Would you like to have more fun, less stress and true quality time with your family in 2019?
Plan family fun and special days intentionally. We always include birthdays and anniversaries, but this year add plan a bit of surprise to your family calendar and include some goofy or unusual days to celebrate for even more fun. You can find some great ideas in the “Plan Intentionally – Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever!” (a 23-page free resource in the Resource Library)
Here's why it's good to plan your year:
Plan for the year. This is a good time to define your goals for you and your family. You could create a Family Mission Statement.
Through planning, you can:
establish your family's goals and priorities
recognize commitments and schedule them
schedule your year to meet your families needs and wants
allow time for a vacation/stay-cation and take advantage of discounts, payments plans, etc.
allows giving time to what has to most positive impact for you and your family.
I am a mom of four and was a Cub Scout Leader, 4H leader, and homeschool mom. There is truth in the saying, “If momma ain't happy, nobody is happy.” My experience has been that my mood has a definite impact and my family. Raise your hand if something always seems to go wrong. It did when my children were young. That made planning even more important. My daughter remembers I had a binder for everything.
I found I was better able to deal with the unexpected if things were otherwise orderly. It's about going from surviving an event to being happy and thriving at and with family events. Also, laughter helps a lot.
The answer to all of this is planning.
Use planning to cut down on stress. It allows you to examine what is important, and intentionally help create balance in your life. You can avoid time-consuming mistakes which allow for time for the important things in life.
Planning allows you to better handle unforeseen obstacles or events that always seem to pop-up in life. When you plan ahead, you have some time to handle those “hic-ups” in life.
When you plan your family calendar, it can result in close family relationships. By establishing your goals and priorities, you define what is important to your family.
Preparing for family events together can result in giving children the opportunity to have increased responsibility. This helps them to prepare them for adulthood.
By including children in the planning and preparations, the children become an important part of the family unit.
It's just fun to do things together.
With every member of the family contributing to the celebration, the shared workload seems less. In the beginning, children may require supervision but in time it will result in their ability to contribute independently.
THE BIG PLUS ABOUT PLANNING is that it results in more free time.
Fill in the National Holidays appropriate to your country (US included). Add your birthdays, anniversaries and other important days for you and your family.
Do you want to establish new traditions?
When my children were young, we played board games. Such fun. (We learned to avoid playing Risk- a long story). Playing board games became a fun habit. We really enjoyed paling board games on New Year's Eve. I remember when the kids brought home some friends from college and we played the games on New Year's Eve. No Electronics! We spent the evening talking and catching up on what was happening while they were at school. It is a wonderful memory. Now my adult children will find time to play board games with their family and friends. A Great Tradition!
What fun traditions would you and your family like to start planning?
The more thorough your calendar-the less chance for confusion down the road. Less confusion, less stress and more time for making memories.
Stay tuned for more planning family fun ideas.
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New Year's Eve has traditionally been a family game night–a time for snacks and board games in our home. It is a time away from the tech world that seems to take so much our time now. When the children were young, the games were often noisy and the children rambunctious.
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That did not change as they grew older. Depending on the game, alliances could be created, strategies shared or not, and the stakes were high. After all, one needs to be at their best when playing games to dominate the world. (We have taken a break from Risk…)
Time for Adding a New Family Tradition?
Board games continue to play a part in the lives of our children. Family game night evolved into work friends game might for one of my sons. He invites co-workers and nearby family over for a weekly game night. Their games are very complicated, and though I do not play with them, I still hear a lot of laughter. That never gets old!I have listed some of the best (my opinion) games for families to play. Many are classics, and that is simply because they are so great!
Playing board games and games in general with your children has many benefits.
While playing games, children develop skills that include physical, social, academic, and other mental developmental skills.
But most importantly, it is about taking the time to play together with your children. This helps form an essential bond that brings people together for years and years, through good times and not so good. Occasionally, I see my grown kids playing with their children or nieces and nephews, and it sparks my memories of their childhoods and I smile. These are the things that help bring meaning to life.
