Welcome

I’m glad you found The Trip Clip® blog! I’ll post here about new activities and clipart, fun ways to use The Trip Clip products, and topics I’m passionate about like finding learning opportunities in everyday life and supporting working moms. I love to hear from others, so leave a comment any time!

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Backpack Packing List

This quick checklist can help your kids make sure they have everything they need at school each day. It can also help them remember to bring everything home at the end of the day! Depending on your kid, you can post this by the front door to have them do a mental check before they leave the house, or you can laminate it and tuck it into their backpack to use before school and at school.

You can print this PDF and try it out with your kids!

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For Teachers & Schools

About a year ago I decided to focus on how The Trip Clip can help teachers. I offer a 30% discount for teachers on my website, and a 75% discount for bulk purchases by a school.

I also set up a shop on the Teachers Pay Teachers website where teachers can download free materials, as well as some that they can purchase. Here are the packages that have been most downloaded and purchased.

Most Popular Free Items on Teachers Pay Teachers

The most downloaded items I posted on Teachers Pay Teachers are my bundles of holiday themed activity packs. I have free printables for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween. You can see them all near the bottom of the For Teachers page on The Trip Clip website.

The next most popular free items teachers downloaded cover nutrition, grocery shopping, and fitness.

Most Purchased Items on Teachers Pay Teachers

When it comes to spending money, teachers preferred the activity books I created focused on drawing, puzzles, and games:

And somewhat surprisingly, the other most purchased item is the Chores To Do / Done Board with 20 movable chores pieces:

I plan to keep creating resources for teachers to use, so check back often and see what else I’ve come up with! Or check out my For Teachers page on the The Trip Clip website.

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Spelling BINGO Bundles (1st – 5th Grade)

BINGO is a fun way to help kids learn their weekly spelling words! You can use The Trip Clip to make your own spelling BINGO games using any spelling list you want. Parents can use the list a teacher provided to make a BINGO game to help their kids practice their words each week. Teachers can use their own spelling list to create BINGO boards for their whole class.

You can find instructions for making spelling BINGO boards here, as well as instructions for creating other fun spelling practice activities like letter tracing, word search, cryptogram puzzles, and hangman.

If you don’t want to take the time to create these boards yourself, I’ve made spelling bingo packs for each grade using the spelling curriculum found on the K12 Reader website and I sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Use these links to get the spelling word bingo bundles on Teachers Pay Teachers:

Each of these pre-made bundles includes:

  • 540 unique BINGO boards
  • 18 sets of words with 20-32 words in each set (based on this curriculum). Works out to be a new spelling list every other week of the school year.
  • Calling cards for the teacher for each set of 20-32 words
  • 30 unique BINGO Boards for each group of words, meaning up to 30 students will all have their own BINGO board for each unit

Teachers can use these in small group settings, or as a whole class. Every card is different so kids can trade cards between games.

Directions:

  1. Print out any group of 2 weeks of words
  2. Laminate all of the pages
  3. Cut each page in half
  4. Cut apart the calling cards (store them in a ziploc for safe keeping)
  5. Play!

This works great as a whole class activity, or in small groups. Every board is different so kids can switch cards between games.

Added learning ideas:

  • Call out the words yourself, or let the students take turn being the caller
  • Have the kid who gets a bingo spell each word in their bingo out loud
  • When a word is called, give the kids time to mark their board, and then have someone in the class spell the word out loud so everyone can check that they marked the right one

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Bedtime Routine: Printed, Mobile, or Magnetic

Start off on the right foot this school year by establishing a solid bedtime routine. Print it, use it on a mobile device, or make it magnetic!

Print it Now

You can try this as is right now for free. Just print it and hang it on the wall someplace convenient. Your kids will like the consistency and knowing what’s coming next. If you want to make it reusable, try laminating it or putting it in a plastic frame.

You can also make a weekly version of this list:

Edit It

An important part of setting up a successful bedtime routine is figuring out what works best for your family. Whether it’s a nightly bath, reading time, setting out clothes for the next day, or a song, you can make a purchase in order to edit this list and make it just right for your kids.

