8 Classic Outdoor Games to Teach Your Kids

Encourage your kids to get outside and enjoy summer by teaching them the games you played as a youth! Here's a reminder of 8 classic outdoor games. 8 Classic Outdoor Games to Teach to Your Kids - tipsaholic.com , #summer, #kids, #outdoorgames, #games

8 Classic Outdoor Games to Teach Your Kids

Follow along with Summer Family Activities Week by clicking here or on social media with #SummerFamilyActivities. Better yet share you favorite summer family activities by using #SummerFamilyActivities. Or play along and add your ideas in the comments here on Tipsaholic.

 

Every parent could use help encouraging more outdoor play with their kids, especially in the summertime when the days are long and the “I’m bored’s” pop up too frequently!  Why not take a page from your own childhood – or even from your grandparents’?  Classic outdoor games are a great way to get your own kids moving. They usually require very little equipment or preparation, can be played with a wide range of ages and numbers of kids, and might even tempt you to join in the fun!  Here are 8 awesome classic outdoor games you may have forgotten about.

 

1. Capture the Flag
Best for tweens, teens and adults.
Equipment: Two pieces of fabric, about the size of a handkerchief.
Special Requirements: 6 people to play (one “guard” and two runners for each team), though more players makes it more interesting.
Play: Divide the players into (mostly) even teams.  Agree on the boundaries of the play area and the two “camps”.  Each team must decide upon a “jail” area (which could be a rock or tree that the prisoners must touch).  Once these areas are set out, each team secretly hides their own flag, then decided upon which players will guard their flag and which will attack the enemy camp to capture the opposing team’s flag.  If an opposing team member is tagged within enemy camp, they must go to “jail” until they are “rescued” (or tagged) by someone on their own team.  Play continues until a player captures the enemy flag and returns to their own camp with it.

 

2. Kick the Can
Best for school-aged kids on up through adults.
Equipment: An empty can, any size.
Special Requirements: A large space for running and hiding.  At least 3 people.
Play:  The players decide on a “home base” and “jail” area and choose someone to be “it.”  Place the can in the center of home base.  “It” closes his eyes and counts to a designated number while the other players hide.  He then goes to look for them.  When he finds another player, he yells their name, and he and the player race to home base.  If it gets there first, the other player must stay in jail.  If the other player arrives first, they kick the can.  While “it” retrieves the can, the other player (and any players in jail) find a different hiding spot.  “It” returns the can to home base and closes his eyes to count again.  Play continues until only one player is left in hiding – this player then becomes “it.”

 

3. Ghost in the Graveyard
Depending on the version, this is best for tweens, teens and adults.
Equipment: None.
Special Requirements: At least 3 people and a large space with hiding places.  It’s best when played at night in the dark!
Play:  The group decides on boundaries and a home base.  One person is chosen to be “it.”  “It” closes his eyes and counts while everyone else hides.  He chants out the hours starting at one o’clock – “one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock – ROCK!  four o’clock, five o’clock, six o’clock – ROCK!  seven o’clock, eight o’clock, nine o’clock – ROCK!  ten o’clock, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock, MIDNIGHT!  Midnight, hope to see a ghost tonight!”  Then “it” sneaks around, trying to find one of the hiding “ghosts”.  When he spots a ghost, he yells out “ghost in the graveyard!”  Everyone jumps out of their spots and races to the home base while the ghost that was spotted chases them and tries to tag someone.  Whoever is tagged is the next “it.”
Note: There seems to be a lot of variation in this game and some debate!  Here’s a version with only 1 ghost (and some other ideas), and here’s 3 completely different takes on the game.

 

4. Swing the Statue
Appropriate for any age.
Equipment: None.
Special Requirements: None.
Play: One person is designated as “it.”  One at a time, “it” takes another player by the hand and spins them, then lets go.  The players must hold their position however they stop spinning and moving.  While the players are “frozen,” “it” watches to see who loses their balance or moves around first.  That person is then “it” and play continues.  This can also be called “statue maker” and here’s a different version that’s a bit more creative.

 

5. Olly-Olly-Oxen-Free!
This game is good for any age, though young kids will need some help.
Equipment: None.
Special Requirements: None.  All you need are at least two people and space to hide in.
Play:  The players agree to boundaries and a home base.  One player is designated as “it” and closes his eyes to count to a designated number while everyone else hides.  It calls out “ready or not, here I come!” and begins to look for the other players.  While “it” is looking for the other players, the other players are stealthily trying to make it back to home base without being seen.  They constantly find new hiding spots.  When “it” spots any of the players, he calls out the name and they race back to home base.  If “it” tags the player before they reach home base, he is out.  The game is restarted with him as the new “it.”  If the player reaches home base without being tagged, they yell “Olly Olly Oxen Free!” and are safe, so “it” begins looking for other players.  While this is happening, the other players are still trying to get back to home base without being spotted.  Play continues until all players are either safe or someone is tagged by it.
Note: Unbelievably, I was unable to find any rules to this game on the internet.  Apparently people are more concerned about the origin of the name!