When I asked my kids about some of the games on this list, they remembered playing many of them and some of the drama involved.One of my memories: playing Connect 4 was often meant to be a quick game when the time was tight but would it often turn into a much longer game-play time, and one of us would say, Just one more.” No one wanted to lose.
So take some time and explore what games are best for your family. For young ones, I have listed age-appropriate games, but please be aware of choking hazards and keep your young ones safe. Make the best decisions for your family.
(ages 5 and up) and still a favorite of mine. Battleship is the classic naval combat game. It uses competition and strategy. In a one-on-one battle, you search for the enemy’s fleet of ships and your goal is to destroy them one by one. You try to protect your own fleet using your strategy while you attempt to destroy your opponent’s fleet.
(6 years old and up) This is a classic where you take turns positioning your red or yellow discs in an attempt to get 4 in a row while blocking your opponent from getting 4 in a row. This can be lightning-fast and methodical or slow and methodical. This is a family favorite and one I will definitely play with my grandchildren.
(6 and up) Another classic game. fast-dealing property trading game where players buy, sell, dream and scheme their way to riches. Part of the initial fun is choosing your token. So, choose your token, place it on GO! and roll the dice. There can be only one winner in the Monopoly game. Will it be you?
2 in 1 set
A game of mathematical possibilities. For a fascinating history and how to play information please “check” out: Learn to Play Checkers-There's More to Checkers Than Meets the Eye.
(depends on the child-play when they can understand the various pieces and the moves they can make.) Two players. Each player begins with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each type of piece moves differently. The most powerful are the King and Queen. The objective is to checkmate which is putting the king into an inescapable position. There are other ways to have the game come to a conclusion, including coming to a draw. Great for math and strategy skills.
This similar to checkers but the game board is a star. Pieces are often marbles or other smaller spheres. Fun!
(8 and up) One murder…6 suspects. In Clue, players have to find out who's responsible for murdering Mr. Boddy of Tudor Mansion in his own home. A fun game to determine who, with what and where the victim, Mr. Boddy, was killed. Using elimination, players try to play the sleuth and solve the crime. There is also the 1985 classic comic movie and the more recent 2014 version where the main characters are teenagers. The game is so popular that many versions of it are available including Classic, Retro, Firefly, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Big Bang Theory, Legend of Zelda, The Office and many more.
Ticket to Ride-First Journey
Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities in various countries around the world. (ages 8 and up) Other games to investigate include:
(reviewed by MENSA)
(Mfg Recommended age 6 – 99 years)
Apples to Apples
and so many more…
Middle School and High School
(This post was published originally in 2017)
In Pandemic four diseases have broken out in the world Each disease is threatening to wipe out a region. In the game, there are 2 to 4 players each playing one of five possible specialists: dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher, or operations expert. Unlike most board games this gameplay is cooperative, rather than competitive. Players combine efforts of all the players to discover all four cures before any of several game-losing conditions are reached. (Recommended for ages 13-15) and above.
The title is pronounced “Block us”. It is an abstract strategy game with transparent, Tetris-shaped, colored pieces. The only caveat to placing a piece is that it may not lie adjacent to your other pieces, but instead must be placed touching at least one corner of your pieces already on the board.
Settlers of Catan
Players assume the roles of settlers. Each player attempts to build and develop their holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players are awarded points as their settlements grow. The first player to reach a set number of points, typically 10, is the winner. (I have played this and I enjoyed it very much!- easily multi-generational)
Cranium is a game that is supposed to be an “all-brain” game. It borrows elements from many popular games. It's a party game that borrows from a host of other popular party games of recent times. Cranium has elements similar to those of Pictionary, Charades, Trivial Pursuit, Celebrities, Huggermugger, Claymania, etc.
Players need to successfully complete activities in each of four sections to win:
In Creative Cat a player must clue a word to his or her teammates by drawing it, sculpting it in clay, or drawing it with his or her eyes closed.
