A Madison Mom http://www.amadisonmom.net A guide for parents living in and around Madison, NJ. Fri, 09 Dec 2016 22:55:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 41869390 Helping Kids to Give Back: Part 1 http://www.amadisonmom.net/helping-kids-give-back-part-1/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/helping-kids-give-back-part-1/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:00:10 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=18022 At this time of year, most of us are preparing for holiday celebrations and gift-giving. Many of us are also thinking of another kind of giving — giving back. We give our time, money, and items to charities dear to our heart. Ideally, we want our children to join in to help them start thinking beyond themselves and appreciateRead More

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At this time of year, most of us are preparing for holiday celebrations and gift-giving. Many of us are also thinking of another kind of giving — giving back. We give our time, money, and items to charities dear to our heart. Ideally, we want our children to join in to help them start thinking beyond themselves and appreciate all they have, but sometimes it is hard to find meaningful ways to include them. I’ve compiled a few ideas below to help get you started. I actually found too many ideas for one post, so check back next week for Part 2!

I find the key to involving kids is to try to find something related to their interests, that they come up with themselves, or that they have a part in deciding upon. And, remember that “giving” isn’t just something you can do at holiday time. There are people who need support throughout the year. Here are a few ways to help children give their donations, time, and thoughts to local places that are special to them:

Personalize Gift Donations

A simple way to start this time of year is to pick a wish list for a needy person from the YMCA (though they have all been selected already this year) or your local place of worship. Have your child select the person, or pick someone their age or the age of someone they know. Give the kids a budget as they select the gifts. You can guide them by saying things like “This man is about Grandpa’s age. What do you think Grandpa would like?”  When we did this a few years ago, we selected a boy about my son’s age (age 8) who wanted Legos and pajamas. My kids searched the racks to find pajamas in a Lego theme, since they knew the boy liked Legos. They then decided on a Lego set that could be built in three different ways because they thought it would make the boy feel like he had three sets, instead of just one. Other simple ways to encourage care and giving throughout the year are to make cookies for a sick friend, send thank you cards to the local fire fighters, or rake leaves or shovel snow for an elderly neighbor.

Personalize Monetary Donations

For several years, one of my in-laws Hanukkah gifts for the kids was $10 each — not for them to keep, but for them to donate in their name to a charity of their choice. My daughter decided to add in some of her own money to “adopt” a chinchilla at the Turtle Back Zoo. She wanted to help the zoo take care of one of her favorite animals. She loved getting the photo of her adopted pet in the mail with the thank you note!

My sports-loving son came up with the idea to donate to an organization that helped kids pay the fees to play sports. We had never discussed how much it costs to play sports (especially travel sports!), and I was so in awe of his thoughtfulness and realization that money was a barrier for so many kids to do so! I had remembered seeing a sports equipment collection at our synagogue, so I contacted the temple’s community service coordinator. She spread the word, and we eventually came across Teams For Kids Foundation, founded in 2014 by a local teen who would volunteer at homeless shelters in Morristown. She started this non-profit organization to raise funds to enable underprivileged kids in New Jersey to participate in recreational sports. It was exactly what my son had envisioned! Having my kids decide on just the right recipient of their donation really made a huge impact on them.

Hold a Donation Drive

In addition to money donations, many organizations are looking for specific items to be donated. If you want to help your child collect items, first start with an organization that interests them, then check out their Web site for current items needed. Then they can make flyers to distribute to friends, neighbors, and family that give details as to what they are collecting, when they will collect it, and where the donations will be going. Interested in birds? Ask for bird seed, artificial Christmas trees, and paper towels for The Raptor Trust. Like puppies? Collect dog food, old blankets and towels, and pet collars for St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. Into art? Call a local women’s shelters or children’s hospitals to see what they need. Love to read? See if your friends know teachers in under-privileged areas and hold a children’s book drive to increase their classroom library. A friend of mine had a connection with a school in a low income area. She invited several of her kids’ friends to her house on MLK Day. Each kid brought some of their own books to donate, then decorated a book bag, and selected books to put inside and be donated to the students in the school.

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Visit Local Assisted Living Centers

I recently contacted Brighton Gardens, an assisted living center on Ridgedale Avenue in Florham Park, to schedule my Brownie troop caroling. When I also asked about ways families can volunteer, the activities director, Joanie, said that they are always open to having families schedule a time with her to visit with the residents any time of year. They can do things like make crafts or play games with the residents, and they really appreciate seeing the little ones (she said especially babies and toddlers!). Think creatively about your child’s interests. How about offer to do a concert so your child has an audience to appreciate his years of piano practice? Or have your young reader read to the residents? If your child loves baking, see if a senior center would be open to having her bring in sugar cookies to decorate with the residents. Find an activity that matches your family’s interests and share it with the seniors. Since Brighton Gardens is an assisted living facility and not a nursing home, the children might not be as tentative with the residents. There are several assisted living facilities in the area, so contact any one with your creative ideas.

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Volunteer with Specific Local Events

Several organizations hold volunteering events that the whole family can do together. The first Saturday of May (so May 6, 2017) is May Day in Madison.  More than 800 volunteers of all ages (including my Brownie troop and families) work at locations around the town to pull weeds, spread mulch, and beautify Madison. I’ve also marked our calendars for Saturday, March 18, 2017, when the Madison Rotary Club and Foundation will have their End Hunger 3.6 Food packaging event. Volunteers (about ages 8 and up, though younger have attended in the past) will package 150,000 meals for distribution to more than 40 sites to feed the hungry in New Jersey and New York City.

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Many churches and synagogues coordinate volunteer activities that can involve kids. Our synagogue, Temple B’Nai Or in Morristown, participates in the Metrowest branch of the Jewish Relief Agency. Once a month, volunteers of all ages and backgrounds gather at a local temple to box up produce and kosher foods for people in need. Then, if possible, they select a route to personally deliver the boxes with a smile. I took my kids to the boxing event last May at our temple. They worked alongside other kids and adults to fill about 10 boxes each. Though I wasn’t originally planning to deliver, I decided to choose a route in Verona and Caldwell, since I knew those areas. We delivered three boxes. One recipient was an older Russian couple in an apartment building who got tears in their eyes when they saw the kids at their doorstep. They both hugged all of us and, in their broken English, told us how much they loved seeing us and how they wait for their special box each month. The kids were silent the whole walk back to the car. Their discussions on the drive home were beautiful. I could feel how much this two-minute meeting had affected them.

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My daughter and I also participated in an event called “Stop Hunger Now” that took place last May at Madison High School that was organized by United Methodist Church in Madison. At this event, we donned hair nets, and worked alongside about 90 other volunteers (upper elementary age and up) to package more than 20,000 nutritious dried soup mixtures for the hungry in Haiti. We measured, scooped, and sealed bag after bag that afternoon, then helped box them up and load them on the delivery truck. To this day, my daughter still asks me when the next soup event will be. (I’ll keep checking back at the church’s Web site as no date is determined yet.) She knew that she had made an impact, and she knew that it made her feel great!

Remember to check out Helping Kids to Give Back: Part 2 next week!

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5 Favorite Things In and Around Madison, NJ: 12/9 – 12/15 http://www.amadisonmom.net/5-favorite-things-129-1215/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/5-favorite-things-129-1215/#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 01:43:18 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=18077 Lots of local, holiday (and non) fun for kids of all ages so close to home this week! Spotlight Kids Company Presents Peter Pan! December 9 @ 7 pm, December 10 @ 2 & 7 pm, December 11 @ 2 pm. Join local kids of all ages as they take you back to Neverland withRead More

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Lots of local, holiday (and non) fun for kids of all ages so close to home this week!

Spotlight Kids Company Presents Peter Pan!

December 9 @ 7 pm, December 10 @ 2 & 7 pm, December 11 @ 2 pm.

Join local kids of all ages as they take you back to Neverland with the classic story of the Darlings, Peter, Hook and Tink!

Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps., 29 Prospect Street, Madison

http://www.spotlightkidscompany.com

 

Holiday Craft Morristown

December 10 from 10 am – 6 pm/ December 11, 11 am – 5 pm

Do some holiday shopping while supporting local artists. Over 165 vendors from near and far come together to show up their wares and celebrate the holiday season.

