Games night! Our Favourite Family Games (Ages 4+)

We’ve always enjoyed playing games, even before T was born. On holiday Sharon and I would take a few games with us to enjoy of an evening, and when friends come round we often get the games out after dinner.

When T then came along it was natural for us to start shopping for age appropriate games for us to play with him, starting with matching games and pairs. When he then became old enough to understand more intricate rules he would join in on family games nights. This would often be limited to weekends, but now that T’s in school we try and avoid going straight for the television of an evening, and instead will often get a short game out to play together.

We’re probably a minority when we say we enjoy playing games as a family, but there’s just something really enjoyable – once you know how to play (!) – about sitting round a table and playing a game together, and not just at Christmas! I remember doing it when I was young and I hope T remembers it when he’s older. We find I’m more present and whilst you’re waiting for your turn you can talk about your day.

If you’re thinking of introducing family board games into your evening, here are a few of our favourites:

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Dough Nab The Game [AD – Review]

A few weeks ago, as part of International Coffee Day, we were invited to try our Dough Nab – a fun new game (which, sadly, does not include real doughnuts) for the family. We really enjoy playing games together as a family, so we’re always interested in finding new ones to fill our evenings!

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s rules are similar to that of a snatching or matching game where the aim of the game is to match as many cards to the three doughnuts in front of you before the other player, however there are plenty of “special” cards to shake things up along the way.

The game is aimed at 8 year olds and up, however T is 4 and got on with it just fine (once he understood the rules) Here’s how we got on:

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Our Favourite Children’s Books about Mental Health and Wellbeing

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day I often like to reflect and think about how far I’ve come in regards to my own mental health. Since coming to terms with it, and understanding that just like any visible or physical injury; where you need to make adjustments due a sudden change, mental health needs to be treated exactly the same way.

On good days I don’t pick my arms, I don’t feel nauseous, and tasks around the home are streamline and effortless. On bad days, well, you get the drift. Over the past few years I’ve been more open and honest about how I’m feeling, and likewise I’ve stopped and really listened to the signs of my mind telling me it’s struggling.

Not only that, one of the other benefits to addressing and taking control of my own mental health is now being able to recognise when others are struggling – primarily friends, but especially my family. Sharon and I haven’t always been the best at expressing, but now that we have a child we’ve become a lot better at expressing ourselves as well as inviting T to express how he’s feeling. This is now amplified now that T has started school which often comes with waves of emotions and awkward social situations.

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Days Out: A Family Day at Plumpton Racecourse [AD – Press Visit]

Last Sunday, we were invited to Plumpton Racecourse in Lewes to visit their annual ‘Family Day’ event, which is part of Great British Racing’s Under 18’s summer campaign. We’d never been to a horse racing course before, so we were interested to see how family friendly it really was.

Our only previous experience of horse racing was The Grand National on television (and Peaky Blinders!), therefore we were excited to visit a more local racecourse.

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Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride and Protest [Gift]

Last month, we were sent Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride and Protest, a new book by Jamie Lawson and illustrated by Eve Lloyd Knight. A book about LGBTQ history, dating back as far as 1790. Although we’re the living result of LGBTQ History, we still don’t know it all, and we never want to stop learning either. This book helps me and my community do just that.

Unlike most moments in history that carved our children’s future – I use heroes like Emily Pankhurst and Martin Luther King Jr as example – and despite having a rich history, LGBTQ-specific history is so rarely spoken about and referenced. This is partly to do with ignorance and a lack of respect for our community, but it’s also because a lot of the time people are unaware of the contributions LGBTQ people had on history.

Did you know that Alan Turing – father of modern computing and all-time war hero – was Gay and later chemically castrated for being so? Also, in the 1940’s, when Nazi Germany was beaten and survivors of the Holocaust were rescued, people with LGBTQ identities were transferred from the concentration camps, where they were tortured and almost died, to a prison to continue a life-long sentence for being LGBTQ because it was illegal to be LGBTQ in Germany.

These are just a handful of stories featured in the Rainbow Revolutions, but there’s more. Here’s my review and why you NEED this book on your book shelf.

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OKIDO Which Way? Game [AD – Review]

When I was in school, the first introduction to coding was via a computer programme where a you would create a string of commands – such as Right 100, Forward 2, Left 210, and so on – where a little turtle (I think it might have even been called Turtle!) would then follow those commands to make a shape. It was very basic and, quite frankly, dull and if you missed one step – which would have no doubt taken you hours to write – your diagram would be completely ruined!

Nowadays, it’s no longer like that. Instead, there are a range of STEM activities to teach children the basics of coding without them realising that they’re learning how to code!

Last week, we were introduced to our first ever coding activity – the OKIDO Which Way? Game – an exciting game where you’re invited to create different “tracks” for your car, simulating the art of coding.  Continue reading