How to Play Mancala (AKA The Marble Game)

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Today we have a special guest... my Mom. I get my love of family games from her. Since she's the one who taught M and M how to play Mancala, she's the perfect person to share her tips with you! Yippee. I am so excited to come back and share with you one of my favorite childhood games,  The Marble Game.  As I mentioned before when I shared the Card Game GOLF we come from many generations of game players.  When I was very young, my Dad made us a marble game board out of plywood and my Mom made us a marble bag out of some very cute, carrot fabric, which was filled with colorful marbles.   I only knew this game by the name marble game until I Continue Reading

connect with kids – look them in the eye

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When you talk to your kids (or any kids for that matter) how do position your body?  Hmmm, is that a strange question?  I have a good reason for asking, so give it some thought. ;) Do you stand tall over them and look down? Or do you squat down and look them in the eye? The simple action of getting down on kid level will make for an even stronger connection in the conversation.  Don't worry if you can't squat.  There are lots of ways to get down to kid level!  Sit on a chair, sit on the ground, squat or kneel down.  Anything that brings you eye to eye. Look at Little M's neck in this picture.  She has to lean her head way back to Continue Reading

6 tips for a Successful Family Game Night

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This post is sponsored by KFC.  We love family game nights. Heck we love games in general! There is something special about the family connection that comes from playing games together. Plus I love the thinking and strategy involved in most of the games we play. I'm always impressed with how clever my kids are. Even as game lovers, pulling off a successful family game night can be tricky. As we've waded through a few tearful endings and half finished games, I've learned a thing or two about how to make family game night successful. Today I'm teaming up with KFC to celebrate the importance of family game night! 6 tips for a Continue Reading

Homemade Father’s Day Gifts – Designed & Created by Kids

Father's Day Gifts - Great ways to inspire gifts designed and created by your kids

Hubby's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. He received a gift that was so cool I thought it would make the perfect homemade Father's Day gift. It came from one of the most creative kids I've ever met, my niece T. I thought about having her give you a step by step on how to make a cardboard barbecue, but decided that missed the point. Hubby loves the barbecue because it was from T, it was thoughtful and meaningful because she knows her Uncle Chris. The gift was designed with him in mind... designed, created and delivered by her and her alone. So today I want to share some ideas for how to inspire your own kids to design and create Continue Reading

Practice Spelling Words with a Spelling Race

spelling race - great for practicing spelling

This week we practiced spelling words with Little M's cousin. Since they are in the same class I thought it would be fun to make a game out of their practice (we do love a good game around here). They both loved it... so I thought I would share. Even if you don't have a partner for this game, keep reading. I'll give you some tips for solo play! Practice Spelling Words with a Spelling Race What you need: spelling words (if you don't have your own list you can find one here, add link), paper, printer or marker, players. To prepare the game I typed out the words. I wanted them spaced evenly so I created a table in Word and then Continue Reading

a SUMMER SCHEDULE perfect for relaxing and learning

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Summer is the perfect time for relaxing.  It's also the perfect time for some pressure free playful learning and summer activities. Creating a summer schedule for kids, a little planning and some prep work will go a long way towards a summer filled with great memories.  As an added bonus you'll find a lot less "I'm bored" time floating around. Creating a Summer Schedule Important Parent Stuff.  What are your must-dos?  Do you have work, deep cleaning, or organizing that must be done?  Make sure to include those things in your written out summer schedule or you'll be scrambling to squeeze it in.   Consider hiring a neighbor teen Continue Reading

How to be Brave: 4 tips for Taking that First Step

Brave quote and tips for taking the first step

This post is sponsored by Lorna Jane.  Sometimes the hardest part of trying something new is taking the first step. The first commitment that moves the dream of someday into a reality of today. It makes sense doesn't it? As long as it's just a dream it's still perfect. It's not hard or sticky or messy. As a dream there is no possibility for it to be less than what you've dreamed. I've taken quite a few first steps in the past 5 years. One of which is this blog. When I started it back in 2010 there were a few friends and family members following... but that was it. I knew nothing about blogging, was one of the last people to jump on the Continue Reading