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Monday, June 29, 2009

Honest reviews from the mom in the know

The attached link is reviews on popcorn seasoning:

\Honest reviews from the mom in the know

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Friday, June 26, 2009


How To Play - Cranium Game - Game Rules

Cranium is the hot, outrageously fun board game that brings family and friends together through a variety of activities celebrating your whole brain. Whether you're an aspiring actor, artist, trivia chap, or wordsmith, Cranium gives everyone a chance to shine.

Divide into teams of two or more. Each team chooses a game piece and places it on the purple Planet Cranium® labeled S T A R T.

Give each team a pad and pencil.

Now you’re ready to play Cranium!

Set out the four character card boxes:

Creative Cat®, Word Worm®, Star Performer®, and Data Head®.

Set out the die, timer, and tub of Cranium Clay®.

Cranium is the outrageously fun party game for four or more players that will get you and your team sculpting, acting, puzzling, and even spelling backwards to win!

The object of the game is to be the first team to move clockwise around the board and into Cranium Central™, where your team will attempt its final activity for the win!

On your first turn, and every time you’re on a purple Planet Cranium, you get to choose which box your card will be drawn from.

In Cranium you roll at the END of your turn, after you have successfully completed an activity.

If you’re successful...Roll the die and move to the next color indicated on the die. You must stop on every purple Planet Cranium even if your roll would otherwise take you past it. If you roll purple, zoom ahead to the next Planet Cranium.

Your turn is now over. Play passes to your left. If you don’t succeed... Don’t roll or move. You must wait until your next turn and try again. Your turn is now over.

On every Planet Cranium you have a chance to get on the fast track. If your team is successful on the first activity you do on the Planet Cranium, hop on the inner fast track. Otherwise, take the outer scenic path.

Getting on the fast track scenic path Planet Cranium fast track star performer® creative cat ® word worm®

Your team does the activity described on the card. 2 data head®

The team to your right draws your card and reads it aloud to you. Your card is drawn from the character card box that matches the colored space your team’s game piece is on.

ON YOUR TURN At the start of the game, the team with the person whose birthday is coming up next goes first.

A Club Cranium card pauses the game for an outrageous all-play activity, with all teams competing to earn a bonus roll. The first team to shout out the correct answer before time runs out wins an immediate bonus roll.

After the Club Cranium is played, the winner of the Club Cranium card takes one bonus roll and moves. Then the team whose turn it was when the Club Cranium card was drawn takes its regular turn.

Just follow the instructions on the card.

If you draw Club Cranium card while you’re on a Planet Cranium…

•If your team doesn’t win the Club Cranium and it was your first activity while on a Planet Cranium, don’t worry——you can still try for the fast track on your regular turn.

•If your team wins the Club Cranium and it was your first activity while on a Planet Cranium, roll and move onto the fast track.


Everyone plays this Club Cranium Cloodle! Choose one artist from each team to draw clues on paper with no talking, letters, or symbols. The first team to guess the answer wins an immediate bonus roll. If this card was drawn on your turn, you get another card after the winner’s bonus roll. cloodle® thing

Enter the Cranium Circle on a roll at the end of a turn. Move to the name of the character card box that matches the color on the die.

If you roll purple, you can choose your starting point on the circle.

Now wait for your next turn.

Each time you successfully complete an activity in the Cranium Circle, keep the card, move clockwise to the next character name, and wait until your next turn to do an activity from that box.

Club Cranium cards count, too. If you win a Club Cranium card while you’re in the Cranium Circle, keep the card if it’s one you need. If the card you won matches the character name you are on, move clockwise to the next character name.

If you are not successful, stay where you are and try again on your next turn.

Once your team holds one card from each character card box, move into Cranium Central.

On your next turn, the other teams collectively choose the character card box for your final activity.

If you are unsuccessful, you must try again on your next turn.

If your team is the first to successfully complete an activity in Cranium Central (Club Cranium cards count, too), congratulations! You’ve won Cranium!

Take your family night on the road

Every now and then it is a great idea to get out of the house and take your game night on the road. Is there a local mini golf center or bowling center around? Make sure to pick something that you are all able to do together. For instance, while it is great to get out and catch a movie, it doesn’t really have its place in family game night. You are not interacting with each other and may as well all be at home watching TV.