Morristown Armory, 430 Western Avenue, Morristown

http://www.artrider.com

 

NJ Ballet presents The Nutcracker

Through December 24 (see website for showtimes)

The NJ Ballet and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra once again join forces to bring this family favorite back to Morristown.

Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South Street, Morristown

http://www.mayoarts.org

 

Home for the Holidays Concert

December 11 @ 3 pm

Drew University, The Concert Hall in the Dorothy YOung Center for the Performing Arts

Limmie Pulliam, one of The Three Holiday Tenors, will join the Drew University New Jersey Festival Orchestra for “Home for the Holidays”

36 Madison Ave., Madison,

$28 to $76 for adults and $15 for students K-12

www.njfestivalorchestra.org, 908-232-9400

 

Gingerbread Wonderland

December 10 & 11 from 10 am – 4:30 pm

Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 535 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Plains

Every year over 100 people enter their own gingerbread creations to this 25 year tradition. And it’s not too late to enter (http://arboretumfriends.org/images/2016-4Fall/GBW_Entry_Form.pdf)! There is also a Holiday Craft Show to enjoy after you take in the sites (and smells) of all those gingerbread houses!

Admission $2, for both the Gingerbread competition and the craft show.

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Wine Awesomeness Holiday Gift Guide http://www.amadisonmom.net/wine-awesomeness-holiday-gift-guide/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/wine-awesomeness-holiday-gift-guide/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:33:10 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=18057 *Affiliate links included… if you shop with my links, I receive a small commission (no extra fee for you).  Thank you! Wine Awesomeness is your one-stop shop for gifts, stocking stuffers, and general holiday frivolities! From the impossible-to-buy-for to the person who has everything, you’ll be able to find gifts for every single person onRead More

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*Affiliate links included… if you shop with my links, I receive a small commission (no extra fee for you).  Thank you!

Wine Awesomeness

Wine Awesomeness is your one-stop shop for gifts, stocking stuffers, and general holiday frivolities! From the impossible-to-buy-for to the person who has everything, you’ll be able to find gifts for every single person on your list this year! If you have anyone on your holiday list that is a fan of wine you really need to check out all Wine Awesomeness has to offer.  

There’s no better gift than the gift of Awesomeness!

WA Holiday Survival Pack

Over the coming weeks, nothing is going to help you survive the cold, dark, family-obligation-filled days of winter like wine. Which is why Wine Awesomeness put together their three most trustworthy bottles into one kick-ass Holiday Survival Pack. All bundled up and ready to stand by your side until that ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

These wines pair well with gift wrapping, gingerbread man decorating and not talking politics – just what the season calls for. 

Wine Awesomeness Holiday Survival Pack starting at $49 for 3 bottles.

WA Subscription Gift Boxes

You can send your friends, family and co-workers their very own journey through wine complete with thebacklabel magazine inside the Wine Awesomeness signature blue box. Choose to send just one or keep the wine flowing with a three, six or nine-month subscription! You can choose between red, white or a variety of wines. (Personally… I’m a white wine girl. Ya know… if you were wondering.)

Give the gift that keeps on giving with a prepaid Wine Awesomeness membership!

Art Deco Champagne Coupes

You can never have too many wine glasses and these Fusion Deco Champagne glasses are made from break resistant European crystal, meaning they’re dishwasher safe and built to last forever – which is great since their diamond cut Gatsby-esque design is timeless.

Fusion Deco Champagne Coupe Glasses (Set of 4)

Bottle Toppers & Charms

Wine Awesomeness DRINKING BUDDY Charms & Topper set fit perfectly in even the smallest of stockings and with designs ranging from cutesy to trendy, there’s a set for everyone on your list (of legal drinking age, of course!).

DRINKING BUDDY Charms & Topper set

WA Gift Cards

Still not sure what to get that tricky gift recipient?  Wine Awesomeness has gift cards too?! Redeemable for Wine Awesomeness memberships, any of the bottles on their wine list and all of the wine accessories your heart desires at the WA Swag Shop! Seriously… you can’t go wrong.

