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Family Time – Fun Board Games

In praise of good clean family fun

Ah, the joy of a family night of fun board games played at the dining table! From Chutes and Ladders to Monopoly, through Tripoly and Clue, to Stratego, Risk, and Battleship, board games are just plain fun.

When we were youngsters, our movies were books and our game consoles were stored in boxes on the closet shelves. I recently rediscovered this joy with my seven-year-old granddaughter. We made a decision to watch tv less and spend more time doing things that encouraged conversation and personal interaction. It was a great decision. We spent the summer working puzzles, reading books together, and playing games at the dining room table. I now know which girls in her class giggle too much, which boys will chase you on the playground, and how much homework “they” expect her to get done. I also had the pleasure of watching my really smart, very funny granddaughter become a card shark.

All of this together time took me back to my childhood. We never really had to decide to watch less television. We only got three channels and my father’s interests ran the gamut from the news to football. Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and Joe Namath pretty well dominated the airwaves at our house. The Philco belonged to Daddy. So we played outside in the sunshine and played inside when the rains came or nightfall drove us indoors. I can still sense the feeling of sitting around the kitchen table on a cold night with my brothers and sister and sometimes my parents, the smell of goodies cooking, the laughter swelling with the ups and downs of game play. I remember so clearly knowing the warmth and comfort of my place in the family. And all of this is connected in my mind with the delightful fun of board games.

Board Games for Adults can be fun!

Board Games for ADULTS??? Okay, “for Adults” doesn’t have to mean “for Adults,” if you know what I mean.

Seriously, most of us just want to have some good conversation, good company, and good clean fun when we socialize. What better way to enjoy the company of friends than with a peaceable evening spent playing a game or two. Put on a pot of coffee, heat up some banana bread or a coffee cake, and pull out a crowd-pleasing board game.

Pictionary is a terrific game. I have a friend who guesses the picture from a straight line. Honest. I have trouble identifying a photograph, so they wait until I’m out of the room to choose teams. I’m much better at Scattergories. And Trivial Pursuit. I am a font of useless knowledge.

How about you? Are you a brain? Maybe Cranium or Scrabble are to your liking. If your ability lies in strategy you may prefer Chess or Mastermind. Backgammon and Yahtzee both utilize a combination of strategy and fortune. There’s always Clue if you’re a sneaky son-of-a-gun or if you harbor suspicions and conspiracy theories. Old reliable Monopoly lets you practice getting wiped out financially. And for all of you would-be Kings of the World, it’s hard to beat Risk for world domination.

There are lots more. Pick a favorite board game or two and call the crew. The adult crew. Adults – grown-ups – having fun just playing some board games. Hanging out. You know you want to. It’s been too long since the last get-together.

Teens want to have a little board game fun, too.

Fun board games for teens just sounds like you’re trying too hard. Really. But you’re not. Young people are just people. They have friends. They like to do things with the people they like. They get tired of trying to say the right thing, wear the right clothes, hang with the right crowd. Heck, they get tired of just trying to figure out what all of that is. They need some easy-going time with no big consequences – just a chance to slow down a bit now and then. Offer them a board game party.

Risk, Yahtzee, Pictionary, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit – all of these lend themselves to team play. Trivial Pursuit comes in a number of variations, so if they’re big Lord of the Rings fans, go with that one.

They will, however, play with a different intensity than their parents. “Soorrryyy” could take on a whole new meaning at your house. Player pieces may well be slapped around the board with more energy than one might expect. The Game of Life could be assigned choices not listed in the rules. Scene It will cause them to monopolize the television while Monopoly will give them time to take over the refrigerator. Who cares? They’re home, at your house, laughing like crazy and having more fun than they ever thought. No keggers, no missing parents, no car trouble – just friends and food and fun. Even teens have fun with board games.

And how about the children? Do they have any fun playing board games? Mayybeee.

The foundation of board games: children’s board games. I’m talking heart of childhood, elementary school, make a game out of everything age group. They make their own board games. They play board games at school when the weather is bad. They play board games all summer long in the floor, usually in the doorway to the kitchen. They just play. So what do they play?

Old stand-bys are still loved. Checkers and Chess are easily obtained and only take two people. Monopoly can take an entire afternoon and even then may not end with a clear winner. There’s a Monopoly Jr. now that is perfect for beginning readers and only takes about thirty minutes to play.

Sorry and Trouble, with it’s great Pop-O-Matic dice tumbler, remain crowd favorites. The Game of Life has become pretty convoluted, but kids still like to play it. Mouse Trap is fun to build and has the added value of a half hour of trapping mice once the game is done. Upper grade levels have a great time with Clue and Colonel Mustard and the Library – with the candlestick. Then there are cartoon-based games (think Spongebob) and Junior versions of Trivial Pursuit and Cranium. And Chinese Checkers and Parcheesi and Operation and Tri-Bond and Mancala and Aggravation and Backgammon and Scrabble and – oh, you get the idea. The list of children’s board games is as long as your imagination.

