Jun 6, 2018

Fun Games for Kids--No Screens Required

We've been having a break from Social Media and TV for the last few day and I noticed that my kids haven't actually withered into dried husks and blown away with the East Wind. That is to say, they are surviving.
Not only that, there has been a lot of jumping on the trampoline, a lot of scooter rides, and a lot of game playing.

Specifically, Spot It and Rat-a-Tat-Cat.

Mostly because these are both games 4.5 year old Lincoln can play and he badgers his older brothers until they play with him.

It occurred to me that I should make a list of games my kids actually like so I can put them together in a tub and have them on hand when summer starts. (Still 2+ more weeks of school for us.)

Here are the games I've thought of so far that my boys actually like:

Lincoln (4.5) and up:
Spot It
Rat-a-Tat-Cat (Most of us like this one. You can make it harder or easier depending on who is playing.)
Jenga (which basically means building towers and knocking them down.)
Checkers (also not played correctly.)

Grayson (8):
All of the above, plus...
Skip Bo
He is also starting to be able to handle some "older" games like:

Gabe (11), Sam (13), Max (16), Em (super youngish), Doug (40):
Play 9 (Also known as Golf)
Phase 10 (Card Game)
Sequence or the L.D.S. version, Seek Whence
Ticket to Ride (We have the European Version and Doug wishes we had the American version.)
Settlers of Cataan
Exploding Kittens (G-rated version;)
Cover Your Assets

We have a bunch more in the cupboard that are fun, but these seem to be the ones that get played over and over.

What about you? Do you have any games your teeny tiny kids like to play? Teens? Leave a comment and tell me some of your favorite games!

Happy Screen-Free Summering,

May 16, 2018

The New Big Threat to Our Children

Hi Friends!
Actually, three somethings.

I've just published my third post on HowDoesShe.com.

The first two were related to Emergency Preparedness. I felt pretty passionate about my topic when I wrote them. I feel even MORE passionate about this topic...

This one is called "The New Big Threat to Our Children" and it talks about raising babies and kids in a tech saturated world. I really hope you will go over there and read it and I would LOOOOOOOVE it if you left a comment on the post over there and then went and shared it on Facebook and with every mom of little kids you know! Otherwise it will die a sad death in Internet obscurity.

Pretty please with sugar on top??

I really appreciate it!!

Here's the link:
The New Big Threat to Our Children

Thanks again,

May 15, 2018

Summer Games to Play Outside

SUMMER IS COMING!!! (Cue ominous music.)
My goal this year, like every year, is to get my kids outside as much as possible. I've revised and updated my list of Screen Free Summer Fun, but realized there are a few suggestions on there that the boys legitimately can't follow. For example, they have never played Kick-the-Can and although I played it a lot as a kid, the actual rules were kinda hazy when I thought about it.
I tried to find a super cute one-page printable on Pinterest, but I couldn't. So I made a really boring but serviceable one. If only I had finished that Desktop Publishing degree--regrets--sigh.
I found these directions on WikiHow and modified them to make them more concise and printable. Not entirely sure they make total sense, but your kid can probably get the gist.
In addition to Kick the Can, we have rules for Hopscotch, Four-Square, and Ghost in the Graveyard.

Here ya go:

How to Play Kick the Can
  1. Gather a group of 3 or more people.
  2. Find a can or plastic bottle to use.
  3. Designate playing boundaries. Play in an area with plenty of hiding places. Playgrounds, parks, and cul-de-sacs work great.
  4. Designate a jail area. The jail is where players go when they’re caught by the seeker. Your jail should have clearly defined boundaries. The jail needs to fit all the players playing. (We had to sit on the curb of our cul-de-sac when we played as kids.) Other un-tagged hiders can free you from jail by tagging you, but they risk being caught by the seeker.
  5. Pick the seeker and agree on a count time. Use rock, paper, scissors to select or use whatever method you prefer.
  6. Set up the can. Place in a central location that is wide open and difficult to sneak up on. You may want to locate your can close to your jail. This way, if the can is kicked, the seeker will have to run towards the jail while jailed players are running away.
  7. Hide while the seeker counts with their eyes closed
  8. Go to jail when caught by the seeker. For the seeker to catch someone, they have to call out the hider’s name and hiding spot. Then the hider and seeker race pack to the can. If the seeker arrives first or tags you first, you go to jail. If you get to the can first, you must kick the can before being tagged.
  9. Reset the game when the can is kicked. After the can is kicked, the hider runs to find a new hiding place while the seeker gets the can and places it back where it was. All jailed player are freed when a hider kicks the can.
  10. Play until only one hider remains. The last hider is the winner.

* Add more seekers to your game. But no babysitting the can.
* Play in the dark with flashlights.

Alternate version of the rules here!

How to Play Hop-Scotch

  1. Draw a Hop-Scotch Design on the ground with chalk
  2. Throw a flat stone or small object into square one. It has to be all the way inside the square and can't be touching the line. If you miss, you lose your turn. (Did you know there is an official Hop-Scotch Hoppy Taw game marker? I had one as a kid!)
  3. Hop through the squares, skipping the one you have your marker on.  Each square gets one foot. Which foot you start with is up to you. You can't have more than one foot on the ground at a time, unless there are two number squares right next to each other. In that case, you can put down both feet simultaneously (one in each square). Always keep your feet inside the appropriate square(s); if you step on a line, hop on the wrong square, or step out of the square, you lose your turn.
  4. Pick up the marker on your way back. When you get to the last number, turn around (remaining on one foot) and hop your way back in reverse order. While you're on the square right before the one with your marker, lean down (probably on one foot still!) and pick it up. Then, skip over that square and finish up.
  5. Pass the marker on to the next person. If you completed the course with your marker on square one (and without losing your turn), then throw your marker onto square two on your next turn. Your goal is to complete the course with the marker on each square. The first person to do this wins the game!
How to Play Four-Square

Another classic: Ghost in the Graveyard

What are some games you played as a child that you would like to reintroduce to your kids? Let me know in the comments. Maybe I can add the rules to this post!