Year: 2018

Are we There Yet?-Traveling with Kids

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The most common question children will ask when traveling is “ARE WE THERE YET?”

This post will share some of our old fashioned traveling games and some newer ideas from cheap to very nice and neat and more modern… Granny tips for traveling with kids …plus my travel picks from the fun products I just happen to sell in my store.


Back in the 1950’s we traveled by car with out seat belts – not horse and buggy- sisters and I knew we had better behave – or else… so we figured out games to play in the car.

I still remember dreading long car trips to go to Grandma’s house for the holidays. Back in the 50’s we did not have VCR’s and cozy car seats to ride in, the heater did  work too well from where we kids…opening the windows was the A/C. And there weren’t many if any road side rest rooms.


Must Have’s for the Road

  1. Coffee cans with lids -porta potty for when there is no place to “go”.
  2. 3 ring binders – keeps maps, important papers or kids games organized
  3. Zipper lock bags – endless possibles for keeping thing clean and organized- and in a pinch- a barf bag that will seal in the smell.
  4. Hand wipes- I prefer over hand sanitizer gel – think about it- who wants to smear sticky-icky all over? 
  5. brown paper bags – bio-degradable containers to collect trash after the packages are open or the banana peels have come off.
  6. Re-purpose baby wipe containers – they have a lid that snaps closed and you can stuff little things in and out.
  7. RULES. We all need RULES to help us fee more safe and secure
  8. Water
  9. First aid kit
  10. Plastic bags – many uses including an emergency cover to prevent hypo-thermia.
  11.  Emergency tools for the car like a jack and tire iron- spare tire etc
  12. Flash light and batteries
  • Write down simple 4 to 5 simple rules of the road.
  • What rules you make will depend on the the age of your family and needs

I suggest 3 major rules:

  1. Go potty when you have a chance.
  2. Have an emergency CODE word for when every one must listen and follow your directions to stay safe.
  3. Enjoy each other’s company


Mind you there were tons of billboards along the roads that we don’t have have any more that made alphabet games easily entertaining for awhile in the 50 – 70’s. Those billboards helped many a ‘captive audience” to learn to read.


A. Alphabet Game – shout out the ABC’s in order when you see the next letter then the next…the big challenge are the J’s.

  • Use billboards
  • Traffic signs
  • Licence plates

B. Number game – shout out the 1’s in order from 1 to 10

  •  licence plates.
  • mile markers
  • house #’s
  • or just count objects”  “I see 1 dog. I see 2 red cars, I see, 3 people walking”

C. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?

D. I Spy

E. I’m psychic game….I thought about it…I think I won’t reveal the trick today… so let’s just call it the guess what I’m thinking game

F.  I’m going on a trip. ..”I’m packing a ____ in my suit case…”. Each person verbally puts something into their suit case. Example: a hair brush. The next persona says,  “”I’m packing a ____ in my suit case and in it I am putting a pair of underwear and a hair brush.” The 3rd players add something and repeats everything the other said before…test your memory for so much fun.

G. Cyclops!!! When ever you see a car with only one head light you blurt out, “CYCLOPS!”

H. Tell a Round Robbin Story… each person tells 2 or 3 sentences then passing on the story telling to the next passenger

I. Rhymes with… Pick a word them everyone gets to try to find a word that rhymes with that word… Example: CAR… far, tar, bar, star. jar, mar, scar….

J. =&1=&

K. How about this novel idea? Talk…just talk.. ask a question then listen. Later on let’s see how many can remember the other people’s answers?

  • What’s your favorite color
  • What’s your favorite book?
  • What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?

L. Trivia Facts: You can pull up misc things out of your memory or you can plan ahead. For example if you are traveling from state to state you may want to gather up facts like: What state has the biggest ball of twine? Name the state capitols. Spell Iowa backwards…awoI …now spell Mississippi backward…ippississiM

M. How many silly Camp Songs do you know? WHAT? You don”t know any?

  • Baby Shark
  • On top of Old Smokey
  • Mary had a Little Lamb
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • ABC’s
  • B-I-N-G-O
  • Home On the Range

Check out these resources or you may hear your 4 year old sing  Miss Poly Had a Dolly 36,987 times before you get to Texas.

Ultimate Camp Resource 

Please go their website where you will see all kinds of clickable links to words and even videos…sure, It’s OK to cheat with some song videos as long as you Mom and Dad sing-a-long, too…Remember to make your trip a fun memory.

