We kicked off our themed Gift Guides discussing STEM toys on Friday. Today we’re going to talk about games we’ve featured in our on-going Game Night series. Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up with books and music. All of these posts include links to lengthier articles we’ve written previously about a topic, so if you need more information or ideas, check those out as well (linked throughout).
In the spirit of Labor Day, take a break and get outside! That’s what we’re doing this weekend (various BBQs and picnics mixed in with some meetings and work, actually…). If you need a little inspiration, we’ve linked up to some of our favorite previous posts for whole family activities.
To no one’s surprise at all, the world did not end, although I find the above photoshopped creation quite hilarious. Today we’re just rounding up all our recommendations in one single post. For most web shopping, today is your last day to get in orders for guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery (depending, of course, how much you are willing to bleed for overnight shipping – you may be able to push this back to tomorrow). This weekend look for our Last Minute Gifts – the Hail Mary of gift-giving, also known as the homemade gift certificate. Actually I delight in homemade certificates, but we’ll get to that on Sunday.
Gift Guide is the series in which we respond to reader requests for recommendations – generally but not always for gifts. Today we are responding to this letter from Facebook fan Nicole:
Hello Fair Play! This Christmas I am giving toys to a pair of six year old twins (a girl and a boy). I prefer to give toys that have educational value and my budget is approx $40 per child. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!
I have a lot of cousins (and children of cousins). Often it is these far-away relations that can present the greatest challenge in gender-fair gift giving. It’s easy to get sucked into perceiving age and gender as the two constraints on your giving when you don’t know the passion du jour of the child in question. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the Fair Play Cousins, but do I know what each one of them is most excited about or interested in right now? Nope. No I don’t, and I don’t harbor a lot of guilt about that. Instead, I try to stick with gender-fair, age-appropriate books or games with broad family appeal as well. As I’ve said before, games are great for all sorts of development, and are also family-friendly. So, when Fair Play Supermom asked for a recommendation for a Fair Play Cousin turning nine soon, I suggested Apples to Apples Jr.
Family game nights can include games of all varieties. We’ve covered a team game, an individual game, and now we’re going to tackle a card game. Five Crowns is another popular standby at our family game nights. It is a card game that combines gin techniques in five suits and two decks. I’ve told you before that our family game nights can get a little rowdy, and that’s true with card games as well, but if yours is a more subdued game night, Five Crowns should fit right in.
Family game night is a fun, all-ages activity. If you read the first post in this series about Taboo, you’re becoming acquainted with my family’s penchant for games where we can get a little rowdy. This post is no exception, though I think you’ll find Scattergories is also well-suited to the quieter thinking types.
Taboo is hands down my family’s favorite game. That is saying something because we are a family of game nights! Taboo was a great game when we were kids and it’s still very fun and a regular standby at our grownup game nights. That’s the great thing about the game – with a few modifications, nearly any age can play and enjoy the game.