4 Fun Activities For Kids To Keep Them Entertained While Staying Home

Posted by Katie S on Apr 2, 2020 10:31:08 AM

Fun Activities For Kids to Keep Them Entertained While Staying Home

At this point, it’s probably not much use to tell you what you already know – we are living in unprecedented times. And what I hope you all know without it needing to be said – that we hope each of you in the Nite Ize community and beyond are safe and healthy, and reading this from the comfort of your homes. And, more pertinently, if you happen to share those homes with tiny humans who call you mom or dad, we hope you are not going absolutely insane yet. In case you are flirting with that brink however, we thought we’d share a few ideas on using your Nite Ize products to keep those kiddos entertained and cut you a break.

 

1. Build a Fort

Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Ties

If you haven’t started fort building, this one is a life saver. You put in a little effort on the front end of putting it together, but then your kids have their own hideout - a new space in the house that is all theirs. Fill it with soft blankets, kid chairs, toys, whatever they are into right now. Then sit back and enjoy your space – the rest of the house – quietly. Genius. With Gear Ties and S-Biners, you can rig a quick lean-to style fort just about anywhere with just a couple blankets. My personal favorite style fort is a fan-powered dome one. This is a childhood-special – shout out to my big brother for the engineering expertise behind it.  Basically, you’ll need blankets and a box fan, then you need to create a semi-airtight boundary for your fort. Blankets secured over tables and chairs work great (if you get a leak, just use a Gear Tie to secure the blanket to table leg).

Next, throw a bed sheet over the top, seal the edges, and make sure it’s snug around your box fan (I also use a Gear Tie here to keep the sheet from blowing down). *Bonus if you can spot the kid in the photo below*

How to build a fort for kids using Gear Ties

Then turn on your fan, and boom, you’ve got an air-conditioned, fort-extraordinaire to keep those little muchkins busy for hours.

How to build a fort for kids using Gear Ties

 

2. Digitize That Fort

Steelie Bendable Arm + Ratcheting Clamp Kit

Okay, the fort itself should buy you at least an hour a day of entertainment, but once the novelty and old-fashioned fun has worn off, buy yourself some more time with our good friend, technology. I set up the Steelie Bendable Arm in our fort, stuck the iPad on it, and FaceTimed Grandma.

The kids loved it, Grandma loved it, and I loved sitting quietly in the next room, drinking an entire cup of coffee, in one sitting, while it was still hot.

And, if you make your fort big enough, you can make it feel like your own cozy indoor movie theater. Just use a dark sheet instead of a white one, use flashlights or a mini lantern to get everyone settled in, bring in a big bowl of popcorn, and you’ve got a cozy family movie date, day or night. 

 

3. Elf on the Shelf? How About BugLit on the Bookshelf?

BugLit Micro Flashlight

Ok, maybe it doesn’t have quite the same ring or pizazz as that lovable little Christmas helper, but BugLit is pretty darn cute, and his bendable, grippy arms and legs make it easy to hide him in fun places all over the house.

Pick a new spot every day and the kids will have a blast looking for him, and you get down time while they do. You could make it a countdown till Easter, or countdown to the end of social distancing, or pick a timeline that makes you happy. And if you get really bored, the Bug is a pretty good listener. Sometimes he and I enjoy a cold beer and smooth tunes at the piano after the kids go to bed. Hey, whatever gets you through…

BugLit Micro Flashlight

 

4. Get Outside, Even After Dark

SpokeLit Rechargeable LED Wheel Lights

Turns out, lots of people are getting outside to walk their neighborhoods and local parks during this time of isolation. That’s great! ...But, it is also making social distancing guidelines difficult to follow as trails are getting overly crowded. A great way to avoid the crowds but still shake out those stir-crazy legs is to head out for a family ride in the evening - and luckily, we are headed towards more and more warm nights. If you’re a Nite Ize junkie, chances are your family’s bikes are already loaded up with lights and you’re set to go. If not though, click for our recommendations on front, rear, and side/wheel lights.  Enjoy the fresh air together and sap the last of the kids energy before bedtime. Win win.

 

If there’s ever a time to tighten the bonds of our online community, this is it! Please share your tips and tricks for keeping the kiddos entertained at home in our comments section below. Bonus if it includes Nite Ize gear, but we love to hear all your creative suggestions.