Here’s 50 more songs you may know or not…

50 Great Camp Songs for Kids


Keep this in mind when traveling…MOVE right along….

  • Children can’t sit still for too long. Their bodies are growing- they must move.
  • Everybody needs to keep moving to avoid secondary complications form not moving. Not only does a behind “go to sleep” but circulation can cut off to major body parts.  Old ladies like my self MUST moved body parts are 20 to 30 minutes to avoid getting a blood clot…yes, even younger people can have blood pool in body parts and form a clot.
  • Stop the car every 2 hours- get out walk around- every one should get some air and move.
  • Every 30 minutes when the kids are not napping make a game of it:

Wiggle your toes- wiggle you nose- squeeze your butt checks – make a fist- make a face…

Let the kids take turns being the Exercise Leader.


Check out No Non-cents Nanna’s pick of Travel Toys

Since I write this old blog and the fact that I do own an E commerce store where I sell fun stuff for kids with an educational twist I want to shamelessly self promote some of the quality items I picked out that meet my persnickety specifications.

These 2 are from Melissa & Doug. The list price you see on my catalog pages are what you pay. Heart Felt Play Store covers the UPS shipping fee on all DROP SHIP orders.

ColorNCarry – Fairy Tale Travel Book



Magnetic Girls Occupation Dress-Up


These fun mommy bloggers went to a lot of work on the blogs post below. Be sure to thank them and say the No Non-cents Nanna referred you. The posts may contain affiliate links and are not associated with No Non-cents Nanna nor

No Non-cents Nanna’s #1  pick for travel games the old fashioned way is:

Old-school car games to play by Kacie McCoy


Are We There Yet? 10 Travel Activities for Kids

More Travel Gifts for Kids

10 Busy Bags to Make and Keep Kids Busy

EASY Portable Activity Kit for Road Trips

Car Hacks, Tricks and Tips for Families


This is Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna reminding you to Make Good Choices!

The Child’s Job is to Role Play What They See Us Do -Uh OH!

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Child’s play is the child’s job. Role playing with a few props or dress up clothes is a necessary tool to growing up in good time. The Child will act out ole what they wee us do -Uh OH! Are we demonstrating out best behavior?

Kids watch us parents, grand parents, teachers, doctors, community helpers- then the imitate us…uh oh! I hope we grown ups are setting a good example. Watch your kids and find out….


I identified 6 basic habits our kids role play reveals about us parents. I will give a few personal examples to get you started thinking about what habits your kids will be imitating.

What your child says and does is very revealing about what they see you do.

  1. Language
  2. Manners
  3. Hygiene and House Keeping
  4. Social Skills
  5. Empathy
  6. Problem Solving Skills

Kids Will Role Play What They Us Do….Uh OH!

How children act in public is a litmus paper for our grow up manners and habits.

In may image above, 2 of my grand daughters are politely looking at library books. The older girl is trying to help the younger one pick out a book. ( I’m very proud- or do you think I would be sharing this old picture?)

I was a student librarian for about 6 years. I learned a lot about how to help kids learn to treat books from the librarian.

At age 14 I wanted to ban all naughty kids from the library. But the head librarian, a wise woman, taught me, to show the little ones how to treat the books.


She taught me, that the library was for everyone to enjoy learning. … even if unruly kids disturbed people reading. We as librarians, even a student librarian who got paid 25 cents and hour,  could teach the children skills they did not have the opportunity to learn at home from their parents. ( How to do that is another post.)

  • Have you ever been shopping or at the library? Of course you have.
  • Have you seen kids destroy a store… and the parents did not seem to  notice? *

WARNING! Sometimes kids who run a muck in a store have been taught to do so. WHAT?

Don’t some kids have melt-downs because they are tired or hungry? Yes, kids get tired and cranky… but I’m not writing about how parents can help their kids with that… I’m talking about…

“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves!”

That is the tile of an old Cher song. I thought it would make a good sub-title.

Pick pockets with use disruptions like misbehaving kids to hide merchandise they have no intention of paying for. They get everyone to LOOK at the kids throwing grapes on the floor …OVER…THERE!

Store SECURITY knows that old trick. But if you have a small store and can’t afford security or a secret shopper thieves love to shop with you. Keep that in mind next time you see naughty kids with adults some place other than teaching manners.