Data Head: A hosts a variety of trivia questions.
Word Worm: Players unscramble words, spell challenging words, guess definitions, identify words with letters left out, or spell words backward.
Star Performer: players must whistle a song, impersonate a celebrity, or act out a clue.
Grown-up kids of any age
My Personal Choices- As I have said before—All games with a “Firefly” Theme-the Greatest Space Western–ever! It was the greatest mistake that the network canceled it! A perfect weekend (for me) would be a Firefly/Serenity Marathon while playing the following games with added bits of Firefly Trivia. And it is one my grown children would also enjoy because they also loved the series and film.
So when life seems like it is going to fast…
the children are growing too fast, or that you all need to take a deep breath and slow down, it may be the time to have a family game night, some snacks and reconnect with each other. It will be worth it and your family will grow together now and for in the future.
So, with these suggestions to explore, find the games that are best for your family and plan your family game night.
A printable sign is available in the Resource Library, so go plan so fun!
So, above all, feel comfortable starting a new tradition that will bring your family closer together and help create memories that make you all smile.
There is still time for October Family Fun in the outdoors fun before the cold weather comes and we must bundle up in winter clothing. Here in the northern hemisphere, the days are growing shorter and colder. Autumn is here. Apples and pumpkins are everywhere you look.
Every day has the potential for fun- planned or spontaneous.
You may want to consider the following interesting and sometimes odd special days for the second half of October.
Learn a Word Day This is a great way to introduce fun ways to increase your vocabulary. You can sign up to receive a new word each day at Dictionary.com or Merriam-Webster.com. At breakfast or evening dinner, you can share the word, its uses, parts of speech, etc. It could be turned into a learning game.
Oct.17 National Pasta Day
Great kid-friendly pasta recipes can be found at GeniusKitchen. Kid-friendly Paleo and 43 Gluten-free recipes are waiting for you at PaleoGrubs. The Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta sounds especially tempting and is going on my recipes to try list.
Oct.18 National Chocolate Cupcake Day
Here is a fun twist on the Chocolate Cupcake. Fun and Delicious!
Enter a virtual Rainforest Treehouse and play games. There are more interactive games, coloring pages, and information sheets. An excellent website for some evening fun or on a “rainy” day.
Suspenders were invented n the 1820's. Their purpose is to hold up your pants. Today they are worn as a fashion statement with tuxes-most commonly for weddings and prom. They are sold at many department stores for every age group. For a tutorial on making suspenders, try this one.
This Paleo Nut Bar Recipe with Chocolate Drizzle could become a family favorite. To learn about the history of this “nutty” day go to Happy Days 365.
Oct 23National Boston Cream Pie Day
This recipe is super simple- great for a busy weeknight.
Oct.24 National Food Day celebration
October 24 is a day dedicated to healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies.
Plan a healthy meal with as little processed food as possible. Maybe visit a Farmer's Market before they end the year and get some fresh produce to share with those you love.
Oct.25World Pizza Makers Day
Today is a good day to learn about pizza and the people who have made them. There are many points of view, and it is all interesting. Have fun and be a pizza maker tonight.
Oct.26 National Pumpkin Day
So many ideas and not enough time…..Enjoy the season!
Oct.27National Potato Day
Potato Day is a great day to eat potatoes. You can make your favorite potato recipe- baked, fried, broiled or boiled. This root vegetable has so many uses other than food. Make a potato clock. Or decorate craft paper to make gift wrap paper or a great work of art. You might want to try some recipes from Better Homes and Gardens. Twice Baked New Potatoes, Goldilocks Potato Pots, Mashed Potato Patties with Tapenade Cream among my favorites.
We've had pet cats for as long as I remember. They are comedians, companions and great all-around additions to the family. Enjoy the cat facts. Celebrate the day by adopting a cat, giving food to a nearby shelter. Make some toys for your cats and ask a local cat rescue if they could use some of the toys you make. Happy Cats!
Oct.30Pumpkin Bread Day
Here are two versions. Paleo and the Standard American Diet.