Topics: LED Flashlights, Gear Ties, Fun & Games, Bike, Home, LED Products, Steelie

5 Ways to Make The Most Out of Your Leap Day

Posted by Taylor Orebaugh on Feb 20, 2020 3:13:22 PM

4 Ways to Make The Most Out of Your Leap Day

Once every four years, we get an extra day in February as part of our Leap Year, called Leap Day. As a result, we have a 366-day calendar year in 2020. What will you do with your extra 24 hours?

 

1. Hit the road with an adventure in mind.

Steelie Windshield Mount

An extra day means an extra chance to check something off the bucket list, whether it’s an adventure to a small nearby town, a hike to a hidden lake, or a sledding trip with the kids. If you’re planning to be around water or snow, bring a RunOff Waterproof Pocket to keep your phone, ID, and cards dry and accessible. Don't forget your Steelie to help navigate your way to adventure!

 

2. Clear out that cluttered basement or garage.

How to Organize Your Garage

Leap Day is your opportunity to take on that cluttered part of your home without losing time. Grab 3 boxes and label them “keep”, “donate”, and “trash”, placing items into their respective boxes as you make your way through the space. Once you’ve cleared out the mess, use Gear Ties to organize tangled cords and bundles, and large S-Biners to hang up old backpacks, tools, and supplies. 

Tip: If you struggle letting go of things, use Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method. Hold each item in your hand and see if it “sparks joy” or makes you feel happy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, donate or toss it.

 

3. Get Moving.

SpokeLit LED Wheel Light

While it may already be the last day of February, there’s no time like the present to start working towards your health goals. Pull the bike out of the garage or take off on an evening run to get some fresh air and be active at the same time. You can even bring the whole family along to spend quality time together while working up a sweat. Clip a TagLit Rechargeable Magnetic LED Marker to your clothing or a SpokeLit Rechargeable Wheel Light to your bike so you remain visible to drivers when you're out after sundown.

 

4. Give Back.

LeapDay-GiveBack

One surefire way to make yourself feel proud is to volunteer for a cause you're passionate about. Volunteering opportunities are endless, but some ideas to get you started are helping out at a local food bank, animal shelter, or senior center, participating in a public spaces cleanup, or you can even opt to donate blood. Websites like VolunteerMatch and JustServe are helpful resources for finding projects and organizations in your area. You'll be amazed at how good you'll feel after giving back to your community.

 

5. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your extra day off.  

S-Biner Ahhh... Aluminum Bottle Opener

In the same way that Leap Day adds balance to our calendar year, this extra day can add balance to your life, too. If you’re always sticking to a schedule and on-the-go, this is your chance to recharge, guilt-free. Crack open a cold one (with an Ahhh... Aluminum Bottle Opener of course), recline that chair, and enjoy a free day of relaxation, binge watching, and maybe even a nap. And if you took our advice on #4, you definitely deserve it!

 

What are you planning to do with your Leap Day? Let us know in the comments and we wish you an adventurous, productive, or relaxing free day!

Topics: leap year, Garage Organization, Gear Ties, Leap Day, Adventure, Bike, DIY, Home, Organization, Fitness, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, Steelie

Plan Your Valentine’s Day Getaway

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Feb 3, 2020 9:28:17 AM

Plan Your Valentine's Day Getaway

The shelves are lined with pink cards, chocolate boxes, and teddy bears holding red hearts when you walk into any drugstore, which can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Fortunately, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, and on a three-day holiday weekend for some. The stars might be aligning for a quick weekend getaway with your Valentine’s date – whether they be a significant other, friend, family member, pet, or yourself (flying solo is fun too)! Here are some ideas to kickstart your inspiration, and some tips that might be a help along the way.

 

Where are you headed?

Valentine's Day Getaway

You might be already a step ahead of us and have already booked something. But if you’re more of a spontaneous person, you might consider somewhere driving distance if flights are already too pricey and hard to find. Look for cool places to visit within a few-hour radius around you ­– maybe there’s somewhere you’ve been thinking of visiting but haven’t had a chance yet. This might be the perfect time to book it! Browse some hotel or vacation booking sites and see what you find. If you live in a warmer climate, you could even consider camping or renting a camper van.

 

How are you getting there?

Already have plane tickets? Brilliant! Hitting the road? Fantastic. We have tips for both.