Don’t leave out preschoolers. Board games are not just fun. They’re useful.

We don’t always think about board games for preschoolers when we think about their play. Little ones run and jump and fall and get up and do it again. We sometimes limit their calm time to television – cartoons and children’s movies are quite good when Mom and Dad need some quiet time. Still, we miss out on some important training for small ones, as well as missing time spent together in an atmosphere of calm. More and more, children are losing the art of polite conversation and civilized interaction with adults. One solution? Bring out the games!

Pre-school board games help children to develop skills they will need in reading. They learn to match colors, count, recognize letters and their sounds, think sequentially, win graciously and lose gracefully. These are pretty important concepts. Candyland and Chutes and Ladders will wear you out, because your youngster will want to play again and again. There are all kinds of dominos (I know – not strictly a board game) that allow children to match cartoon characters rather than dots. There are games that let them match picture cards arranged on a grid and games that require fine motor skills. You’ll find that all of them are great fun for your four-year old.

Take the plunge. Board games with your preschooler. How much fun can you cram into one day?

WHOOHOO! Most fun section. Vintage board games.

Yep, fun board games of time gone by, making them vintage. Nice word for old. Well, maybe not all that old. Remember these?

Tripoly. We played this one with the neighbors. I don’t remember much about it except we used poker chips. There was a big green mat. And it was pokerish. And rummyish, too, I think. That’s it. That’s all I remember. Probably because I had a crush on the neighbor.

Then there was the Game of the States: VERY educational.

I’m pretty sure this one was a gift from my aunt. Very sure. Really. Aunt Helen. She was always the best at finding “educational” stuff that was pretty fun. Thanks, Aunt Helen. I miss you.

We really did learn all kinds of things about the states. We learned capitals, state birds, agricultural products, population – none of which I remember now. Not that much of it would be the same, anyway.

Now let’s talk about the REAL fun we had with board games. How about Tycoon? You had to be money-grubbing and free of conscience. My brothers slaughtered me. What are some others? Stratego. Mystery Date! Now there’s a great game for a sleep-over. Surfer dude. Hmmm. Remember him? Clue, Monopoly, Scrabble, Rook, Payday, Stock Market – all great games. I wish I still had all of them. But there was one we played ALL THE TIME:

8 Steps To Planning A Baby Shower

If you are hosting a baby shower for your best friend or relative then you want to make sure it will fun, memorable, and stress free! The best way to guarantee this is to plan the baby shower online. Creating a website for the baby shower will not only help you stay organized, but it will allow you to share and inform guests about all of the details and allow others to be involved in the planning process.

Here are 8 steps to follow to begin planning a successful baby shower:

1. Select date, time and location

When to hold the baby shower is up to the expecting mother. It usually occurs 4-6 weeks before the baby is due. Baby showers are usually held on Saturday or Sunday afternoons as this is usually the most convenient time. You need to make sure that the date/time is suitable for those ‘must be there’ guests such as the future grandmothers, aunts, and G-d mother. Having the shower on the weekend also makes it possible for out-of-town guests to attend. You can select the best possible date and time for the shower by setting up a poll on the shower website. This is the best way to learn the availability of your guests and chose the date/time that accommodates the most amount of people.

You should have a general idea of the number of guests that will be attending before selecting the location. Baby showers are usually held at the hostesses home as it is the most intimate option, however you want to make sure there is enough room for your guests to be comfortable. If you decide to have the shower at a restaurant, hotel or another venue, then you should book early to make sure you can reserve it for the date you want.

The baby shower website will be able to provide your guests with all of the details of the event, including date, time, and map to location. It will also inform them about any changes or updates.

2. Set a budget

Before arranging anything, you first need to establish how much you are willing and able to spend on the baby shower. Your budget will need to consider; invitations, decor, food and drinks, games, supplies and a gift. It is sometimes a good idea to have a co-host to help you with the costs. Having the baby shower at yours or another guests home is the most economical option. The menu and decor will also depend on your budget.

3. Create a guest list

Asking the mother-to-be who she wants to invite is the best way to make sure you do not forget about anyone important. Friends, family and co-workers usually make up the guest list. You want to obtain the contact information (address, phone number, email) of invitees as soon as possible to be able to get an estimation on the number of attending guests so you can continue planning.

4. Choose a theme

As the host, you can decide whether or not the baby shower will have a theme. Selecting a theme definitely adds to the ambiance of the shower and makes it easier to plan the website and invitation design, food, games and decor. If the expecting mother loves tea, then the shower theme can be a “tea party” whereby different teas will be served in fun and pretty tea cups. “Pampering mom” is another possible theme whereby everyone will receive spa treatments including hair, nails, facials, and massages. If you are having trouble deciding on a theme, you can ask your guests for their input and suggestions on your website message board.