Do a little research and make a list of places that may be included in family night. Whoever has a turn in choosing the game for the night may also include one of the venues on the list if they so desire.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A Two Player Game. Ages 8 and up

A little history:
The game Battleship (also known as Battleships) is a guessing game played by two people. It is known throughout the world as a pencil and paper game and predates World War I in this form. It was invented by Clifford Von Wickler in the early 1900s, but he never patented the game and it was soon published by Milton Bradley Company in 1943 as the pad-and-pencil game "Broadsides, the Game of Naval Strategy".

BATTLESHIP is the old favorite Navy Game where two players try to sink each other's hidden ships. It is conveniently packaged in self-contained sturdy plastic game kits, complete with storage compartments for the small ships and marker pegs. If can be set up, ready for play, in minutes and quickly stored away when not in use. In this modern, compact form, BATTLESHIP will provide pleasant entertainment for the whole family.

Players place their "fleet" of 5 ships on their "ocean", hidden from the opponent's view. Taking turns, players call out their "shots" attempting to get "hits" on the opponent's ships in order to sink them. Strategy and some luck must be combined to be the first to locate and sink all 5 opponent's ships to win the game.

The two plastic game kits (I red and I blue) are used for playing the game and storing of the small parts. The diagram below of an OPEN KIT shows the various parts.

The lid of the box acts as a BARRIER SCREEN to block the view of the opponent and contains the TARGET GRID for marking a player's shots. The bottom of the box contains the OCEAN GRID for placement of a player's fleet. It also contains bins for storage of the SHIPS and MARKER PEGS.

The SHIPS and PEGS are supplied on "runners". Remove these by carefully TWISTING until they break off. Each kit should have FIVE SHIPS as follows:
"Carrier" (5 holes), "Battleship" (4 holes), "Cruiser" (3 holes), "Submarine" (3 holes), and "Destroyer" (2 holes). Each kit should have 2 runners of WHITE pegs (84 pegs) and I runner of RED pegs (42 pegs). Each player has a kit.

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME is to be the first player to sink all five of his opponent's ships.

(one shot in a turn)

I. Two players sit FACING EACH OTHER, each with his kit on the fable in front of him. They open their BARRIER LIDS so they cannot see the OCEAN GRID of their opponent's kit. The lids are kept open all during the playing of the game.
2. Each player SECRETLY places his fleet of 5 ships on his OCEAN GRID. The BOTTOM of each ship has two "anchoring pegs" which must be pushed THROUGH the holes in the OCEAN GRID for placing them, Ships may be placed in ANY HORIZONTAL (back and forth) or VERTICAL (up and down) position - but NOT DIAGONALLY. The ship's "anchoring pegs" will NOT fit in the grid holes if placed diagonally. All holes on the TOP of the SHIPS must be lined up over holes on the OCEAN GRID. DO NOT place a ship so that a part of it is overhanging the grid holes or over letters and numbers.
3. When both players have placed their 5 ships as desired, they announce "READY." From then on, during the game, they MAY NOT change the position of any ship. To do so would be cheating!

In this BASIC Game, the players call out ONE shot each turn to try to hit an opponent's ship.
I. The player with the RED kit fakes the first shot. Players then alternate, taking one shot at a time (red, blue, red, etc.).
2. A shot is made by calling a LETTER and a NUMBER to locate which hole in the opponent's OCEAN GRID that shot is to be placed. That hole is located by going straight across, horizontally, from the called LETTER (printed on the side) and down, vertically, from the called NUMBER (printed across the top). The diagrams below show examples of how shots are located. The black dot shows where the shot is placed.

3. When a shot is called, the opponent immediately tells, the player whether it s a "hit" or "miss". If is a "hit" if the called hole on his OCEANGRID is covered by a ship; and a "miss" if no ship occupies that hole. If the shot is a "hit", the opponent fells the player what KIND of SHIP was "hit" (cruiser, carrier, etc.)

1.After a player has called his shot and found out whether it s a "hit" or "miss," he places a marker peg in his TARGET GRID (the one in the lid) -a WHITE peg for a "miss" and a RED peg for a "hit", to mark the location of that shot. This will guide him in placing future shots and prevent him from calling the same holes more than once.
2. A player does not have to mark his opponent's "misses" with white pegs, but, he MUST MARK any 'hits" that the opponent makes on his ships with a RED peg. When a hit has been made on a player's ship, he places a RED peg in the SHIP at that location on his OCEAN GRID.
Examples of marking the shots -

a. John calls "F-44' to Harry. Harry. announces f as a "miss". John places a WHITE PEG at "F.4" on his TARGET GRID. Harry does not place a peg in his kit.
b. Harry calls "H-6" to John. John announces if as a "ht" - "on a Destroyer." Harry places a RED PEG at "H-6" in his TARGET GRID. John places a RED PEG in a hole of his Destroyer at "H-6" on his OCEAN GRID.

