• Candice Forte

How to Get Family Game Time Going Regularly and New Giveaways!

I love games. I absolutely LOVE them! Family games were kind of few and far between at our house when I was a kid, and to be honest, I wasn't a very good loser. Maturity will do some good things for you! Well, so far, C-Bear has been a pretty gracious loser, but one tip is to keep smack talk and joking around about losing to an absolute minimum. We shall see if Little Sister follows suit. One game we absolutely love is Sushi Go! I will be totally honest: At first I thought it was really stupid and made no sense. But, after watching a good YouTube video on it I had a better idea and we probably had to play two full games before it became apparent what we were doing and all the fun math and strategy involved in the game. Advice: If your family doesn't love games, but wants to try it, the original Sushi Go! is plenty of fun. I think it may get old and tired if your family CONSTANTLY plays games like we do. So, we upgraded to Sushi Go Party! If you opt to get the Party version, my recommendation is to begin with the original deck (it is included packaged separately from all the new fun). If you try to play it full-blown with the original deck and the expansion deck, I can almost guarantee you will be very frustrated. We introduced my in-laws and my 91-year-old grandmother-in-law (is that a thing?...since I have known my husband half my life almost I guess she is just Grandma to me) to Sushi Go!. It was slowly picked up and by the end of a relatively short visit they were all playing the original deck and having fun...C-Bear most of all as seen below in his very satisfied smile.

Games! Back to games! Something I had been frustrated with since we moved her in July was that we never played games. Why? Because the games were in a large cedar chest which sits under the die cutter and spare laptop...that's why. So, I realized that we had many empty bins in our toy storage cubbies and decided we could do something about this. We have two of the cubbies shown above. One now has K-Bug's toys in it, mainly (and I ended up taking many that were learning toys and boxed them up in our school storage closet...I LOVE our house) and the other is all games and puzzles and dress up clothes. Our favorite family games are Sorry!,(and there is a Star Wars Sorry...don't tell C-Bear), Sushi Go Party, Connect 4, Chess, Uno, and Trouble...oh, and Candyland and Chutes & Ladders. Soon, K-Bug will be big enough to play her Minnie Matching Game she got for Christmas! When C-Bear was a little older than her we played it over and over and over! We recently got Laser Maze and it is cool, but only 1 player, so that is something to keep in mind if you get that, Gravity Maze, or Circuit Maze.

I put all the little games in the bottom bins. The only bad part is that they are not "out" and get forgotten about.

My parents got us these Vintage Edition Games several years ago and they are so fun! If you don't have a place to store your games that is more or less a play area, these can be considered. These brown ones are now big bucks, but you can get the Linen Book Style Vintage Games for under $40.

HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS HAPPEN FOR YOU? If you have financial resources you can buy a cubby storage organizer and maybe 3 bins for the bottom. Many games and puzzles fit decently in the organizer 12x12 spaces. If you don't have that kind of ability here is my advice: Have a place, visible and easily-accessible, in your house for games. Even if you can only put out a couple games at a time, try those games and rotate them out and see which ones your family loves...then keep those as most easily accessible. Toddlers? I hear you! Higher linen closet shelves could work or even a big kid's closet that little ones are less likely to be hanging out in...or your own closet! We have many shelves that are empty in our closet for things like these...but we are big time minimalists.

OTHER BUSINESS: GIVEAWAYS! Please check the Facebook page often for giveaways! We have two going right now and hope to keep a decent steady stream of them for some time. I am thinking about mixing up some of the prizes, but for now a lot of them are Thinking Tree books. Get to the Facebook page here. Last giveaway was for Sarah Janisse Brown's Creative Comic Book Cursive and Spelling DIY Journal.

The Merriam-Webster Elementary Dictionary, Usborne Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated Thersaurus, and the Calligraphy Pens were just props, not actually given away, but good to use with the book!