Hosting a Super Bowl party this year? If you’re not, why the heck not? It’s a great reason to invite family and friends over because it’s so EASY – snacks, desserts and a big TV! Have all of the guests bring a snack or dessert and it’s even easier to host a great bash. While the beer ads on TV make it seem like Super Bowl Parties are for adults only, it’s really easy and fun to host a Super Bowl party that both kids and adults will love. Here’s an earlier post I wrote with easy decorating and food ideas for a football-themed party. (I’ve got a ton more ideas for food and decorations on my Sports Party Pinterest Board. Feel free to check it out and repin your favorites.)
Cut some football shapes out of brown construction paper. Have everyone write their name and prediction for the final score of the game on a paper football. Throw the guesses into an upside down football helmet. At the end of the game give a prize to the closest guess.
Grab some nerf or small footballs and place them in a basket by the door. If the weather is good, have everyone burn some energy outside by playing catch. If the weather is bad, try your garage or basement. Make it even more fun by cutting a hole out of a giant box and host your own half-time competition to see who can throw the ball through the hole to win a prize.
Print out this Tic Tac Toe Bingo Game for little kids from OneCharmingParty.com. Use candy or little plastic football guys for the game markers. For older kids with longer attention spans, try this Football Bingo Game from StudioDIY.com.
Kids bored with watching the game? Have them create their own team pennants. Buy some large foam sheets in different colors and cut them into a long triangle shape. Buy some stick and peel foam letters and shapes to let the kids decorate. Or, print out this template for a football helmet from SuperMomMoments.com and let the kids use crayons, markers and glitter to decorate their own team helmet.
Since I’m a Chicago Bears fan and they are NEVER in the Super Bowl, I usually find the ads more exciting than the game. So, I loved these Rate the Super Bowl Ads free printables from StudioDIY.com. Come on, you know you love judging the creativity of the ads!
Have the kids make up their own cheer. Give them some pom poms and have them practice their routine in the other room. During commercial breaks have them come in and do their cheers for the adult audience. This makes for good video moments!
Touchdown cash/candy game. When everyone comes in the door have them put a dollar in the cup. As everyone is sitting around watching the game, have one person hold the cup for the first play. If there is a touchdown on that play the person holding the cup gets to keep everything as their prize. If there is no touchdown, they pass the cup to the next person for the next play. Keep passing the cup until a team scores and someone wins. After the win you can decide to fill the cup again and keep playing. I usually play for just one quarter of the game. More than that and it’s too much work to coordinate. For kids, you can fill a separate cup with candy and have the kids play amongst themselves. (Older kids might want the cash so decide how you want to coordinate the game.)
Finally, get those buckets of legos out and have the kids build the biggest goal post they can out of legos. Keep in mind, any of these games and activities would also be great for a football-themed birthday party.
Are you having a Super Bowl Party this year? What are some of your favorite snack or game ideas?
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Here’s an idea for some family fun. Does your family like to play games? Do you know other “gaming” families? Why not start a Game Night Club? I have been trying to start a Gourmet Club with some friends in my area where we would get together every other month to cook, gnosh, and have fun over fabulous food. It would be a great excuse to actually start making those recipes I pull out of my food “porn” magazines. But it got me thinking about a Game Night Club as well. It would save you money since you wouldn’t be going out, you can include the kids so no sitter needed, and you can use the games you already have in your closet. Well, put like that, what are you waiting for?
Here’s how it would work:
Find 2 or 3 other families to join and pick a consistent date to get together like the third Sunday of every month or the first Saturday of every quarter so that it is easier for people to keep their calendars clear. Consistency makes it easier to plan and creates anticipation.
Choose a host for the first Game Night. You can rotate houses going forward so you only have to clean your house every now and then. The host family provides drinks and a snack. Other families bring a snack to share, as well. Set up a kids game table and an adult game table, if you want, especially if you have big age gaps in the attendees where you need more age-appropriate games. You can also have several tables set up around the house with different games and adults and kids alike can travel from table to table as the games are completed. Try to make sure that no one is sitting out at any time. That leads to boredom which leads to unruliness which leads to a ruined evening. (You know I’m talking about the adults here, right?)