Clipboard & Pen

One way to make your list portable so your kids can carry it with them into the bathroom or their bedroom is to use a clipboard and pen.

Lots of printable activities for kids – picture checklists to keep them on track, activities for at the grocery store, in the car, on a plane, at a restaurant, even for your home schooling adventures. Optional kid-sized clipboard and 4-color pen make it easy to use the activities on the go.

On Your Phone

The Trip Clip lists also all work from any phone or mobile device. If you’re reading this on a phone right now, you can try the interactive list for your self!

Print Your Own To Do / Done Board

Another option is to set up a To Do / Done board for the bedtime routine. You can purchase everything you need to print your own Bedtime To Do / Done Board and 20 picture clips from Teachers Pay Teachers. I recommend printing the pieces and then laminating them and turning them into a hook & loop interactive chart.

Magnetic To Do / Done Board

You can also set up a magnetic To Do / Done board that is pre-printed and ready to go. This option lets you put your own child’s name at the top of the board, change the color, and even choose the picture you want in the bottom corner.

It will work great on a cookie sheet in your child’s room or in the hallway.

Hook & Loop To Do Done Board

You can also set up a hook & loop To Do / Done board that is pre-printed and ready to go. This option lets you put your own child’s name at the top of the board, change the color, and even choose the picture you want in the bottom corner.

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Welcome Packet For New Kindergarten Parents

This packet contains some helpful tips about how to get ready for your child to enter school. You can print the full packet for free on Teachers Pay Teachers.

The “First Day of Kindergarten Checklist” includes practical things you should do to be ready, like get important dates on your calendar, schedule a haircut, and introduce your child to the school playground.

The “Healthy Snack Ideas” list can help make sure your kids have energy to get through their day!

The “Parent Reward Chart” is a great reminder to take care of your kids and yourself through stressful times as everyone adjusts to school.

The “Who is Parent/Guardian #1” sheet is a super helpful tip for handling all the communication that comes from the school. There’s more on this topic in this blog post.

The “Instead of How Was Your Day?” list offers some creative ways to get your kids talking about their day and hopefully avoid the favorite response of “Fine”. You can print this list and tape it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door and pick one or two right before you sit down to dinner.

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Week 20: Summertime Bored Board

For 2016, each week I will share a new way you can use The Trip Clip as a learning tool. I’d love to hear any feedback you have, or other ways you’ve found to teach your kids using The Trip Clip!

Week 20: Summertime Bored Boards

It never fails.  After 9 months of wishing for summer to come, and complaining about all the things they can’t do because they’re stuck in school all day, when summer finally arrives it usually takes less than a week before I hear grumbles of “I’m bored! There’s nothing good to do here.”  Followed almost immediately by requests to turn on the screens.

I’ve seen lots of versions of this awesome image on Pinterest, and I think about it whenever my kids complain that they’re bored:

bored
I thought this was brilliant, and decided to use The Trip Clip to turn it into a Bingo Board – the first in my series of Bingo Bored Boards!

For this Bored Board, each column gives them a choice on the letters in BORED  (B for Be creative, O for Outdoor play, etc).

When my kids are totally uninspired by EVERYTHING, there is always something on one of these boards that sparks an idea and gets them off and running on something fun. You can easily make your own Bored Board. Choose from more than 500 pictures, and edit the text under any picture to make it just right for your kids.Try it free now

I love these Bingo Boards because even when my kids are totally uninspired by EVERYTHING, there is always something on one of these boards that sparks an idea and gets them off and running on something fun.

The Trip Clip Bingo activity allows endless customization of these Bingo Boards.

  1. There are more than 500 pictures to choose from
  2.  You can edit the text under any picture, so you can make your own Bored Board that makes sense for you.
  3. You can challenge your kids to get 5 in a row, or black out a whole board.

Bingo Board Board

I had fun giving myself some themes to help keep my creativity flowing as I made the boards below. This one uses the letters in BINGO – each column has an activity that starts with the letter at the top of the column.

