November 2, 2019

Game: Breakfast Report

Every night before I put the kids to bed, I tell them that I love them million billion trillion and kiss their heads.

I go back into my son's room and demand to hear the "Breakfast Report" from him, sometimes in a silly voice.  Mommy tells him what we're having for breakfast, and I ask him, and then he tells me.  It's silly, but it's become an important nightly ritual for us, and I highly recommend it :)


August 26, 2019

Fun Book for ages 4-6: The Book With No Pictures

My kids love the "Book with No Pictures".  It's super-fun to read, as the grown-up has to read whatever is on the page, no matter how silly!

August 25, 2019

Great Frisbee for kids!

One of my favorite things in the world is to throw and catch a disc (frisbee).

My kids are currently 6 years old and 4 years old.

A standard 175 grams is a bit much IMHO for that age.

I've had some success with other discs for them, but tried a new one this past week and it was a huge success (for backhand and catching):

July 13, 2019

Growing Butterflies

You can grow your own butterflies!

It's amazing!  There's a kit (above), and you have to pay like $8 for a cup of caterpillars.  You just wait - and then you see them in cocoon  on the lid of the cup.  You move the lid to the mesh bag, wait 10 days, and voila - butterflies!  They are wonderful and beautiful and we watched one hatch!

Then we set them free into the world, knowing that we raised them up right.

July 2, 2019

Game: The Hug Store

I sat in a chair, with my children standing in front of me, and said:
"Welcome to the Hug Store.  How can I help you"?

They giggled for minutes and lined up to place their order at the Hug Store.

We joke about what kind of hugs we have in stock and available - the best hugs include:
*The big hug
*Medium hug
*The elevated hug
*A bear hug
*An owl hug (for Lincoln)
*Turbo hug (lift in air, run around while hugging)
*20 second oxytocin hug (great for showing love with your spouse!)
*The poopie hug (where i hug and make a fart sound)

Hugs can come with optional accessories, including:

They make up their own hugs.

They took turns working the store.

It was their favorite part of the day, despite only playing for a few minutes :)

June 23, 2019

My 0.02: Arboretum

Overall: Solid game with 4 players. 

Design: The cards are beautiful, but a couple of the types of trees are tough to tell apart, especially with how shiny the cards are.

Rules Caveat: You can only score for trees that are in your Arboretum - you don't get points for anything not in front of you.

Review: It's a game of light strategy where you collect cards and play them in a path in front of you to score points.  The coolest dynamic of this game is that each turn you draw 2 cards, and have to discard one (which others can pick up) and play one (in front of you).  There's a tension between what to keep and what to play.

June 21, 2019

Dispute Resolution

There's lot of times when 2 kids each want to go first to brush teeth, take a bath, get a cookie, etc. Having a method for resolving those disputes is key - here are my favorite: 1) Flip a coin. (google will do this on the phone) 2) Rock, Paper, Scissors

Game: Apple-Pencil Game

I played this in high school at my lunch table. Someone holds the pencil, point up. Another person has an apple. Fujis work well. The person with the apple attempts to lob the apple into the air such that it lands on the pencil and sticks. If they succeed, they win, and the pencil-holder eats the apple (but not of course the pencil). If they fail, the pencil-holder hands the pencil to someone else and play continues until there is a winner.

Game: Sock Toss

Don't just put your socks in a drawer. Roll each pair into a ball, and take turns throwing them in the drawer from 5 feet away. It turns laundry into an Olympic event of fun and excitement! Alternate turns. Most in wins. Usually it's one miss loses. Step 1: Open the drawer Step 2: Get the socks Step 3: Sock Toss For extra challenge, close the drawer slightly :)

May 26, 2019

Game: Catch

It seems silly to post about playing catch, but lately we've been having a ton of fun with it.

A few things I found:

1) When starting, a balloon (without a string) is easier to catch than a ball since it is squishier and moves slower.

2) It's easier to catch a bouncing ball than from the air.

3) Soft balls that can be caught with 2 hands are pretty great.

4) Frisbees are hard to catch, though we've had some fun trying with these:

5) And there's always this too:

Game: Stop Maleficient (TM)

In this game, I'm actually Maleficient and I sit on the couch with the coffee table in front of me.

The kids have to throw the balls (we use the red ones from this):

Into the basket:

From behind the edge of the rug.

When they each get all 3 balls in the basket, I am defeated.

Until then, I sit on the couch.

In one variation I try to throw the balls back at them :)

My 0.02: Some Games for Ages 3+

A few other fun games to recommend:

1) Jenga
My 3 yr old can play too, and we have a lot of fun playing with our family!

2) Kerplunk
I used to play this game growing up - it brings me a ton of joy to play with my kids.  They really love it.  "You touch it - you take it!"

3) Hoot Owl Hoot
This is a cooperative 4 player game where you are trying to work as a team to get all the owls back to the nest.  It's candy-land but with a little bit of extra strategy.

May 16, 2019

Making Memories and the holidays

Just a fun article about family memories

My 0.02: Game for 4-7 yr olds: Outfoxed is great

This game is great!  My kids request to play it.  There's dice rolling which is fun, a little bit of strategy, teamwork, and a little bit of logic & problem solving.

Also, the foxes are adorable.

Buy the game by clicking here:

It's a multiplayer, cooperative Clue where you try to find the fox which has stolen the pie!

A quick playthrough which explained the rules in < 3 mins is here:

A Rest Stop for kids

My daughter's class has a great idea of a "rest stop" or a place that kids can go if they are feeling overwhelmed at the moment.

Here are some things at the rest stop which make it extra restful: