Games That Make Great Gifts

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(Disclosure: Samples were received but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.)

I love the idea of giving a game as a gift because it encourages family time and fun for years to come. I wanted to share some games I think would make great gift ideas. Some of these are for kids and some are for adult game nights :)

For Kids

 

Wethead- Remember Pie Face, the game that was all the rage last Christmas? Wet Head creates similar suspense and fun! Wet Head is an all-new water roulette game. To play you fill the helmet with water, strap yourself in, and give it a spin. Players can play with the included spinner or can download the free Wet Head Challenge app for some tricky trivia questions.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Abundant Harvest for Kids- Abundant Harvest is a one of a kind board game designed to help families and educators open the door to more effective communication and encourage decision making based on principles such as honesty, loyalty and commitment. The intent of the game is to reinforce the Law of the Harvest, basically “you reap what you sow”.  The situations presented in this version of the game are directed towards children who are learning the importance of making decisions based on principle. The scenarios provide parents, caregivers and educators the opportunity to teach children, and allow children to begin to develop and apply principle-based, reasoning skills as they work their way through situations common in today’s world.

Buy it on Amazon here.

TMNT Battlesnap Mutagen Mayhem Game- Looking for that perfect gift that will make your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) fan say “Cowabunga!”? This it it! The TMNT BattleSnap Game is a fun battle game that brings the TMNT heroes and villains to life allowing kids to experience battles in a completely new head-to-head way! They choose their Battle Power (Pizza, Weapons or Mutagen) and their  Game Figure. Then they snap in their Game Figure onto the Battlesnap Card and load it onto the Mayhem Collision Rail before releasing them on a collision course to excitement. The strongest power wins the round and the first player to collect 4 delicious pizza slices wins!

Buy it on Amazon here.

Kerfuddle- The best games are ones that we can play at home or take on the go. Kerfuddle is a fun word game that comes in a small jar so it’s portable. The object of the game is simple; score more points than your opponents by finding words they haven’t found on the 14 Letter Cubes. With the added dimension of the “Shake It Up” cards and the Number Cube, each round is unique. This game is perfect for those just starting to spell but it’s also fun for word game pros.

Buy it here.

Wise Alec Family Trivia Game- This is a great game for families to play together because there are hard questions for the adults and easier questions for kids. The trivia game includes over 1,000 questions from elementary school curriculum including history, science, and spelling. Kids will giggle at parents struggling to remember what they learned all those years ago!

Buy it on Amazon here.

50 Road Trip Games Card Deck- If your family is on the go a lot you will want this card deck that features 50 fun games that can be played in the car or airplane, or even at home! Each card lets you know the rules of the game, and materials, if any, that might be needed, such as a notebook and pen. You’ll find a variety of games for ages 3 and up, including brain games, cherished classics, just for fun cards and pop culture quizzes. This card deck makes a perfect stocking stuffer, too!

Buy it here.

For Teens And/Or Adults

The Agenda Game- Know someone who can’t stop talking about politics? They’ll love this game! To start, players choose one of seven political personas (Conservative, Environmentalist, Liberal, Moralist, Libertarian, Corporatist or Socialist), each with specific agenda “planks.” Players travel around the pitfall-laden road that is American politics – from scandals to buying off politicians to filibusters – where the object is to win over the public in votes and polls and gather enough money to implement the most agenda planks. Along the way there is political humor, trivia to test political knowledge, and scandals to avoid.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Backgammon- Backgammon, a simple game of tactics and chance, was one of my favorite games growing up. This set by GrowUpSmart is beautiful. It comes in a leather briefcase and is a larger set than some I’ve seen on the market. GrowUpSmart’s set is great for beginners because it includes a learners’ instruction manual and access to an online video course that teaches the basics of the game. Unlike many other backgammon games, this game has been tested for compliance with US toy safety standards which I think is great.

Buy it on Amazon here.

