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This post is sponsored, but all opinions are mine alone. #ExtendTheTrip
We have four kids right now, ranging from 5 years old up to 10. They each have their unique personalities and interests, which can make it challenging to find activities everyone enjoys to bond over. We try to do family trips – whether for a day or a week – and include many of their interests. What about when it needs to focus on one child’s interest – such as our daughters dance competition – but you want to include everyone? Here’s how we turned one child’s great weekend into some great Family Bonding Time!
I should point out that I do think it’s important for kids to have their own things, and to feel like they’re the center of attention at times. Last weekend was our daughter’s first dance competition that she worked hard for, so of course she was the focus! However, we can take steps to ensure it’s a great experience for EVERYONE in the family, while still giving her the spotlight.
Since back to school’s been a bit hectic with our schedules, we decided her dance event was the perfect chance to have a family getaway, even if it was a quick weekend! Since we wanted to make it a family thing, we made sure to get the boys excited – they got all dressed up for the event like we did, brought special snacks, and when their sister would perform we’d see who could clap the loudest. What could have been a very boring thing for our young boys turned into a REALLY fun family weekend!
Let Everyone Have Input
One of the biggest things that help us include everyone in things, even when it’s not necessarily their interest, is letting them have input. What snacks do we want to take? What do you want to play during the breaks? What music do you want to listen to on the drive? Where should we eat? This lets them feel included, and makes for a great bonding time doing things each of them likes while still doing it as a family.
One important thing about spending quality time as a family is keeping everyone safe, right? I’m a mom so of course safety is at the forefront of my mind at all times, but I don’t want it to take my whole focus. Luckily we can rely on a few things to keep our kiddos as safe as possible without us needing to give it our complete attention! The right car seat is definitely one of those – both for safety and comfort, because NOBODY has a fun trip if your littles are whining the whole time, right? The new Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat has features that help the family trip be more comfortable in the backseat, and gives you the peace of mind that they’re safe and secure.
I had TALL children, so it was difficult when they were little to keep them rear-facing long enough – especially since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends they ride rear-facing until 2 years old, or maximum height/weight. But when their legs hit the back of the seat and get all uncomfortable, many parents switch them to forward facing. Now that’s not necessary because the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat extends out so it GROWS with your child, giving an additional 5″ of leg room!
I also LOVE that it’s 3 car seats in 1, so I don’t have to purchase a new one at each stage. It’s rear-facing with harness from 4 – 50 lbs., forward-facing with harness from 22 – 65 lbs., and high-back belt-positioning booster from 30 – 100 lbs. It has a 6-position recline, so it can be adjusted as your child grows. My FAVORITE feature is that it has a 10-position adjustable headrest, and the SimplySafe™ Adjust helps parents easily adjust the height of the harness right with the headrest – check out how easy:
As we’re driving on our family trip, I don’t want to always be wondering if they’ll be okay should we get in an accident. Of course I WILL worry that, but it shouldn’t be my main thoughts. Luckily Hulk’s new car seat has a steel-reinforced frame that provides strength and durability for up to 10 years. It’s HEAVY, but strong so I know it’ll protect him as best as possible!
The fuss-free harness storage keeps the buckle out of the way for easy in and out – because they’re going to be in a hurry to get on to the family fun, right? Installing is easier, too, with the easy-to-read leve indicators. The InRight™ LATCH system secures it quickly to the seat, and the cover is even machine washable!
Now that I know my kids are safe for the drive, we can focus on having fun even while we’re driving to our different family events! It wasn’t TOO long to get to the dance competition, but even that trip was much more fun singing along to songs with our kids – again, BONDING time!
Our weekend was a BLAST together, and our girl won 1st place for her category! It was adorable to see the boys get so excited for her, and to know we all had a great time together despite it being something the boys weren’t exactly ‘in to’. 🙂
What are YOUR favorite things for family bonding?
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