Category: General

The 10 Best Games for a Fantastic Family Game Night

Life moves fast!  Games are a great way to slow things down and enjoy precious time with your family.  Schedule a family game night!  While games are fun to play and provide excellent entertainment, they also provide excellent opportunities for learning.

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Benefits of playing games

Enjoyable and important time together

Game time provides a relaxing activity and environment for you and your family.  This is a perfect time to have important conversations about what is happening in your child’s life.  How are they feeling about their friends?  How are things going at school and are they facing any difficulties that you might be able to help with?   What are their dreams and ambitions?  Don’t push too hard or be critical.  If the conversation is meant to happen it will.  The important thing is to keep this as a fun and safe opportunity for sharing.  When the time is right, your children will share their thoughts and concerns.

Catan, family, playing

New skills and concepts

Games also provide an excellent opportunity to master knowledge and skills that will help children in school.  These include:

  • number and shape recognition, grouping, and counting
  • letter recognition and reading
  • visual perception and color recognition
  • eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity
  • strategic thinking

When you are having fun, learning  comes more easily.

Social Learning

Games teach important social skills that help children successfully navigate life’s transition and move into adulthood.  Such skill include effective communication with other children and adults.  Communication is critical for teamwork, which is becoming more and more important in school, work, and life.  Communication is important in resolving conflicts.   Games provide excellent opportunities to resolve conflicts, especially when cheating is suspected and at the end of the game when there are winners and losers.

Games also provide an opportunity to experience fun, low-risk competition and learn about good sportsmanship.  Good sportsmanship occurs when opponents treat each other with respect.  Children can learn the basics of sportsmanship from parents and other adults in their lives.  Having role models who behave in a sportsmanlike way helps children understand that the real winners are those who know how to
persevere and to behave with dignity — whether they win or lose a game.  This could include small gestures like congratulating the winner and acknowledging good plays or moves.  Children who practice good sportsmanship are likely to carry respect and appreciation of other people into every other aspect of life.

Playing games also teaches children about setting and achieving goals (e.g. winning the game), as well as the importance of sticking with something when times are tough.  While you might fall behind during the game, most games provide an opportunity to catch up and even take the lead.  If you don’t win the game, you can always play again for another chance at victory.

Family, playing, Yamslam

Games for different age groups

Younger

  • Argh!:  This game is great for children 5 and over.  Adults can also have fun playing this game.  The goal is to collect treasure to earn points without being robbed by pirates.  Argh! provides a good opportunity to learn more complex rules about matching and grouping to get ahead in the game.  It also provides an opportunity to experiment with playing it safe or taking some risk.
  • Left-center-right:  A great game for children 4 and over.  This is a simple dice game that requires no decision making.  The dice tell you exactly what you need to do.  The goal is to win all of the chips.  To make things more exciting you can use pennies or candies in place of the chips.

Family Game night Scrabble

Older

  • Ticket to Ride:  This board game is great for children 8 to 80.  An exciting game where you earn points for building railways between cities.  A great opportunity to develop strategic thinking.
  • The Settlers of Catan:  Catan is appropriate for kids 10 and over, along with adults.  The goals is to collect resources and use them to build roads, settlements and cities.  The board can be changed to add variety from one game to the next.  This is a game of strategy.
  • Risk :  Risk is another board game for kids 10 and over, along with adults.  In this game, players strategize to conquer other players with their armies to take over the world.
  • Scrabble:  Scrabble is a crossword game that is perfect for kids 8 and over, along with adults.  Points are earned for each letter used and the goal is to earn as many points possible until no one can build words any longer.  This game provides and excellent opportunity to increase vocabulary.

Family Game Night Settlers of Catan

All ages

  • Blokus:  This is an excellent game for kids 6 and over, along with adults.  This game is easy to learn.  It’s a great strategy game where players try to arrange playing pieces on the game board attempting to block their opponent to prevent them from using all of their pieces.
  • Sequence:  This game combines cards, chips, and a board.  Kids approximately 6 and older, as well as adults, will enjoy this game.  Players compete to create rows, columns or diagonals of 5 connected chips.  Chips are placed based on what the player has in his/her hand.  Jacks are wild!
  • Life:   This game is fun for kids 7 and older.  Adults enjoy this game too and many remember playing it when they were young.   This board game with a spinner and cards allows you to choose a career path, have a family, take vacation, and deal with lots of surprises along the way.  The player with the most money at the end of the game is the winner.
  • Yamslam:   This is a great game for developing skills around strategy and probability.  Perfect for those 8 and older.  Yamslam is similar to Yahtzee, but scoring uses chips.  No pen or paper required. Players compete to grab the best chips before they run out.  The tin makes this game easy to pass around a room or even a pontoon boat!

We recently discovered a new favorite, so I will add it to this list as a bonus.  Escape Rooms have become very popular, but they can be fairly pricey.  Now these exciting Escape the Room games are available in a box and can be played at home.  If you have a large group, you can purchase multiple games and have a race to see which team solves the puzzles and escapes the room first.  If you get stuck there are clues and many of the boxed games have a website for support.

We all have great memories playing our favorite games with our favorite people.  Please share your favorite games so we all have an opportunity to try something new.


game night

DIY Photo Gifts Using Epoxy Resin

Make personalized jewelry and serving trays for family and friends using photos from special occasions, along with other charms or knick-knacks, to create one-of-a-kind gifts they will love .  These personalized gifts are a perfect way to celebrate and commemorate birthdays, holidays, graduations, or any other special events.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the seller’s profit at no additional cost to you.  Please see my Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for additional information.

