games for kids http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9452/all en-US 10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day With Kids http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-with-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-with-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/99535373_ac8d097849_z.jpg" alt="Valentine&#039;s Day cupcakes" title="Valentine&#039;s Day cupcakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before you have children, Valentine's Day is usually a holiday that's all about romance. Once babies come into the picture, though, things tend to change. You might not be able to celebrate with an evening out on the town, or want to spend money on flowers, champagne, and fancy chocolates.</p> <p>Even if you do have romantic plans for Valentine's Day, you'll probably want to celebrate with your children too. Kids love holidays and traditions, and there are lots of fun ways to make Valentine's Day special.</p> <h2>Decorate Your House</h2> <p>You decorate your home for Halloween and Christmas, why not Valentine's Day? Head to your local dollar store for some inexpensive decorations like balloons and streamers, and then let your kids hang them up. You can decorate with items like flowers, ribbons, and tablecloths too.</p> <p>It's also fun to make your own decorations. Use pink, red, and white construction paper to make paper chains (like the red and green ones that are so popular at Christmas), and then hang them from the ceiling. Or let your children create some heart-themed artwork and hang it on your walls.</p> <h2>Make Handmade Valentine's</h2> <p>You can always buy Valentine's Day cards, but if you've got the time, most kids enjoy making their own. One easy way is to cut a heart out of construction paper and then glue a white paper doilie on top. Let your children decorate these with markers, glitter, stickers, and candy hearts.</p> <p>You can also find lots of <a href="http://crafts.kaboose.com/valentine_homemade.html">ideas for handmade cards</a> online. Mail these cards to friends and family, or deliver some to a local nursing home and teach your kids how to make Valentine's Day special for someone else.</p> <h2>Get Crafty</h2> <p>If you enjoy making crafts, you don't have to stop with handmade cards. For young children, download <a href="http://holidays.kaboose.com/valentines-day-coloring-pages.html">printable coloring pages</a>. For older children, visit websites like <a href="http://crafts.slides.kaboose.com/266-our-favorite-valentine-s-day-crafts">Kaboose</a> and <a href="http://familyfun.go.com/valentines-day/">Family Fun </a>to find pictures and descriptions of lots of great craft ideas. If you're looking for harder projects, visit the <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/valentines-day-gifts">Martha Stewart</a> website, where you can learn how to make embellished candy boxes or your own heart-shaped soap.</p> <h2>Play Games</h2> <p>Many games that are childhood favorites can be modified to include a Valentine's Day theme. For example, it's easy to find free printable templates for games like Valentine's Bingo or Tic-Tac-Toe. Make the games even more fun by using those cute little candy hearts in place of chips.</p> <p>It can also be fun to create your own Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt by writing clues on paper hearts that lead to a special gift or treat. If you're short on time and looking for something super-easy, let your kids play some of the many <a href="http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/valentines-day/games/">Valentine's computer games</a> that are available online.</p> <h2>Head to the Kitchen</h2> <p>Valentine's Day makes a great excuse to indulge in some delicious treats, and cooking and baking provide all kinds of valuable lessons in many aspects of math and reading. Even little children can pour and dump, and older kids can learn to read recipes and measure ingredients. Make some heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorate them with pink frosting and sprinkles. If you prefer chocolate, try making chocolate-covered strawberries or easy homemade truffles.</p> <p>And if you're looking for a healthier option, now might be the time to see if your kids will eat this <a href="http://weelicious.com/2009/06/08/red-beet-white-bean-hummus/">Red Beet and White Bean Hummus</a>. It's hot pink &mdash; which makes it perfect for the occasion!</p> <h2>Host a Party</h2> <p>Once you've got the house decorated, the games planned, and the treats prepared, why not host a Valentine's Day party? Invite a few friends or just the stuffed animals. Plan to play some of the games and make some of the crafts listed above, and then serve treats with heart-themed plates, cups, and napkins. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to make heart-shaped tea sandwiches, and don't forget to mix up a <a href="http://cookeatshare.com/recipes/pink-party-punch-1290">sparkling pink punch</a>.</p> <h2>Start a Tradition</h2> <p>Family traditions provide children with a sense of security and belonging, and are fun and rewarding for the entire family. A tradition can be as simple as having breakfast together and serving heart-shaped pancakes on Valentine's Day morning, or setting aside a special time during the day each year to share the things you love about each other.</p> <h2>Learn Something</h2> <p>Holidays almost always provide a teachable moment, and Valentine's Day is no exception. Explore the <a href="http://holidays.kaboose.com/valentines-day/history/val-history.html">legend of St. Valentine</a> and the history of Valentine's Day by reading books from your local library or bookstore. You can also take the opportunity to encourage reading by choosing a few of the many <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&amp;plgroup=1&amp;docId=1000649271">great Valentine's Day books</a> available and reading them with your kids.</p> <h2>Talk About Hearts</h2> <p>Did you know that February is National Heart Month? Take the opportunity and use Valentine's Day to teach your children about the real human heart. The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation has many fun and educational links on the <a href="http://www.mplsheart.org/kids/lets_learn.html">Kid's Corner</a> of their website where kids can learn what their heart looks like and how to take care of it.</p> <p>Depending upon the ages of your children, you could also talk to them about heart disease, and consider setting a good example by donating some of your own time or money to an organization like the American Heart Association.</p> <h2>Tell Your Children You Love Them</h2> <p>This one seems like a no-brainer, right? But sometimes it's easy to assume that our children know that we love them and forget to say the actual words. Even if you tell them every day, tell them again. They're three simple words, but children can never hear them enough. And cards and hearts and candy aside, isn't love what Valentine's Day is really all about?</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When you have children, Valentine&#039;s Day isn&#039;t always about flowers and romance, but it can still be fun. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is post by Alyssa Chirco from our sister blog, <a href="http://www.parentingsquad.com/">Parenting Squad</a>. Visit Parenting Squad for more parenting tips and news:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-choose-bath-products-that-arent-toxic-to-your-baby">8 Simple Ways To Avoid Toxic Baby Care Products</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-buy-that-first-bra">How To Buy Your Daughter's First Bra</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/six-ways-for-parents-to-encourage-fitness-and-maybe-improve-their-kid-s-grades">6 Ways for Parents to Encourage Fitness and Improve Their Kid's Grades</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/pregnant-there-are-three-things-you-need-more-than-a-birth-plan">The 3 Things Pregnant Women Need More Than A Birth Plan</a></li> <li><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-help-your-young-teen-get-a-job">How To Help Your Young Teen Get a Job</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/parenting-squad">Parenting Squad</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-with-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid">11 Holiday Pet Dangers to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed">8 Old Holiday Traditions We Can&#039;t Believe Ever Existed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-on-halloween">15 Ways to Make Money on Halloween</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family Home affordable Valentine ideas cheap Valentine ideas frugal holiday decorating games for kids Holidays Valentine's Day Thu, 10 Feb 2011 13:36:12 +0000 Parenting Squad 489588 at http://www.wisebread.com An Inexpensive Diversion http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheap-diversion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-cheap-diversion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boys playing cards.jpg" alt="boys playing cards" title="boys playing cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My digital era middle-school-aged son has adopted the use of a low-tech, low-cost entertainment device. I have put much effort into convincing him to balance his love of technology with quieter pursuits that don’t require electricity, batteries, or cash, so when he took a break from making Youtube videos (produced using <a href="http://www.hyperionics.com/" title="http://www.hyperionics.com/">hypercam</a> to record computer-screen action, then edited via PowerPoint), I was pleased. He loves the versatility of his newfound toy; I love the price tag. </p> <p>His turnaround came after a week at Boy Scout camp, where electronics are banned and card games are taught. Shortly after coming home, he begged for a deck of cards. I couldn’t find any at the house, so I went to the dollar store, where I purchased a pack for, oddly, 50 cents plus tax. (I paid using <a href="/making-change-count" title="http://www.wisebread.com/making-change-count">change</a>). </p> <p>Then, he told me that cards are superior to the typical board game because you could play lots of different games and weren’t tied down to one in particular. </p> <p>My scout taught our family his favorite game from camp, “Mao,” beginning with the rule that you can’t tell the rules, which the observant person will find is in violation of the rules. For more on Mao, see this <a href="http://www.bluepineapple.com/partygames/index.php?page=maofull" title="http://www.bluepineapple.com/partygames/index.php?page=maofull ">Party Games website</a> or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_(game)" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_(game)">Wikipedia’s article on Mao</a>. </p> <p>My older son had a similar, though less dramatic, experience after several days at a youth retreat in the mountains. He spends less time tinkering with the computer and more time reading so playing cards didn’t make quite the impression on him. Still, he enjoyed playing El Presidente and then teaching us (my husband, his younger brother, a friend, and me) the card game on an overnight hiking trip. </p> <p>Here’s his version of the game: </p> <ul> <li>Equipment: full deck of cards</li> <li>Number of players: at least 3, better with 4-7</li> <li>Setup: all cards are dealt, as evenly as possible; everyone sits in a circle or somehow close enough to pick up and put down cards with ease, but not see others’ cards; the person who has the 4 of clubs starts the game</li> <li>Object: to get rid of all your cards and be named El Presidente</li> <li>Rules: <ul> <li>3 is the highest value card, then 2, Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4.</li> <li>Each game usually involves multiple rounds; the person who starts the game or wins the most recent round, decides whether cards should be placed in singles, doubles, or triples (that is, if one 7 is placed at first, then that round is singles; two 7’s, doubles; three 7’s, triples); when the round is over, then the deck is cleared and a new round starts.</li> <li>If all 4 of the same face-value cards (such as all of the Queens) are used in a round, then the deck is cleared.</li> <li>If two cards with the same face value are played in sequence (such as a 5, followed by a 5), then the next player is skipped (this “skip” still counts as a turn). </li> <li>Game Play: after the first card is placed, then the next player (clockwise or counterclockwise depending on what the dealer decides) must place a higher value card of any suit or pass on the turn; a round is over and the deck is cleared when someone plays the highest value card (a 3 in this version); if a card can’t be topped and all players have had a turn (either skipped or passed) – the person who has placed the last card down wins the round. </li> <li>Order of winners: the first person who gets rid of all his/her cards is declared El Presidente and the second person is Vice Presidente; the last person is Bum 2 and second to last person is Bum 1; all others are Middle Men. </li> <li>For the next session, Bum 2 must give El Presidente his/her two best cards in exchange for any two cards; Bum 1 must give Vice President his/her best card in exchange for any one card. El Presidente starts the next round. </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Rules for this card game or any others can vary depending on the inclinations of the players. The ability to make a game more or less complicated is yet another advantage of cards. </p> <p>A deck, with all its cards tucked away in a small box, is easy to transport in a backpack or duffle bag, providing ready entertainment at home, on camping trips, at off-the-grid lodges, and in airport waiting areas. Though I played cards some as a kid, I don’t think I recognized the value of a full deck as a highly portable, flexible, and inexpensive diversion, until now.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheap-diversion">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/magazines-for-free-or-cheap">Magazines for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-easy-halloween-costumes-for-kids">Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-for-free">Read for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-entertainment-a-recipe-for-the-recession">DIY Entertainment--A Recipe for the Recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Art and Leisure cards deck of cards El Presidente full deck games for kids Mao Sat, 19 Jul 2008 16:03:58 +0000 Julie Rains 2249 at http://www.wisebread.com