1st is the Paleo Recipe from Unbound Wellness, which is on my to-do list for this weekend.
Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Oct.31National Carmel Apple Day
Use our printables to create a Caramel Apple Bar and enjoy with your family, neighbors, clubs, and friends.
October is a wonderful month of the year, filled with so much potential for family fun including fun with leaves, enjoying pumpkin pie and apples!
Go Apple picking at an apple orchard.
Create a craft with fallen leaves. Find some truly creative ideas here!Leaf Art Take a walk or a drive to enjoy the autumn colors… Can you identify an of the trees in your neighborhood? Get the printableLeaf Identification Guideatimom.com
Go to a corn maze or other fall festival destination. Include going on a hayride.
Bake something using pumpkin: cookies, pie, bread. I love this post on making Pumpkin Bread– gone wrong and fixed…We have all been there!
and autumn days will be so appreciated when the temperatures get so cold!
Here in the northern hemisphere, the days are growing shorter and colder.
The weather for many of us is becoming cooler—just the beginning of cold weather. Autumn is here. There is plenty of time for October Family Fun. So enjoy the outdoors fun before the cold weather. Apples, pumpkins, and changing leaves paint a beautiful scene for us to enjoy before the cold weather sets in.
October 1. National Homemade Cookies Day.
Baking makes the house smell good!
Today is Homemade Cookies Day! Rather than stop by the store for your favorite brand of cookie, bake up your batch of cookies today! Whether you use a family recipe or browse online for a fun new treat to try, today is the perfect day to bake up delicious cookies.
Cookies originated from extra cake batter that Dutch bakers experimented with cooking at varying oven temperatures. Eventually, they got it right, realized how yummy they are, and named these tiny cakes “cookies!”
What's your favorite cookie ingredient – chocolate chips, peanut butter, nuts, sprinkles? There are too many types to name! To celebrate Homemade Cookies Day, find a great recipe and get creative in your kitchen today! Source: Homemade Cookies Day
October 2. 1902 – The Tale of Peter Rabbit is published.
PeterRabbit.comis an excellent website to explore with your young one. There are games (which I enjoyed). Some are best played after watching or reading the story. Her artwork is quietly breath-taking–calming. Enjoy this wonderful classic!
October 3. The Space Shuttle Atlantis DayThe Space Shuttle Atlantis made its maiden flight in 1985.
Download a PDF from NASA.GOV and create a paper shuttle. Explore the site and find coloring books, full-color shuttle mission posters, what is involved in a countdown and so much more. No time to be bored today…
Oct 4. National Taco Day
Everyone loves tacos! Today, make them with your family. Try one or more of 18 delicious looking recipes from Community Table.
Touch Tag is considered a playground game. One player is “it” and chases the other players, attempting to touch or tag them. Once someone new is tagged, that person becomes “it.” There are many variations of the game. The once popular game has suffered a bit in the past few years. Some adults feel that there is a strong chance of injury and have banned it from some school playgrounds.
Oct. 9 Moldy Cheese Day Need I say more?
Oct. 10. National Angel Food Cake Day
Angel Food Cake is light and airy. It is so different from other cakes. It is often paired 7-minute frosting or fresh whipped cream and seasonal berries. Soooooo Good! My Grandma Alice is the best when it came to baking this cake and I have many memories of tip-toeing around the house so the cake would not fall. It was such a treat.
Oct. 11 International Spinning Top Day
Oct. 12 Farmers Day
When I lived on the farm I loved the sound of the combines working through the night. It usully meant an abundant harvest. It was a comforting sound.
This is one of my sons on the farm.
My children developed a strong work ethic and respect and love for their livestock.
Oct. 13 World Egg Day
What did the egg say to the clown?
You crack me up.
Why did the egg go to school?
To get egg-ucated.
For fun egg jokes and puns go to http://laffgaff.com/egg-puns-and-jokes/ http://www.eggs.org.nz/egg-jokes/