Browsing Tag

games

EDUCATION

5 apps for your kids that won’t make you feel guilty about screen time

Let’s face it! There is time when letting your children play games on their iPad or your iPhone makes your life easy. With these 5 games for kids ages 4 to 8, you won’t feel bad to let your children play because they use their brain to solve puzzles or to create.

1. Thinkrolls 2 by Avokiddo

avokiddo thinkrolls 2

With 270 levels, Thinkrolls 2 is a logic puzzler that parents and kids approve. Kids use properties of matter and basic physics to make their Thinkrolls roll, float, glide and teleport in order to complete each level. The chapters gradually introduce the scientific concepts in terms that young kids understand. By solving each level, kids discover what to do. Continue Reading

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Little Box Man Party Theme and Activities

crossing the log by Anton Tang

Admiring these beautiful artistic pictures featuring a little box man gave me the idea for an awesome way to entertain the kids at a party or during summer. First of all, if you are wondering where you can buy them, it is available at the Japanese site of Amazon. Called Danboard, the box men are available in two sizes: 80mm (3 inches) and 130mm (5 inches).

robot box man photos by Alexander Gorshkov

If you feel up to the challenge, you could try to make your own. And then, teach the kids how to do it. I like this craft idea because it is creative and original. It is also an activity that is suitable for girls and boys.

little box man pulling a rose

You will need to supply the kids with tiny boxes, wires, strings, glue, paint, crayons and scissors. Prepare a few photo shoot sets ahead of time. Also bring some props to let the kids improvise. You can hire a photographer or ask a couple friends who are very good with the camera to take pictures. Plan some time at the end of the party to watch a slideshow of the best creations.

little box man :: Alexander Gorshkov Photography

If the kids are older, you could plan a photo tour across your neighborhood. For inspirations on the type of places or the props that you should look for, I invite you to browse the awesome photo galleries of two photographers: Alexander Gorshkov (All About Danboard) and Anton Tang. Both blogs are pure eye candy.

SOURCING:
+ photos: Anton Tang
+ photos: All About Danboard

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

DIY Family Summer Bucket List

family summer activities bucket list kids

family summer activities bucket list kids

There are just a few short weeks left until the final school bell of the year. And you know what that means: time to start planning activities to stave off seasonal whines of “I’m bored!” in between costly day trip adventures and weekend getaways.

Think of this simple yet effective DIY as an event planner in a box. Choose a (preferably portable) container like this vintage lunch box and get the whole family to fill it with cool ideas to keep the dog days of summer from becoming a hot mess of bickering and boredom.

Oh and the jar of candy? That’s just to sweeten the deal.

Get full DIY instructions plus free printables over at Positively Splendid.

SOURCING:
+ All photos from from Positively Splendid

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

The 2011 Edition of Oscar Bingo by How About Orange

how about orange oscar bingo

how about orange oscar bingo

With the Academy Awards just over a week away, another award’s season is winding down. Whether you’re planning a full-on bash to rival Oscar after-parties or just hosting a few film fanatic friends, be sure to include this free, printable Oscar Bingo card designed by Jessica Jones of How About Orange.

This classic game gets a hilarious upgrade with categories like “Orchestra cuts off winner’s speech” and “Winner attempts to exit stage in wrong direction”. It’s sure to keep your guests entertained through the show’s less-than-award-worthy segments.

For other Oscar party ideas, including food and favor suggestions, check out Kim’s round-up.

SOURCING:
+ Printable Oscar Bingo card from How About Orange

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Pac Man Hothead by Fred and Friends

fred pac man hothead

fred pac man hothead

I almost bought this silicone pot holder in Pac Man shape for my husband tonight. It would make a nice gift for a classic arcade game fan. If you a long time readers on my blog, you may remember the classic arcade cupcake tower I ordered for his birthday.

Plus, silicone pot holders have a major advantage over the fabric oven mitts; they are more hygienic.

SOURCING:
+ Pac Man Hothead $12.25 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

DIY Games and a Beach for your Backyard

bring the beach in your backyard

outdoor games :: backyard booce and scrabble

It is fun to play outside. And you do have to restrict your choices to outdoor games and sports. I have a thing for the classic games since people of all generations can play them. I found on Sunset magazines, an online guide to make your own:

+ Backyard Booce
+ Backyard Scrabble board

bring the beach in your backyard

If you wish to bring the feeling of the beach in your backyard, you will definitively want to read those two articles:

+ How to Build a Beach in your Backyard
+ DIY Outdoor Shower

FAMILY KIDS rooms

CedarWorks Indoor and Outdoor Playsets

rhapsody beds and activity sets by cedarworks

Serendipity swing sets by cedarworks

Swing sets and play sets are a sure way to keep your kids and their friends playing for hours at home. The selection at CedarWorks is to die for. I would love to be a kid again. They have smaller sets but I’m showing you the awesome ones that you would get if money was no object.

The castle aesthetics of the Serendipity Series was the first to caught my attentions. Tons of components are available to stimulate imagination and keep your kids active all day. My favorite parts are the ladders, the rock walls, and the activity ladders. Accessories include a steering wheel, a bucket on a rope and a spyglass.