 

Supplies

Bracelet or Pendant Procedure

  • Make sure you have all of your supplies handy
  • Lay out the design and cut photos to fit your jewelry bezels (bracelet or pendant).

bezel bracelet with mod podge, pictures, and glitter for DIY photo project  

  • Use Mod Podge to secure photos in bezel or tray.  I put a base layer in the bezel or tray, add the picture, and apply additional Mod Podge on the surface of the picture or paper.  If I am using glitter, I sprinkle it on top of the Mod Podge before it drys.
  • Ensure paper and photos are completely covered with Mod Podge and allow to dry completely before moving on the resin step.  I usually apply at least two coats of Mod Podge to the paper, making sure it protects all of the paper in the corners and any crevices.  I try to plan ahead so the Mod Podge can dry overnight.  It is critical that the paper and photos are sealed or the resin will cause discoloration.

using mod lodge to seal pictures in jewelry bezel before adding resin

  • Mix resin according to the package.  I have only used Easy Cast resin and have had success using this brand.  Other brands are available.  Please comment if there is a brand of resin you prefer to use.
  • Follow directions carefully to ensure the resin sets and doesn’t remain tacky.  In particular, make sure you mix the resin well for the time specified and that you transfer the resin into a second container for another round of thorough mixing.
  • Fill carefully on level surface.  Be sure to protect your work surface and wear gloves to protect your hands.  Resin is impossible to clean up.
  • Immediately after filling the jewelry bezel or tray, gently pass a flame over the resin to remove any bubbles.  For small items I used a candle lighter, for larger items I recommend a cooking torch.  Work carefully and ensure no flammable materials are nearby.

adding resin to jewelry bezel for DIY photo gift   lighter to remove air bubbles from resin in jewelry bezel for DIY photo gift

  • After allowing the resin to set for 72-hours, I added charms to the bracelet.  Perfect personalized gift for a fellow scientist!

personalized charm bracelet DIY gift using bezel bracelet, resin and charms

Serving Tray Procedure

The instructions for the serving tray are similar to the instructions outlined above for the bezel bracelet or pendant.

  • Because of the large surface area, be sure to apply several coats of Mod Podge to protect any paper or photos from the resin.  In the photos and video below, you can see that I missed the top center of the background paper and the resin soaked through.
  • I recommend measuring how much water it takes to fill the tray to the desired depth.  You can use this volume as an estimate for how much resin you will need to prepare.  I always add a little extra (at least 10%) because some resin remains behind in the mixing containers.
  • I used flat dragonfly charms for this project.  If you have items to embed in the resin, be sure you prepare enough resin to cover these items.  Because items might float in the resin, be sure they are glued to the surface.  For flat items, this can be done when the base is covered with Mod Podge.  If you have larger items, you might want to consider add the resin in two pours.  Add the items after you have poured the first 1/3 to 1/2.  Ensure there are no air bubbles.  Carefully use a cooking torch or other flame to pop bubbles.  Alternatively, you can also use a warm blow dry on a low setting (be sure not to agitate or blow out the resin with smaller projects).  Allow resin to set 48-hours before covering with the remaining volume of resin.

Supplies for a DIY serving tray gift using photos and resin

  • I carefully sealed the edges of the tray with Frog Tape and covered my work space.  Resin is impossible to clean (at least really, really difficult).

Frog tape to seal edges of tray for DIY photo resin serving tray project pouring resin into DIY photo serving tray   DIY resin serving tray gift with family photos

picture of DIY resin bracelet and serving tray gifts with personalized photos and charms Please share your DIY resin projects for inspiration.

Find Provenance Preservation on Bloglovin’

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

So happy you found my blog. I’m Laura Rice and I am addicted to home renovation……the classic Cinderella story. It is the process of the transformation that I found so appealing and the finished project so rewarding.

I have been renovating since my husband and I purchased our first home in 1995. It all started with paint, a salvaged fireplace mantel, and a kitchen with worn out cabinets and appliances. We recently partnered with our neighbors to convert a beautiful Queen Anne from a 2-flat into a single family home. We just sold this project house, so I have officially ‘flipped’ my first house. It’s time to refocus attention on my own home and I have several projects planned. I’m also scheming another large-scale project, so please stay tuned.

I am new to blogging (better late than never), but thought it would be a great way to share my project adventures with family and friends, near and far, old and new.

Behind every project, within every house, and surrounding every recipe are amazing stories. My intent is to give these stories a voice as I paint, remodel, repurpose, plant, harvest, can, bake and brew.

I hope you find inspiration among my pages. I look forward to your comments and feedback.

All my best, Laura

The launch of Provenance Preservation

So happy you found my blog.  I’m Laura Rice and I am addicted to home renovation……the classic Cinderella story.  It is the process of the transformation that I found so appealing and the finished project so rewarding.

I have been renovating since my husband and I purchased our first home in 1995.  It all started with paint, a salvaged fireplace mantel, and a kitchen with worn out cabinets and appliances.  We recently partnered with our neighbors to convert a beautiful Queen Anne from a 2-flat into a single family home.  We just sold this project house, so I have officially ‘flipped’ my first house.  It’s time to refocus attention on my own home and I have several projects planned.  I’m also scheming another large-scale project, so please stay tuned.

I am new to blogging (better late than never), but thought it would be a great way to share my project adventures with family and friends, near and far, old and new.

Behind every project, within every house, and surrounding every recipe are amazing stories.  My intent is to give these stories a voice as I paint, remodel, repurpose, plant, harvest, can, bake and brew.

I hope you find inspiration among my pages.  I look forward to your comments and feedback.

All my best, Laura

 

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