Themes aren’t necessary to plan a fun shower. You can simply choose pink or blue decor (depending if you know the sex of the baby) and can have supplies with pictures of toys and animals on it to add to the ‘baby’ feel.

5. Invite guests

It is so easy to invite guest online to the baby shower by sending out a broadcast email. The invitation should be informative and fun and include the following information:

• Date, time, location and theme of the shower
• Contact person information (# and email)
• A link to the baby shower website
• A description of activities that will take place
• Explain how to RSVP online and mention RSVP deadline
• Include baby registry information

With you baby shower website, guests will be able to RSVP online, and should be encouraged to do so by a specified date. This will allow you to always keep track of your guest list, and send out reminders to those who have not responded.

6. Menu

The menu will depend on the time of day the shower is being held. If the shower is taking place over a meal time then you are expected to serve various food options. It can be either a sit down meal or a buffet. If the shower is held during an afternoon, then snacks and appetizers are sufficient.

If the shower is at someone’s home, the food can be homemade or catered. If you decide to have the shower at a restaurant or another venue, then you will need to create a special menu in advance. Regardless of the shower’s location, you want to create a menu that fits within your budget and is consistent with the theme of the baby shower.

It is customary to have a cake for the expecting mom at the baby shower. You should decide early if you or another guest will make the cake or it will be ordered from a bakery. The design on the cake should be related to the theme of the shower.

In order to make sure your food selection matches the tastes and dietary requirements

The Appropriate Baby Showers Gifts

What is an appropriate baby shower gift?

Almost all baby shower gifts are appreciated as long as they are not offensive, embarrassing or insulting to the “mommy-to-be” or hostess. That fact alone should remove much of the anxiety associated with shopping for the appropriate baby shower gift. An appropriate baby shower gift is a gift that is suitable for the particular person and the particular occasion. If you focus on usefulness and avoid offence your chance of finding the appropriate gift is very good.

History behind baby shower gifts

Some believe the baby shower gift giving goes as far back as the first baby shower. However, it is difficult to find a date when the first baby shower gift was given. Research indicates the “showering” of the “Mommy-to-be has been popular in many countries for hundreds of years. Many sources say the baby shower originated as far back as the late eighteen hundreds. These sources say it received its name from the “showering” of gifts on the mother-to-be.

In the beginning, the baby shower was a tea party given for the “Mommy-to-be” and only women would attend. These parties were normally given after the baby was born because pregnant women did not appear in public. The baby shower gift was very practical and handmade: article of clothing, blankets, and food items. Except for the silver given by the grandmother.

Originally the baby shower was given for the first baby of the “mommy-to-be.” Tradition has changed that to all babies since all are considered a miracles and deserve the same treatment as the first.

In recent years baby showers often occur before the baby is born. Because of the new technology the health and gender of the baby is not so much a mystery as before. So, showers are held early in preparation for the new baby’s arrival without the worry of buying an inappropriate baby shower gift.

What makes the baby shower gift appropriate

Knowing something about the family and what their needs are in regards to caring for the new arrival as well as their lifestyle will narrow down the search for the appropriate gift. The appropriate baby shower gift is one that will be appreciated, in keeping with the lifestyle of the parent, useful in caring for the baby immediately or in the future. If the parent has a baby shower registry, the choice of a gift can be make easier by simply choosing a gift on the list not purchased yet.

Age appropriate is normally a consideration when giving a gift to a child. However, for the baby shower it is appropriate to give gifts to be used at a later age or gift that will covers a wide age range. With toys, we recommend you go with three years old and under to avoid parts small enough for the baby to swallow.

Some gifts may fit the lifestyle of the parent more than others. For example: If the parent like hiking you might consider a carriage that is convenient for taking baby on hikes or if the parent is a runner you might consider a jogging stroller.

Following these few simple rules will make you a hit at any baby shower.

Some things to consider when choosing a baby shower gift

At the start only women were invited to baby showers, but today these celebrations can include father, grandfather, and any male family members. Therefore, any one can find themselves shopping for the appropriate baby shower gift.

Historically, the grandparent would give a gift of silver as a small amount of inheritance for the child. Some grandparent still give the gift of silver today. Others grandparent have expanded the idea of a inherence to include saving accounts, saving bonds and stock certificates. In some places it is still traditional for the grandmother to make a baby blanket or small quilt for the baby. These are still appropriate baby shower gifts.

Most of the times those invited to the baby shower will not be grandparent and will be looking for other appropriate gifts. Understanding the appropriate gift is suitable for the particular person and the particular occasion, is usefulness and does not offend, you will find the following meet the requirement as appropriate baby shower gifts:

1. Any item from the baby shower gift registry not already purchased. You don’t have to get the item from the selected store.

