Tuesday, April 9, 2019

5 Easy Family-Friendly Game Night Ideas

We love hosting a good old-fashioned game night. It’s so much fun to get together with family or friends and laugh the night away – without spending a dime. Sure there are board games that cost $30 or more, but you don’t have to buy a new game every time you have people over. There are plenty of ways to keep the cost of game night low while keeping the laughs abundant.





Here are 5 free or cheap ideas for your next game night.

Card Games

1. Egyptian War
This is probably my all-time favorite card game, and I don’t think that I have ever won even once. It is similar to regular war in that the object of the game is to take possession of all the cards in the deck. This game could last 5 minutes or 5 hours depending on the course of the game and the aggressiveness of the players. Read the rules for the game, also known as Egyptian Ratscrew.



2. Spades
If you want to play a card game and you have exactly four players, I highly recommend the game of Spades. I like this game because you can play with a partner which often adds even more excitement to game night. Check out the Spades rules to learn how to play.

3. Spoons
This game is played by sitting in a circle with one less spoon in the middle than there are participants (kind of like musical chairs). Each player starts with 4 cards in their hands. The goal is to get 4 of the same rank. As a deck of cards is passed around the circle one card at a time, your goal is to find a desired card and then discreetly exchange it for one you want to discard from your hand. Once you get 4 cards of the same rank, discreetly get a spoon from the middle. When other players notice that a spoon is missing from the the middle, they all must attempt to grab a spoon as quickly as possible in order to not be the only one left without one.

Classic Games

4. Pictionary
Not an artist? No worries. This game is actually more fun if you can’t draw. Get ready for loads of laughter when your team can’t decipher if what you’re drawing is a banana or an airplane! You can create your own game set with a white board and some fun words to draw written on small pieces of paper, or you can buy the actual Pictionary game (made by Hasbro) for around $30.



5. Charades
You can never go wrong with a classic game like charades. Simply split into teams and then have one person from each team act out a movie, book, or TV show to see who can guess the answer. This is a great game for introverts who want to be less shy.

6. Telephone
One person starts the game by whispering a sentence into the ear of the person sitting next to them. They whisper what they think they heard to the person on the other side of them. This continues until the sentence gets to the last person. At that time, the person says out loud what they think they heard. This is a great game for kids, particularly for kid’s birthday parties, but adults can have fun with it too!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Video Game releases in April 2019

After the bumper year that was 2018, it might seem unlikely that 2019 can top it. There are some fantastic releases lined up though, from Bioware’s action MMO Anthem, to a new Pokemon game from Nintendo. 







For April we have a few major games to look forward to. We’ll be updating when we get more though.

  • Shovel Knight: Showdown (PC, Mac, Lin, PS4, Wii U, Switch, Xbox One) - April 9
  • Mortal Kombat 11 (Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC) - April 23
  • Days Gone (PS4) - April 26
  • Super Meat Boy Forever (PC, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Switch) - April TBC

  • Dauntless (PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One) - April TBC
  • Super Crate Box - April TBC
  • Katana Zero - April 18

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Get Ready! Here are the Best Family Movies on Netflix in April

This April, as you scroll through Netflix's Children and Family section, and become suspicious of the sea of bright colors and flashing lights, you're probably starting to wonder how many of these flicks are actually good. If already know the difference between a film that will (hopefully) inspire their young mind and one that simply numbs it, you've come to the right place. We've found the films meant for some quality TV time with your relatives, with many of them good enough for both of you to find something to enjoy.






The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles was such an instant classic that many were worried that even an OK sequel would tarnish its legacy. Fortunately, this sequel packs enough pizzazz and heart to sit side-by-side with its predecessor. Vibrating with a wonderful jazzy soundtrack and inventive visuals, The Incredibles 2 is a joy to watch. Story-wise, everybody's favorite super-powered family is back, and dealing with the immediate aftermath of the original film: a society that wants to ban their abilities. Scenes featuring Bob (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) dealing with the uber-powered Jack Jack steal the show, and function as fantastic centerpieces.




Peter Rabbit

This refreshing adaptation of Beatrix Potter's novels revive Peter Rabbit for the younger set, by injecting the character with a bit of mischief. Yes, while that decision upset those tied to Potter's original work, the film doesn't come across as mean or insincere.  A couple of warnings, though: a human character dies relatively early, so this might not be a perfect movie for the super-young set. Also a minor ruckus was raised over a scene where a child allergic to blueberries was pelted by blueberries, which forced him to use his Epipen.





Mary and the Witch's Flower

If you're looking for a new twist on solid tropes, check out this film from Academy Award nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi, whose credits include Studio Ghibli masterpieces Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo. This animated film centers around a young girl named Mary who finds herself surrounded by the utterly fantastic: a magic flower that grants magical powers, a broomstick that she flies above the clouds, and the magic university of Endor College (no, there aren't any Ewoks). Features voice acting by Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent. 




A Wrinkle in Time

Ava Duvernay's adaptation of the Madeleine L'Engle classic may have rubbed some critics the wrong way, but most agree that this is a great flick for kids. As long as you watch the film with a child-like sense of awe and wonder, so you can enjoy the movie's gorgeous special effects and not blanche at its wholesome demeanor. Its focus, a depressed 13-year-old named Meg — whose misery is linked to her dad's mysterious disappearance — who goes on a mystical journal that will answer her biggest questions.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Video Game Releases in March 2019

After the bumper year that was 2018, it might seem unlikely that 2019 can top it. There are some fantastic releases lined up though, from Bioware’s action MMO Anthem, to a new Pokemon game from Nintendo. 







March 2019 is a little bit quieter for game releases, but there are some great games coming out. Here are the game releases for March 2019.
  • Dead or Alive 6 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - March 1
  • ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove (PC, Mac, Lin, Switch, Ps4, Xbox One) - March 1
  • Left Alive (PS4, PC) – March 5
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms (PC) – March 7
  • Devil May Cry 5 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 8
  • Kirby's Epic Yarn (3DS) - March 8


  • The Division 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 15
  • Super Robot Wars T (Switch, PS4) - March 20
  • The Sinking City (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 21 


  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – March 22
  • Tropico 6 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) - March 29
  • Yoshi's Crafted World (Nintendo Switch) - March 29

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Sneak Previews: New Kids Movies in 2019 You're Going to Want to See!

It's a fun, family tradition that every summer the best family movies of the year are released during the crazy-days (and no schools) of summertime.

Below are the most exciting kids movies of Summer 2019!




Dumbo - March 29

Plot Summary
Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction -- bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant's magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.
Cast: Colin FarrellMichael KeatonDanny DeVitoEva GreenAlan ArkinNico ParkerFinley Hobbins

Missing Link - April 12
Plot Summary
Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link -- 8 feet tall and covered in fur -- recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, the trio encounters their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world. Through it all, they learn that sometimes one can find a family in the places one least expects.

Ugly Dolls - May 3
Plot Summary
In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weirdness is celebrated, strangeness is special and beauty is embraced as more than meets the eye. After traveling to the other side of a mountain, Moxy and her UglyDoll friends discover Perfection -- a town where more conventional dolls receive training before entering the real world to find the love of a child. Soon, the UglyDolls learn what it means to be different -- ultimately realizing that they don't have to be perfect to be amazing.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 - June 7
Plot Summary
The further adventures of Max the dog and his furry animal friends.

Toy Story 4 - June 21
Plot Summary
Woody and Buzz Lightyear embark on an adventurous road trip with old and new friends.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Kids: Birthday Party Ideas for April-May-June

April showers bring May flowers—and a whole new range of birthday party themes. Give your springtime baby a bash worth remembering with one of these fun spring birthday party ideas. Here are kids parties we think will be big this spring and beyond.


via GIPHY

Everything is Awesome

LEGO bricks never go out of style, but we predict LEGO parties will be especially big this spring building off of The LEGO Movie 2. We love this theme because the party activities plan themselves. Dump out a pile of bricks and let your master builder have at it. Pass out Minifigs as the perfect party favor. Then, follow Mer Mag's inspired example and set out a plate of rectangular cookies, bright icing, and Spree candies so kids can make their own party treats. For more LEGO party ideas, check out Mer Mag's post.

Fab Flamingo

Flamingos in party-perfect pink are an extra-festive kids' party theme. We love this party's tropical flair that will brighten up even the rainiest spring day. Plus, flamingos are the hot new bird—suddenly, we're seeing them everywhere. Flap on over to Catch My Party for more flamingo party style.





Splish-Splash

Think your springtime baby will never be able to have a pool party? Fear not! Pack up your pool noodles and head down to your local pool or an indoor water park. Great Wolf Lodge has 18 locations in the US and Canada full of water slides and wave pools. Bring your kiddo and their BFFs for a wild, splash-filled bash. Bonus: when the kids' fingers turn to prunes, they can have fun out of the water on Great Wolf Lodges' ropes courses or wand-waving magical quests. Check out the party packages with extras like Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream cake.



Camp It Out

You'll want to invite all your forest friends to this woodland lumberjack party. We love that it offers an indoor twist on a camping party, so you'll be ready to celebrate rain or shine. The animal-covered cupcakes are adorable and delicious. Pull out your plaid flannel and get inspired by the Woodland Lumberjack Party featured at Kara's Party Ideas.


Sleepunder + Donuts = Magic

If you're kiddo's begging for a sleepover, but you're worried about whether or not it's the right time to open that door, throw a sleepunder instead. It's all the fun of a sleepover—think PJs, movies, and giggle-fests—and then everyone goes home to sleep in their own cozy beds. Add in a giant pink donut cake like this one, and we think you've got a super spring party.




Fore!

A golf-themed party is a hole in one. We love Pretty My Party's birthday par-tee. Argyle-patterned pretzels and golf-adorned desserts make it a delicious celebration. For bigger kids, you can add some extra fun with a mini-golf outing.


Bug Out Bash

Bug out with the tiny critters that are buzzing in your garden. Little explorers will love a creepy crawly celebration complete with gummy worms and ants on a log. Check out this Events by Taryn party for some creature-filled ideas.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Find the Best Kids Shows to Watch on Netflix

Between Netflix Originals and new seasons of kids’ shows and movies that seem to debut daily, it can be hard to wade through it all to find what you really want to watch—especially when the platform currently doesn’t allow you to browse by categories.

via GIPHY

If you need a little help finding the good stuff, this Netflix sub-genre hack that uses secret Netflix codes is about to make your life a whole lot easier. Read on for more!

So, how do you use these Netflix secret codes? This magical list of every secret Netflix code can spare you the pain of searching for what feels like forever when your kiddo just wants to watch something—anything—right now.

To get started, simply copy and paste this URL into your browser bar: www.netflix.com/browse/genre/CODE. Just replace “CODE” with one of the numerical codes from the list below to view all the titles in the category you want.

Here are some all of the helpful Netflix sub-genre codes just for kids and family content:

