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That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It

Pinterest is amazing. Have you heard of it? I hope so, because if not, you are truly missing out. It has almost become the new "Google" for some (me). I am more likely to hop on Pinterest to search for a yummy recipe than search on Google. I would like to point out, however, that Google has a recipe tab that you can click on, and then on the left side of the screen you can checkmark the boxes to indicate if you want that ingredient to be present in your recipe. Kinda handy if you are looking for a recipe and you can only remember a few ingredients in it.

Anyway, browsing Pinterest has led me to great ideas, recipes, products, and left me drooling over dream homes and a wardrobe to die for. But recently, as Pinterest has become more popular, I have noticed some really dumb links. I am not typically one to point out stuff like this, but some of these things just crack me up!

I'm not sure I get this. This image is suggesting that this is an acceptable way to re-seal an opened bag of chocolate chips. I don't understand who would take the time to cut the top off of a plastic bottle, pull the bag through, and then twist the cap on. Would a tie wrap not suffice? A rubber band? A chip clip, perhaps? Sure, it's an inventive way to close a bag...but why? People are repinning this saying it's such a great idea. I say not.

This is an image of single-serve butter packages with a lid that doubles as a spreading knife.

Cool and unique design. But can you see the flaw in it?

Let's say these handy little butter cups are hanging out in a container together in a restaurant, and someone reaches in to grab one or two. And then another person reaches in. And another, and another. You get the idea. People will be handling the very part of the packaging that you will dip into the butter, spread on your food, and then eat.  Gross!

I can't help it. My college major trained me to be a skeptic at everything until I see research to back it up.

And perhaps my favorite "goof" of all is an article from a parenting website. A     PARENTING      WEBSITE. Did you catch that? The article is titled "50 Ways to Entertain Your Kids on a Plane".

Didja read it? What are your thoughts? I guess if I read the title for exactly what it says, then yes, the article does in fact provide 50 ways to entertain your kids on a plane. But if I were a parent hoping to gain helpful, practical, and useful information, I would only have about 15 ideas that were of value. Pretty misleading title. 

The first idea: gently throw a Koosh ball. 

Sure. Encourage your child to throw something in cramped quarters where you are surrounded by complete strangers, most of which are probably already annoyed by the fact your children exist on their flight. Even if your child has the maturity to understand how to gently throw the ball, this will only be entertaining until one of two things happens:

A. 30 seconds pass and your child is bored, or B. the gentle game of catch gets completely out of hand.

Moving on.

The next several ideas involve packing a lot of little manipulatives - threading toys on a string, finger puppets, kaleidoscopes, making necklaces with bead and paperclips. All great ideas. 

If you are at home.

And don't need to pack just enough to get your through your trip. 

And then came the doozy.

Bubble wrap.

What planet do you fly on, lady? Could you imagine, sitting on a plane with a child continuously popping bubble wrap?? I am actually laughing. I just don't see how this is a responsible thing to do as a parent. And this advice comes from a parenting website. I just hope there aren't parents out there who would actually do this. I love popping bubble wrap too, but I have logic that tells me this would be a horrible idea for the sake of those around me, not to mention my own sanity. There is a bubble wrap app - just get that for your child and make them wear headphones to hear the satisfaction of each pop.

The article continues with some "pretending" activities through use of props, like baking a cake with utensils from home (but the ingredients are invisible) and playing dress-up with scarves and jewelery. I am all for playing pretending games, but what's with all the stuff? You don't have endless carry ons. Or endless arms to carry your entire house.

And then some more ideas that involve hauling lots more stuff. A mini stapler? I don't think so. There are several art ideas listed, but unless they are the mess-free or invisible ink kind, forget it. You don't want to look over and see your child/your child's seat/anything around your child covered in ink or marker.

More ideas involving packing a Mr. Potato Head and more toys. Oh wait, why don't you have your child make a collage using magazines! I don't think scissors are allowed on airplanes. And a toy that can create a "giggle fit". I might be wrong, but I think most parents would agree that flying with children should not involve encouraging a "giggling fit". It's fine to make flying a fun experience and a teachable moment to contribute to fun family memories, but you have to realize that being in tight quarters with strangers makes it important to keep your children in line.

The article has an idea to get creative with supplies found on a plane. I don't think these things are just laying around to be played with - this is not a hotel stocked with toiletries. Especially not to waste. I don't think I've heard of cotton balls and Qtips and tape existing in an airplane bathroom. Maybe it's because I only fly cheap.

Here's an idea: bring puzzles and word games like Bananagrams or Travel Scrabble.

"But keep track of the pieces", the article advises.

You keep track of the pieces. I don't wanna have to do that!

"Create sculptures...using pipe cleaners"..."make a bouncy ball out of rubber bands"..."bungee toys off the tray"...

I don't think I need to say much - those ideas speak for themselves.

This article needs a massive overhaul. The content needs to be edited, or the title needs to be changed to either "15 Ways to Entertain a Kid on a Plane" or "50 Ways to Entertain a Kid in a Car". Most of these ideas can work in a car where there is more space, packing may or may not be an issue, items do not have to go through TSA security, and the people in the car know and love the children on board, making their behavior a little more acceptable. 

There were some good ideas in this article, like sticker books, books to read, a hand-held game system, a smartphone, a portable DVD player, a card game, coloring books, a camera, and a doll or stuffed animal. In addition to those ideas, I would suggest bringing maybe ONE favorite toy from home that is capable of enteraining the child for an extended period of time. One of the comments on the article suggested the idea of having toys at home that are special and not kept out with the everyday toys, so bringing it out for a trip makes that toy new and exciting. Or, if this is more your parenting style, just buy them a new toy before the flight. It does not make you any less of a parent to bribe them with candy, either! :)

I mean this all in the nicest way, just my thoughts on these ideas. These are not my photos, nor do I take credit for them.


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