KinderPerfect Card Game- This game is basically Cards for Humanity- but for parents! Played in a group,  the “Parent” player will read out a red Question Card and other players will submit their white Answer Cards. The Parent picks the winner they like the best, well, because they said so. The winner then becomes the Parent for the next round and the game is won by accumulating the most Answer Cards. This game would be great played with your mom friends and hopefully will lead to deeper conversations about parenting.

But it on Amazon here.

25 Ways To Waste Time While You Wait

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This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

Whether it’s the school pickup line, the dentist’s office or the DMV, most of us spend hours each month waiting for things to happen. I thought I’d make a list of some things you could do while waiting.

  • Clean out your email inbox
  • Backup the photos on your phone
  • Make a workout playlist
  • Write a letter to a friend
  • Read the news
  • Plan your next vacation or roadtrip
  • Make a to do list
  • Pay bills
  • Clean out your purse or wallet
  • Call a loved one to say hello
  • Learn a new language using a language app
  • Say hello to someone around you and get to know a stranger
  • Schedule an appointment for the doctor or dentist
  • Review something you purchased online
  • Watch your favorite show using a streaming app
  • Find a new phone app that makes life easier
  • Make a bucket list
  • Donate to a favorite charity
  • Shop online for gifts or necessities
  • Send pictures to a loved one
  • Look up the scores of your favorite sports team
  • Find a new recipe to make for dinner
  • Observe people
  • Write your goals down
  • Play a fun game, like Panda Pop

Panda Pop is a fun mobile app that I’ve been enjoying the past couple months. The game requires the use of strategy to “save” the baby pandas. There are over 1,000 levels of play so you will never be bored with this game! I also love that you can compete against your friends. Download the game for iPhone or Android here and see what all the excitement is about :)

I’m Not Really A Gamer But…

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This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

I’m going to start this post off by admitting that I’m not really much of a gamer. Growing up as part of the first generation to have computers and handheld gaming devices as a child, I really only have a couple memories of childhood gaming experiences. The fondest memory is playing video games with my siblings in the basement. The way my brothers would laugh as they watched me attempt to play some of those classic video games will forever stay with me. You see, back then, I played video games by moving the controller and basically my whole body in the direction I wanted that little character on the screen to move. If I wanted the character to jump I’d literally pop up like I was magically going to make them copy my actions. During those years as well I played a computer game many in my generation played. You know the one where we spent our time trying not to die of dysentery or some other random disease as we traveled in a covered wagon?

Fast forward to adulthood and wow, how things have changed. My boys have more gaming options now, at 7 and 8 years old, than I did the first 25 years of my life. No longer do you have to blow on video games to get them to work since they are all either on disks or saved on the cloud. And computer games? Completely different! Floppy disks are a thing of the past, as are most games on disc, as the internet brings us a wealth of games right at our finger tips. Best of all, gaming isn’t limited to our home, in front of our television or our computer, because with smartphones we can have all the gaming action we want on the little device we carry around with us wherever we go.

I’ve discovered all the gaming fun I’ve been missing over the years when I discovered Panda Pop. It’s an addictive game where the main objective is to rescue baby pandas from an evil baboon by strategically bursting matching bubbles to help beat him & return the cubs to their worried mother. As you work your way through increasingly challenging levels there are a number of “powerups” and combos that you can use, all of which you learn throughout the game. There are currently over 1,000 levels in the game so this isn’t a game you will get bored of.

What I like most of all is the social aspect of the game. You can connect the game to your Facebook account and compete with friends through the game. I got Sinisa hooked on it and he loves it and we have a little friendly competition going in our home on who can get through the levels faster. You can also sync the game across multiple devices which is nice when you want to play on both your computer and your phone.

Having spent the past month or so playing the game, I am kicking myself for not discovering it sooner. It’s kept me sane during long road trips and been a nice break during busy work days. If you are playing Panda Pop, I’d love to hear what level you are on! I’m currently on 150.

If you haven’t downloaded this game yet, what are you waiting for? You can download it here. Have fun poppin’ bubbles!

Our Favorites From The Chicago Toy & Game Fair

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(Disclosure: My family attended the Chicago Toy & Game Fair as media and received some free toys and games. I also purchased some items there. All thoughts are my own.)

