Well, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and scurried back into his hole, foretelling another six weeks of winter- methinks the heavy snowstorms battering the northeast might have something to do with his reluctance to come out and play! I can’t blame him, though, as cold wet weather makes me feel like hibernating as well, and by this past week’s onslaught of beautiful little birds in the garden, I’ve known winter (up north) was going to last quite a while. Luckily nature has prepared ahead with an over abundance of holly berries and other wild fruit on which our northern winged critters can gorge themselves. (Yes, Punxsutawney Phil, us Floridian folks KNEW you would have a long winter!)
Groundhogs aside, the great Super Bowl game is over, with the New England Patriots winning over the Seattle Seahawks. I know everyone is abuzz online twittering about the half-time Katy Perry Extravaganza and the Budweiser puppy ad- I downloaded “Let Her Go” as my alarm tone after their ad last year. Puppies and ponies-awww, what girl could resist? Now just throw in some dark chocolate…
Anyhow, now that the big game is over, what is a family to do? Instead of sliding into a post football slump, how about getting your own game on? Family games are not restricted to Sliders and Monopoly anymore (were they ever). We tried bowling (Wii bowling was a cheaper family option for us), and badminton- well, an aggressive style badminton with racquet ball racquets and a pole on the ground as our net.
Then we finally cleared off the pool table and tried our hands at cut-throat (my daughter plays wearing roller-blades and gloves- who am I to argue?). The dart board was dusted off for the old pub favorite of 301. My husband broke open a deck of cards and taught us spades and just last night we tried dice. Some of our friends play Manhunt on the weekends- no, not that nefarious weapon-toting event that ends in bloodshed, but flashlight night tag- too cool, eh? Other friends play stickball in the park on the weekend. Get creative. Mix it up. Uno one night and a dance competition the next.
The bottom line is get the family together- eating together is essential for talking, but game time together is essential bonding.
Things to Know:
1. Try out various games (ask your friends if you are stuck for ideas.) Not every game will be a hit, so keep exploring the options until you find a favorite- then be ready to move on to another new favorite- this is an evolving process.
2. Don’t get hung up on rules. Make up your own rules.
3. Consider your child’s temperament and abilities when choosing games. They might be able to hold 5 cards in their hand- but not 14. Darts are dangerous during temper tantrums.
4. Have fun!