Indoor Play

But after careful review, I am more impressed by their indoor collection. Some items are available for indoor and outdoor usage.

rhapsody bunk bed with ladder, slide, chalkboard, tree by cedarworks

The Rhapsody bed sets with their choice of loft beds or bunk beds would be super cool for sleep overs and play dates. The bunk bed in the above set acts as a day bed.

rhapsody beds and activity sets by cedarworks

Before you splurge in a bunk bed with an activity center, see how your kids act at night around toys. Some kids may be too distracted by the toys to put that type of arrangement in their bedroom. On the other end, it may provide an extra bed in the playroom.

rhapsody bed

How Much it Costs?

No idea! I was only able to dig online that their sets are expensive. I can’t give you an idea because CedarWorks do not share their prices on their Web site or on their media information. CedarWorks expects that you call them to know how much it will cost. It feels so dépassé (outdated)!

SOURCING:
+ Serendipity 1 by CedarWorks
Rhapsody Bed 2
+ Rhapsody Bed 4

LIVING URBAN Living

I want my Wii Fit Plus

wii fit plus by nintendo

wii fit plus by nintendo

Like everyone’s else at this time of the year, I want to exercise more in 2010. Going to the gym does not fit my schedule. I used to do a small wake-up my body yoga routine every morning followed 3 times a week by a longer yoga session. Then, I add a Wii Fit session to my “get in shape for ski”  routine. For the last 6 months, I stopped all that.

Living a More Balanced and Organized Life is my New Year’s resolution. To be true to my resolution, I will reintegrate a training session as an essential part of my daily activities.

I was curious to see what is new with Wii Fit. They are a few new exercises but the feature I like the most is that I can build my own training routine in Wii Fit Plus. I will get the new version. I will tell you if it is worth it. As I watched the Wii Fit Plus Info video, I felt inspired by the loft interior.

What I like about the Wii Fit is that it can be used by all members of the family.

+ photos: Wii Fit by Nintendo

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Halloween Dress Up Paper Doll Templates

dress up boy halloweenie printable template by babalisme

Playing dress up for Halloween doll is a fun activity to occupy the kids while you are making breakfast. The woman behind Babalisme did these super cute Halloweenie dress up doll printables. Her dress up Halloween dolls are available in a boy version and a girl version.

Magnetic Dress Up Doll Project

dress up girl halloweenie printable with magnetic pieces

If you are looking for a more resistant option than simply paper, a mother came up with a magnetic paper doll upgrade. She assembled a backdrop scene on a kiddo sized cookie sheet. This means that less pieces are spreading around your house. Plus, she reinforced the clothes and accessories with contact sheet before putting a magnet on each piece. It is a good idea. Visit Funny Days with Mommy and Maddie for the complete set of instructions.

MORE:
+ Halloweenie dress up doll printable – girl version
+ Halloweenie dress up doll printable – boy version
+ Via Living Locurto

FAMILY KIDS party

Funky Forest Interactive Eco-System Installation

funky forest interactive eco-system installation for kids by theodore watson and emily gobeille

Two Amsterdam artists, Theodore Watson and Emily Gobeille of Zara Parade created Funky Forest in 2007. This is an interactive ecosystem where children used their body movements to influence the life of a forest and a river.

Kids can use their body or place pillow rocks and logs to divert the water flowing from the waterfall to the trees to keep them alive. It is playful and instructive since if the trees lack water, they would wither and die. Kids could press their bodies against the forest to build new trees. The shape of the tree will be influenced by the child body. When the eco-system flourishes, the kids are rewarded by the emergence of lovely flying creatures. I wish I could play!

Besides the artist value, I wish to talk about this since I see it as the future of kid parties. Imagine booking a venue with similar installation as a playroom. It would be awesome. See how much kids enjoyed the Funky Forest on this video:

MORE:
+ Theodore Watson
+ Zara Parade
+ Via ArtEverywhere

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Three Conversation Starter Games Nicely Crafted by Martha Stewart Weddings

conversation starters

The best hostess knows that it is up to her to find ways for her guests to interact. When you host a big event, you cannot be there to introduce everyone. To avoid awkward moments or to explore new conversation topics, why not plan a conversation starter game.  With games that look as great as those ones, everyone will want to participate.

The three games I selected involved some do it yourself tasks. You probably have recognized her style. You will find the detailed set of instructions on Martha Stewart Weddings site.

I Knew you when…

During cocktail hour, each guest sticks a flag where they written their name into the year she met either the bride or groom. I imagine doing this at a milestone birthday party. Everyone later share how they met. Since you need something that you have no problem pinning the flag, ask the print shop for an oversize print to be mounted on foam board. It will be a nice souvenir for the guest(s) of honor.

Change is Good

You put vintage coins on a cute box wrapped with a ribbon. Each guest opens their box. One by one they tell the story of something good that happens to them on the year of the coins. Shown here are the chic Semikolon gift boxes. I bought the same collection to neatly store my magazines.

I Spy…

This is a game that will occupy the kids. Equipped with their own portable or digital camera, the kid who took a picture of the most challenges on the list win. This is why I think a cheap digital camera will work best for this game. It is called I spy but it could have be named I shot.

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS FOR:
+ I Knew you when – including
+ Change is Good
+ I Spy