 

6. Sardines  
This is appropriate for any age – though young toddlers will need some help.  
Equipment: None.
Special Requirements: None.  All you need is at least 3 people and places to hide!
Play: One person is designated at “it.”  Everyone else closes their eyes and starts to count, while “it” finds a hiding spot.  When those counting get to a designated number, they yell “ready or not, here we come!” and each try to find “it” on their own.  Whenever someone finds it, they quietly squeeze into the hiding place with him.  Play continues until the last person has found the hiding spot.  The first person to find “it” is then “it.”

 

7. Shadowing 
Ideal for older kids, tweens or teens (old enough to be without adult supervision for a bit).
Equipment: Small stones, corn kernels, or other easily discernible markers.
Special Requirements: At least 6 participants, plus a large playing area like a park.
Play:  One player is designated at “it”.  “It” is given a brief head start, along with two shadowers.  After a few minutes, one shadower heads back to the rest of the group to start them in the right direction.  The other shadower begins leaving markers for the group as he goes – such as small stones, marbles or kernels – as clues about the direction.  The group tries to catch up to “it,” who wins the game if he is not found within a designated amount of time.  There are several variations on this game as well.

 

8. Red Rover
Appropriate for school-aged children.
Equipment: None.
Special Requirements: A large group of kids makes this more fun, but at least 8 is needed.  You’ll also need an open space in which to run.
Play: Divide the group into two teams.  Each team lines up across from each other, facing each other and holding hands.  The teams should be about 30-50 feet apart.  The first team begins by calling for a player to run over – “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (so and so) on over!”  The person who has been called then runs for the opposite line of players, aiming for a set of hands.  If he is able to break through the hands, they choose a person from the opposing team to take back to their team with him, but if not, they must join the opposing team.  The game is over when everyone has been moved into one team.

 

Here are more outdoor ideas for kids:

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Backyard Activities                                         Ice Activities                                         Pool Activities

 

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Water fun Activities

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Classic Backyard Water Games for Kids

Keep kids entertained and beat the heat even without a pool by playing some of these classic backyard water games. Classic Backyard Water Games for Kids ~ Tipsaholic.com #summer #kids #games #summerfamilyactivities

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Follow along with Summer Family Activities Week by clicking here or on social media with #SummerFamilyActivities. Better yet share you favorite summer family activities by using #SummerFamilyActivities. Or play along and add your ideas in the comments here on Tipsaholic.

 

Nothing beats the heat and the doldrums quite like playing in the water, and you don’t need a pool to have fun! Water balloons, squirt guns, buckets, and a garden hose are perfect substitutes if you’ve got a few tricks up your sleeve. Use these simple tools to keep the kids cool and entertained at home this summer with a few of these classic backyard water games!

 

1. Water relay

Use ladles and buckets to set up a relay game for a group. Place buckets or bowls for two (or more) teams at both ends of the back yard. When the game begins, players must use a ladle to transfer all of the water from one bucket across the yard to the other bucket. First one to move all of their water wins! This game can also be played with sponges or cups.

 

2. Water balloon towel toss

This is a game that requires at least two teams of two players and is loads of fun! Give each team of two a beach towel to hold between them. Once everyone is ready, toss one team a full water balloon. Their job is to pass the balloon to another team using only their towel, who will then catch it in their towel and toss it back (or to another team). Whoever gets soaked by a broken balloon loses the round!

 

3. Duck, Duck, Splash!

This game is like similar to Duck, Duck, Goose! but uses a balloon or cup full of water to tag the “goose.” Learn to play the game at The Kid’s Fun Review, or come up with your own fun version.

 

4. Water balloon target toss

Use sidewalk chalk to draw a large target or set of targets in the driveway. Players will toss water balloons (or soaked sponges) at the target, trying to hit the bullseye. For more of a challenge, suggest different ways to throw the balloons – facing backwards, with your “wrong” hand, with your eyes closed, etc. Get creative!

 

5. Garden hose limbo

Turn on the garden hose and use the water as a limbo “bar!” Kids can take turns holding the hose and limbo-ing under. Once all of the kids have passed under the water, lower it a little more and have everyone try again, repeating the process until all but one child has been splashed!

 

6. Roll 6 and Splash!

This is a game smaller children can really get into. Fill a shallow dish with water and provide a single die for the group. Each player will take turns rolling the die. When someone rolls a six, they get to splash the water in the dish, showering their friends! You can find more details for this game and a couple more at Toddler Approved.

 

7. Water gun tag

Play this game the way any game of tag is played, but with one difference – the person who’s “it” has a water gun! The It chases the other children and tries to squirt one of the them. Whoever gets wet is tagged and becomes the next It!