2. Disposable Diapers and baby wipes- Diapers are expensive, and babies use them quickly, so new parents always appreciate a gift of diapers.

3. Baby Clothes-Baby clothes in larger sizes will likely be used more. If you don’t know the baby’s gender, a gift certificate is a welcome baby shower gift, allowing the parents to choose an outfit after baby arrives.

4. Books and DVD – Buying Books, DVDs and Music-Help boost baby’s brainpower by choosing a classic baby book, educational DVD.

5. Baby Toys – You can buy baby toys made for older babies for use later in baby’s life, but stick with toys for ages 3 and under to avoid the possibility of the baby choaking on the small parts. Your gift can be used for a longer time if its for a wider age range.

6. Lifestyle Gifts for Parents and Babies — If you want to give a baby shower gift that’s out of the ordinary, consider the parents’ lifestyle. (Ex. Joggers, Bikers).

7. Gift Baskets – Gift baskets make a wonderful keepsake gift and contains many of the essentials necessary for the new bundle of joy.

8. Baby Blankets – Infants quickly become attached to their security baby blankets. It will bring much joy to your baby.

9. Gift Certificates- For busy new parents, gift certificates can make it easy to pick up last-minute items that were forgotten in the preparations for baby’s arrival. Gift certificates also give parents-to-be a way to purchase a special item that they really wanted but didn’t receive at the baby shower. Baby shower gift certificates don’t have to be just for baby products, either. New parents might enjoy gift certificates for dinner delivery, movie rentals, house cleaning, massage, day spas or cloth diaper service. (Ex. gift certificates online).

Successful baby shower giving

Don’t offend or embarrass the new mom or the hostess and most any gift will be appreciated. To be thoughtful and give what is needed or what the parent wants most, follow the guidelines in this article. Selecting what the parent will appreciate and need is the secret to successful baby shower giving.

John H. English is the chief operating officer for Ba

Baby Shower: Novel Way of Arrangement

Photo matching – enticing baby shower game- all the guests should bring the baby picture of themselves. Arrange all pictures on a board. Give each picture a number. Each guest has to match the adult guest name with the corresponding baby picture. The guest with the most correct matches wins.

Top Baby Songs- entertaining baby shower game-divide the guests into teams. Ask them to write down as many songs that have the word baby in the title in 3to 5 minutes. The team with most song titles wins. The losers can sing a baby song chosen by the winners.

Baby shower invitations.

Baby Shower invitations can be as formal or informal. The baby shower invitation can be simple or complicated. We can decide that. However, it is worth putting some time and effort into baby shower invitations, because it sets the mode and tone for that special Baby Shower Party.

The invitation must have Time, Date & location of party. The baby shower invitation must contain your telephone and email addresses. We should always remember to include details of the events that need preplanning or preparation.

Baby shower themes.

Baby shower themes are a great idea for a baby shower, by creating a real party atmosphere by matching baby shower invitations, baby shower favors, baby shower decorations, and Baby Shower Games. Below, there are few favorite baby shower themes. We should always remember that the baby shower theme must suit the most important guest [the expectant mother].

Once the baby shower theme is decided, we can use the theme for baby shower invitations, baby shower decorations, Baby Shower games, baby shower cakes, and baby shower favors. . Write an alphabet letter on each guest’s invitation. Ask them to bring a gift beginning with that letter. Decorate the room with letters.

Baby shower gifts

The gifts that we give should be useful for the baby. The baby shower gift may be simple or expensive that depends on our purse weight. Here are few suggestions.

Baby’s First Library: The Runaway Bunny, Big Red Barn, and Goodnight Moon
LullaBag Gift Cradle – Natural Cotton – used up to 12 months, Wooden Two-Step Stool- this comes in 2 colors, Small Photo Album, -used from birth to over 36 months, Classic Red Tricycle used from 24 months and up

Baby shower Cakes

Baby shower cakes are a practical, yet beautiful gift for new parents and baby and made to look just like their name, a cake. These clever little beauties are filled with all kinds of useful baby items such as diapers, bibs, bottles, pacifiers, shoes, socks, etc.

All the things a new parent needs to get them started! This gift is a great centerpiece at a baby shower and as the gift! It is sure to “wow” everybody! Perfect to take to Mom and Baby at the hospital, too.

Baby shower decoration

Baby shower decoration- decorates the room with pictures of famous movie stars and films. We can also decorate the room with pop star posters. We can decorate room as per any children story such as ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ or ‘Goldilocks. We can use children’s books for table centerpieces. Stack the books and tie ribbon around the books with a big bow on top. Decorate the top with a pacifier.

Stable baby shower decoration-decorate the room as a stable with a manger big enough for Mom. Another type of decoration is Umbrella baby shower decoration-Decorate room with umbrellas, galoshes, etc. Tell all the guests that the forecast says showers today and every one comes in raincoats.