When my kids are totally uninspired by EVERYTHING, there is always something on one of these boards that sparks an idea and gets them off and running on something fun. You can easily make your own Bored Board. Choose from more than 500 pictures, and edit the text under any picture to make it just right for your kids.

A Weekly Board Bored

In this next one, I chose a set of activities for each day of the week, so you can challenge your child to complete all 4 activities each day.

When my kids are totally uninspired by EVERYTHING, there is always something on one of these boards that sparks an idea and gets them off and running on something fun. You can easily make your own Bored Board. Choose from more than 500 pictures, and edit the text under any picture to make it just right for your kids.

Random Bored Board

With this next one, I allowed the website to select a random set of images for the Bored Board.  I did that by selecting “Custom” in the left column, and then clicking Refresh above the Bingo Board.  Then I did my best to come up with something creative my kids could do with each image on the board.

When my kids are totally uninspired by EVERYTHING, there is always something on one of these boards that sparks an idea and gets them off and running on something fun. You can easily make your own Bored Board. Choose from more than 500 pictures, and edit the text under any picture to make it just right for your kids.

Imagination Bored Board

I did the same thing for this last board, but I removed all the labels.  You could hand this board to your kids and challenge THEM to think up something creative they can do with each of these images!

When my kids are totally uninspired by EVERYTHING, there is always something on one of these boards that sparks an idea and gets them off and running on something fun. You can easily make your own Bored Board. Choose from more than 500 pictures, and edit the text under any picture to make it just right for your kids.

If you come up with a creative Bored Board, send it my way at molly@thetripclip.com so I can share it with others!

Posted in 52 Weeks of Learning, Summertime | 1 Comment

New Bundle: Clipboard, Pen, and One Activity

I made a new bundle so you can get the clipboard, pen, and one activity for $9.95. This little bundle can be used with any of The Trip Clip activities, but here are a few that are especially geared towards working well with the clipboard and pen:

$9.95: Grocery shopping with kids is so much easier if you give them a picture list of their own! The kid-sized clipboard and attached pen are perfect for carrying the list to the store. You may be surprised how much your kids can actually help.

If you want additional ways to keep kids entertained at the grocery store, try this free packet of grocery activities that also work great with The Trip Clip clipboard and pen.

$9.95: The morning routine is a great way to put your kids in charge of themselves in the morning. Keep it simple for young kids, but you can add on over time as they get older because the list is fully customizable. You can even include reminders for things that are only needed on certain days of the week (library books, PE shoes, water bottle, etc).

Moving the mental load of remembering all the things that need doing onto a picture list (and onto your kids) is incredibly freeing. You also won’t have to nag constantly because the list will do it for you. And you really will (eventually) be able to drink your coffee while it’s still hot.

$9.95: Road trip BINGO helps the miles go by faster and can be fun for the whole family! The clipboard and pen make it super portable and offers great unplugged entertainment. You can print different BINGO boards for each player and see who can get a BINGO first, or you can all work together to black out the whole board. In addition to road trip BINGO, you’ll find airport BINGO, alphabet BINGO, road sign BINGO, restaurant BINGO, and lots of other ways to create BINGO boards to keep your kids entertained on your next trip.

$9.95: A bedtime routine is super comforting and settling for kids, and can make a big difference in getting them down to sleep in a timely manner. You can make your own routine that suits your family, and the clipboard and pen make it easily portable. If you don’t want to print a new one out every night, try laminating the list and using it with a dry erase marker.

$9.95 After school screen time rules are an excellent way to set expectations and help kids learn to balance the things they have to do and the things they want to do. Whether you use this list as is, or edit it (like I did) to allow a short period of screen time for unwinding before jumping in on the to do list, this can work wonders for making sure your kids tackle but the fun stuff and the work.

$9.95: The license plate game is a gold standard for entertainment on long road trips – or even just on errands around town! Keep the clipboard and pen in the car and you can easily mark it down whenever you see a new state. The map helps teach geography too, and includes both the US and Canada!