1. Players continue taking turns, Calling shots and marking them.

2. Whenever a ship has received enough "hits" to fill all of ifs holes with RED PEGS, if is SUNK and is removed from the OCEAN GRID. The player whose ship is sunk must announce if to his opponent.

3. The number of "hits" each ship must receive to be SUNK is as follows: Carrier - 5 hits, Battleship - 4 hits, Cruiser - 3 hits, Submarine - 3 hits, Destroyer - 2 hits.
4. It is expected that players will be HONEST in announcing "hits" when they are made. Occasionally players may make a mistake in calling a hole they didn't mean or in locating the correct hole called. If a player feels an error has been made, he may call a TRUCE - and stop the game temporarily to review shots he has made in past turns. He can easily do this by calling out the location of the pegs he has placed on his TARGET GRID and asking the opponent to verify the "hits" and "misses" he has marked.

The first player to sink all 5 of his opponent's ships is the WINNER.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cariboo Game by Cranium

Kids will love exploring the golden island of Cariboo, where they'll enjoy the thrill of unlocking secret doors and discovering hidden treasures!

The matching activities in Cranium Cariboo combine laugh-out-loud fun with four early-learning fundamentals -- letters, numbers, shapes, and colors -- so kids learn as they play. And, it grows with your child. Kids practice A, B, C and 1, 2, 3, 4 with the Beginner cards, then explore the full alphabet and numbers 1 to 10 with the Advanced cards.

Each game of Cariboo takes about 10 to 15 minutes to play -- perfect for young attention spans -- but kids love to play again and again. And because the rules are easy and reading is not required, kids can enjoy the game on their own.

Ages: 3,4,5,6,7,8
Number of Players: 2-4 Players

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Operation is a battery-operated game of physical skill that tests players' hand-eye co-ordination. Made by Milton Bradley, it has been in production since 1965, the year in which the game was invented by John Spinello.

The game is a variant on the old-fashioned wire loop electric game popular at fun-fairs and the flammer stores around the United States. It consists of an "operating table", lithographed with a comic likeness of a patient (nicknamed "Cavity Sam") with a large, red light-bulb for his nose. In the surface are a number of openings, which reveal fictional and humorously-named ailments made of white plastic. To work, the game requires two D batteries.


There are two sets of cards: Doctor and Specialist cards. The Specialist cards are dealt out evenly amongst the players at the beginning of the game.

Players take turns to pick Doctor cards, which offer a cash payment for removing a particular ailment, using a pair of tweezers connected with wire to the board. If a player successfully removes the ailment they collect the amount shown on their card. However, if the tweezers touch the metal edge of the opening during the attempt (closing the circuit), a buzzer sounds, the patient's nose lights up red, and the player loses their turn. The player holding the Specialist card for that piece then has a try, getting double the fee if they succeed. Since there are times when the player drawing a certain Doctor card also holds the matching Specialist card, s/he can be tempted to purposely botch the first attempt, in order to succeed on the second try, for double value.

The winner is the player with the most money after all the pieces have been extracted.

The game can be difficult, due to the shapes of the plastic ailments, and the fact the openings are scarcely larger than the ailments themselves.

Adam's Apple: in the throat; The Adam's apple is a colloquial term referring to the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx that becomes more visually prominent during puberty. Worth 100 points.

Broken Heart: a heart shape with a crack through it on the right side of the chest. The phrase "broken heart" refers to an emotional feeling in which someone is very sad for some reason. 100 points.

Wrenched Ankle: a wrench in the right ankle. 100 points.
Butterflies in the Stomach: a large butterfly in the middle of the torso. The name comes from the feeling in the stomach when nervous or afraid. 100 points.

Spare Ribs: two ribs fused together as one piece. "Spare Ribs" are a variety of meat. 150 points.

Water on the Knee: a pail of water in the knee. Colloquialism for fluid accumulation around the knee joint. 150 points.