Do you rally want SECURITY at Wal Mart  watch you just because your kids can’t behave in the toy aisle? I don’t think so. .. ( Stop bad behavior in it’s track. Immediately leave the store- the cart- EVERYTHING! State calmly and firmly,

I see you are not ready to shop for groceries with me today. It is time to leave. You may try again later.

Then escort your child out… if they pull away state calmly and firmly..

You are not ready to help me shop. If you pull away from me you may hurt your hand. It is time to go quietly.

At home- when all is calm- Role Play Grocery Shopping.

Role play is the time to practice doing tasks of daily living.

Sure kids make mistakes.

It is the time of life to make boo-boos and learn by acting out what they see us grown pup persons do to maturely handle life situations. That is why role play- dressing up with a few props or costumes is very important to children in their fundamental years.

What IF the parents were applying for a job and the prospective employer saw how their kids showed disrespect to the stores property?

How do you think the prospective employer would respond?

  1. Kids will be kids….
  2. You do not meet the qualifications for the job….

Why do you think a boss would or would not want to hire a person who had children who torn open packages and ran around the store?

Something to think about.

Want the kids to learn to care for your home?

Encourage your kids to role play tasks around the home.

Do you think a four year old can rake the leaves in the yard as well as the lawn care company?

No! Doing a great job is not the point.

The point of role playing tasks around the house if to build their confidence; develop muscles; build problem solving and more healthy brain building stuff.

Do you wash your hands before you eat? Do you wipe you hands on your pants?

Well if I see a kids wiping their hands on their pants after going to the bathroom- I know who taught them about hygiene.

No Non-cents Nanna potty-mouth repeated.

True story-oops!

I wish I had the time to digitize our old family videos. My older children had blast filming VHS movies they scripted them selves.

One short video was of my then 3 year old wearing a super- hero bath towel cape. ( That is her look alike child above trying to fly like a bird- you get the picture…)

My son had her “flying” in some scenes- it was quite creative how the cape was blowing and her air were out stretched like Super Man.

In another scene my sweet little girl was holding a hammer.  I have no idea WHY she had to hold a hammer in the scene… it was in the script…my son the screen writer was 13…yep…

No one remembers what the big kids had scripted her to say….but, we do remember what came out of her mouth when she dropped the hammer on the floor…. Uh Oh!

OH CRAP! I dropped it!

When I saw the Greatest Movie EVER,  I realized that Momma-Goodie-Two-Shoes had a Potty Mouth and her sweet little baby TOLD ALL!

It could have been worse….YEP!

Well, it had been worse when my son was 7. I mean the mother-load of all potty mouth…False back about 6 years.



In 1982 my oldest 2 children started a new school year.

Immediately, the first day, my son came home from school with… shall I say, A New Attitude?

Being a nurse with good bases for Child-Growth- and-Development and  Pysch Growth and development of Children I was  trained to notice “forensics of child behavior”. At that time I still was not THAT good at it. But I knew the “religious” school we had sent him to seemed to have something different than my expectations.

My 7 year old was stand-off-ish. When I went to hug him he pulled away.

A few days later he walks in the door..SLAMS it shut!

That type of mistreatment of the door was not acceptable. I called him on it.

“David, show me how you can close the door more gently.” I said in a kind voice.

*!#%! #$*&%~


Excuse me? Did I hear you right? I don’t know those words and I feel uncomfortable with how angry you sound.

Swear word combinations I never knew were flowing trippingly off of my son’s tongue every day after school for weeks…..

…Cutting to chase… with an edited version of the story…my son had learned to swear at an alleged “Christian” School. He had learned to light cigarettes and he couldn’t sit on his behind.

Something was very wrong going on in that school, I am grieved to say,  and his behavior told the truth.

  • Children repeat language they hear adults using with emphasis
  • Children mimic habits they see.

Usually the situation is reversed. A child goes to school where teachers are Mandatory Reporters. They are trained to notice behavior irregularities.  By law if they see bruises or see that it is painful for a child to sit or they hear inappropriate language- something has happened at home and they by law must report to Social Service to investigate- not judge – but ask for help for the child’s sake.


…and now your thoughts on children and role play are….?


I am Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna saying, “Make good choices.”


Don’t Take My Word Alone….