Get some prizes for the winners or inexpensive little trinkets for everyone to get in a festive mood. Candy bars, ribbons or medals, and small drink umbrellas seem to make everyone feel like a winner.
Finally, the host family gets to pick the games. Not everyone will like every game but that is part of the experience – trying new games or playing a game you never would have chosen yourself. When you host, it’s your choice. However, the guests do get some veto power. Anyone can ask to stop a game, but at least one or two others have to agree that the game is lame and then you can move on. Over time you’ll start to recognize the types of games that work well for the personalities and preferences of the group.
Most importantly, have a good time.
Stay tuned, on Friday, we are going to announce a Family Game Night Giveaway. It will be the perfect prize to get your Family Game Night Club started.
You may also like:
How to Choose the Most Fun Game for Family Game Night
5 Ways to Make Family Game Night More Fun
Spice Up Family Game Night with Some Awesome Food
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To make your Family Game Night extra special, you need to add some great food. Really, that rule applies to anything but there are some special considerations for choosing the best Game Night food offerings. Are you eating dinner while playing or just looking for some snacks? Are you going to take breaks during game play to eat or gnosh while playing? If you are eating while playing, make sure your food offerings are easy to eat with your hands and are non-greasy. The last thing you want is to get grease stains all over the cards or have your favorite game smell like buffalo sauce for the next 12 years. If you are going to take a break between games to eat, then anything goes.
Here are some suggestions for spicing up your Game Night with the perfect food pairings.
Keep it Simple
If Family Game Night is on Friday after a long work week and you are just looking to unwind, keep it low maintenance by ordering in pizza, making chocolate chip cookie bars, or setting up an ice cream sundae bar. (Read my post on how to set up an awe-inspiring ice cream sundae bar.) Indulge in your favorite munchies like popcorn, Chex Mix, or movie theater style candy boxes. Grab some of those gourmet popcorn toppings to literally spice up your snacks.
If I am out and about on Game Night day I like to stop by my favorite Mexican restaurant and get some guacamole and chips and salsa to go. Nothing says Fiesta! like chips and salsa.
If you are inviting friends over, keep it simple by having everyone bring either a dessert or snack to share.
A Little Extra Effort
If you are feeling more inspired, try out some of those appetizer recipes you keep marking in food magazines and then never making. Game Night is the perfect excuse. Here are some recipes I’m dying to try:
Barbara Beery always offers some great kid-inspired and easy-to-make recipes. I’m dying to try these Popcorn Cupcakes for some baking fun with my kids. Check out her blog for other kid-friendly recipes.
Guy Fieri’s Ham & Swiss Pretzels look awesome and could count as dinner.
Rachel Ray’s Spicy Pigs in Blankets with Chimichurri Dip.
Finally, Giada’s Shrimp and Beef Skewers with Soy, Scallion Butter looked so delish.
Do you have a killer appetizer recipe that you always make when you are invited to a party where you need to bring a dish? It’s easy, everyone raves about it and asks for the recipe but you only get to make it once a year because NO ONE EVER INVITES YOU ANYWHERE! (Hint, hint people!) Well, Game Night is the perfect excuse to make it just for yourself. Here’s my “Go To” appetizer recipe that people always rave about.
Don’t Forget the Drinks
For the adults, have some beer in the fridge, make a pitcher of margaritas, or try out that new drink recipe you’ve been oogling. (See Rachel Ray’s site for some great drink recipes.) Don’t leave the kids out, though. Make non-alcoholic versions of the new drink recipes for the kids. Or, let them have a special drink they don’t normally get. My kids rarely get juice boxes or soda so Game Night is special to them because they can have these high-calorie drinks. Or, make homemade milk shakes. Always a kid pleaser.
What is your favorite recipe for Family Game Night? Please leave us a comment and share.
