty, erosion and how much power it has to ensure it will last through the winter season.

Grease Car Locks

Some car locks can freeze in extreme cold so make sure you have you inject lubricant spray into the gears and locks of your car if they’re older and not moving as solidly as they did the day you purchased your car. Greasing all locks and other gears in the car is usually something older vehicles need, so call your mechanic to confirm this is a necessary step to take care of your car in extreme cold weather.

At the end of the day, it’s all about being proactive so that you can keep your car running smoothly without any major mishaps during the extremely cold weather that arrives when winter comes your way.

How Do I Decide What Car To Buy?

Whenever we need a new family car, it’s always a stressful time. I never quite know how to best choose the right car to buy. I know we spend a lot of time on the road, we enjoy family road trips and homeschooling on the road, but what happens when you simply have no idea how to choose the best car for your family? Well, you read a blog post like this where I share some tips to help you decide what car to buy. Continue reading to hear my reasonable tips to help you make the right decision for a car that suits your family’s needs.  This post is brought to you by CerritosDodge.com.

How do I decide what car to buy?

How Do I Decide What Car To Buy

Review Household Income

The first step to deciding what car to buy is to know what you’re working with for funds. Review all income and expenses that are flowing within the household. Figure out how much money you’re able to designate towards a new car down payment and monthly bill. Take into consideration the cost of car insurance and any applicable taxes so that you can figure out a solid new car purchase budget.

Assess Your Needs

Figured out what you’re going to use this new car for. Will you need a car that can drive a lot of miles with ease through a variety of weather patterns? Do you live in an area where four-wheel drive is important? Assessing your needs for this new car purchase will help you narrow down your options based on what you use a car for while still keeping your car-buying budget in mind.

Consider Other Cars

Perhaps you have your heart set on a specific class of car, but your budget and needs says you need to pick a different car. This happens to the best of us! The good news is that when you’re deciding what car to buy, it’s easy to find a similar car of our dreams without spending as much money. Visiting your local car dealership will help you use a salesperson to determine what car options are available.

At the end of the day, you’ll want to decide to buy a car that will suit your budget and needs. You’ll also want to take into consideration reliability and the car’s ability to drive in the weather conditions that your local area has in store for you.

Tips for Homeschooling on the Road for Traveling Families

Being able to homeschool is truly a blessing because your kids can experience more of the world and learn on your terms. With that being said, there are some tips that homeschooling families should learn as a means to make homeschooling in the car a valuable experience. If you’re a traveling family or just find that you’ve been so busy that you’ll have to homeschool on the road during a family vacation, then you’ll enjoy these tips for homeschooling on the road.  This post is brought to you by WinnerFordofDover.com.

Tips for Homeschooling on the Road for Travel Families

Tips for Homeschooling on the Road for Travel Families

Get Prepared

Look over the lessons that you’ll be teaching your kids while homeschooling on the road. Make sure you opt to choose from lessons that won’t need a lot of supplies. Opting to prepare for your homeschooling on the road sessions will mean that you’ll get the supplies ready, choose lessons that make more sense for homeschooling in the car, and work to allow all kids to learn something similar at the same time.

Plan for Stops

If you’re going to be traveling in the car for long distances, make sure you plan for a stop along the route. This will allow your kids to get some reading and other lessons completed outside of the car. You may want to pick some historical landmarks to stop to work on a homeschool history lesson with your kids while homeschooling on the road.

Review Lessons

While it’s best to choose the harder lessons for at home homeschooling sessions, you may need to teach some of the harder homeschool lessons on the road. It’s best to prepare with a tri-fold poster board to help keep kids focused while trying to get some of the harder lessons done. You may also opt to find a location with no distractions to get out, stretch and learn on the road when you have a difficult lesson to teach the kids while traveling in a car.

Make a Checklist

Last, but not least, make a checklist of supplies that you’ll need to make the most of your homeschool lessons on the road. This means getting pencils sharpened, bringing a pencil sharpener, plenty of paper, journals, and books as well as any other supplies that you’ll need for each lesson in your curriculum while homeschooling on the road.

If you take the time to review what lessons you’ll be working on during your homeschooling in the car adventures, you’ll find that the kids learn better and focus easier. This is one of the benefits of being a homeschool family, you can educate your kids pretty much anywhere. There’s always a way to educate your kids in history, math, science and social studies when you’re a traveling family who’s well-prepared for homeschool lessons in the car.

8 Items To Keep in Your Car

8 Items to Keep In Your Car

It’s a shame but the truth of the matter is that no one can predict when and where their car is going to break down.  Wouldn’t it be nice, if you could?  Because we can’t predict the future it’s a good idea to be prepared in case your car should break down.  This isn’t a complete list, I’m sure you can think of some things to add but I hope it’s a helpful starting place.  This post is brought to you by Waynesborocdjr.com.

1. Jumper Cables
Dead batteries happen and jumper cables are the solution.  It’s also helpful to know how to use them before you’re in a situation where you need them.  You can find a simple guide on how to use jumper cables here.

2. First Aid Kit
For minor wounds you’ll be glad you have a first aid kit.  You can see how to pack a first aid kit by clicking here.

3. Spare Tire
Along with a spare tire, the knowledge of how to change one would also be handy.  This is something I need to learn.  I just did a google search and am excited to learn how.  You can click here to see the guide I just found.  You might want to keep a jack along for the ride too!

4.  Tire Pressure Gauge
These are affordable and can give you peace of mind when your tires look a little low or when your sensor comes on.

5.  Kitty Litter
Kitty litter removes yucky smells, can clean up oil spills, and can help you gain traction in slippery conditions.  (Click here to see six other ways to remove bad smells from vehicles)

6.  A Multitool
A good multitool is a fabulous thing to have with you everywhere.  They’re too heavy for me to carry around in my purse but stashing one in my car is the perfect way to have one close at hand.