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Get Kids Moving: Fitness BINGO & Fitness Tracking

Get kids moving with these fitness challenge printables!

Use the bingo board to introduce kids to ways to move that might be new to them, and encourage them to keep an open mind and find out what they like. Research shows that finding a physical activity that you truly enjoy will make a huge difference in keeping with it throughout your life. Ideas for how to challenge kids with Fitness BINGO:

  • Aim for 5 in a row in one week
  • Try for a black out in a month
  • See how many a kid can do in one month, then beat it the next month
  • Make it a family affair and do these activities together

The Fitness Challenge lets kids keep track of their activities for a month to see how many times they do each of these things. Tracking activity is shown to be helpful in encouraging it! You can also have them track their activity one week, then set a goal for how the will match it or increase it the next week.

If you need to make any changes, you can edit these activities to make them just right for your kids on The Trip Clip website.

Posted in For Teachers, Health & Wellness | Leave a comment

10 Chore Charts You Can Make With The Trip Clip

The Trip Clip has lots of different ways to make chore charts that can grow and change with your kids. Here are 10 different types of chore charts that you can make with The Trip Clip.

1. Daily Chore Chart For an Individual Kid

The most straightforward chore chart is a simple list with checkboxes. This can be printed daily, laminated to use with a dry erase marker, or used as an interactive list on a phone or iPad. The Trip Clip lets you pick the chores you want to add to the list – you can add your own pictures and text, too.

Combine a picture checklist from The Trip Clip with a plastic sleeve and a dry erase marker, and you can quickly set up a morning routine, bedtime routine, after school chart, chore chart, or any list you need.

Daily lists work especially well for younger kids, and may even include personal care tasks that aren’t exactly chores, but things each child will need to eventually learn to do independently – like brush their teeth every day!

2. Daily Chores With Moving Pieces

The Trip Clip also lets you turn a daily chore list into a reusable hook & loop or a magnetic chore chart with movable parts. If you purchase the supplies, you can create your own individual magnets and hook & loop clips by choosing from a big selection of pictures and writing your own text. You can also buy a pre-selected set of pictures you can print at home on Teacher Pay Teachers.

These are great for kids who need to visually see their completed tasks move from one side to the other.

A magnetic picture checklist for kids is great for a morning routine, a bedtime routine, or chores!

For my kids the magnet chart on the fridge was the most successful, but we also had some luck with just printing a paper copy and taping it to the wall – they just looked at the list without bothering to mark things off (making it reusable), so it served as more of a reminder than as a way to track progress.

3. Weekly Chore Chart For an Individual Kid

You can also make a weekly chore chart that allows for different chores on different days of the week. Just like with the daily lists, the weekly list can also be laminated or used on a mobile phone.

I found this to be the most useful as my kids got older (late grade school and into middle school) and their after school schedule was busier. This let them visually see which days they had soccer or a lesson so they could plan homework time on the days that weren’t as full of other commitments. They also had more weekend chores at that age and this format let them track that too.

We also started to prefer to use the list on their phones as they got older. They always had their phones with them so they could check it from anywhere. It also worked great when changes came up mid-day while they were at school, or while I was at work. I could update their list from my computer and the changes would automatically show up on their phone so their list could always be up to date.

4. Chores For the Whole Family: Same Chores All Week

As your kids get older, you may want a chore chart that includes the whole family to help your kids understand that everyone in the house shares the work of keeping the household running. It can also be helpful to have the kids try different chores, and mine always liked having their responsibilities rotate a bit so if there was a chore they hated they weren’t stuck with it forever.

This summer, instead of assigning chores, we decided to give the kids some choice in the hopes that getting to pick their poison will make it go down a bit better. For this list, we included daily household chores only. Each family member then has 2 magnets with their name on it they can use to "claim" 2 chores every day. If we all do 2, we will complete the list every day. Hopefully this will help us all share the work while learning/trying some new jobs!