You May Also Like:5 Ways to Make Family Game Night More Fun
How to Choose the Most Fun Game for Family Game Night
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Is your Family Game Night feeling a little stale? The kids aren’t that excited about it anymore? Or, do you have a hard time convincing the family to even have a Game Night? Here are 5 ideas to inject a little more fun and creativity into your family’s special evening. (By the way, to help spice up your Family Game Night, we’re offering a 20% discount on all family games at www.ChocolateCakeClub.com. Sale ends January 31, 2011. Grab some today and be ready to play next weekend!) (more…)
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Looking for something fun to do this weekend with the family? How about hosting a good, old-fashioned Family Game Night? You can take turns with each member of your family picking their favorite game. Or invite friends and neighbors over for a casual, inexpensive, and very fun evening.
Whether you plan a big game event or just spontaneously pull some games out of the closet, Game Night is an easy way to have fun together. Depending on the games you play, the night could be challenging, educational, silly, relaxing, competitive and most importantly fun. It’s the perfect excuse to try out those games you got as gifts over the Holidays.
In a new series of posts, I’ll share some ideas on how to make family game night even more fun with a little planning and creativity. I’ll review some new games we’re selling or that we discovered at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. I’ll be sure to share my family’s top picks for games in this series, as well.
Finally to kick off your Family Game Night, we’re offering a 20% discount on all family games at www.ChocolateCakeClub.com between now and January 31, 2011. Grab some today and be ready to play next weekend!
Pick the Right Game.
To pick the right game for Family Game Night, you need to take a few things into consideration like the competitive level, playing time, age range of the players, and mood.
How competitive are your friends and family? Does the adrenaline kick in when the competition is fierce? Do you have little ones (or big ones) who get mad when they lose? Do you like games where everyone wins? Deciding on how competitive the players are will help you pick the right game. There are some games where there still is a winner or loser, but it’s based purely on chance. A game like Dog Dice where the winner is chosen based on the roll of the dice may be one where the youngest players will win often enough to avoid tears or meltdowns.
Also, for safety reasons, if you have a hyper-competitive group you might want to steer clear of more physical games. I remember a not-too-distant Holiday where a teen cousin got thrown to the floor playing the card game Spoons. While she was part of instigating the “scrum” to grab the spoon, it still shouldn’t have happened. (Although it is a good family story and fun to bring up again and again.)
Some good non-competitive games are The Ungame or conversation games like Family Dinner Box of Questions or Chat Pack for Kids.
How much time do you have to play games? If you have little ones, do you only have an hour before bedtime? Do you want to play several games in one evening or really sink your teeth into one good strategy game? If you have guests over, you might want to set up several games on different tables and everyone can get up and switch periodically. If that is the case, don’t pick a game that feels more like a marathon that never ends. Pick one that ends in 20 – 30 minutes. Take a break, grab a snack, and move onto the next challenge. Read the game box to see the estimated game playing time. I still like to play Trivial Pursuit (because I’m good at it) but that can go on for hours and people get sick of me pulling random trivia out of my … head.
Check out Beat the Parents or Cash Cab for a faster moving trivia-based game.
Age Range of the Players
If you have a mixed age range of players, you either need to find a very simple game that is fun for all or pick a game that can be modified for the littlest one at the table. For example, we recently had some friends over for dinner and I wanted to try a new game I bought at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. It’s called 5 Second Rule. We had an 8-year-old, 10-year-old and 4 crazy adults playing. Although the game suggests ages 10-years-old and up, we were able to modify the game so the youngest could play and win, too. In the game you have 5 seconds to blurt out 3 possible answers to a question. The adults had to name 3, the 10 year old only had to name 2 and the youngest only had to name one answer to win that hand. This worked perfectly to keep it “fair.”