Last Saturday morning we spent time playing at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. There were lots of great games and toys, some that we had seen before and many that were new to us. Here are some of our favorites we found:

Tenkai Knights

Tenkai Knights are small bricks that turn into figures about the size of LEGO men. My boys both loved these even though they are a bit too young for them (the package says 6-14). There are also larger sets to build that go with these Tenkai Knights.

Chuggington Trains and Track Sets

We love Chuggington at our house and have many of the trains and sets. The folks from Chuggington set up this tall track by hooking together multiple sets and all the kids went wild over it. These trains and track sets would make a great gift for preschoolers!

Pokemon Battle Arena

Jacob, my 5 year old, has just gotten into Pokemon lately. He enjoyed playing with the characters that went along with this Battle Arena but the arena itself was a little too advanced for him. This would make a great gift for the Pokemon lover who is about 7-9 years old.

Pop The Pig

Pop the Pig is a fun game for preschoolers that both boys enjoyed checking out. It will be under our Christmas tree this year.

Crazy Forts

Crazy Forts is the perfect activity for a rainy day. Kids build a structure with the pieces and then use a blanket or sheet to create a fort. Lucas loved sitting inside the igloo fort they made.

 Overall, we had a ton of fun. So many new games and toys were added to our Christmas list!

Top Ten Games For Preschoolers

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I’m  excited to be joining in with a great group of bloggers for a special Top Ten Holiday Gift Ideas series. Please join us as we share our favorite books, games, building toys, pretend play toys, crafting supplies or kits, and stocking stuffers! Each participating blog will create their own unique list each week for each of the categories so be sure to stop by each of the links at the bottom of this post.

Here are 10 of my favorite games for preschoolers. Some of these games the kids in my preschool classroom enjoyed playing, some my own kids play, and some I have received for review in the past years.

 Memory 

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Elefun Snackin’ Safari

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Candy Land

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Garanimals Paw Print Game

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Fruitominoes

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Raccoon Rumpus

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Don’t Break The Ice

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Go Fish

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Cluck N’ Chuck

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The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game

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Here are more favorite games and puzzles from other bloggers:

Our Favorite Games & Puzzles {Top Ten Holiday Lists} from Something 2 Offer

Top 10 Games & Puzzles for 2-3 Year Olds from Stir the Wonder

Top 10 Lists: Puzzles for under 3 year olds from Powerful Mothering

Games Recommendations for Brainy Kids from Afterschool for Smarty Paints

Top 10 Games and Puzzles on Our Shelf from Creative World of Varya

Top 10 Board Games and Puzzles for Preschoolers from P is for Preschooler

Top 10 Preschool Board Games from Little Bins for Little Hands

Top 10 Games for Preschoolers from Makeovers & Motherhood

Birthday Bash Blog Hop {Giveaway}

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Welcome to the Birthday Bash Blog Hop! A group of bloggers have joined together to celebrate Savey Spender‘s birthday by each offering a giveaway to our readers of $25 or more.

My prize is a fun one. I have two games by Bananagrams to giveaway. I had heard of Bananagrams but didn’t know that they had a whole line of games until I went to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. The games I was given to review are ZIP-IT and FRUITOMINOES.

About the game: ZIP-IT is an exhilarating, high-speed, two-player game played with 24 lettered cubes and colored scoring zippers that come built into the pouch. Each player takes 12 cubes and races against their opponent to build a word grid. One hand can be played in as little as 20 seconds, and everything you need is in the bag! Playable on an airplane or train tray, ZIP-IT is the ultimate travel game. Each pouch includes a WEORDS dictionary of weird words that win word games!

My thoughts: I love this game! Sinisa and I enjoyed playing it during our date night the other night. It was a quick game and had us laughing to see who could finish the quickest. Jacob, my three year old, enjoyed using the lettered cubes to spell out the names of his family members. I also like that it comes in a little carry case so it’s easy to take with on trips.

About the game: A fresh, fruity, and colorful twist to the classic game of dominoes! Each player takes turns matching the six attractive fruit patterns. Twenty-eight Fruitominoes in a compact pouch make this a game that’s great for young and old.