Wine Awesomeness Gift Cards starting at $50!

You like wine. So do we. Let's Be Friends. First Bottle On Us.

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The Lazy Mom’s Guide to the Elf on the Shelf http://www.amadisonmom.net/lazy-moms-guide-elf-shelf/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/lazy-moms-guide-elf-shelf/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=18034   My kids are really too old for the Elf on the Shelf. We only got him last year, and my youngest (twins) were already 10 at the time. At first, I resisted. Then one of them sent a sealed note to santa:   Game, set and match, kid! We got an Elf on theRead More

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My kids are really too old for the Elf on the Shelf. We only got him last year, and my youngest (twins) were already 10 at the time.
At first, I resisted. Then one of them sent a sealed note to santa:
  Game, set and match, kid!

We got an Elf on the Shelf (in something of a paradox, the elf is a spy for Santa and thus serves as an incentive to be good to get the very presents my kid gave up to get the elf. But yeah, she got her Christmas presents too. I said game, set AND match, didn’t I).

My foray into this tradition went down in stages, like this:

1. Insta-ready elf:

This is from Rocking My 365 Project:

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I never made elf donuts from Cheerios, but I did set up a tableau or two.

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2. Dead-of-night repositioned elf:

Creativity took a dive, and I swear I ran into the tooth fairy a few times.

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3. Detective elf: Kids try to solve the pattern of when the elf moves. Every third night? Every Fourth night? Only when he really needs to tell Santa how bad they are?

4. Elaborate back story elf: He needs surgery because of that blob of goop stuck to his tummy. The one that a certain kid used to try to adhere a dress to the elf without touching him directly, which is against the rules. And he has some gender identity issues. This all makes him lethargic and immobile.

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5. Excuse note elf

It’s weird how similar the sentence structure is to the one mom uses in a note to the teacher. Also, very similar handwriting to the tooth fairy now that you mention it . . .

This has been popping up on my social media feeds, and I think it’s not only genius, but maybe something that could happen to our elf.

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I found this on the Facebook page of Mama without a Filter.

 

This post originally appeared last year on The Ill-Prepared Housewife. This year, no one has mentioned the elf at all and he hasn’t showed up. 

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Farm to Feast: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars http://www.amadisonmom.net/farm-feast-chocolate-chip-cheesecake-bars/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/farm-feast-chocolate-chip-cheesecake-bars/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 01:41:36 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=18025 My mother gave me this recipe years ago. It is ALWAYS a huge hit whenever I bring it anywhere. Best thing is, you can make them in advance, and they freeze great, for up to six months!! Ingredients: 2 sticks unsalted butter 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract 2Read More

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My mother gave me this recipe years ago. It is ALWAYS a huge hit whenever I bring it anywhere. Best thing is, you can make them in advance, and they freeze great, for up to six months!!

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips (you can use peanut butter chips, milk chocolate or semi-sweet–I prefer semi-sweet)

2 – 8 ounce containers of cream cheese

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar and brown sugar. Add vanilla and then eggs.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.

In batches, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of the chocolate chip cookie dough evenly across the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool a bit.

Meanwhile, using an electric hand mixer cream the cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and sugar, until smooth.

Pour on top of the partially cooked cookie dough. Drop the remaining cookie dough onto the cream cheese mixture.

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Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and center is set.

Let cool and then cut into squares. Cool completely in refrigerator.

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Five Holiday Movies And Why They Last http://www.amadisonmom.net/five-holiday-movies-and-why-they-last/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/five-holiday-movies-and-why-they-last/#respond Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:00:57 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=18008 The holidays mean movies, and boy howdy are there a lot of them. I’ve picked five, which is a good number for a countdown, and these are movies that have stayed with me for varying reasons through the years, unlike, say, A Year Without Santa Claus or It’s A Wonderful Life, neither of which I haveRead More