To help make packing easier, our RunOff Waterproof Bags are a great solution. For flying, the 3-1-1 Bag is a big help for consolidating your liquids for TSA. Plus, because the bag is waterproof, you can rest assured your shampoo won’t leak all over your date night attire if it bursts open. Because this is likely a short trip, you’ll probably want to opt for carry-on luggage only. The Medium and Large packing cubes are compressible, so you can fit more clothes into smaller spaces.

RunOff Waterproof Bags

 

For the road trip set, you’ll want a solution to keep your phone handy for GPS and music without having to mess with it in your hands while driving. Check out our Steelie mobile phone mounts to help you out. Don’t forget to make a playlist!

Steelie Orbiter Dash Kit

 

Pics or it didn’t happen

Valentines-FlipOut

Don’t fall victim to the feeling of coming home from an amazing vacation that you forgot to document with plenty of photos. Thankfully, we all carry cameras in our pockets these days, so be sure to use them. Snap some cute selfies with the help of a trusty FlipOut Handle for your phone, or keep it securely on your person with the Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether.

 

Light up your “nite”

If you’re headed somewhere with a jacuzzi or soaking tub, pack some Disc-O Select NiteGems for some flashy fun. They’re waterproof AND they float!

NiteGems

Bringing along your favorite beverage? Keep it cool and colorful with a SlapLit Drink Wrap. You wouldn’t want to lose sight of your drink in the dark, would you?

SlapLit-HotTub

Cross your fingers for a clear night – stargazing is a thoroughly under-appreciated activity. Better pack your headlamps so you can find a good spot to take in the show.

 

Remember, your dog is always your #1 valentine

Valentines Day gifts for dogs

Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other or not, your pet should be a part of the fun too. Check out some gift ideas for your dog here! If your furry friend is joining you on your vacation, a NiteHowl or SpotLit Collar Light is a great way to keep track of them during evening activities or potty breaks.

Are you planning a getaway of your own? Comment with your own tips or suggestions!

Topics: "travel", Pets, LED Products, runoff, waterproof bags, Steelie, Holidays, headlamp

7 Gifts For New Parents That Are Ridiculously Useful

Posted by Katie S on Jan 15, 2020 10:56:55 AM

Ridiculously Useful Gifts For New Parents

There is little in this world more intimidating than becoming a new parent. And frankly, there’s only so much one can do to truly prepare emotionally for the sleep deprivation, endless diapers, and overwhelming feelings of love to come. Fortunately, there are a few useful items out there that do make the logistics of it all a bit easier. So, whether you’re looking to get equipped for your own baby’s arrival, or you’re shopping for a traditional baby shower gift (or for a manshower gift - yes, it’s a thing now), check out our suggestions for innovative Nite Ize-inspired presents for parents.

 

1. Pimp Their Ride

Nite Ize Your Stroller

No, I don’t mean the minivan. Every new parent’s saving grace is their stroller. Screaming baby? Time for a stroll. Need adult interaction? Time to stroll with a friend. Day or night, movement is the key to baby sleep, and sleep is key for parent survival. So, stroll. You can have the coolest whip in town with Nite Ize accessories. The HandleBand or Steelie Bar Mount keeps phones securely in place right on the handlebar. Oh you think I mean for texting and calls? No, no – that’s for the white noise app that will be soothing the baby to sleep along the way, and inevitably for then taking photos of the sleeping baby. Throw in a Radiant 125 Rechargeable Bike Light that attaches to a stroller handle or side bar to light the way on those late night walks. And lastly, throw in one of our super-sized S-Biners  – the easiest way to clip shopping bags, hats, water bottles and just about anything for quick access on the stroller.

 

2. Brighten Their Late "Nite" Activities

Radiant 100 Mini Lantern

Most parents share their bedroom with baby for at least the first few weeks for convenience of feeding, changing, rocking, shushing, and all those newfound middle-of-the-night hobbies. A nifty fact for new parents is that red light won’t disrupt you or baby’s night vision, and it’s less likely to wake up a sleeping partner. The cute, squishy Radiant 100 Lantern with both red and white light settings is a great option, or you can opt for a headlamp that also has red and white LED settings.

 

3. Make Diaper Clean-Up A Little Cleaner

Pack-A-Poo

Changing babies at places that aren’t really optimized for it can be awkward. When you’re somewhere that doesn’t have a diaper pail or easily-accessed outdoor trash can (e.g. an airplane, restaurant, or friend’s fancy house), it’s great to have poo-bags on hand to contain the smell before tossing the diaper. They're not just for dogs! The Pack-A-Poo clips easily to a diaper pad and is equipped with biodegradable bags. It also has a rotating core, so when baby inevitably grabs ahold of the bags and pulls them out, it’s easy to reel them right back in.

 

4. Kick the Baby Monitor up a Notch

Steelie Pedestal Mount

Steelie is great for attaching your phone to stroller handles, but isn’t exclusive to phones. You can use the Steelie Pedestal on your baby monitor or on the camera to help you get better angles.

 

5. Secure Everything

Secure everything with Gear Ties and S-Biners

With Gear Ties and S-Biners you can give all those oh-so-important toys and bottles easy attachment points to grab them quickly and not worry about losing them on the go.

 

6. Contain The Mess

RunOff Medium Packing Cube

Let's face it. Baby clothes (and parents' clothes for that matter) get dirty – often multiple times per day. When spit-ups or blowouts strike when you're out of the house, toss the soiled article in a RunOff Medium Packing Cube. The RunOff line of waterproof bags are best known for keeping water out, but they also do a great job of sealing messes in!

 

7. Just Hitch It

Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether

With the Hitch Phone Anchor + Tether, your phone stays attached to you. You can also clip the Hitch like a handle to hang a phone from your wrist when your hands are full. Later, it’s a great way to protect phones when toddlers reach that “grab-and-throw-things” phase.

Phone Hitch + Tether in action

New parents have always relied on advice from those who have gone before. Please help our community by sharing tips and tricks you’ve learned and your favorite Nite Ize parenting-hacks in the comments section below.

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Home, LED Products, runoff, Steelie

What to do when you drop your phone in water (and how to prevent it in the first place)

Posted by Katie S on Aug 14, 2019 11:51:10 AM

What to do if you drop your phone in water

I have an uncanny ability to kill phones. Ashamedly, over the past two decades I have killed more phones than can be counted on one hand, and every massacre involved water (or beer). My high school days tended to involve being pushed into a pool or lake with a phone in my pocket, college it was bar toilets and once an unfortunately aimed drop into a pint of beer. But those days it was a butterfly-cased Nokia or Motorola Razr that bit the dust, something that came free with my phone plan and the frustration came only in having to track down all of my friends’ phone numbers again. It wasn’t until my 20s when I dropped my first iPhone in water and the meager paycheck from my first job wasn’t going to cover the replacement that the consequences really hit me.

Dropped iPhone in water

So, after nearly 20 years of assassinating phones, here are the best practices I’ve learned for saving them (and for destroying them).

 

Myths – What NOT to do With a Dropped iPhone In water:

• Rice will make things worse. 

Rice dust is your phone’s worst nemesis, even worse than water. Phones are sleek and tightly made, but rice dust is sneaky and it will get into the cracks and ports and jam your buttons and if the water didn’t kill your phone, the rice dust definitely will.

• Do not heat it in any way.

No blow dryers, no oven, no microwave, heating your device isn’t going to dry it, it’s just going to fry it.

• Don’t turn it on!

This is the hardest one, you want to check if it’s ok. Don’t do it, you’re much more likely to short circuit everything. Leave it off.

 

Miracles – Here’s what you should do to fix a water damaged phone:

Phones these days are resilient. I once dropped a smartphone off the dock into Lake Winnipesaukee. I had to walk to the marina, borrow a mask, dive down into the murky depths of who-knows-what to find it, pulled it out after about 20 minutes submerged at about 15 feet, and turned it on in working condition two days later. So, if you’re reading this in a panic, hold on to hope, there’s a chance your phone is going to be just fine. Here’s what to do:

1. Retrieve it Quickly

Many phones are getting closer to waterproofness, and can be submerged for a couple minutes at shallow depths. If this is your phone, just grab it, wipe it off, and go! Regardless, if your phone isn’t water resistant, the less time it spends in the water, the less damage is likely to be done.


2. Remove Your Case and SIM Card

Take off anything that could trap water around it. (For an iPhone, insert a paperclip into the tiny hole halfway down the phone below the power button to pop out the SIM card).

How to remove SIM card from iPhone
What to do if you drop your phone in water

3. Make Sure It’s Off and DON’T Turn it on!

Let it sit for 48 hours before charging it and turning it back on.

Drying Option 1:

Place it upright on a paper towel in a dry sunny place for 48 hours.

