theme-ify!

Ideas for Nights of HanukkahAt our house we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. A few years ago, in order to add a bit of fun to the nights of Hanukkah, I introduced the idea of a theme for each night’s gifts. It began with pretty basic themes: books, music, DVDs, games, puzzles, socks. The following year, the themes got a little more abstract: “warm and cozy” (hats, gloves, or footie jammies), office supplies (Staples products they are always asking for – paper, tape, glue sticks), and this year, we’re taking it to yet another level, sounding a little like categories on jeopardy: “It’ll Make you Think” (ken ken, crosswords and sudoku), “Design an Outing” (plan a day with a parent for some one on one time), “Giving to Give” (gifting money for the kids to donate to an organization of their choice), and the clutch game category, “All Fun & Games,”  since to me adding a few new games to our family collection is a highlight of the holiday season…and the year ahead. -n

3 Responses to theme-ify!

  1. Meredith Applegate

    I love this idea of themes…and especially the Fun and Games theme. I love hearing from other parents about their favorite games to add to our games collection for those long winter months (and rainy days!). Any good ideas either for the younger set (preschool) as well as early elementary school? Much appreciated!

  2. Meredith,

    Here are our top 5 game recommendations, with a little commentary on each. We welcome more ideas from others!

    1. Headbandz: This is a version of 20 questions and works for a wide age range. Sure to produce lots of laughs and develops critical thinking. We’ve played when our families have gotten together in the kitchen — all walking around with crazy images on our forheads! — while preparing a meal, having drinks, and eating appetizers. (all ages)
    2. Rat-A-Tat Cat: A kids’ game that I don’t mind playing over and over. It’s quick, fun, introduces an element of strategy and when to take a risk and relies on facility and adding numbers 1-9. (for 4 yr old +)
    3. Telestrations: A pee-in-your-pants funny game, ideal for a mixed-age crowd. Players alternate illustrating a word and guessing from the drawing what that word might be, then drawing again, guessing, passing, etc. This is “telephone” with drawings. (for early readers +)
    4. Bananagrams: This is scrabble without the board. Ways to play to include all ages or turn into a very competitive adult game as well! (for early readers +)
    5. Mastermind: A classic 2-person game that really hones deductive thinking.

  3. Meredith Applegate

    Great ideas and thanks for the commentary/age ranges. Thanks so much!

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