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The holidays mean movies, and boy howdy are there a lot of them. I’ve picked five, which is a good number for a countdown, and these are movies that have stayed with me for varying reasons through the years, unlike, say, A Year Without Santa Claus or It’s A Wonderful Life, neither of which I have ever seen. It’s true! I have never seen them. What happens when a bell rings? Don’t ask me! Who is the Heat Miser? You’ll have to ask someone else. But lest you think I am a complete grinch, (I know who that is!) here are five that keep coming back every year, and the reasons why.

lampoon-christmas-vacation

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: This movie, following the Griswolds as they stagger through the holiday season with the hapless Clark at the helm, is my dad’s favorite film. Whether it’s the Christmas turkey disaster, or the outside lights disaster, or the visit from Cousin Eddie disaster, NLCV delivers cheap but relate-able material, is highly quotable, and at its core, is about a man with very little luck and a lot of heart, just trying to give his family the best Christmas ever, even if it quite literally kills him. It’s goofy as all get out, but your dad probably loves it too. It lasts because families are messy and flawed, and try to do their best, even though sometimes it all falls apart, but they keep going. Clark Griswold is a perfect example of this.

christmas-story

A Christmas Story: This one can be polarizing. People seem to either adore or loathe the misadventures of Ralphie and his family as our young hero dreams of a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, which is met at every mention with “You’ll shoot your eye out!” It’s a simple, sweet retrospective of the 40s, and if that’s your thing, you’ll love it. It’s another favorite with your parents’ friends, but could very well be too slow-paced and treacly for the kids. The whole “gee whilikers, the good ol’ days sure were great!” thing gets cloying, but it’s a crowd favorite, and there’s usually at least one channel that shows it for a 24 hour marathon on Christmas. That’s way too much Ralphie for me, but it’s cute. Just don’t be surprised if you try to show it to the kids and they whine that they’re booooooooored, this is duuuuuuuuumb, where are the suuuuuuperheroes. That will probably happen.

scrooged

 

Scrooged: Now we’re talking. I love Scrooged, and while some people might say “well, it’s Bill Murray, that’s all you need to know” I say nay! Sure, it stars Murray and his unique take on the Scrooge character, and it’s hilarious and touching in the right moments, but it has a stellar supporting cast (Alfre Woodard! Carol Kane! David Johansen!) that rounds out the tale of the greedy man who learns the real meaning of the season in the very apropos setting of the indulgent 1980s. It’s howlingly funny (Carol Kane makes me cry-laugh every time) and Bill Murray finds that balance that only he can between hubris and hilarity that makes Scrooged one of the best adaptations of the tale ever put to film. Plus, as with NLCV, there are enough pratfalls and physical comedy to keep the kids entertained.

love-actually

Love, Actually: Ahhhhh, this movie. Loved by some, despised by others, (seriously, the people who hate this movie HAAAAAAAAAATE this movie) the film follows a huge cast of characters in London who are all somehow intertwined at the holiday season. This one is for the adults, for certain, mostly because of one of the sweetest storylines, which involve two body doubles in an adult film who fall for each other, but it’s the painfully emotional crumbling relationship between the late, great Alan Rickman and the wonderful Emma Thompson that really makes this film one for the ages. In a stale marriage that unfortunately involves a flirty co-worker of Rickman’s, the story of the necklace and the Joni Mitchell cd is heartrending. Will they stay together? Won’t they? SHOULD they? It’s a relationship that can be discussed at length whether you love or hate the movie, and that’s saying a lot for the film itself. I happen to love the movie, but I completely understand why it’s such a polarizing work.

home-alone

Home Alone: Want to show the kids how difficult it was to live before the internet? Want to watch a movie that literally would never exist these days because of Facetime and GPS? Want to watch the horror on their faces when they watch a kid have to survive on their own without Siri? Have them watch Home Alone. It will be a wild new world for them. They’ll be outraged. Horrified. Angry. It’ll be great. You’ll love their reaction, and isn’t that the best holiday present of all? I thought so.

