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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Let's Call Her...

When I was pregnant with my first child, agreeing on the perfect name was a huge challenge.

I would throw out a name and my husband would shoot it down, then he would throw out a name and I would shoot it down. We did this for months, without really taking the time to consider the names.

Finally, I realized that we needed to put the names out there, let them simmer a bit and think it through before we said no to the other person's suggestion. I put a dry erase board in the kitchen and then when one of us came up with a name, we would write it on the board. Whether we liked the name or not, we had to consider it for 3 days before rejecting it.

I found that although I might not initially like a name, it would often grow on me after seeing it for a few days. This system eliminated the bickering and allowed us to actually have fun with the process.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Blind Hen

Here's a great game for group play:

One person is blindfolded and becomes the "blind hen."

Once the hen is blindfolded, the other players start running and the hen has to catch them.

Once the hen catches someone, she has to try to name the person she thinks she has caught. 

If the hen is correct, the captured person becomes the hen. If she's incorrect, the hen turns the person loose and starts over.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Such is Life

So, I took the kids to see The Avengers last night. Great movie, but I chose the wrong spot because the two teenagers seated next to me decided to text throughout the entire movie.
Every few minutes, the glow from their phones lit up our aisle and the tap-tap-tapping of their fingers crawled under my skin.
I really wanted to say something. I wanted to find the perfect words that would help them to understand how rude their behavior was and maybe help them learn to make better choices in the future, but it was a lost cause. I knew that it was hopeless. Why was I so sure of that?
Their parents were sitting right next to them!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Happy Book!

I'm excited to let everyone know that my eBook is now available on Amazon!

When you’re a kid, being bored is sheer torture. Once you open the pages of The Happy Book, you will find over 200 games and activities that will entertain your kids for hours.

This book is filled with games that can be played on the spot using little more than your imagination, making it perfect for parents, teachers and caregivers. There are games for groups and individuals as well as Happy Kid Tips for parents that will help make the parenting experience far more enjoyable.

Whether you’re on the road, in a waiting room or just hanging around the house, The Happy Book will spark creative play and teach your children that there is always something to do.               

Following are the links to purchase my book:

Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


My kids are both very fair-skinned, and they are teased relentlessly. While it's very sad and hurtful, it's not surprising to me at all. I suffered through the same teasing as a child.

What does surprise me, is that my kids are teased because they wear sunscreen.

The first time my son told me that his classmates make fun of him, I was blown away. When my daughter piped up and admitted that she goes through the same thing all of the time, I was completely shocked.

According to the Center for Disease Control, "in 2007, 8,461 people in the United States died from melanomas of the skin." Despite these shocking statistics, protecting your skin is somehow "uncool."

Skipping the sunscreen is not an option, especially here in the Arizona desert, so I'm struggling with how to ease their pain. Has anyone else out there experienced anything similar to this? I'd appreciate any insight you may have!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag

This is a fun game that my son likes to play with his friends on the playground at school.
Two players face each other and play a round of rock, paper, scissors. The loser takes off running and the winner has to chase and tag the loser.
What a clever twist on the classic game of tag!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Switch Up

Divide your group in half and send one team out of the room. While they are out of the room, the other team switches items such as shoes, jackets, hats, jewelry, etc. When the other team returns, they take turns guessing what is different.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Taste Test

Put small amounts of the following onto a plate: ketchup, mustard, honey, pepper, drops of pickle juice, barbecue sauce, etc.

Blindfold the players and have them dip a finger into each sample. Can they identify what they are tasting?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Counting Cows

Need help passing the time as the miles roll by? Try this counting game:

Ask everyone in the car to keep their eyes peeled for cows. Pick a target number that you'd like to reach and then start counting and see how long it takes you to hit your target number.

The beauty of this game is that you can count anything. If there aren't many cows, try birds or speed limit signs.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where Did I See That?

Here's another quick game that you can play in the car, in a waiting room, or at a restaurant:

The first player names an object such as a fish, and everyone has to name a movie with a fish in it. (Finding Nemo or The Incredible Mr. Limpet would be good answers for this one.)

The player who names a movie first gets to choose the next object. You can also take turns naming movies that fit the category until you run out of movies.

This game also works with books and songs.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm on the Phone!

A friend calls for a chat, and as soon as you answer the call your kids suddenly decide that they need your attention. Sound familiar?

Try this trick: set aside a special toy that can only be played with while Mom or Dad is on the phone. This will give you a few minutes of much needed peace and quiet in which you can have a conversation.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Sugar Shuffle

Years ago when my kids were younger, going out to dinner was quite an ordeal. After being seated, I knew that I had roughly 15 minutes of relative calm before they started geting antsy. As long as they had a fun placemat to color and a few crayons, we could usually keep our cool until the meal arrived.

One evening, I wanted a change of pace, so I chose a new restaurant. Bad move.

The place was packed, filled mostly with couples out for a quiet meal. And, they had no placemats or crayons. Fingers crossed, I just hoped that they'd be able to hold it together. Maybe we'll get through this meal without a scene, I thought. Then it happened.

"Mommmmmm, she touched me with her foot."

Thankfully, I remembered reading an article with this fun little game:

Grab a few sugar packets and place them on the table. Put a coin under one of the packets and then shuffle them around.

As you shuffle them, ask your child to keep track of the packet with the penny beneath it. Once you stop shuffling, ask him to pick up the packet that he thinks the coin is under.

This cool little trick is likely to buy you a few minutes of peace during that long wait for your dinner to hit the table.