Benefits on Role Play in the Early Years

Role Play in the Early Childhood Setting

Why Pretend Play is Important to Child Development 

What’s the Big Deal About Sensory Play for Kids?

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What’s the Big Deal about Sensory Play? Don’t you need flash cards and expensive toys to be able to enroll your future rocket scientist in the right college when they are 2 years old? (I may or may not be exaggerating.)

If you ask  a dozen people on your block to explain Sensory Play chances are you will get 12 different answers. Why is that? It’s not a secret.

Gee, I don’t why so many people have different ideas… so I’ll just give you my version as an old RN, an early childhood educator and I was the owner of a fun e-commerce store that sell fun stuff for kids with an educational twist. But, I retired from business and still need to update my old blog posts. OOPS! Working on it.

If you you ask professionals who work with the young child they will give you a more detailed response then my colorful images with a short phrase.

Or – ask your 3rd grader to name the 5 senses. Sensory Learning is all about incorporating the senses.

Can you name the 5 senses?

Of course you know…

  1. taste,
  2. sight,
  3. touch,
  4. smell,
  5. hearing

Using as many of the five senses as possible when encouraging a learning situation helps not only children to retain and process information-but using the senses also help adults as well…pretty basic, isn’t it?

Use it or lose it…

You’ve heard that statement I’m sure. Did you know that we can help develop more path ways for input to get to a child’s brain by offering this safe and age appropriate experiences?

We are parents, grand parents and child care providers we can sort of help build a brain by the activities we offer to even a small infant. ( Sorry, I am not giving examples in the post- only the WHY?)

I’m not an expert on head injury, but, I attended some head injury meeting with my late husband who had  several serious brain injuries. As an RN I pick up on what fascinating speaker taught me:  ” There can be prescribed different “activities” or exercises for  with head adults with brain injuries that may help new pathways develop t at can make up for the parts that were damaged and can’t regenerate?”

I am not licensed to be teaching people on a blog how to do that very highly trained work. I suppose I could write  a few books from all of many years of experience…but I have plenty else to do like write blogs, manage an e-commerce store, completing writing a sequel novel and caring fora disable adult child. But, I will find time to answer questions form followers.

I will say that I used the information I learned in that group to help my young  patients with developmental disabilities. ( If my words ring a bell- consult a professional to get the best guidance.)

What I am saying to parents of infants and small children is – you do not have to have a teaching degree or medical degree to help your child’s brain to develop. Just use Common Sense…the 5 senses in every day tasks of living.

When we offer (planned fro safety ) sensory learning experiences using a combination of senses  children develop sensory memory about the various attributes of materials.

Example: ice cream is cold- leave a ice cream in the hot cars- it melts. YUCK!

M-m-m? That mess offers opportunity to observe and experience consequences. This is wonderful opportunity to talk about the problem of melted ice cream and how to solve the problem of not having the ice cream melt all over the car seat wen left in the hot car.

Melting ice cream just of fun on your car seat is not my favorite sensory learning idea…ick happens and we may as well learn something from it.

What might happen if you don’t not clean up the melted ice cream on the car seat?

Don’t try this at home-… because we as grown ups have had time to develop a lot of experiences  our sensory memory reminds us that a week old melted ice cream cones will STINK!

Then would you want to taste it? I don’t think so…

Here’s an example:

Games like Duck Duck Goose or Pass the Orange involves a number of senses and uses large motor muscles in organized play- think about it…

Children learn the value of waiting your turn while participating in a social group.

  • self control
  • rules of the game
  • respect

Can you name a smell that is calming?

Lavender signals my brain to chill out. And many people find that true as well

Smelling pop corn reminds you of going to the movies to see your favorite picture show.

Singing a song like BINGO and substituting the letter or you child’s name helps them learn to spell their name.

I often used play dough in a class room of ..let’s say..high energy boys….to diffuse potential knock-down-drag-out  out of control fights that other teachers were experiencing. Play dough is very sensory to feel. You can touch it lightly or you can pound it hard. You can make play in many colors and you can even scent it with a drop of essential oil.

I also used breathing technique that I had learned in Lamaze of all places, for calming techniques. You can hear and feel your breath- focus on the sound or the rate of your breathing to change high emotions.

My expertise was Behavior Management of Children with Special Needs. I spent years and years working on my expertise. So there is no way to share everything I know on one blog post…nor do I want to give away all of my trade secrets.

