Posts Labeled ‘game’

Bowling anyone? Children’s party games and gifts

I tend to like most American traditions and pastimes but there are two that I must confess to truly disliking. And when I say “dislike” I really mean “detest.” There’s no way you will get me to do them no matter how hard you plead.

1) Celebrating Halloween (Hated this even since I was a child.)

2) Bowling. (It’s disgusting. Don’t even get me started on the whole “renting shoes” subject.)

But when I saw these adorable bowling games I thought I could make a small exception to the second item on the list. As the weather gets colder, what could be sillier (in a good way) than indoor bowling for kids at a party or just for fun?!

The first is technically an outdoor bowling game but I bet with caution and a lot of space, you could play it indoors. (I mean, Gnome Bowling. C’mon now — this is good stuff!) One is a classic set and one is super-plush — perfect for wee ones.

Gnome Bowling from Urban Outfitters

Indoor bowling set available at www.amazon.com

Bowling Buddies Set from www.giggle.com

Scrabble tile place cards

My absolute, all-time favorite board game is Scrabble. It’s a little like golf for me — I am terrible at it but it never stops me from wanting to play again, and again, and again.

So I was tickled pink when I saw this clever idea on the LA Style Unveiled Blog recently for Scrabble Tile Placecards. Are they not fabulous? Perfect for a game night dinner, engagement party, or a rehearsal dinner, the placecards would be a whimsical addition to any table setting.

Scrabble Tile Placecards as seen on Los Angeles Style Unveiled

Scrabble Tile Placecards as seen on Los Angeles Style Unveiled

Scrabble tiles and trays can be purchased as replacement pieces so you don’t have to buy the full game itself ten times over. For a large event where you’re using lots of the Scrabble placecards, I’d suggest affixing the tiles to the tray with double-sided tape to keep them secure, otherwise they are bound to get bumped off.

Family-Friendly Hostess Gifts

While my husband and I do not have children, the majority of our social circle does and we have been blessed by getting to know each of them and watching them grow — their little personalities emerging, their hobbies and interests developing, their clever comments and cute expressions…

So when we are invited to a party at a home where the hosts have children, we try to bring a hostess gift that the whole family will enjoy. For we are thankful not only to spend time with the parents, but to visit with the children as well. A bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers, while lovely, may not express that sentiment quite as well!

Here are a few playful, family-friendly ideas for hostess gifts to bring the next time you are visiting with your friends and their children:

I love these world maps from A+R Store. Perhaps its the education degrees talking, but I love how they serve a dual role — both a playful aesthetic and an opportunity to teach and learn something while at the dinner table. Fun!

World Dinner Maps from A+R Store

World Dinner Maps from A+R Store

These game pads are perfect for a family who is often on the go. Have the pads personalized with the family’s name or with the children’s names. Who doesn’t love a good game of tic-tac-toe or hangman?!

Personalized Game Pad Set from Neiman Marcus

Personalized Game Pad Set from Neiman Marcus

Dominoes is such a fun game and it can be adapted for many age groups. This colorful set is fabulous!

Dominoes Set available through Amazon.com

Dominoes Set available through Amazon.com

 

Pint-Sized Hospitality: Children at Weddings

Photo courtesy of Karine Aigner Photography

Photo courtesy of Karine Aigner Photography

I often work with Brides who wonder about the best way to extend hospitality to children attending their wedding. This is such an important question because, no matter their age, all guests should feel welcomed and cared for at special events such as weddings.

Once a Bride & Groom have determined to invite children to the wedding, the question then becomes how to ensure that the children and their parents alike have a wonderful time. First, a Bride must determine:

  1. How old are the children?
  2. How many children will there be of each age?

These questions will help a Bride determine what type of support will be needed to care for the children during the wedding and reception.

Also critical is speaking with each set of parents and asking them what would be most helpful for them.

  1. Would they like to have a babysitter for the children the entire time?
  2. Should that babysitter stay with the children at the hotel or should the children and the babysitter attend the events? Which events?
  3. What is the child’s bedtime?
  4. What are some of the child’s favorite toys, games, movies, learning activities and which of those favorites may still hold true by the time the wedding arrives?
  5. Does the child have any food allergies or other special needs?
  6. Will the child require a booster seat, a high chair, or a regular chair?

The answers to the above will help direct the Bride in her decision-making around how to entertain and care for the children. Perhaps a babysitter at the hotel is the right thing, or several babysitters in a room with games and activities, or more elaborate activities such as art projects or sports challenges set up with attendants.

Whatever a Bride ultimately decides to do, a custom bag of goodies for each child guest is always a nice gesture. The bags should be filled with age-appropriate activities for the child to enjoy, along with a welcome note sharing how delighted the Bride & Groom are that the child is there celebrating with them.

Here are a few ideas for some fun items to include in these custom bags:

Alexander Girard Alphabet Blocks

Alexander Girard Alphabet Blocks

Melissa and Doug Wild Animals Jigsaw Puzzles

Melissa and Doug Wild Animals Jigsaw Puzzles

Melissa and Doug Pirate Puppet

Melissa and Doug Pirate Puppet

Color Your Own Van Gogh Paintings coloring book

Color Your Own Van Gogh Paintings coloring book

 

A Twist on a Wine Tasting Party

No doubt future posts will discuss trends and tips for wine tasting parties; they are one of my favorite parties to throw. Until then, however, I wanted to share one fun way to put a new twist on a traditional tasting party.

Smartsco’s Wine Smarts Game is sure to add levity and a spirit of friendly competition — not to mention an opportunity to hone one’s wine knowledge — to your next tasting party.

Wine Smarts Game

Wine Smarts Game

Consider playing even an abbreviated version of the game to kick off of cap off the evening’s festivities. A great bottle of wine or fun wine gadget (like the corkscrew below) would make a great gift for the winner(s).

Laguiole Tortoise Corkscrew, available at International WIne Accessories

Laguiole Tortoise Corkscrew, available at International WIne Accessories