Some games that we really like that are suitable for 3 or 4-year-olds, but won’t bore the heck out of the rest of the family are:
The Zoo I Drew
Birds, Bugs and Beans
Card games like Go Fish or Crazy 8′s with the Little Hands Deluxe Card Holder Game Set
Take the Cake
Finally, gauge the mood of the players. Is everyone tired? Sit on the couch and play a kid-friendly version of Scene It. All you need to do is yell at the TV. Are you in the mood to be active? Get everyone moving by bowling or playing Wipe Out on the Wii. Does everyone need a good laugh after a long week? Some of our favorite silly games are Flapdoodle and Snorta. (I hate recommending Snorta because the Out-of-the-Box Game people were so rude to me when I was starting my company, but we do really love to play the game. It’s also a fabulous drinking game, but you didn’t hear that from me.) Do you want your game to be educational, like Spanish Bingo or even Scrambled States of America? Our kids love Mexican Train Dominoes for the silly train sound effects but we secretly like it because it helped my daughter learn to count.
Check back for more posts on Family Game Night. What is your absolutely favorite family game?
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Thanksgiving dinner is over and everyone has finished grazing. It was dead silent during the meal because you just can’t shovel that great food in fast enough. But now, everyone is too tired or stuffed to get up from the table. No one wants to stand up first and show the group that they had to unbutton their pants to make room for more stuffing. (Come on! I’m not the only one who does this, right.) so, you’re staring at each other with nothing to do. Don’t panic! Start a conversation game.
Prior to dinner, write a couple of fun questions down on pieces of paper. Put them in a hat and start picking random questions to ask everyone at the table. Even though you think you know everything about your relatives, trust me, you don’t. We learn more about each other playing these conversation games and it’s fun. (Tip: Have someone write these memories down in a special notebook or video tape it. It’s a great way to preserve some of the grandma and grandpa’s memories.)
Here are some suggestions for questions that should appeal to all ages:
1. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
2. What is your favorite book?
3. What is your favorite movie?
4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
5. If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be?
6. What is your favorite Holiday tradition and why?
7. What was your very first job?
8. What was/is your favorite kids show?
9. What is the one thing you like most about the person sitting next to you?
10. What are you most thankful for this year?
You can also buy the Family Dinner Conversation Game we sell at ChocolateCakeClub.com to play during any dinner occasion – weeknights, while you are waiting in restaurants, or traveling.
What question would you add to my list?
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Get the kids up and moving with our next Summer Fun Challenge idea – Host an Olympics Game in your backyard. Look through your garage to find some games and “obstacles” that you can use to create challenges for your kids and their friends.
What’s great about this family fun idea is you can spend a lot of time setting up and thinking about the challenges or you can just use what’s in your backyard already. Use your creativity and make the games as silly as you want. (I think one of the challenges should be to wash the dog but the dog gave me the evil eye.)
If you want to make it more educational for the kids, have them each choose a country too compete as and have them draw that country’s flag on a piece of paper that they “parade” around at the beginning of the games.
Depending on your child’s interest or athletic abilities you can design a variety of challenges around speed, endurance, and special talents. If your child loves gymnastics, make sure you have some balance beam, cartwheel, or tumbling challenges. If your child loves basketball, get some hoops games going. The idea is to provide a variety of games that everyone will enjoy and have a chance at a medal.
Race Challenges -
- Run to the end of the driveway and back the fastest
- Run around the cul de sac
- Sack race
- Egg and spoon race
- Three legged race
- Race against the dog – who can run down the block the fastest
- Wheelbarrel races
- Baton races
- Suitcase Relay – You’ll need at least two teams. Each team gets a suitcase with articles of clothing like a hat, scarf, mittens, sweater, robe, wig, pants, boots, etc. Then have the kids get in a line each with a suitcase full of clothes. First child on each team runs with the suitcase to a designated spot. Opens the suitcase and puts on all of the clothes. They run back to the start with the empty suitcase, take the clothes off and hand it to the next team member. Whichever team finishes first, wins.
- Triathalon – Bike around the block, run around the block, skate around the block.
Frisbee throwing discus challenge – who can throw the farthest or who can get the frisbee closest to a target
Long jump – grab your tape measure!
Obstacle course – We like to set up obstacles to run around but also have the kids stop every now and then and do something silly. Run to the tree and give me 6 jumping jacks, then climb over the hill and roll down, walk like a duck, jump over every crack in the sidewalk, yodel, and then run through the hula hoops without missing one.
