Tag: games

The Beyond Tablet: Is this cool new screen-free gaming system worth the price?

When my kids get bored over the summer, their go-to entertainment, other than the Xbox (of course), is board games. So when we got a chance to try out the new Beyond Tablet — an electronic, but screen-free, tabletop gaming system — in advance of its release, we were excited to see if it held our attention. And to find out whether it’s worth the hefty price tag. Here are my feelings. TBH, they’re…mixed. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The best family board games of 2016 What is it? The Beyond Tablet is a large (17-inches square) electronic smart tablet…with...

Read More

So smart! A new board game subscription box to keep family game night fresh.

My kids’ playroom has a bookshelf with piles of board games taller than me. So yeah, you could say we’re fairly avid tabletop gamers at our house. But, even so, we’re still always on the lookout for fun new games. If they’re really affordable, even better. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear that Hasbro just announced their first-ever board game subscription box service. Subscribe, and every three months you get a crate with three new board games right to your door. Choose from either a family game option and an adults-only option for $50 a...

Read More

8 of the coolest summer water activities for your backyard. (Pool? What pool?)

Summer comes in two settings: Hotter and Hottest. That’s why we love these amazing summer water activities for the backyard that we found on some of our favorite sites around the web. I mean I know that for kids, a nice, cool pool is often the most hoped-for remedy; but for parents, we know it’s not always the easiest. Or the most practical. Between pool membership costs, carpooling conflicts, and let’s be honest, total lack of interest in fighting with some teenager who you catch trying to steal your lounge chair, hitting the local pool may not be in the cards...

Read More

20+ backyard party ideas: Host the best summer party on your block.

Warmer weather means moving the inside activities outside, which is an all-around good thing — especially when it comes to those long summer day get-togethers. Parties are somehow just more fun when they’re in the backyard (and we admit, the easier-to-clean-up aspect is pretty appealing too). Since every outdoor event can only get better with a few awesome backyard party ideas, we searched around the web to find our very favorites. At top: Mini Water Blobs | Hello, Wonderful CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Budget-friendly tricks for hosting a fabulous outdoor party. Backyard party ideas for invitations One of the best things about...

Read More

The best family board games for summer travel…because good things come in small packages.

My family loves to play board games. I’m talking, big, involved, takes-three-hours-to-play board games. And what better time to play than when we’re on summer vacation? But, it can be tricky to travel with big boxes full of a zillion pieces. Luckily, we have found a few games we love that come in boxes small enough to easily toss in a backpack or tote bag. So, if you’re looking for some offline family fun that you can take with you, wherever you’re headed this summer, check out these 5 family board games for travel. In fact, these are the ones I’m packing for our trip...

Read More

A printable fidget spinner game gives new life to this year’s breakout toy

If your kids remain obsessed with their fidget spinners, like mine are, here’s a new way to put them to use that won’t drive you crazy: play with them together. And not at the dinner table, either. Thanks to artist mom Amanda Farnum and her clever kids, they’ve created a printable fidget spinner game available in her Etsy shop for download. Essentially up to 5 players try to move across a grid by using your fidget spinner to complete tricks, like challenging another player to a spin-off, or spinning it on one finger while raising it over your head. Just be sure that...

Read More

A penny for your thoughts? This new card game helps kids process those hard emotions.

When I look back at some of my biggest parenting fails, most of them have occurred when I haven’t taken the time to consider my kids’ emotions or help them process their worry, anger, fear, or whatever else it is they are experiencing right in that very moment. That’s why I’m loving the beautiful new card game illustrated by Jaime Letourneau, A Penny For Your Thoughts, created to help kids talk about emotions. I spent some time this week playing this game with my most passionate — read: unpredictable — child at bedtime, and I saw an almost immediate positive impact in his (or her,...

Read More

5 time organization techniques from experts that really work | Spawned Episode 70

Who doesn’t want more time in their day? That’s why on this episode of Spawned, we decided to take a closer look at 5 popular time organization techniques from experts and share how they’d work for parents. If you’ve been wrangling a never-ending to-do list, or you just want some more time to spend time with the people you love, we think you’ll appreciate these expert techniques. You can listen to Spawned right now, and then be sure you’ve subscribed to our show on iTunes so you never miss an episode. 5 Time Organization Techniques  Take a listen to...

Read More

17 fun rainy day indoor activities to keep kids happy and parents sane

It’s been a pretty mild winter for everyone this year, but the season isn’t over yet folks. In the words of the late, great Prince, “Sometimes it snows in April.” Plus, March comes in like a lion, and all that, so it will still be a bit longer before we’re in full on outdoor play mode. Whether it’s the cold, snow, or rain that has your kids stuck inside over the next couple of months, we’ve got your back with tons of fun rainy day indoor activities that can get you and the kids through the long hours. And still smiling at...

Read More

The best group card games to play with the whole family: Game night, bring it.

Now that Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, it’s really starting to feel like Christmas to me. And as much as I love the shopping and the hot cocoa and the decorations, my favorite part is the parties. Instead of sending the kids to the playroom to watch a movie while the adults hang out this year, I’ve found some really fun group card games that the whole family can enjoy together. From competitive strategy games for the geeks in all of us, to light party games that are more about having fun than winning, these are our favorites. Of course,...