Funny Bone: a play on the anatomical name for the upper arm bone (the humerus), and a reference to the colloquial name of the ulnar nerve. 200 points.

Charley Horse: a small horse resting near the hip joint. A play on the real charley horse, which is a sudden cramp in the leg or foot, that can be cured with massage or stretching. 200 points.

Writer's Cramp: a pencil in the forearm. Refers to the real writer's cramp which is a soreness in the wrist, and can be cured resting it. 200 points.

The Ankle Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone: This is not a plastic piece, but rather a rubber band that must be stretched between two pegs at the left ankle and knee. 200 points. The name is taken from the African-American spiritual "Dem Bones".

Wish Bone: located on the left side of the chest. A "wish bone" is a chicken bone which is traditionally used by two people to make a wish on. 300 points.

Bread Basket: a slang word for the stomach. It is a very small slice of bread, with only a small notch taken out of the top for grip. 1000 points.

In 2003, Milton Bradley allowed fans a chance to vote on a new piece to be added to the original game. The people were given three choices, and could make their selection via the company's official website or by phone (866-SAM-VOTE) for a chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree [1]. Voting ended on the 31st of December, and the winning piece (beating out tennis elbow and growling stomach) made its debut in October 2004:

Brain Freeze: an ice-cream cone located in the brain. Refers to the actual brain freeze, an ailment which occurs in the head usually after eating very cold foods too quickly.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Apple Ladybugs

Here's a cute recipe you can make with your little one before your game starts! It's a healthy one too! :-)

Phoebe is at an age (4) when she loves to be the helper bear! She loves to make these! She is so proud showing Daddy her ladybug!

Apple Ladybugs

2 red apples
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon peanut butter
8 thin pretzel sticks

Cooking Instructions
Slice apples in half from top to bottom, and scoop out the cores using a knife or melon baller. If you have an apple corer, core them first, then slice. Place each apple half flat side down on a small plate.

Dab peanut butter on to the back of the 'lady bug', then stick raisins onto the dabs for spots. Use this method to make eyes too. Stick one end of each pretzel stick into a raisin, then press the other end into the apples to make antennae

Swing the Statue

I found another fun game you and your family can play! Swing the Statue. I hadn't heard of this game, can't wait to play with my hubby and little ones.

Swing the Statue:

Swing the Statue is a game that is more entertaining than competitive. Isn't that a nice change? It's been played by generations of children.


Children (and adults) of all ages can enjoy Swing the Statue.

Where to Play

A grassy lawn is best for Swing the Statue.

How to Play

One player is chosen to be "it." He or she takes each of the other players in turn and, holding them by a wrist or hand, swings them in a circle and then lets them go. The swung player must freeze as soon as possible and hold that position as long as possible. The first player to break the freeze becomes "it." Since the first player swung must hold the position longest, begin with the oldest child first. The entertainment value comes from seeing the strange positions that players end up in and watching them try to hold those positions.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Advanced Four Square Game

Since its Summertime and it is getting dark later families could opt to have their night outside. I found this game you could play! Phoebe LOVES sidewalk chalk so this is a great game for little ones.

Advanced Four Square Game
This ain't your father's four square.

Sidewalk chalk
Good bouncing ball (like a kickball)

1. Draw a 6- to 10-foot square on a paved surface, such as a driveway.

2. Divide the larger square into four smaller squares, number the squares 1 to 4, and have each child stand in a block.

3. The player in square 4 serves the ball by bouncing it in his square and tapping the ball into another square.

4. The player in that space must tap the ball (after one bounce) into another kid's area, and so on, until someone misses the ball, lets the ball bounce twice, or sends it out of the grid.

5. The player who misses the ball steps out and the remaining players rotate up through the numbered squares. If you are playing with more than four players, a new player enters the game at square 1.

The player who is out waits in line to re-enter the game once square 1 is open again.

6. Whoever is now in square 4 serves the ball to resume play.


Sherbet recipes are often overlooked frozen treats made with fruit juice rather than heavy cream. Lighter and healthier than ice cream but less trendy than sorbet or ices, sherbet is frequently used in dessert and punch recipes or as a sweet treat on its own.

In Britain, sherbet is actually an effervescent fruit drink or fizzy powder rather than a frozen dessert. The term “sherbert” is frequently used interchangeably with sherbet and, in the United States, either term invariably refers to a range of frozen treats. The most popular flavors in sherbet recipes are orange, lime, and pineapple, though strawberry, grape, watermelon, and other fruit flavors are favorite choices as well. Many companies manufacture rainbow sherbet varieties, with multiple fruit flavors mixed together in colorful swirls for a delicious blend of classic tastes.

How bout veggies as a snack?

What could be easier than fresh veggies as a snack? Gives you that energy you need!

Veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber with dipping sauce like ranch dressing.

You could also include fresh fruit as well.

These both provide your family with the fruit and veggie requirement for growing bodies! Also, these don't weigh you down like salty sugary snacks can.


I seem to remember this game as well from my childhood.

Can you build a better mousetrap?

The object of MOUSE TRAP is to build a wacky contraption following the Building Plan and then to use it to trap the mice of the other player(s).

Ages 6 and up. 2 to 4 players.

Player turns crank which rotates gears causing lever to move and push stop sign against shoe. Shoe tips bucket holding metal ball (E) Ball rolls down rickety stairs and into rainpipe which leads it to hit helping hand rod. This causes bowling ball to fall from top of helping hand rod through thing-a-ma-jig and bathtub, to land on diving board. Weight of bowling ball catapults diver through the air and right into wash tub, causing cage to fall from top of post and trap unsuspecting mouse.

Both Hasbro and Mattel make a Mousetrap game.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Now it's your turn! Tell me about your family game nights!

I would love to hear about how you spend time with your family. Do you think it's a good idea to have game nights? Have you had game nights? Are you planning one in the near future?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Here's another great game for toddlers and another present for Phoebe's birthday! I really remember playing this with my grandma when I was little!

Gosh I miss those days!! Seems like those times long ago are so sacred!! I thank God for them for I believe it has made me the person I am today!!

Okay, enough nostalgia!! Hee hee!!


Product Description:

For generations, boys and girls have enjoyed Candyland as their first board game. The color-themed game requires no reading on the part of the players and is easy for even the youngest of children to follow. Players move their primary-colored gingerbread people around the rainbow path, moving through the Peppermint Stick Forest by matching the color spaces to the colors on the pick deck. The player who reaches the Candy Castle first wins.

Playing cards thoughtfully designed for non-readers are coded with colorful squares matching the jeweled stepping-stone path or an occasional token matching one of the characters' symbols: draw a blue card, move to the nearest blue stepping-stone; draw a snowflake and earn a visit to Queen Frostine's iceberg. There are occasional pitfalls, too: land on the wrong square and you might be stuck in Molasses Swamp until a red card is drawn. With all these enticing, sugarcoated images (and King Kandy plainly visible at path's end), children can't help but be delighted by Candyland. It's delicious!

This game is suitable to two to four players, children and adult and children can even play it alone. As a primary learning game, Candy Land fosters a child's exposure to following directions, taking turns, color recognition and count skills. The game promotes thinking as well as patience in the form of waiting one's turn to play. By playing games with others, children are encouraged to socially interact in a more controlled manner, which helps develop character for future endeavors.

Hummus with Baked Pita Chips

This irresistible Middle-Eastern inspired dip makes a great appetizer for everyone. Serve with pita triangles, whole grain crackers or better still, a plate of raw vegetables. Makes a great healthy snack for energy with your game night!!

•1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
•1 tbsp of tahini (ground sesame seed paste); oddly, peanut butter is a great substitute
•2 cloves of garlic
•3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•3 tbs fresh parsley
•1/2 tsp cumin
•1/2 tsp salt


In a blender or food processor, puree all the ingredients. Stop and scrape down the sides if necessary. Add in a tablespoon or two of fat free plain yogurt if the dip needs thinning.

Chutes and Ladders

We also purchased Chutes and Ladders for Phoebe's birthday. We're planning on playing this evening. Love this game as well!!

Ages 3-6. 2-4 Players.

The Exciting Up and Down Game for Little People! This delightful game is simple and easy to play, even for children who can't read. Players spin the spinner and move their pawns, square by square, the number shown. If the pawn lands on a picture square at the bottom of a ladder, children climb up with a good deed! Naughty deeds slide you back when you land on a picture square at the top of a chute!

*****WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD-Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.*****

Hi-Ho Cherry-O

My daughter Phoebe turned 4 yesterday!! My baby is growing up!! One of the gifts we gave her was Hi-Ho Cherry-O. We played it last night, what a fun game! I remember this game from when I was a child.

The object is to be the first player to pick 10 cherries from your tree and fill your bucket.

Here's how to play the game:

In turn, each player spins and plays according to his/her spin:

One Cherry

Pick one cherry from your tree and put it into your bucket.

Two Cherries

Pick two cherries from your tree and put them into your bucket.

Three Cherries

Pick three cherries from your tree and put them into your bucket.

Four Cherries

Pick four cherries from your tree and put them into your bucket.

Bird or Dog

Take two cherries from your bucket and place them back on your tree. (If you have only one cherry, put that one back. If you have none do nothing.)

Spilled Bucket

Dump the cherries out of your bucket, place them back on your tree and start over.


You win if you're the first player to call, "Hi Ho! CherryO!" indicating that you have 10 cherries in your bucket.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Edy's Slow Churned Neighborhood Salute

Here is a link to the Neighborhood block party contest

Slow Churned Neighborhood Salute

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Free tastic freebies

Free tastic freebies

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Win a Neighborhood Block Party Compliments of Edy's Ice Cream!

What a great way to get together and have fun with your family and neighbors than to have a block party!!

Edy's Ice Cream has a contest currently going on for lucky neighborhoods to win a free block party with everything included.

Here is a brief overview:

Tell Edy's in 350 words or less why YOUR neighborhood is the best neighborhood and why it deserves an Edy's Slow Churned Neighborhood Salute ice cream block party. You and your neighbors could be one of 1,500 winners to scoop up enough FREE Edy's Slow Churned® light ice cream to feed up to 100 guests, plus a FREE party-in-a-box.

The party-in-a-box consists of:
•100 bowls/cups
•100 plastic spoons
•10 plastic scoops
•200 napkins
•1 disposable camera
•1 yard sign
•1 marker
•100 name tags
•2 table covers
•25 door hanger invitations
•20 $1.00 off coupons for Edy's
Slow Churned® light ice cream
•2 gift certificates for Edy's
Slow Churned® light ice cream
•Commemorative ice cream scoop
engraved with the Edy's
Slow Churned Neighborhood
SaluteSM logo
•Wipes for sticky fingers

I know we all enjoy getting together for block parties in our neighborhood. What better way to enjoy time together than with some great ice cream?

Choose five preferred weekends for your ice cream block party:
July 11
July 18
July 25
August 1
August 8
August 15
August 22
August 29
September 5
September 12

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What could be easier than popcorn as a snack on your game night?

Popcorn has to be the easiest snack out there. All you have to do these days is pop it in the microwave! Or, if youhave your own popper, then pop it yourself! There are so many different flavors too! I like Kettle Corn myself! Phoebe loves to be the little helper bear and put the package in the oven and hit start. I always purchase Orville Redenbacker, but there are so many others. Jolly Time offers coupons on their website go to and click on the coupon section. Go to You can register for a free sample of Orville Redenbacher’s Natural Gourmet popcorn. Just visit the sample page and select the Orville link. Fill out your information to receive your free sample. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Available to U.S. Residents only.

Don't Spill the Beans!

I was shopping this Christmas for my 4 year old daughter, Phoebe, I came upon Don't Spill the Beans! I had to get this game! It was so inexpensive too!! I remember playing it when I was a child! She adores this game. I have to say my husband loves to play the game with her, my 2 year old, Owen, on the other hand likes to eat the beans! Not good!

Rules of the game:

Get rid of all the beans you've got, but do it without tipping over the pot.

Classic pre-school game. A favorite for 30 years!

Ages 3-6, 2 or more Players.

WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Old Maid

Do you remember how to play Old Maid? Here are the rules

This children's game can be played by two or more players. From a standard 52 card pack remove one queen leaving 51 cards. Deal and play are clockwise.

The dealer deals out all the cards to the players (generally some will have one more card than others - this does not matter). The players all look at their cards and discard any pairs they have (a pair is two cards of equal rank, such as two sevens or two kings).

The dealer begins. At your turn you must offer your cards spread face down to the player to your left. That player selects a card from your hand without seeing it, and adds it to her hand. If it makes a pair in her hand she discards the pair. The player who just took a card then offers her hand to the next player to her left, and so on.

If you get rid of all your cards you are safe - the turn passes to the next player and you take no further part. Eventually all the cards will have been discarded except one queen (the old maid) and the holder of this queen loses.

Old Maid is sometimes played with a special pack of cards: all the cards come in matching pairs except for a single Old Maid card, whose holder at the end is the loser.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hasbro Family Game Night Page

Hasbro has a great website with some good suggesions on how to plan your own family game night. The site also has a link to great special offers on Hasbro games, check it out at

The offers include: $10 coupons for MONOPOLY Electronic Banking and SCRABBLE Diamond Edition and a $5 coupon for PICTUREKA!

Benefits to having a Family Game Night

1. First and foremost LAUGHTER!! Games offer a fresh experience every time you play, new ways to play and laugh together and create new memories!

2. Family Bonding. Playing games allows your kids to learn from you and from each other. It encourages a sense of connection and respect among family members.

3. Learning. Games can be a great learning tool. For instance, CLUE is good for learning deductive reasoning. MONOPOLY is ideal for teaching beginning budget skills and YAHTZEE provides a fun way to teach simple addition and multiplication.

4. Life Skills. Games teach kids important life skills such as patience, concentration, teamwork and perseverance. By taking turns, following rules and even losing a game, kids learn skills that they can apply at school and in the home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Plan Your Game Night

Why is family game night such a good idea? First of all, it’s a fun way for families to spend time together. Games allow you to compete, show off skills and learn sportsmanship. They encourage family communication. Family game night is like a mini-vacation where everyone can enjoy each other’s company -- and make memories that will last forever.

Here’s how to make your game night something you look forward to all week:

Clear the books. Make this an important date. This sends a good message about family priorities, and it gives everyone something to anticipate.

Keep it to the family. You may want to make other game evenings when you invite guests, but for this night, make sure it’s all about your immediate family. This fosters communication, comfort and helps everyone build a strong sense of family identity.

No interruptions. Let the machine get phone calls, turn off your cell and PDA, and make sure all homework is done beforehand.

Choose the right game. Make sure that everyone can enjoy playing the game, and let different family members choose the game. In fact, you might share the duties of being “in charge” of the night so that everyone gets a turn to create the event. (Of course mom and dad can assist the youngest players.)

Vary the games you play. It doesn’t really matter what you play, as long as everyone can feel like a participant. But balance games of skill with games of luck so that everyone gets a chance to do something they’re good at -- and improve the odds of having a winning night.

Use this as a teaching time. Family game night is a great time to reinforce things like manners, being a good sport, taking turns and other social skills that children will need as they grow up and go out in the world. This can all be done with good humor in the context of the game play and the family, and it gives kids a chance to practice these positive behaviors.

Different Options for Different Ages
Well, the sky’s the limit. Bear in mind that all good games have a few things in common: they’re easy to understand, they’re different every time they’re played, and they take an appropriate amount of time. For younger kids, games that you can play several times in an evening are ideal. Older kids may enjoy a game of Monopoly that can take the whole evening. In all cases, make sure that everyone feels involved and engaged in the process. If you’re trying out a new game, you might want to have an old favorite as a back-up in case the new one isn’t right for your family.

Game Types for Every Family

Now, the fun part: playing! With over 5,000 games on the market at any time, the choice can by dizzying, but here are some ideas:

Classics The advantage to these is that everyone knows them, or almost -- and they’ve stood the test of time. Check age gradings, but some suggestions are: Monopoly, Clue, Sorry, Othello, Battleship, Boggle, Parcheesi, Operation, Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Trouble, Sorry, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit. Many of these have special interest editions now.

Strategy Games These games are great for families that like a little more substance to their games. Often story-based, one of the best we’ve seen this year is Parthenon from Z-Man Games where players race to build their civilizations.

Multi-Faceted Games These are games that combine different kinds of skills. Great for diverse families where everyone gets a chance to shine. For older kids and adults, check out Cranium. Cranium Family Fun, Hoopla and Whonu? work for the whole family.

DVD Games Definitely one of the hottest trends in the whole game business Our favorite is Scene It? from Mattel in different versions that cover movies, TV, music, sports and Harry Potter. Pop in the DVD and you simply play along. Choose the version that’s right for the group you’re playing with.

Skill and Action Games For when you just want to have some silly fun. Try Captain Bones Gold from Spin Master, and Ker-Plunk from Mattel. These are great for kids with tons of energy, and the different outcomes keep families engaged.

Have a fun and relaxing time together!

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