Mini Golf Course – Read our post on how to set up a mini golf course in your backyard
Baggo Game – most points wins
Croquet Slalom Race – instead of going through the hoops, you have to go around them
Paddle Ball Competition – team with the most hits before ball drops wins
Trampoline – how many sit jumps can you do in a minute? Can you do a splits kick? Can you jump and sit, then knees, then twist all in one move? Who can jump the longest without losing balance?
Basketball Hoop – HORSE contest, knock-out, or 3-point shoot-out games
Paper Airplane Throw – make a paper airplane and see who’s flies the farthest
Here are some other great game ideas from AtoZ Kids Stuff.
At the end of the day, give out medals to the winners. Make sure everyone wins a medal for something. You can buy inexpensive medals at a craft store or make some with aluminum foil and ribbon. Check out our post on Celebrating the Winter Olympics Games with your kids. There are some good ideas for crafts, food, and party decorations.
Good luck and may the best team win! Send us some photos of your Olympic Games at email@example.com. We’d love to feature them on the blog.
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My son and I loved watching the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe competition the other night. Shaun White is just amazing. I can’t believe how high in the air he went on his first pass. If you didn’t see it, you can see the video of Shaun White’s victory run here. Of course, my son thought it was cool that Shaun was playing a little air guitar during the national anthem when he was on the medal podium, but hey, that’s boys for ya.
Being a fellow Chicago suburbs denizen, way to go Evan! My husband could actually watch Evan’s performance last night without making some reference to Blaze of Glory. That’s saying something. (I’m not sure what but I felt the need to point it out.)
To keep the Olympic Winter Games fun rolling, we’ve found another fun idea. We just stumbled across the instructions for making a Mini-Luge Run with your kids at the education.com site. It seems pretty simple and lots of fun, so we wanted to share. If you make one, please send us a photo and we’ll post it on the site.
* Photo from the vancouver2010.com site.
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Tomorrow night is a big night for my son and I. The winter games start and The Lightening Thief is out in theaters. Hmm. Thank goodness for the DVR. We’ll have to tape the opening ceremony and go munch popcorn at the movies. I’ll write about the movie after we go see it opening night. In the meantime, Let the Games Begin!
My kids love the Olympics and since my son is a huge Shaun White fan, I’ve been looking for little things to do to get them excited about the event. My son has been playing Mario vs. Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on the Wii. He has also logged in some good time playing Wii Ski with his friends. He wants to wear his Shaun White T-shirt every other day so I’m logging in some extra laundry time.
My daughter on the other hand, enjoys playing the games at the Official Winter Games site for kids. She loves the little mascot characters.
She Sparkles had some great ideas about how to celebrate the Winter Olympic Games with your kids.
Brian Boitano, the ex- Olympic ice skater and now Food Network host, created some good party ideas for kids.
You can even make your own Olympic Torch so the kids can reenact the passing of the torch by running around the house or the neighborhood. Seriously kids, go run outside!
I tried to get the kids to do their chores Olympic-style, with medals for the fastest dish clearer, the best technique in bed making, or the fastest dismount from their bed in the morning. They didn’t go for it.
What I really like about sharing the Olympics with my kids is the idea of perserverence and the desire to work hard at something. With such short attention spans these days and so much flash and entertainment bombarding us constantly, it is hard to get our kids to see the value in working hard at something. So many things come easy to them and there are so many tools out there to make life easier. While Iim all about making life easier, being able to focus on one thing that they love and strive to be the best at it is a valuable life skill and I like to use the Olympics as a focal point for that discussion. So as we watch the stories of the athletes on TV and all that they went through to make it to the games, I’m hoping the messages are sinking into their brains.
Other than that, my husband and I are going to watch the nightly Stephen Colbert coverage of the Winter Olympics and his sponsored Speed Skating team.
Are you kids into the Winter Olympic Games? How do you celebrate?
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I was on WGN News a week back talking about some inexpensive ideas for having fun at home on a Friday Night. I was able to showcase some of our favorite Friday Night Family Fun products on the segment. Check out the clip and let me know what you think.
Hint: There is a coupon code in the segment for 20% off some of our Family Fun favorites.
