Thursday, July 22, 2010

TOS e-book: Travel Kits (A TOS Crew Review)

My husband and I happen to live a day's drive away from our families. We travel more than 600 miles one way to get "home". That's a long day for an adult; it seems even longer to children; and even longer to the adults in the vehicle with the children when the children are ready to be there. Traffic jams and road construction can add time to the trip.

I cruise around sale racks year round looking for an activity book or non-messy craft that I can buy in multiples and set aside for our long drives to see family far away.

I've gotten to be pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. ;) Well, I thought I was good at it, until I read this e-book.

When I got the opportunity to review this "Travel Kits" book, I said, "Yes, please!" for myself. The subtitle is "A Simple Way To Bless Others" and yes, I'd like to be able to create travel kits for other families, but I'll be honest: I wanted this e-book to see if there are tricks and ideas that I have not thought of yet for my own crew.

My mother often had goodies ready to give my children as we were about to pull out of the driveway after a visit with her and Dad and head 600+ miles back to our house - she's been a creator of travel kits for a long time. ;)

I was in a hurry to peek inside the e-book. Author Donna Rees *clearly* has the love language of gift giving. Of course, I got as far as page 8 before I began feeling guilty about my motives:

WHY: To bless others! Jesus exhorted us to do to others as we would have them do to us. (See Luke 6:31.) Travel kits are a great way to love and serve others. If you’re like me, you’ll discover that giving pleasure to others will delight you more than anyone else, even though your own delight is not your motive. And God loves a cheerful giver; He said so. (See 2 Corinthians 9:7.)

Oh well. At least I'm honest. One reason I wanted to peek at this one is because we have some travel on the calendar in the next few months. I got the e-book the day prior to leaving for a day-long drive (not enough time to create a kit for my kids, but we have several trips planned, some short ones, this summer).

"Travel Kits, A Simple Way To Bless Others" is a 93 page e-book available for purchase at TOS store.

Click HERE to see a sample of the e-book.

I anticipated the e-book targeting kits mostly for the littles. I'm pleased to tell you that there are ideas for kits for older children and for the parents, too. There are lots of color photos to give me a visual of how a finished kit might look.

The title could be a bit more broad; I can think of other ways to bless families (including me blessing my own children) with a kit. I am thinking of a new kit for my daughter for some of her brother's baseball games. Maybe that would keep her occupied for a little while so that I can watch some of his game. Chapter Twelve, Variations on a Theme, does address other uses for travel kits, including prepping daily surprises for a child away at an extended adventure or camp. (I have one child attending a camp part of this month.)

GFCFers: There are a couple of snack recipes in the book; they are NOT gfcf. Not a big deal for me. (Note to self: Ask some GFCFers to help me create a list of appropriate food items.)

The section of the e-book that offers tips from travelers is excellent and offers travel tips from a mom who is blind who is also the parent of a child who is blind.

AUTISM INTERVENTION VALUE: Putting together a travel kit, camp kit, baseball game kit etc requires perspective taking and attention sharing at multiple levels. Travel kits are a wonderful way to practice perspective taking and attention sharing in context with a child on the autism spectrum. As you think about what you might put into a kit for another person or family, you must ask a lot of questions, putting yourselves in their shoes. Are there food allergies in the family? What snacks might be too messy for the car? If we include a chocolate bar, should we include a package of wipes, too? Are there small children on the trip, small enough that we have to be mindful of avoiding small items, like beads in kits? Where is the destination and how will that affect what we put in the kit? We might not include a deflated beach ball for a family going snow skiing. Donna Rees does a wonderful job walking readers though the steps of perspective taking and attention sharing as we think about preparing a kit for a specific family and trip or event.

I haven't used the ideas for traveling, yet. I had to make a very long drive without the ideas from the e-book (because it arrived too close in time to my trip). I have used the ideas for baseball games and for camp. The picture at the left is my younger daughter playing with an item from her "kit" at one of her brother's baseball games. I bought enough items to share in case other little girls were attending the baseball game.

My older daughter is at a fine arts camp with her french horn. I mailed a music themed box to her (friends helped me brainstorm ideas) that included paper clips shaped like musical symbols, Symphony candy bars, ink pens with "Rock!" written on them, stickers of musical instruments (including a french horn, of course), stickers of musical notes, stickers with guitars, a wood cutout guitar w/ markers to decorate (like the cutout my younger daughter is decorating in the photo at left). I sent some glow sticks and some ugly teeth for the whole cabin. I sent it two days ago; she won't get the box until tomorrow, and, since she's away for another week, I won't know her reaction until after this review is published.

Rees helps readers prep a basket for a sick neighbor or friend, too. There are lots of reasons to give a kit.

Extra costs: Printing costs (this e-book has beautiful color photos, making it more expensive if you choose to print in color).

To read the reviews about this product by my Crewmates, go HERE.

TOS gave me a complimentary (review) copy of the TOS e-book, Travel Kits, to review on this blog. I received no financial compensation for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

1 comment:

Kimberly Kovach said...

Excellent job of showing new variations. Great idea for taking a kit to the ballgame.

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