7.  Blanket
I keep a blanket in the car so we’ll be able to bundle up if we break down when it’s cold out, or want to have an impromptu picnic.  However it will be handy to have should I ever need it to change a spare tire!

8.  Flashlight
Because you never know when you’ll need to see in the dark!  A good flashlight will help you see farther than the flashlight on your phone will plus it will allow you to keep your battery charge up in case you need it.

More Ideas for Homeschooling in the Car

Homeschooling in the car is my way of describing taking the free time we have in the car and sometimes using it for educational purposes.  I’m not advocating for families to bring their workbooks along with them everywhere and wear their children out on school work.  Learning should be fun and a normal part of life.

This post is brought to you by AkinsJeepRam.com.

I hope this continued list of homeschooling in the car will help you enjoy your kids and make the most of your time in the car.  See our first post on Car Homeschooling here.

  • – Complete the story

This is one of my favorite games to play but is one of the hardest for me to play when driving so I usually have to sit out but I love hearing the stories my kids create.  One person begins to tell a story about anything at all.  After a few sentences they say, “and then…” Then the next person jumps in and adds a few more sentences to the story.  “and then…”   “and then…”  You get the picture.  The story can end anytime you want or after a set number of rounds.  Ours usually ends in full on belly laughs.  I love it!  It’s silly but works their creative juices, listening skills, comprehension, and vocabulary.

  • – License plate addition

One day my husband revealed that he has always had the quirk of adding license plate numbers in his head and I thought that was a great idea!  I held onto the idea until my kids were more fluent with their math skills but this is a great one.

  • – License plate rounding

After my husband shared the above game with us I transitioned it to a game that worked better for our kids at that time.  We decided to round the license plate number to the nearest ten, or hundred, you get the idea.  This was a fun game because it required them to think quickly.  When we first started we had the kids read the number out loud so we could help them with it in case the car drove away quickly.

  • – Geography game

Everyone names a location that begins with a letter of the alphabet beginning with A and going through to Z, while repeating the ones that were listed before. Alps, Belgium, China, Denmark…

  • – Jokes and Riddles

My kids are going through a stage where jokes and riddles are the bees knees.  They love them and always have a new joke to tell anyone they meet.  One of the favorites lately is, “What did the cat get when he crossed the desert on Christmas Day?”  The answer is….”sandy claws.”  Thinking through jokes and finding the humor in twisting the English language can be a challenging and rewarding experience.  I think that the rather dull opportunity that car trips provide is a great atmosphere for telling good old fashioned jokes.

I’ll be brainstorming more ideas for homeschooling with in the car and I hope you’ll share any and all ideas you have with me in the comments below.

Homeschooling in the Car

Do you find that you spend more time than you care to admit in the car?  I can vividly remember a friend’s mom mention to us while we were in junior high (yes, not middle school, I’m getting old) that if she lost weight driving her kids around that she would be much too thin. I guess it’s a good thing that wasn’t the case but I’ve often thought about that sentiment and wished it were true for myself.  As a homeschooling mom I want to make the most of the time I spend with my kids and find ways to fit in educational moments throughout the day, even on errand days and between trips to the park, friend’s houses, co-ops, libraries, and Walmart pick up (which is such a blessing!).  We don’t do school full on all the time, but I wanted to find ways to utilize the time in the car and not spend it surfing the radio endlessly.  Here are the tips that my family make use of and I hope it helps your family enjoy spending time with their kids in the car, whether you call it “carschooling” or not.

This post is brought to you by MarburgerChryslerJeepDodgeRam.com.

  • – Talk

Okay, I had to start with this one because it seems the most obvious to people and it is the thing we do most of all.  We talk about what we’re doing (as has been the practice since before my kids could talk), plans we hope to do in the near future, how we feel about things, what we’ve been reading, things we saw on Alexa (which brings up so many interesting political and earth science discussions), and the list goes on and on.  Discussing things with kids opens the lines of communication and can help develop healthy relationships…the educational aspect is just a bonus.

  • – Audio books

By clicking here you can see the list of my favorite audio books for the whole family.  Audio books are better for long trips but they can be utilized for shorter trips as well.  My kids get so into the books though that they always hate to stop a story without things being wrapped up neatly.

  • – Twenty questions

We play this game a lot in our house.  Sometimes we’ll pick a book that we have and everyone else has to ask questions to figure out which one it is.  Animals and people are also good choices.

  • – iSpy

iSpy is a game that can be played with younger and older kids a like and it’s always fun.  To make it a little more challenging you could have the kids guess that particular -ing word, or -ly adverb.

  • – Memory work

If my kids are working on memorizing verses or a particular poem I’ll make a copy and set it in the passengers car.  Every time I get in the car I’ll recite the memory work.  After a few days I’ll expect them to finish it after I start it.  Then a few days later they’ll try reciting it on their own.  I’ve been amazed at how very quickly they can recall information when repeated in this way.

  • – Observe the world around you

My kids have always spotted school buses and city buses when we’re out.  It’s always been something they point out.  Other favorites are three wheel motorcycles (I don’t know the correct name, sorry!), fire trucks, diggers, trash trucks, Ashley furniture trucks (because my name is Ashley), etc.  One family I know assigns points for each special vehicle and the family keeps score of what they’ve all seen for a month.  For example motorcycles=10 points, emergency vehicles=10 points, emergency vehicles with their lights on=15 points.  I haven’t tried this yet but I can see how it would be helpful to practice math skills.

I’m sure there are more but these are our main ways to make the best use of the time we spend together in the car.  If you have anything to add I would love to hear your ideas.

Update: I’ve added more ideas for homeschooling in the car here.