This first chart is one I created for my family when they were in middle and high school. It uses the daily list format shown with checkboxes on the left. I printed it in full page mode, on regular paper, and hung it on the fridge with magnets. Then I used the Print Your Own Magnets feature to make small magnets with each family member’s names on it. Each week (usually Sunday nights) we all took turns putting our name on the daily chores we wanted to be responsible for that week.

5. Chores For the Whole Family: Different Chores On Different Days

After trying the chart above, we realized we wanted a little more variety over the course of the week. The chart below worked well for chores that need to be done every day of the week, but no one was stuck with the same chore every day of the week. We found this especially helpful for bigger chores like cooking dinner or walking the dog that were hard to do 7 days in a row.

I used the weekly-vertical format in full page mode to make this chart. This format puts the chores down the left side of the page, and the days of the week across the top. Again I used the “Print Your Own Magnets” feature to make magnets for each family member, and at the beginning of the week we took turns claiming the chores for that week. I just had one chore per person on this chart, but it’s easy to make it more chores than that by simply adding more chores to the left of the page. This format fits The Trip Clip’s small magnets well, so each of us picked a picture we liked as our ‘avatar’ just for fun, and we used those magnets to claim our chores.

6. Chores For the Whole Family: Less Frequent Chores

The next chore chart was how we handled tasks that needed to be done weekly instead of daily. We found it worked well to separate out these chores into a different chart from the list of daily chores. I made this using the weekly-horizontal layout and printed it in full page mode. I added each family member’s name to the left side of the page, and we took turns picking from the set of chores at the bottom. You can use the pre-printed chores pack for this, or print your own.

7. Chores BINGO

This isn’t a chart, but it’s a great way to get your kids to do some chores and keep it fun. Unlike daily assigned chores, chores bingo mixes it up a little, so kids try (and learn) different jobs. It works surprisingly well for spreading the work load and keeping it interesting.

There are many different ways that you can use the Chores Bingo board. An important way to start, though, is by making sure that you keep the chores age appropriate – this list from The Trip Clip is a great place to look for ideas (print it here):

Use these age appropriate chore lists to create a chore chart for your kids. I like to pick 1 or 2 new chores each year to add my kids’ responsibilities. There are lots of good ideas here!

Once you’ve made your Bingo board, there are a number of ways you can use it to keep your kids engaged and get those chores done!

  • 5 in a line – ask them to pick 5 chores in a row or column to do over the course of a week.  If they’re like my kids, they will do everything they can to optimize this and avoid doing the chores they hate, but you’ll still get some work out of them.  The next week you can create a different BINGO board.
  • Roll for it – have your kids roll two dice every day to determine which of the 25 chores they will do that day.  The first dice tells you the row #, the second one tells you the column #. If either of the dice is a 6, treat it as a wild card – the child can choose!  And two 3’s means they’re off the hook :).
  • Family BINGO – challenge the whole family (parents included) to complete the board in a week. Every morning you take turns picking your chore for the day, and cross it off once it’s been chosen. By the end of the week, even the chores no one wants to do will get done.  The kids especially like this one because they like it when the grownups have to do chores too.
  • Pay for chores – it never hurts to bribe your kids a little, right?  Offer them some money (a quarter? a dollar?) for each chore on the board they complete, and a bonus for finishing the whole board. Money is surprisingly motivating!

More Ideas From Customers

If you still need some more ideas about what kind of Chore Chart to make, here are some of the things other customers have done:

8. Hook & Loop Pet Care Chart

Heather made a hook & loop chart for taking care of the pets. With 3 teenagers in the house, she found it was hard to keep track of what animal care had and hadn’t been done yet. This way the chart helped keep the pet care communication visible for everyone to know the status!

9. Combined Daily & Weekly Chore Chart

Meghann made a chore chart that combined both daily and weekly chores into one. I love the creative way she used the binder clips to mark what chores had been completed and still keep the list reusable, with an extra binder clip on the right to mark the current day of the week! Very inventive.