Read More

Thanksgiving survival tips. For humans, not turkeys. | Spawned Episode 59

Thanksgiving can be a challenging time for lots of people, but this year, well, let’s just say stress levels are at an all-time high. So, on today’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we’re sharing our Thanksgiving survival tips, from setting conversation boundaries to opting out of celebrations, and yes, some fun ideas, too. Well, beyond booze and carbs, that is. Come commiserate with us! Funny Thanksgiving wine labels via Barton Design Co. Listen to our Spawned podcast right now. This very minute! Right here! Then be sure to subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.   Links...

Read More

Not Parent Approved: Like Cards Against Humanity…for kids.

With the massive popularity of Cards Against Humanity, it was only a matter of time before someone created a G-rated (ok, G-rated-ish) adaptation that pays homage to its irreverent mastery. Enter Not Parent Approved, a truly hilarious, very clever family card game that should be the breakout hit of the upcoming holiday season. Related: 8 of our favorite family games for 6 or more players Think of Not Parent Approved as a cross between the old Match Game (aw, we miss you Charles Nelson Reilly), Apples to Apples and CAH, in which all the players try to pick the most apt red card...

Read More

9 easy Halloween games for kids that will make your party the best on the block

I’m barely getting to the store before all the good candy is gone, so I’m definitely not looking for over-the-top complicated crafts and activities that are going to impress my friends at our annual Halloween party. And when I’m charged with bringing the games for the classroom party, too, I want easy and fun. So, I’ve been searching for simple games my kids can play with their friends at school and before we head out for trick-or-treating. These Halloween games for kids are easy to pull off — most are printable — and are actually a lot of fun. You can choose to give...

Read More

The (totally evil) family tabletop game for wicked word nerds and master strategists.

If your family is divided by the word nerds who love Scrabble and the strategists who love Monopoly, then we’ve found the family tabletop game for you. It’s called Word Domination, it’s on Kickstarter now, and it’s already winning gaming awards. Bonus: You get to be a super villain, minus the hidden volcano lair. Related: The 2016 board games of the year For $30, you can be the first family on the block to collect (and steal!) priceless artifacts and use fiendish weapons from your super-mega-evil arsenal in your plot for world — and word — domination. To play, you...

Read More

5 tips for throwing an awesome kid’s birthday party on a budget of under $50. Yes, it’s possible.

We love a good birthday party around here. In fact, we’ve loved sharing our ideas for Minecraft, Star Wars, Minion, Finding Dory, and even storybook birthday parties for your kids. But some of the ideas we’ve seen on Pinterest (or our friends’ Facebook feeds) have us thinking a kid’s birthday party these days can easily cost $500, if not more. Oof! So, I set out to see whether it’s doable to throw a fun, memorable birthday party for our kids without the hefty price tag. Birthdays on a budget — like, 1/10th of the price. Turns out, it’s possible! For less than $50, we’ve thrown some...

Read More

Fun backyard Olympic games that give your own gold medal athletes a chance to shine

With the Summer Games set to begin on August 5, we are getting ourselves ready to do some Olympic-sized television viewing as we cheer on the amazing athletes from around the world. So if you’re celebrating what is sure to be a spectacular opening ceremonies this weekend, we’ve put together some awesome ideas for throwing your own backyard Olympic games, with Olympic themed activities for all ages. Here are our favorite ideas! Don’t worry…no pole vaulting. (Top: Olympic javelin toss backyard game idea via Hoosier Homemade) Related: Throwing an Olympics Party? Some of the coolest printables, snacks, and party ideas.   Bring all of your athletes together with the free printable...

Read More

The lunch box napkins that can help kids make new friends

I’m not even ready to think about back-to-school season yet, but it’s coming — and sooner than later for parents like me in the south! While I’ve never been the type of parent who attempts to learn Bento arts or make a panda bear rice ball for my kids’ lunch boxes, I do like the idea of sneaking a little something fun into their lunches. One easy — and still really practical — solution are the Napkids lunch box napkins that I just discovered. Related: The coolest lunch box accessories, water bottles, and other goodies to make school lunch more fun Each napkin is printed on...

Read More

10 cool nighttime activities for kids that let you be the fun parent

With the kids out of school and the days so much longer, I’ve been trying to make summer extra fun for them, which means extending bedtimes way past their normal time and heading out for nighttime adventures. Seriously, there are so many fun things to do with kids when it’s dark (even though admittedly, I find them sleeping soundly in their beds very fun. Ha). As a glasses wearer, this has all been made so much easier for me thanks to our newest sponsor, ZEISS DriveSafe, which can actually give you better vision at night. I’m not sure if it’s my age (cough 40 cough) or...

Read More

The 2016 best board games of the year from Spiel des Jahres. Family game night just got a whole lot cooler!

During the summer I usually let my kids stay up late, but we ditch the screens and play board games together instead. So, each year I keep my eye on the Spiel des Jahres award-winning board games to find the best new board games that are guaranteed to be interesting for the whole family. Sorry, Chutes and Ladders. This German-based award that literally means “game of the year” is basically the Pulitzer prize of board games. They consider games from all over the world, and we’re never disappointed with their choices. So, we wanted to share the winners that were announced today, because it just so happens we have loved...

Read More

16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going

Of all the toys that have passed through the hands of my three kids over the past dozen or so years, there is no question that LEGO bricks have been the most enduring and versatile. From their first little plastic bucket of mixed bricks, to those 1000+ piece architectural kits that require hours of concentration, LEGO remains a favorite toy — for all of us — even up against the siren song of video games. But even more than just being fun, I love the important skills that LEGOs can teach. I’ve seen so many of them firsthand as a...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest