Happy Groundhog Day, everyone! No matter if he saw his shadow or not, we still have some wintertime to get through.
Given that we spend so much time indoors during the winter, I’m always on the lookout for simple ways to make family time fun. We’ve been playing a lot of games together lately, so I thought I’d shake things up a bit and try something different other than traditional board games. Paper Source has a great selection of “outside the box” family games. And when you add in a few little festive details, the kids are extra surprised and excited to try something new!
For our guys, most things are all about the food. So I like to start by setting out a few fun snacks and treats to kick things off. They are gaga over Shirley Temples lately, but I tweaked the classic recipe to cut down on the sugar (especially since I was topping them with sugary sipping straws!). To make our Fizzy Cherry Sippers, you’ll need:
- Black Cherry Seltzer Water
- Maraschino Cherries (some liquid reserved)
- Striped Straws; and
- Gummy Candy (we used Trader Joe’s All Natural Fruit Jellie’s)
Start by filling up a glass (we love these Happy Thoughts Glasses!) a quarter-full with crushed ice. Add a few cherries and a spoonful of cherry liquid. Top with seltzer water. Have the kiddos help you skewer a few gummy candies onto the end of a straw and add to the drink (you can use a wooden skewer to poke out any candy that gets stuck inside the straw). Sip!!
I also set out a few snacks alongside Meri Meri’s colorful Harlequin napkins and plates — they are such a great pattern for any occasion! And I sprinkled Paper Source’s Colossal Confetti around too. After they were energized, we started in on WhatchamaDRAWit — a super silly, creative game that had everyone laughing as we tried to draw the ridiculous items listed (like a bicycle for an octopus).
The kids were soon completely full of giggles and ready to move around a bit, so we moved on to the awesome Twister Game Blanket. It was a total riot. We tried the game once a few years ago, but the plastic mat kept slipping out from under them. Paper Source’s blanket version is genius. It’s soft, but the underside is coated so it will work well outside too. I just know this one is coming to the beach with us this summer! (Ahhhhh, summer. Remember that?!)
We wrapped up our game night with the a few prompts from the Family Gathering Table Topics. It’s not really a game, but the insightful questions got everyone to calm down, sit together, and talk about things that are important to each person about our family. It was really nice and interesting to hear what the kids had to say. My favorite might have been “What are you considering doing that would surprise your family?” Kane refused to tell, because then it wouldn’t be secret. But Cam said she was thinking of “hugging, and kissing, and telling everyone how important they were to her.” And then she broke out in her version of the Cabbage Patch dance. Just because. Sometimes they really do surprise you!
Thanks to Paper Source for keeping our family time fresh with the great game night goodies!!
Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. She blogs family-friendly activities, DIYs, and celebration fun at Not-So-SAHM. Her first book, an activity-based book for parents, is full of things you’ll actually enjoying doing with your kiddos – due out this fall.