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Hosting a Halloween party can be great fun for you and your children and their friends. Looking for some last minute activities to keep the little goblins and ghouls entertained? We’ve got your back. Here are a few of our favorite activities for kids ages 2 to 12. As the good party host knows, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve, especially when children are involved.
Pin the Stem on the Pumpkin – Similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey, cut out a large pumpkin out of oversized orange construction paper. You could also draw one on a 3M Sticky White Pad, like we use at work for meetings, and that way it will stick the wall by itself. Cut stems out of green construction paper and write each child’s name on the back so you know who’s closest. Use a bandana or scarf as a blindfold, turn each child around 3 times and let them at the pumpkin. Whoever sticks the stem closest to the correct spot wins a prize. (Suitable for ages 2-6 years old.)
Spooky Glow in the Dark T-shirts – Head over to the craft store and grab some black T-shirts and glow in the dark paint tubes for the party guests. Let them draw and create a luminous masterpiece. Make sure you do this activity early on in the party so the paint has a chance to dry. Kids will have fun taking turns in the bathroom with the lights out, checking their spooky designs. (Suitable for ages 5 and up).
Catch the Donut Game – We prefer this game to bobbing for apples since there is less mess and no one ruins their costume or makeup with splashing water. Tie a string or yarn around some cider donuts and then hang them from the ceiling, spaced about 2-3 feet apart. (If you can’t hang them from the ceiling, you can tie the donuts to a broomstick and have two volunteers stand on chairs to hold the stick up.) The first child to eat the whole donut without using their hands wins. Note: Don’t use donuts with powdered sugar or heavy amounts of sugar coating. You’ll just create a mess on the floor and on the kid’s costumes, which as we have said is no good. Really, it’s no good. (Suitable for kids ages 5-12 years old)
If you have some other ideas up your sleeve, please, do share. Have fun at your party! Happy Halloween with your family.
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After being cooped up all winter, everybody is anxious to get out and enjoy the outdoors again. Liberated of our heavy winter coats, it’s hard not to feel happier, lighter, and more energetic. The longer days and warmer nights are terrific opportunities to get out of the house and enjoy nature again.
As a parent with two kids of my own, I’ve discovered that summer can be as challenging for adults as it is liberating for kids. Once the charm of sleeping in wears off, I know it’s not long before I’m hearing the dreaded refrain of “Mommy, I’m bored!” Even if they go to summer day camp, the novelty of an unstructured day will eventually wear off, too.
In my experience, preparation is the best way to avoid the B-word. With a little creativity and planning, you can stockpile an arsenal of fun activities to throw at your kids before they can even say “bored.” None of these activities should include sitting in front of the computer, video game, or television; the whole idea is to get them outside and enjoying the sunshine while it lasts (giving you a little well-deserved space in the process).
Here are just a few outdoor activities to get you started:
1. Invest in the Super Parachute Kids Party Game. Kids love parachutes, and I’ll bet all the neighborhood Moms will love you for having this super-fun game!
2. Camp out in the backyard – pitch a tent, grab some sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights (and bug spray!). If you have a fire pit, do it up right with some S’mores.
3. Most libraries have a summer reading program, so take advantage of it. Walk to the local library to check out some fabulous summer reading. Then, set up outdoor reading stations in the backyard with umbrellas, beach towels, and frozen grapes to snack on.
4. Organize Family or Neighborhood Olympics that includes events like hula hoop competition, 3-legged races, water balloon toss, or egg and spoon races (you can buy an Egg and Spoon Race Game and save yourself an eggy yard or kid).
5. Set up a miniature golf course right in your own backyard. The Mini Golf Set has everything you need to get your toddler’s golf career started (or just to keep the little ones occupied for a few hours).
Share your favorite activities that get your kids out of the house and having fun.
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Not going anywhere for Spring Break this year? Don’t fret. Here are some fun kids crafts kits and games to keep the kids occupied while they are at home … and give Mom a chance to hang on to her sanity.