 

8. Balloon-on-a-spoon relay

This takes the egg-on-a-spoon relay to the next level! Organize two teams into two lines in a clear area of the backyard. Set up traffic cones or a sturdy object of some kind to mark the “turn around,” then place full water balloons on large wooden spoons for each team. The first person in each line will take the spoon to the turn-around and back, then hand the spoon off to the next person on their team until every person has had a turn. If a balloon is dropped, the player at fault must run to the sidelines and get another. Whichever team gets through all of its players first is the winner! Check out the cute spoons Two Shades of Pink created to play the game for a birthday party.

 

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added four kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

More fun ideas for kids:

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Exercise with Kids                  Water Activities                    Backyard Activities

8 Great Resources for Outdoor Learning-Based Play Ideas

Turn learning into play this summer with these great ideas you can even do outdoors! 8 Great Resources for Learning-Based Play - tipsaholic.com #school, #kids, #playtolearn, #play

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Follow along with Summer Family Activities Week by clicking here or on social media with #SummerFamilyActivities. Better yet share you favorite summer family activities by using #SummerFamilyActivities. Or play along and add your ideas in the comments here on Tipsaholic.

As a parent, summer can be a little daunting.  There are a lot of hours in the day, and it’s sometimes difficult to fill them with worthwhile activities.  Sports, swimming, bike riding, outings, and park play are staples of summer fun, but if you find yourself looking for ways to incorporate more school-based learning into your play, it’s hard to know where to turn.  Need fabulous ideas that will get your kids off the couch and out learning – without them even knowing it?  Here are some great resources for outdoor learning-based play.  For kids, play is the best way to learn, and summer is a great opportunity for putting this into practice.

1. Delia Creates hosted a week-long series called “Play it Smart!” where she shared tons of fun ideas for learning with summer-inspired games.  She used chalk, spray bottles, balls and diving toys.  Her blog is full of cool ideas for kids, like fitness jenga, math card games, roll a recipe and the mommy and me journals.

2. Try this fun Dry Ice Experiment.  There’s a printable booklet, too, so kids can keep track of their observations.

3. Sew a Straight Line holds a learning and fun-filled camp for her kids every summer.  She has tons of ideas for science-related activities.  She’s also got some creative writing ideas here.

4.  A fun way to work on your child’s reading skills would be to read a book and then create something from the book – either with your kids or FOR them.  Check out No Big Dill for some great ideas related to this – she had a whole series of book inspired sewing creations and a ton of people contributed ideas.

5.  Check out Happy Hooligans for a whole host of sensory activities, sensory bin ideas, and other fun ideas for kids.  Try making a backyard abacus out of pool noodles.  Or try the fun water activity ideas – it’s perfect for summer!

6. And Next Comes L has a lot of great hands-on ideas for kids play.  Here are some fun alphabet and literacy themed ideas and math.  She’s also got some great ideas for busy bag activities which can travel with you anywhere you go this summer!

7. Check out these 50 fun summer science activities from Science Sparks!  And then look around that site for more great science ideas, like making an easy solar oven or a balloon powered lego car!

8.  Growing Book by Book has some great ideas for transferring literacy-learning to outdoor play!  She also has some great alphabet activities and activities that go along with specific books, like this one from The Very Busy Spider.

 

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iStock_000017380669_Full-250x250iStock_000015058960_Full-250x25025 Activities for Toddlers                       Art Activities for Ages 3-6                   Science Books Ages 6-9

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Top 15 Family-Friendly Games You’ll Love to Play

Are your family game nights stuck in a rut? Want to add some excitement?  Check out these Top 15 Family-Friendly Games You'll Love to Play - tipsaholic.com, #family, #kids, #boardgames, #games, #familynight

 

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Family game night is the perfect way to brighten up a dreary week and get kids of all ages excited about spending time together.  If you find yourself breaking out the same games over and over, chances are good that you’re all getting a little bored.  Break up your plain old game routine by introducing some fun and clever games into your rotation!  It can be hard to figure out which games will engage a variety of ages, but it’s not impossible to find some new favorites.  Here are our top 15 family-friendly games you’ll love to play – along with the old favorites you’re already using!

 

1. Hedbanz – In this fun take on a classic guessing game, players must take turns asking yes or no questions as they race to be the first to figure out what they are as represented by the card on their heads.  They’re using their heads in more ways than one and are bound to get a little goofy as they call out questions and answers.

 

2. Qwirkle – It’s not fast-paced or loud, but it IS perfect for teaching patterns, color and shape recognition.  Kids will also learn reasoning skills, strategy and tactical play.  All you have to do is lay down tiles matching in color or shape and build off of the pieces already placed.  It’s a winner with all ages as it is simple enough in rules for young players, but can be more advanced based on strategical thinking.

 

3. Spot It or Spot It Jr. – Between any two cards in the deck, there is a matching picture (seems impossible but it’s true!).  Just spot it quick to win the pair!  The deck of cards comes with a rule book for different games you can play with the same cards, so it’s 5 games in 1!  It enhances visual perception skills, powers of observation and attention to detail, but it’s not a complicated game which makes it perfect for players young and old!