Drying Option 2:

Keep a bag full of silica gel packets (my husband saves these for me, knowing my past luck with phones…) place your phone in the bag, prop it up in a window, and wait 48 hours to charge it up and turn it on. Fingers crossed you and your phone will come through the process unscathed and happy from a little time being “unplugged”.

How to prevent the plop:

Even better than saving your phone, is to never dunk it in the first place. I am proud to say that since learning about and using Nite Ize products over the past four years, I have not lost a single phone to water. I use the Hitch with Tether on a daily basis to keep a better hold of my phone. Steelie is my go-to for hands-free driving, but the magnet on my phone also makes it stick to things like the toilet paper dispensers in bathrooms so no more potty-swimming for my phone. And, when I get out on the water to go fishing or am hanging out at the pool, I have learned to always put my phone in a RunOff Waterproof Pocket – what a novel concept!


RunOff Waterproof Pocket

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Tech and Gadget, runoff, waterproof bags, dry bags, Steelie

5 Reasons Why A Steelie Pedestal Kit Can Change Your Life

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Aug 5, 2019 3:04:48 PM

5 Reasons why a Steelie Pedestal Kit can change your lifeBy Amanda Lauteri, Brand Protection & Legal Specialist at Nite Ize

Nite Ize produces hundreds of unique products and introduces brand new ones twice each year, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of covet-worthy items designed to make life a little easier. Please allow me to draw your attention to one of my personal favorites, the Steelie Pedestal Kit. If you use a Steelie in your car to hold your phone while you drive (as of course you should), adding a Pedestal to your Steelie system is an undeniably good idea. Now that I’ve been using one, I don’t know how I ever lived without it! Let's dive into the top 5 ways to use your Steelie Pedestal to its fullest capacity.

 

1. Traveling

We all know that air travel in the modern era can be a complete hassle. You wake up early to make your flight, go through the painful process that is the TSA security, then you finally make it to your gate only to find out you’re stuck in the middle seat. Pro tip: take a Steelie Pedestal with you and make that middle seat more enjoyable. Set it up on the tray table, click your phone into place using your Steelie magnet, and away you go! Just don’t be surprised if you notice your neighbor starting to binge-watch your favorite shows with you over your shoulder…

 

2. At the Office

Steelie Pedestal Kit for SmartphonesEveryone brings their phone with them wherever they go these days, right? When it’s off to work you go, don’t forget to bring the pedestal so you can dock your device for the perfect viewing angle. While your coworkers fumble to get their favorite music app set up, you’ll already be jamming out to that new single you like. When it gets to a song you want to skip, just reach over and hit that next button. See your meeting reminders on your screen or glance at your texts without even having to pick up your phone. You won’t need to fumble in your pocket or try to remember where you last set your phone down ever again.

 

3. Cooking

Steelie Pedestal Kit in the kitchenAfter a long day at work, I’m sure a nice dinner is in order. Do you fancy yourself to be the next Gordon Ramsay? Or is throwing something in the microwave more your speed? Either way, having a Steelie Pedestal in your kitchen is the way to go. If you need to look up a recipe, having your phone (or tablet) on the stand makes it easy to see what ingredient comes next without having to take your hands off your knife. If you’re using the microwave, crank some tunes! Maybe those tunes will make you forget how hangry you are.

 

4. Crafting

"Crafting" can mean so many different things. Perhaps you like to sew, work on cars, build bookshelves, or paint! If you’re trying out a new project, use the Steelie Pedestal to watch a tutorial or have the instructions handy. That way, you can keep your phone clean and out of the way of your project while still having easy access to it.

 

5. Makeup Tutorials

Steelie PedestalDo you watch makeup tutorials online? Do you make your own makeup tutorials? If you answered yes to either of these questions, the Steelie Pedestal will rock your bathroom countertop! Use the stand to ensure you can keep one eye on the makeup vlogger while you attempt to replicate their look. You could also use the stand to shoot your own makeup tutorials. (And if you do post your own makeup vlogs, please send them to me because I can use all the help I can get!)

 

I have used the Steelie Pedestal in every one of the ways I mentioned here. It is the one gadget I take with me wherever I go. I have one on my desk at work, one on my nightstand, and one in my kitchen. Have you used the pedestal in another way? I’d love to hear your pedestal hacks in the comments below!

Topics: Mobile Device Accessories, Consumer Electronics, Tech and Gadget, Steelie

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