Get the kids started on some art projects. It gets their creative juices flowing and keeps them away from the TV for awhile. At the Chocolate Cake Club, we carry a few art kits that have a lot of craft materials and project ideas to keep kids busy for days, or at least hours. It will give you some kind of break, trust us.
The Giant Art Supply Jar is wonderful because it gives your kids so many different kinds of supplies in one compact, easy-to-put-away plastic jar. My daughter says she hates to do projects at home because all we have is paper and crayons. Well with the art jar, I astounded her with unique art supplies like multi-colored pom poms, glitter pom poms, pipe cleaners, fringed crepe paper, feathers and popsicle sticks. Let the imagination run wild. (Tell your kids to build a diarama and see the glazed look that comes across their face.)
If your kids can’t think of anything to make, then the Little Hands My Giant Busy Box is ideal. Included are 16 exciting arts & crafts projects for kids in one big box. You’ll have all the supplies needed to make dough animals, sticker art, a collage farm, paper bag puppets, and tissue art projects. This way they won’t be asking you to make one more trip to the craft store to get different supplies. The Busy Box Kit also includes 2 plastic frames, 4 animal punch outs, 10 colors of dough, 2 peel and stick tissue art pictures, tons of tissue paper, glue, and instructions. Whoo Hoo!
When your kids’ eyes start to glaze over from playing too much Wii, tell them to play a low-tech game. Here are some that kids like a lot, therefore, they will play them and amuse themselves.
The Monkey Hide ‘n Seek Safari Game is a lot of fun. You can hide the monkey somewhere inside or outside and then your child will use a “magic” wand to find it The wand lights up as your child gets “hotter” or “colder” to finding the monkey. If you have more than one child, have them take turns hiding and finding – letting you get some things done around the house. Older kids get a kick out of seeing who can find the most clever hiding place. It’s also available in a T-Rex Hide ‘n Seek Safari Game.
The Build a Robot Spinner Game is fun for those rowdy boys who need to slow down for a minute. They’ll have fun with this old-fashioned spinner game trying to get enough pieces to build a funky robot. If your child doesn’t have anyone to play with, he or she can use this game as a puzzle and just build cool looking robots on the floor. How’s that for cool – a game they can still play even if they are alone.
Kids Cooking Kits
We think cooking with your kids is one of the best ways to create Chocolate Cake Moments. Not only are you teaching your kids a life skill, but bonding while cooking up some delicious treats is a special time to be close to your kids. Whether you cook with your kids or have them cook with Grandma and Grandpa, they are going to have fun. Here are some kids cooking kits that we just love to heat up some family fun in the kitchen.
Take a tour of France in your kitchen with the Playful Chef Kids French Cooking Set. All of the tools and recipes you need to make some popular French-inspired dishes are included, as well as fun information about French history, vocabulary and geography. (So your kids minds’ won’t completely atrophy while on Spring Break.) Have fun making Quiche Lorraine for breakfast or Chocolate Mousse for dessert.
Have all of the kids cooking tools but short on inspiration? Check out the Playful Chef Kids Cookbook for some new recipes that are kid-friendly.
Baseball’s Spring Training has started so why not celebrate with your baseball-loving kids with the Play Ball Baseball Cookie Kit. Celebrate the beginning of a new Spring Season with some baseball cookies. You can even bake the cookies, while watching a game on TV. This Kids Cooking Kit includes: sugar cookie mix, decorating gel, icing, cutter, and a recipe with instructions.
So, whether you create fun works of art, play games, or cook up some fun, your kids are sure to be amused this Spring Break … giving us Moms a break as well.
Do you have any other ideas for Spring Break Boredom Busters? Please share.
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Looking for something fun to do Friday Night with the family? Why not host a Game Night? Start a tradition in your family that every Friday Night you stay in and play games. You can take turns with each member of your family picking their favorite game. Or invite friends and neighbors over for a casual, inexpensive, and very fun evening.
We’ll give you some ideas on how to host some awesome game nights, as well as our top picks for family fun games.
Why Your Family Game Night is going to rock –
Add some great food.