 

4. I Can Do That! Card Game – Join that lovable character, The Cat in the Hat in an activity-filled card game that will be sure to have kids laughing!  Just flip over three cards to reveal a new challenge. Can you crab walk to the bedroom with the fish under your chin? Can you dance around a chair with the fish between your knees? There are hundreds of hilarious possibilities in store.  It encourages self-confidence and self-esteem, promotes early reading skills and gets kids up and on their feet.

 

5. Suspend – Here’s a game that’s great for a group or a solitary player!  This balancing act is an exciting and intriguing way to work on hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, cognitive thinking and cooperation.  Roll the colored die to determine what game rod you’ll add to the fray.  Decide where to place it on the frame rods attached to the wooden base to ensure you make it to the next round.  Suspend as many as you can before the whole thing become unbalanced!

 

6. Set – Set is a visual perception game that’s easy to learn and challenging to win!  The rules and concept are simple enough for kids, but the practical application is challenging enough even for adults.  Each card shows various shapes in various numbers, colors, and shades.  Turn the cards over in a grid and match three cards within the specific characteristics based on “sameness” or “differentness” – but do it quick because it’s a race to make sets of three!  It’s a classic game that will keep players thinking, reasoning and observing while they excitedly grab for cards!

 

7. Sequence – It’s challenging and exciting but basic enough to grasp the rules of play.  Match cards from your hand to the pictures on the game board and place a chip.  Place 5 in a row to get a sequence and create 2 sequences to win!  You can block opponents with the right cards, use Jacks for wilds and play certain cards to remove opponents chips from the board entirely!  Seems hard to win, but you don’t have to do it alone since with more than 2 players you can choose to play in teams!

 

8. Telestrations – You’ve played the telephone game, where a phrase is passed in whisper from person to person until it barely resembles the original remark?  This game is telephone, but with drawings!  It’s a fun, light-hearted game where you draw what you see, then guess what was seen to hilarious miscommunication and funny outcomes.  Kids will love drawing with the individual dry erase boards, and there’s no artistic ability required – just some stick figures, laughter and a great sense of humor!

 

9. Doodle Dice – The deck is full of cards that show simple line drawings in varying degrees of difficulty (or number of dice needed to complete the picture).  Roll the dice and try to match the lines on the dice with the lines on the cards to form the whole picture.  You’ve got three tries to complete the picture and win the card shown.  To make it more challenging, you can block opponents turns and steal their cards!

 

10. Beat the Parents – What kid doesn’t want to trounce their parents in a good old fashioned trivia game?!  In this fun version, parents answer questions about kid stuff and kids answer questions their parents should know!  See who’s the boss by sending the two mover pieces across the board first.

 

11. Story Cubes – This truly is a game for any age and any number of players – especially since there are no wrong answers and no right way to play!  There are infinite ways to play – from each person telling a portion of one story by using a picture rolled on the dice, to one person telling an entire story using all of the dice.  Literally anyone can play as they increase their creative inspiration, imagination, problem solving skills and literacy development.

 

12. 5 Second Rule – Flip a card to reveal a category, then start the timer because you have only 5 seconds to name 3 things that fit the category!  Seems easy, until you’re under the gun.  Pretty soon everyone will be calling out hilarious ideas and getting tongue-tied as they make up their own words!  It’s fast-paced, easy to learn, fun to play and keeps people laughing!

 

13. Don’t Say It – Help your team guess the hidden word, without using any of the clue words listed on the card.  Be quick so you aren’t buzzed out by the timer!  Rack up the points for your team by giving them handy clues and you could win!  Easy to learn and play, kids will love this fun guessing game and learn strategy, quick thinking, and literacy skills.

 

14. Tsuro – Choose tile pieces three at a time from the stack and place them on the board in turns to create a path for your game piece to follow.  Be careful, if your path leads off the game board you lose!  Be wary of other players – each tile has multiple path options and your opponents tiles could make an easy path for them and a cleverly treacherous path for you if they connect to your own tile.  This game is easy to learn and a fairly quick play.  There’s strategy and problem-solving involved, which makes it a great fit for a wide age-range.

 

15. Spontuneous – It’s the only “Name That Tune” style game that crosses age gaps and genres, so literally anyone can play it!  Use prompts and be the first to shout out a song with the given word in the lyrics.  Sing it out, in tune or not, to get the points!  Take turns delivering word “triggers” and singing out songs.  Try to stump your opponents!  Be the first to move your game piece to the finish in order to win.  It’s fun, it’s spontaneous, it’s easy and will have everyone engaged!  Plus, build your memory and word association skills.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

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Winter Activities                    Family Schedule Ideas            Family Game Night Tips

5 Tips for a Successful Family Game Night

Start a fun weekly tradition and your family will be closer than ever. Get tips for a successful family game night and make sure everyone has a blast! 5 Tips for a Successful Family Game Night - tipsaholic, #familynight, #games, #family, #boardgames

 

 

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Family time is important for bonding and maintaining relationships.  Summer is easy to fill with tons of outdoor activities and fun vacations and day trips, but what do you do during the cold winter months?  One great idea is to incorporate a game night into your regular weekly schedule.  Kids will look forward all week to the specified night.  When it finally rolls around, everyone will get in on the excitement.  If you’re looking forward to adding this tradition to your winter schedule, here are some tips for making family game night successful.

 

1. Avoid arguments.  It can be very difficult to agree on which game to play, what constitutes “cheating,” who gets to go first, what snack you’ll eat, and any number of seemingly small choices, especially with young kids involved.  If you’re worried about arguments ruining the fun, make sure to plan some ground rules ahead of time.  Think about problem areas and set rules that will work for your family.  For instance, perhaps each member of the family is assigned a week of the the month to pick the game or everyone picks a game and then votes on which to play.  Perhaps there’s a standing “youngest goes first” rule, or each time you play you roll a dice to see who goes first.  If kids have a hard time with sportsmanship, institute a “no complaining” rule, a “no accusations” rule (for cheating) and a “fair game handshake” for the end of the game.  Present the “rules” in a laid back way, but don’t waver once they’re set.

 

2. Build your arsenal.  Make sure to invest in several group games that are appropriate for the ages in your family.  You’ll want options so no one tires of the same games.  You’ll also want different types of games, from board games to action games, from card games to dice games.  Don’t underestimate the old standby’s of checkers, dominoes, and even tiddlywinks!  Consider looking into educational games as well, which teach children on the sly, without them even realizing!

 

3. Offer refreshments.  Food is always a great incentive to gather and visit, so why not add snacks to your game night, too?  You can plan them together, or pick one family member each week to be in charge.  You can use it as an opportunity to encourage healthy snacking choices, or it might be the perfect time to try out some snacks you normally don’t indulge in!

 

4. Don’t force it.  If there are weeks when kids don’t want to join in the fun, don’t force them to the table.  Let them know you’ll miss them during the game, but that it’s their choice to participate or not.  But don’t let that cancel the activity altogether!  Carry on as normal, no matter who’s missing – even if it’s just parents playing!  Forcing kids to join in on the fun with foster resentment and bad attitudes which can affect everyone’s mood.  Family time should be fun for all involved, and it won’t be if you push it.  Chances are, when kids realize that the fun will go on without them and that they’re missing out, they won’t be absent very often!

 

5. Keep it consistent. You may have to adjust game night at times to accommodate schedules, but on the whole you should make it a scheduled event that everyone plans for at a certain time.  Not only do kids respond better to routine, but it’s more likely to become a fun tradition that you stick to if it’s not always changing willy-nilly for anything that happens to pop up.  So make sure to clear a night of activities (for instance, don’t plan it for a night that there’s usually piano practice or a day when there are often soccer games) and resist the urge to throw extra to-do items into the schedule for that open slot (if you happen to have a lot of extra errands one week, or a friend wants to meet for dinner for example).  Not only will this solidly plant game night into your family schedule, but it will make family members feel even more important if they can’t be easily replaced by book club, jogging with a neighbor or a chance coffee break with a friend.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

More Family ideas:

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Winter Activities                    Family Schedule Ideas            Chore Charts

10 Hands-On Literacy Activities (ages 3-6)

 

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Most preschool and kindergarten aged children are tactile, kinesthetic and visual learners.  Activities that engage these learning styles are the most effective way to supplement your child’s education at home.  Whether playing games, using flashcards, singing rhymes and songs or drawing pictures, using a variety of activities will engage your child so you keep their interest and have fun while learning.  Need some ideas for age and developmentally appropriate activities for your preschooler?  Here are  10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 3-6.

 

1. Online Games – Playing games on the computer has a general appeal for kids.  Using these resources teaches them technology skills, hand-eye coordination, gets their brain moving.  Check out these cool literacy building online games: Funbrain Reading and VocabThe Magic School Bus Gets An Earful Sound GameScholastic Building Language Game (Naming, Letters and Rhyming), pbs kids: Super Why Rhyme ‘n Roll Game

2. Board Games –  Board games can get the whole family involved!  Teach your kids valuable life lessons while learning about literacy – like taking turns, cooperation, being a good sport, supporting others, and social interactions/communication.  Try these board games: Alphabet Squiggle Game, Grandma’S Trunk Alphabet Game, ABC Cookies, Alphabet Memory, Spot It! AlphabetAlphabet Go Fish

3. Puzzles – Puzzles come in tons of variations, and get small motor skills going as well as improving cognitive skills.  Here are a few ideas:  Melissa & Doug Alphabet Letter Puzzles, Giant ABC & 123 Train Floor Puzzle, Spelling Puzzle Game, See & Spell

4. Flashcards – You can buy alphabet and phonics flashcards at many stores, even the dollar store.  Try Speakaboos online interactive alphabet flashcards.  OR, Course Hero is an awesome online source for creating your very own personalized flashcards!  It’s mainly used by older students as a study tool, but you can make them for your child and print them out or use them in conjunction with the free app.