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6 Card Games Every Family Should Own http://www.amadisonmom.net/card-games/ http://www.amadisonmom.net/card-games/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:10:00 +0000 http://www.amadisonmom.net/?p=17943 With the holidays just around the corner, your mind might be on mailing cards out to your friends and family. You should also consider another kind of cards this time of year — card games! They make great stocking stuffers and classroom teacher gifts, and can entertain your family for hours during long, cold winter nights. Card gamesRead More

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With the holidays just around the corner, your mind might be on mailing cards out to your friends and family. You should also consider another kind of cards this time of year — card games! They make great stocking stuffers and classroom teacher gifts, and can entertain your family for hours during long, cold winter nights.

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Card games are a huge hit in my family. We own a wide variety of them, and we often pop a few of them in our bags on family vacations, dinners out, or even train rides. Nothing makes the wait time fly by faster than a few rousing rounds of Wig Out or Spot It!

To start with, of course, there is the traditional deck of cards, perfect for games like Rummy or War, but also card tricks, Solitaire, and building card houses. (Note to self: Show kids how to make card houses.) As a kid, I would play Solitaire for hours. It taught me strategy and patience. (The game is actually called Patience in most other countries.) It also helped me learn that, sometimes, you are just dealt a bad set of cards, and, even though you may have spent a long time setting it up, you might just need to scrap the whole thing and start fresh. (Note to self: Teach the kids how to play Solitaire.) Cards can also make math fact practice more fun. Have your kid hold a card up on his or her forehead (so you can see, but they can’t), then give them a math fact for them to guess the number. (Note to self: Have kids practice math facts more often.)

Here are a few more card games that we have and enjoy at our house:

Uno (2-10 players; ages 7+)

This, of course, is a classic that everyone must own. Kids of any age can play along side adults of any age. As you probably already know, players take turns in order placing cards from their hands onto the discard pile. The card must match the pile’s card by color or number (or you may also use a Wild card). The goal is to be the first to get rid of all the cards in your hand. As I was researching this article, I was happy to see that there are other games you can play with a deck of Uno cards. One interesting one I hope to try out is Limonada.

Spot It (2-8 players, ages 7+, some versions for younger ages)

Each circular card in this game has eight images on it. Players scan and compare two cards to look for two matching images. There is some type of amazing mathematical formula that the creators used to assure that of the over 50 images possible on the cards, each pair of cards has one, and only one, common image. My family and I are fascinated by the game each time we play! How can there always be only one like image? But there is! (For all you math geeks, check out this explanation and video.) In addition to the classic game, there are many themed versions–baseball, sports, camping, Shopkins, numbers and shapes, alphabet–so you can find the right theme for your family or gift recipient.

Wig Out (2-6 players, ages 6+)

This deck of cards features 12 funny characters with various hairstyles — Beatrice with a beehive, Eve with a green mohawk, Stevie with a bowl cut, for example. To play, all players simultaneously draw and play cards to make matches, trying to be the first to empty their hands and yell “Wig Out!” This fast-paced and frenzied card game always ends in laughter for our family!

Too Many Monkeys (2-6 players; ages 6+)

The story behind this game is that Primo the Monkey’s friends stop by for a surprise pajama party. Your goal is to get all the friends to leave so Primo can go back to sleep. In this multiple-round game, you flip and swap out the cards in front of you to try to get a cards with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 monkeys on them. Once you do, the next round, you only need to find cards with 1-5 monkeys, and so on until you are down to no monkeys. Be sure to read the directions of this game — they are hysterical! For example, if you draw a card with a giraffe on it, rather than just say that this card is a dud, the directions explain “Sorry giraffe, but this party is a monkey-only slumber party. (You’re too big to fit in the door!)”

Monopoly Deal (2-5 players; ages 8+)

No time to play the full version of Monopoly? Monopoly Deal can be played in just 15 minutes! It is a bit different from the original game, but just as fun. Through dealing and stealing, you collect 3 property sets to win. My kids love strategically joining forces to gang up on me so they can win together!

Blink (2 players; ages 7+)

Each card in this game has a specific number and color of shapes. For example, 5 red moons, 3 yellow stars, or 1 blue triangle. Players race to discard the cards in their hands by matching the color, number, or shape to the card on the pile. When playing with younger kids, I suggest that you deal yourself more cards than you give them so it is more of an even game.

 

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