10. Magnetic Whiteboard Chore Chart

Cindi used The Trip Clip Magnets on a magnetic whiteboard. This method is super flexible – she used extra space at the bottom to hold magnets she wouldn’t need every day. She also allowed her kids to do some personalizing/decorating of their whiteboards (not shown here).

The Trip Clip is very versatile, and will let you make many different kinds of charts to meet your family’s needs. If you make your own, send me a picture and I’ll include it here to share your good ideas with other parents!

Posted in Customers, Life Skills, My Family & The Trip Clip, Working Moms | Leave a comment

Week 28 Free Printable: Screen Time – It’s Not All Bad!

Screen time can be a constant source of stress for many families. Setting rules and limits is important (more on that here), but making sure your kids are digitally literate is becoming more important as the world around us becomes more dependent on technology.

Instead of fighting about screen time, think about how you can embrace it to help your kids learn the skills that they will undoubtedly need for future employment in our increasingly connected world. Start focusing on the KIND of screen time they’re getting, and see if you can strike a balance across all 4 categories below.

Your kids can hit all 4 categories by:

  • making a movie
  • researching a favorite topic online
  • emailing a travelogue to grandma during a family vacation
  • going outside for a walk with Pokemon GO

Then the next week they can:

  • take pictures on a walk (find something in each color of the rainbow) and learn to edit them online to make a rainbow picture book
  • try code.org
  • have a video call with a cousin across the country
  • watch a YouTube show about beavers

There are tons of good learning opportunities available in all of these widely diverse screen time activities. If you have ideas or creative ways you’ve ticked boxes in each of these categories, please share below in the comments to help give other parents ideas!

Print this chart for free

Edit this for your family

1. Create Digital Art

There are plenty of artists who still paint with paper and brush, take pictures with film cameras, or write music using a guitar or a piano. But as our world becomes more digital, more and more artists are enhancing their art digitally, or even creating it digitally.

In the business world, presentations, videos, marketing materials etc are largely created digitally.

At school, my kids are using their computers to create materials for presentations and reports online more and more often.

So instead of saying no to screen time, try asking your kids to use a screen to be creative, or to enhance their creativity. Just remember, art is never wrong! Let your child explore a wide range of digital creativity options.

Click here for lots of great recommendations for digital creativity apps >>

2. Digital Learning

Kids can definitely get too much screen time, especially time spent vegging out or playing endless games. But screens can also connect your kids to a wealth of information that just wasn’t available when we were kids. Learn how to harness those screens and teach your kids how much more there is out there than games!

Click here for some great recommendations for how to use screens to enhance your child’s education >>

3. Connecting Digitally

Although kids can sometimes seem to disappear into their screens, we shouldn’t forget the wonderful way computers have helped us stay connected.  I love how much easier it is to stay connected to my family, compared to when my only choices were long distance phone calls or snail mail (which we just called “mail” back then).  Embrace the screens by using them to keep your kids connected to their friends and family.

I also firmly believe that our kids’ generation will be working remotely (rather than in person) far more often than our generation has. The skills they gain by learning to communicate and collaborate via voice chat, video chat, and texts are going to serve them well in their work lives down the road.

Click here for some great recommendations for embracing these communication tools >>

4. Enjoy

Even screen time that appears to be ‘just for fun’ can have solid educational value.

  • Watching TV can include educational programming
  • Playing video games can range widely. They can promote creativity (Minecraft), puzzle solving (Portal), cooperation, strategy, and communication.
  • Mobile games range widely just like other video games. Think about a game like Pokemon GO that incorporates physical movement!
  • Music videos are a great way to explore music and musical tastes. If this is what your kid loves, encourage them to read more about the history of a favorite musician, or create music of their own.
  • YouTube (and even TikTok) can be a scary place, but also an incredibly educational place as well depending on how you use it. Spend some time looking at YouTube with your kids, learn what they like, and work together to find channels and material that they like that is also educational. You may even find new interests to give you ideas about books they might like, or other educational websites or activities that they might enjoy.
Posted in 52 Weeks of Free Printables, For Teachers, Screen Time | 3 Comments