But, I will say this: Understanding the value of using the common senses saved my behind and a class room full of kids when I was called in to  rescue a teacher from  crisis situations with out of control behavior.

I encourage teachers and parents to learn all you can about Sensory Play then adapt by trial and error to you child’s particular needs at their developmental age. There is no one-size-fits-all SECRET Formula…just have fun with the kids.

When using the senses in the learning process there is no need to crack a ruler across little knuckles to force them to memorize isolated facts that can not relate to. The more a child can get involved with their senses the more relevant information they will absorb and retain and enjoy learning..

It’s better that a baby growing into a child can learn hands -on when they are small. do not wait for your children to go to school to experience life first hand.

Later on their brains will fit it all together…. nor pressure to perform… when they enjoy learning in a peaceful manner.

Follow our Facebook page Heart Felt Play Store for engaging updates.

Follow No Non-cents Nanna’s Heart Felt Play Store Pinterest Board

Sensory activities/ STEM for oodles of Sensory Play/ STEM inspiration.

Click HERE  to browse and shop No Non-cents Nanna’s e-commerce store for fun stuff for kids with an education twist…grow with us.. we are EXPECTING New Arrivals from Melissa & Doug


Check out other blogger’s posts with awesome ideas and picture:

Sensory play: What it’s all about

5 Reasons Why Children Need A Toy to Hug

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My personal story…

Why I believe children need to have a toy to hug goes back to when…

…I was very young I could not sleep. I was often cold and hungry.

My parents worked very hard and had little time for the non-sense of a little girl who constantly begged for input.

So I would get out of the bed that I shared with my sister and my dolly, Pinky, in the scary darkness of night.

Pinky and I would go to the bay window that overlooked the street around our town square. I could see an amazing water fountain that had colorful lights. (The image is me at age 3 with my beloved Pinky.)

I had the belief that fairies danced in that fountain that lasted until I was quite grown up.

I would tell Pinky stories that I made up from my very vivid imagination about fairies, and unicorn flying among the stars, eating chocolate cake for breakfast every day, having shiny red patent leather shoes and being able to fly…I dreamed that I could fly away to where everyone loved me and I was always safe and warm with lots of food to eat.

Holding my doll close to me helped me to feel safe and warm. Talking to the doll helped me feel that my voice was heard. My doll calmed when I had all my “temper- tantrums” and I had a lot of melt-downs every day.

My parents did not know what to do with me…and that is another story I had been embarrassed to ever let my peers know about. It turns out I was not the only child in history to feel sad, cold and hungry or to fall apart.

All children need a toy to hug.

 5 Reasons Why Children Need a Toy to Hug

  1. Comfort from something constant and familiar
  2. Develop social skills with role play
  3. Develop language by taking turn talking to  doll with a familiar face
  4. Practice demonstrating empathy or compassion
  5. Practicing tasks of daily living skills on the toy.

My personal conclusion

Well, that was along long time ago… I wish my parents had not been so busy to pay attention to my basic needs as a child.  I will never forget being a child who was blessed to some wonderful people in my life who saw my potential and took me under their wings when may parents did not seem to know how.

At some point in my growing up years I decided that it was my destiny was to be a teacher and a nurse to help teach parents about how to help their children feel safe and loved. I realized that no one told my parents about normal child growth and development.

That is why is do what I have done or have for so many decades.

Am I perfect?

No…I am not.

I have made my share of mistakes as I did the best I could with what I had to work with. Life, with all the imperfections is a learning experience we can all learn to embrace.

I have spent decades studying how children play and how to set the stage for success as future adults. My expertise was in Behavior Management of Children with Special Needs.

I learned the value of a sincere  hug and the use positive words.

I understand the value of child’s play that includes a cuddly confident like a doll or stuffed animal.

I am old enough to have retired, but, my passion is still focused on helping parents to help their children play – the Mission of my Heart Felt Play Store. ( heart Felt Play Store closed when I retired. Heart Felt Play is the new name of my Facebook page which you can still follow today for parenting tips the Heart Felt Play way..)

On my No Non-cents Nanna blogs I have been writing about parenting tips. I share a the things we all need for someone to tells us so we can put all the puzzle pieces of life together and feel confident as adults.

 Heart Felt Play Store has Retired

Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna

founder and owner of

Heart Felt Play Store