Animal Tales (5507)
Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy for ages 8 to 10 (2247)
Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy for ages 11 to 12 (3392)
Ages 8-10 (561)
Biographical Children & Family Movies (2478)
British Children & Family Movies (2473)
British Education for Kids (1606)
British Movies for ages 2 to 4 (745)
Children & Family Movies (783)
Children & Family Movies based on real life (4927)
Children & Family Movies directed by Arthur Rankin Jr. (31)
Children & Family Movies directed by Dan Riba (2704)
Children & Family Movies directed by Dean Gordon (4379)
Children & Family Movies directed by Don Bluth (3202)
Children & Family Movies directed by Jules Bass (1495)
Children & Family Movies directed by Michael Hack (991)
Children & Family Movies directed by Richard Rich (2210)
Children & Family Movies directed by Roger McIntosh (2821)
Children & Family Movies directed by Vic Finch (4342)
Children & Family Movies from the 1930s (1831)
Children & Family Movies from the 1940s (1860)
Children & Family Movies from the 1950s (1883)
Children & Family Movies from the 1960s (1909)
Children & Family Movies from the 1970s (1929)
Children & Family Movies from the 1980s (1951)
Children & Family Movies on Blu-ray (3728)
Children & Family Movies starring Ashley Olsen (1329)
Children & Family Movies starring Don Knotts (3768)
Children & Family Movies starring Muppets (46)
Children & Family Movies starring Muppets (46)
Children & Family Movies starring Neil Morrissey (2909)
Christmas, Children & Family Films (1474017)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, Ages 5 to 7 (1477201)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, Ages 8 to 10 (1477204)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, Ages 11 to 12 (1477206)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, British (1527064)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, Canadian (1721544)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, European (1527063)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, Feel-good (1475066)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, From the 1990s (1476024)
Christmas, Children & Family Films, Goofy (1475071)
Christmas, Family-friendly Films (1394522)
Comedies for ages 5 to 7 (2514)
Comic Book and Superhero Movies (10118)
Comic Book and Superhero Movies for ages 5 to 7 (3562)
Comic Book and Superhero Movies for ages 11 to 12 (2072)
Comic Book and Superhero Movies from the 1940s (1825)
Comic Book and Superhero Movies from the 1960s (1876)
Comic Book and Superhero Movies from the 1980s (1925)
Coming-of-age Movies for ages 5 to 7 (989)
Coming-of-age Movies for ages 11 to 12 (535)
Dinosaurs (67687)
Disney (67673)
Disney Musicals (59433)
Dramas based on children’s books (1129)
Dramas for ages 8 to 10 (1267)
Education for Kids (10659)
Emotional Dramas for ages 11 to 12 (3498)
Family Features (51056)
Feel-good Children & Family Movies (4505)
Feel-good Children & Family Movies from the 1960s (4308)
Feel-good Children & Family Movies from the 1970s (4333)
Feel-good Children & Family Movies from the 1980s (4355)
Feel-good Children & Family Movies starring Muppets (2663)
Feel-good Dramas for ages 11 to 12 (2155)
Feel-good Dramas for ages 8 to 10 (4999)
Feel-good Education & Guidance starring Muppets (4699)
Feel-good Movies starring Muppets (3670)
Feel-good Sports Movies for ages 8 to 10 (855)
Feel-good Teen Coming-of-age Comedies (1301)
Feel-good Teen Dramas (4793)
Feel-good Teen Movies (2548)
Foreign Children & Family (3277)
Goofy Animal Tales (904)
Goofy Children & Family Movies (355)
Goofy Children & Family Movies on Blu-ray (958)
Goofy Comedies for ages 11 to 12 (2177)
Goofy Comedies for ages 5 to 7 (1552)
Goofy Comic Book and Superhero Movies (2127)
Goofy Sports Children & Family Movies (4173)
Homework Help (2380)
Imaginative Children & Family Movies (312)
Imaginative Children & Family Movies from the 1980s (36)
Imaginative Movies based on children’s books (2253)
Imaginative Movies for ages 2 to 4 (3164)
Imaginative Movies for ages 5 to 7 (2368)
Imaginative Movies for ages 8 to 10 (4420)
Independent Children & Family Movies (1525)
Inspiring Movies for ages 11 to 12 (4043)
Inspiring Movies for ages 5 to 7 (4561)
Inspiring Teen Movies (1349)
Kids Faith & Spirituality (751423)
Kids’ fitness (1530)
Kids’ Music (52843)
Kids’ TV (27346)
Movies based on children’s books (10056)
Movies for ages 0 to 2 (6796)
Movies for ages 2 to 4 (6218)
Movies for ages 5 to 7 (5455)
Movies for ages 8 to 10 (561)
Movies for ages 11 to 12 (6962)
Princesses (67624)
Quirky Children & Family Movies (4656)
Quirky Children & Family Movies from the 1980s (2005)
Quirky Movies based on children’s books (967)
Quirky Movies for ages 8 to 10 (4910)
Sentimental Animal Tales (3338)
Sentimental Children & Family Movies (4942)
Sentimental Children & Family Movies from the 1980s (3645)
Sentimental Dramas for ages 11 to 12 (4859)
Sentimental Movies based on children’s books (3869)
Slapstick Comedies for ages 11 to 12 (2093)
Slapstick Comedies for ages 5 to 7 (2499)
Sports Children & Family Movies (453)
Tearjerkers for ages 11 to 12 (128)
Teen Action & Adventure (3754)
Teen Comedies (3519)
Teen Coming-of-age Dramas (4295)
Teen Coming-of-age Movies (2916)
Teen Dramas (9299)
Teen Independent Comedies (4441)
Teen Movies (2340)
Teen Sports Comedies (945)
Teen Sports Movies (3410)
TV Cartoons (11177)
TV Comedies for ages 5 to 7 (4887)
TV Shows for ages 11 to 12 (4293)
War Movies for ages 8 to 10 (4194)
Check out the complete, utterly massive list of sub-genres and Netflix secret codes here.