5. Manipulatives – Manipulative are small items your kids can use in a ton of different ways to learn things from counting to upper and lowercase letters while developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  They usually come in fun, bright colors which are appealing to kids and teach preschoolers colors as well!  You can find manipulatives in lots of stores, and here are a few kits to try out: Alphabet Soup SortersAlpha Pops, Letter Construction SetABC Lacing Sweets

6. Colorful Catapult – Alter this catapult game from Spoonful by writing letters on plates instead of numbers.

7. Fly Swatter LettersDelia Creates shares really fun ideas for learning while playing outside.  In addition to the fly swatter game, she also shows how to play the letter game with squirt guns, how to write letters with a spray bottle, and how to play Number and Letter Twister!

8.  DIY Salt Tray – Check out This Mummas Life for directions on making this salt tray, a fun way for kids to trace letters and practice writing.

9. Letter Walk – This fun take on a scavenger hunt uses super simple, everyday items to teach kids letters and starting sounds, while getting them up and moving around!  Check it out on Learning and Playing in 2 Bedrooms or Less.

10. Flashlight Alphabet Game – If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll go nuts over this fun hide and seek game – played in the dark with the aid of an alphabet puzzle and a flashlight.  It’s super easy to set up – go get the details on Happily Ever After Mom.

 

Playing with kids is a great way for them to learn without even realizing it!  Are you looking for more fun learning activities for 3-6 year old kids? Try these 8 Hands-On Science Activities!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterestBloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Hands-On Literacy Activities (ages 6-9)

10 hands on literacy activities for ages 6-9 ~ Tipsaholic.com #literacy #games #kids

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No matter how old your child is or what type of schooling he or she receives, supplementing literacy education at home is super important.  If you want your child to be a life-long learner, enjoy reading and get the most out of their language and literacy education, you need to be an active participant in teaching them.  It certainly doesn’t have to be a chore and should feel like fun to both you and your child!  If you’re not sure where to start, here are ideas for 10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 6-9.

 

1. Board Games

From ages 6-9, kids are more interested in structured games with specific rules and have better attention spans and strategizing skills.  Capitalize on these developments when you plan learning activities for your child!  Here are some board games that focus specifically on language acquisition skills: Silly Sentences, What’s Gnu?, Pop For Sight Words, Tell Tale, Brain Quest.

 

2. Flash Cards 

While flash cards aren’t ideal teaching tools for every child, they’re an excellent way to switch up activities, take along when traveling or waiting for appointments, or for solo play time.  The good news is that flash cards don’t have to be boring!  Here are several sets that are sure to spark interest in kids: Spelling Flashcards, My Favorite Things Flash Cards, Alphabet Animals Flash Cards, Alphabeasties, Rhyming Words Flash Kids Flash Cards.  There are also some great DIY flash card tutorials: Tactile Sight Word Cards, Free Alphabet Flash Cards, Wooden Alphabet Cards.

 

3. Storytelling Bag

Put many different small objects/toys/cutouts in a bag.  Sit in a circle and begin your story with “Once upon a time…”.  Take turns drawing an item from the bag without looking and fitting it into the story.  Pass the bag around the circle to continue the story until you run out of items.

 

4. Word Family Portraits

A word family is a group of words that share a common combination of letters and sounds.  This game is an example of successfully scaffolding and building from what your child already knows.  Use pictures from a magazine or your own family photos with words attached and have your child group the individuals into family units within a “photo frame.”

 

5. Read and Find Game

This is a mash-up of an “I Spy” book and a sensory bin, with practice on reading, hand writing and motor skills thrown in.  You find actual toys with names your child could read, throw them in a bin, make a list of them, and have your child read the list, find the item and write the item down on their own list.  Easy to recreate and easy to learn.

 

6. Rhyming Jars

Gather a few jars and write a simple word on each.  Write words that rhyme with each jar on craft sticks and have your child choose which jar the sticks go in.

 

7. Sight Word Parking Lot

Create a “parking lot” on a piece of poster board with a sight word in each parking space.  Give your child cars and direct them to a spot by calling out a word.

 

8. Sight Word Soup

Using materials from the dollar store, you can easily create this tactile game where kids scoop words out of a “bowl of soup” and identify them.  It’s a fun way to work on letter or word recognition, spelling, reading and fine motor skills.

 

9. Fiddle Sticks

Directions and a picture can be found here.  To create the game, write sight words on the end of craft sticks.  Color the tip of one or two sticks a bright color.  Put the sticks right end down into a cup.  The players take turns drawing one stick at a time and reading the word out loud.  If they can’t read it, they put the stick back in.  If they draw the stick that’s colored, they must put ALL of their sticks back.  Play continues for a predetermined amount of time and the player with the most sticks when the time is up wins.

 

10. Multi-Sensory Activities for teaching Sight Words

Basically, have your child create the sight word with any number of different “sensory” objects.  They can start by copying the sight word from a flash card and move on to spelling it out by themselves after you say it.  Different sensory items they can use to create sight words: play dough, shaving cream (spray it out and have them trace into the cream), sand or salt (have them draw the letters in the sand or salt), pipe cleaners, or yarn.

 

Looking for more ways to engage your 6-9 year old? Try these tips for supplementing your child’s literacy at home.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

 

7 Fun Bridal Shower Games

7 Fun Bridal Shower Games | Tipsaholic.com #wedding #shower #bridal #entertaining #games #activities

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Bridal showers are traditionally for showering a bride with gifts, but bridal shower games add a whole lot of fun to a bridal shower. To make your next bridal shower a success, here are 7 fun bridal shower games that will keep your party exciting and memorable for everyone, especially for the bride!

1. Love Bingo

There are many variations of the “how well do you know the bride and the groom” game, but this Bingo game is interactive and includes props. Give every guest a BINGO card with numbers on them and two paddles in two different colors, with the bride’s name on one and the groom’s name on another. Put various facts about the bride and groom on strips of paper with numbers on them, throw them in a basket, and pick up one at a time. Players guess the correct answer by holding up one of their paddles. It’s a lot of fun to see what others guessed and to learn more about the bride and the groom.

2. Why Do We Do That?

Weddings are full of traditions, from wearing something blue to throwing the bouquet. But how did these traditions start? Find out by playing the Why Do We Do That? game at your next bridal shower! This game is very simple, but educational! If your guests love trivia, you could consider playing a longer game with this Bridal Shower Trivia card game.

3. DIY Wedding Dress

Divide your guests into teams and give them white materials to create a DIY wedding dress on one person in each group, from toilet paper, white tissue paper, feathers, glitter, newspaper, and whatever else you can think of. Don’t forget tape and/or glue. Give them a limited amount of time to create their wedding dress and then have your bride choose the best dress. You could even have every team have “design consultations” with the bride to find what she wants in a dress, for more bride involvement. Another variation on this game is to have every team create an aspect of the wedding dress, like the veil or the skirt, and put them all on the bride for an awesome photo op.

4. Wedding Poem Contest

This is another team competition that will result in an added entertainment at the wedding, if your bride agrees to this! We did this at a friend’s wedding shower and my team won, so we performed our Wedding Poem at her wedding reception and it was such a hit! Divide your guests into teams and give them a limited time to create a wedding poem, rap, or song. Have each team perform to the bride and let her choose the winner. And then let everyone enjoy the winning poem/rap/song at the wedding reception!

5. Guess Who I Am

This is a great game that will have everyone laughing and becoming more close to each other at the end of the game. Guests write down a favorite memory with the bride without leaving their names and then the bride reads them out loud to everyone. The bride will guess who wrote the memory. If she gets it wrong, the guest gets a prize.

6. What Is She Wearing?

Ask the bride to leave for a few minutes and give a sketching paper and colored pencils to everyone. Have them draw the bride and what she is wearing that day. Guests will have to depend on their memory to draw every detail of the bride’s appearance, from her hairdo down to her shoes! Once everyone is done, have the bride come in and let everyone vote on the best sketch that includes the most correct details. Finally, give all the sketches to the bride to keep as a great memento!

7. My First Kiss

Have everyone tell the story of their first kiss! It can be the story of their first kiss ever or their first kiss with their current boyfriend/husband. Once everyone has told their story, have everyone vote on the best story, funniest story, most romantic story, etc. This game will definitely draw out a lot of laughter and maybe even a few tears.

 

Rather than focusing on the gifts, bridal shower games bring the attention to the bride and the friendships and love she shares with her guests. Have you played some of these bridal shower games before? What are your favorite games to play at a bridal shower?

 

Looking for decor ideas for your bridal shower? Try these succulent DIY ideas  or these mason jar ideas!

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home.  Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

6 Ice Activities For Kids At Home

6 Ice Activities for Kids to do at Home | Tipsaholic.com #games #activities #kids #ice #summer

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Cool down this summer with these ice activities that you can do with your children at home! From ice bowling to ice excavations, it’s amazing how versatile (and fun!) ice can be.

 

1. Ice Bowling

Bowling is a fun activity that kids of all ages love, but it’s even more fun with a bowling ball that’s made of ice! Make your ice bowling ball by filling up a balloon with water and freezing it overnight. You could add a few drops of food coloring to make a colorful ball. Then set up your pins made of water bottles filled with water and food coloring and let your kids play! If your “bowling alley” is concrete, try watering it down to help the ice bowling ball roll better.

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2. Frozen Water Beads Play

Ice activities for toddlers and preschoolers are great to do outside when it’s hot. This frozen water beads play activity includes a ball of ice that has water beads imbedded in it. Have your child hold it, dip it in a tank of water, and move it around to let it melt. Gradually, the water beads will come out and your kid will feel accomplished after all of his hard work!

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3. Ice Chalk

Drawing on concrete driveways and sidewalks with chalk is one of the many pleasures of childhood. Take it up a notch this summer by making ice chalk for your kids to draw with. What’s more, there are so many different ways to make ice chalk, as evidenced here. Get creative with the shape and colors of your ice chalk!

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4. Arctic Ice Sensory Play

If your child loves to play with animal figurines, this ice activity will be a hit! Freeze a small tank of water, but put in a small plastic bowl to make a hole in the ice before you put it in the freezer. Then when the water is froze, pull out a bowl and pour in lukewarm water to create an arctic environment. Bring in arctic animals and let your kid use their imagination.

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5. Painting on Ice

What kid doesn’t like to paint? But painting on ice is just a bit cooler. This ice activity is something they can do when it’s too hot outside to play or to cool down after a long day in the sun. Freeze a pie pan filled with a mixture of water and baking soda and then have your kids paint on it. When the ice is all painted, rinse the paint off with water and you’ll have a new blank slate for more art! Paint, paint, and paint until all the ice has melted away.

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6. Ice Excavations

These ice excavations are similar to the frozen water beads play, but they are perfect for older children who love to experiment with various tools. The basic idea is to freeze a group of items in a big block of ice and give kids a few tools to melt down the ice to reach the items. Tools could include a turkey baster, Kosher salt, play syringes, wooden spoons, and whatever else you can find. You could freeze a rainbow ice tower with bead necklaces and other colorful items, a large square of ice filled with plastic toys found around the house, or small ice squares that hold dinosaur bones inside. How fun!

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Try these ice activities to cool down the kids and to give you a few minutes of summer relaxation. What other ice activities have you seen or tried in the past? Share away!

For more ideas for activities to do with the kids, check out 10 Fantastic Tin Can Crafts for Kids and Cheap or Free Toys For Gross Motor Development.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of Fun at Home with Kids.

7 Patriotic (and Fun!) July 4th Party Activities

 7 Patriotic and Fun July 4th Activities | Tipsaholic.com #holiday #fun #july #summer #independence #crafts #games #activities

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Hosting a July 4th party this year? A good party should have a few activities for guests to enjoy in between all the eating and drinking. Try one of these 7 fun July 4th party activities for your party!

 

1. Make July 4th Shirts

Near the beginning of your party, gather together your guests to create DIY July 4th shirts. Once they’re dry, everyone can wear them for the rest of the party, which could make for a really great group photo. This tutorial makes no-sew tanks with spray paint, but you could get a similar result with kid-safe fabric paint and a couple of paintbrushes. If you only have little kids at your party, this tutorial is a lot easier and faster to make.

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2. Paint Everyone’s Faces

Line everyone up and paint their faces with patriotic images! Use the things you probably already have in your pantry (corn starch, milk, water, and food coloring) to make homemade face paint. Both adults and kids will enjoy sporting their favorite designs on their faces or arms! Here are some face painting ideas: stars, the flag, fireworks, blue-white-red rainbows, Uncle Sam’s hat, eagles, the letters USA, the country USA, and patriotic ribbons. For the superhero fans, what about Captain America’s shield?

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3. Decorate Your Lawn with Stars

Once everyone is decorated with our country’s colors and symbols, work together to decorate the grass and sidewalks of your backyard and front yard with flour stars! This is a fun and easy activity for the kids to do. First, make a large stencil of a star and lay it down where you want the star to go. Spray water on the grass or concrete and then sift flour over it. Ta-da, white stars everywhere!

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4. Create Patriotic Art

A craft for the kids during a party is always a fun idea, but sometimes a craft requires a lot of adult supervision. This freedom collage craft is perfect for a July 4th party because it’s all about creating without restrictions, which makes it perfect for celebrating our free country. Simply provide the materials and set everything up on a table and let the kids have fun! Once everything is dry, you could even hang them up to add more decor to your party. Clip the creations on a string and hang it on your fence, tack them up on a tree, or tape them to the end of a long table, whatever works for your party!

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5. Play a Popcorn Relay Race

This is a fun and silly relay game that everyone can participate in, no matter their age, as long as they know how to walk! Attach a cup to each foot with string and fill it up with popcorn. Have your racers go as fast as they can without spilling the popcorn and fill up a huge basket of popcorn — whoever empties their portion of the popcorn first wins! And then everyone can enjoy chomping down on the popcorn, so there are no losers in this game.

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6. Set Up a Photo Background

Hang up a large American flag and set up a photography backdrop for your guests to get a picture together! You could grab an old school Polaroid camera and give the pictures to your guests right away or email them the photos later with a “Thanks for coming!” note. Everyone will love their little mementos from your party and that’s better than any favor bag!

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7. Have Fun with Glow Sticks

Fireworks are fun, but they’re not the only things that can light up the night. You can do so many fun activities with glow sticks and other glow toys, such as ring toss with glow sticks taped into circles, hopscotch with bigger glow circles, beach ball volleyball with glow sticks inside, and many more. Find more activities to do with glow sticks here!

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What other fun July 4th party activities do you like to participate in? Share your favorite ones in the comments below, including links! I’m always looking for more fun party ideas and I’m sure you are, too!

For more 4th of July ideas, check out this top ten list by Remodelaholic.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of I Can Teach My Child.