My thoughts: This is a great game for families. I played the game with my three year old and he quickly understood the game and started playing. I liked that fruits were used because he could easily identify between the various images which he isn’t able to do with regular dominoes because they are all dots. Lucas, my two year old, enjoyed stacking them on top of each other. Jacob wanted to play another round of this game so I think he enjoyed it!:)

GIVEAWAY:

One person will win ZIP-IT and FRUITOMINOES.

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me who likes to play games in your home.

FOR ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do:)

1) Share on a social network

2) Subscribe to my blog via RSS or email (look in the upper right hand corner)

3) Enter another one of my giveaways (they can be found here)

4) Follow @BANANAGRAMS on Twitter

5) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

Giveaway ends January 17, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received games to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Reverse Charades {Review and Giveaway}

I’m sure you are all familiar with Charades- the game where one person acts out a word for their teammates to guess. While regular Charades is fun, Reverse Charades will have you laughing until your sides hurt. Imagine a team full of people acting out the same word {but not able to talk or communicate with each other} while one person attempts to guess what the word is. The team has 60 seconds to act out as many words as they can. Words like: synchronized swimming, piñata, paparazzi, dogpile, leapfrog, pillow fight or CPR. My first one was Dentist. Imagine acting that one out as a team when nobody knows who is the dentist and who is the patient because you can’t discuss it! Take a look at the video above for a demonstration of this game. It’s hilarious!

If you are still looking for some Christmas gift ideas I really think anyone 6 and over would love this game! Reverse Charades would make a great party game and the Junior edition of the game is wonderful for family bonding time.

BUY IT:

Find out where you can purchase the game here.

WIN IT:

One person will win their choice of Reverse Charades or Reverse Charades {Junior Edition}

HOW TO ENTER:

(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each you do)

1) Leave a comment telling me what word you think would be funny to act out as a team.

2) “Like” Reverse Charades on Facebook

3) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Share this giveaway on a social network

5) Follow Reverse Charades on Twitter

6) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

7) Enter another one of my giveaways (found here)

8) Subscribe via email or RSS (look in the upper right corner)

Giveaway ends January 22, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US Only.

(Disclosure: I received a copy to review but all thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

Goodnight Sweetheart Review and Giveaway

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With Valentine’s Day coming up, many of us are looking to reconnect with our significant others and I love this card game, Goodnight Sweetheart- Couple’s Edition. Their website says, “2 cards…2 people…2 minutes… Sweet, FUN, adorable!!!!  Create your “better together” today.  A card each before bed….or play it in its longer version for a DATE NIGHT that will become your favorite.”


There are “sweetheart cards”, “action cards”, “sharing cards” and “wild cards” for couples to choose from. Here are a couple of samples of what’s on the cards:

Action Card: “Give me three little kisses”

Sharing Card: “Who was your first crush? Describe him or her.”

Sweetheart Card: “Name something that I did early on in our relationship that made you think, “Hmmm…this person could REALLY be someone significant to me…”

Wild Card: “Draw a sharing card OR nuzzle me, behind each ear”

We are all busy so I love how this game reconnects couples in just two minutes a day. The game was fun to play and I like how there was a mix of serious questions and  fun questions.

It should also be noted that Goodnight Sweetheart also has other editions including Goodnight Sweetheart: My Teen, Goodnight Sweetheart: My Tween, and Goodnight Sweetheart: My Child. They also have Goodnight Sweetheart: Nightcap Notes, which are notes finished by you.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a Goodnight Sweetheart: Couples Edition Card Game

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Visit the Goodnight Sweetheart site and tell me one thing you learned about the products.

2) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) “Like” Goodnight Sweetheart on Facebook

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Follow @GNsweetheart on Twitter

6) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy via RSS or email

7) Enter another giveaway and tell me which one you entered

8) Tweet “I entered to win a @GNsweetheart game from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com”

Giveaway ends on 2/25/11 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I was given a copy of Goodnight Sweetheart: Couple’s Edition and Night Cap Notes to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)