Keep it low maintenance by ordering in pizza, making chocolate chip cookie bars, or having an ice cream sundae bar. Indulge in your favorite munchies. If you are feeling more inspired, try out some of those appetizer recipes you keep marking and then never making. For the adults, have some beer in the fridge, make a pitcher of margaritas, or try out that new drink recipe. (See Rachel Ray’s site for some great drink recipes.) Make non-alcoholic versions for the kids. If you are inviting friends over, have them bring an appetizer or dessert to share.
Serve up some silliness!
Play some games that are just downright silly so everyone will be laughing. Some of our favorite gut-busting games are:
3 Years Old and Up:
Birds, Bugs and Beans – This card game will be a hit with your pre-schoolers, but the rest of the family will love it too. This is a wild, loud, and fun card game where you throw cards down and then react quickly based on which card is showing. You’ve got to tweet for the birds, clap for the bugs, and toot for the beans. Who doesn’t love making raspberry sounds for the Bean cards???
6 Years Old and Up:
Flapdoodle. In this game, you’ll have to use your creativity and imagination to answer crazy questions and do silly stunts. For example, you might have to take off your socks and shoes and have your two big toes talk to each other about potato chips. Crazy characters like Super Ninja Monkey, Pirate Luigi Pepperoni and the Platypus help you cruise around the board. This game is a huge favorite with our kids.
8 Years Old and Up
This game is perfect for larger gatherings since 8 people can play. We’ve played it during Holidays when the relatives are over. We’ve taken it on vacation for some evening fun. In the game, each player chooses the sound of a typical farm animal. As cards are quickly flipped over, tongue-tied players stumble and stutter to blurt out the animal sounds of the other players. The fun part of the game is that the animal on the card is not the animal sound you need to make so you get all confused and tongue tied. This game is hilarious. (It’s also a great drinking game for adults but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Put on a Costume.
Why just play a game when you can play the game in a silly way? For example, if you are playing a pirate game, have everyone wear pirate hats or eye patches. If playing Snorta, wear an animal mask. Make them out of paper plates before the game begins.
If you invite a few families over for Game Night, have them each bring their favorite game. Set up a game in the kitchen, one in the family room, and one in another room. Each person then moves round robin to the next game as they finish playing. That way you’ll end up playing a few different games and not end up stuck playing the same thing all night. Have a kids game table and adult game table if you want and make sure everyone knows which table to move to at the end of their game.
Get those cards out!
Whatever happened to the fine art of playing cards? My parents said that when they were just married and having babies, one of their main forms of entertainment was to invite over friends, also with babies, and play cards. I believe they said they used to line us babies up and throw us snacks as they played cards, although I could be imagining that.
The poker craze brought a newfound attention to card playing again, but it’s not the only card game in town. There are some other very competitive games to try. My husband’s family is from Iowa and they play Eucher. In Iowa, Eucher is treated as if it were a religion. Wikipedia has the rules. Backalley Bridge is another favorite. When playing for cards, use pennies or macaroni noodles for “betting” or keeping score.
(I’ve included links to the rules here but if you are like me, I have a hard time reading the game rules and then actually figuring out how to play it. So, a better strategy is to invite someone over who knows how to play. Create your guest list based on who knows how to play what.)
If you are going to play games, you’ll need prizes. Large chocolate bars or movie-theater size boxes of candy are great prizes to give to the game winners. If you are playing with younger kids you’ll need to make sure that everyone is a winner but for older kids and adults, let the competition begin. You can also play for chores or activities as prizes. If Mom wins, she gets to give a chore coupon to someone in the house so they have to empty the dishwasher. Before the game, have each player write down 2 – 3 coupon ideas. If they win, they get to hand in their coupon to another player. The other player then has to do what it says on the coupon. (You might need to set some limits but feel free to be creative.)
If you have a Nintendo Wii, you can always have a Wii Game Night. We’ll do a separate post on that in the future.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to stay home and play games one night soon. By adding some creativity, you can make sure everyone will want to come to your house on Game Night. We’d love to hear your ideas on how to have a great Game Night at home. What are some of your favorite games?
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