Friday, January 6, 2012

It's All Kid's Play!

A fabulous blog buddy of mine, Jean Oram, has set up a great website for anyone who has kids. It's called It's All Kid's Play and it's a TON of fun! With so many screens calling for kids' attention now, it's important to have a lot of activites that are easy, ready to go, and most of all fun.

That's where Jean comes in. Her site has 32 categories (not including jokes and book recommendations) of activities ranging from arts and crafts to sports, to challenges, to outdoor activities, to games, etc. This site is great for parents looking to cure their children's boredom blues, reconnect with some games, looking for party activities, or just looking for a way to bring more free play (unstructured, creative, child-directed play into their lives). Let's take a tour of a few of those sections...


Tricky Business: This has those goofy challenges kids (and grown up kids) love. For example, armpit farts, can't touch the floor games, catching stacked pennies off your elbow, lick your elbow (can't do that one), making salt/sugar crystals, etc. Tricky challenges are a great way to get kids back to the basics of playing. They challenge our thinking, the way we think the world works, test our boundaries and skills, and are a sure fire way to start the giggles!


 Car Rides: I feel this area of play is especially important these days as the family vehicle is one of the few places kids get to engage in free play these days. Families spend a lot of time in their vehicles commuting, driving to organized sports, etc., and it is a great place for families to reconnect and play. These days the majority of kids don't know how to entertain themselves in the vehicle without some sort of screen. On the car rides page I have a bunch of games that are great to help develop communication skills, visual skills, critical thinking skills, even math skills (and so much more). There is also a printable PDF with MORE games (than listed on the webpage) and a link to word games as well. There are so many things to do in the car! (Example games: I Spy, Round Up, How Long Will it Take?, License Plate games.)

Get out of the House: This section is great for families who are looking for something to do (heck, you don't even need to have kids for many of these!), planning a staycation, or planning an outing. This section includes many family friendly ideas on how to get everyone up, out, and moving. Spending time with your family increases individual resiliency whether you are 5 or 75. (Farmer's Market, go-carting, people watching, laser tag, go to the library, indoor wall climbing, etc.).

Those are fabulous! And those are only 3 of those 32 categories. You've got to check out the rest. I bet it'll make you want to play a game RIGHT NOW - whether you're a kid or not!

Jean and I originally met over at Agent Query Connect, where Jean is a super moderator for the site. If you haven't visited, it's an great place where writers at all stages of their careers hang out. Jean's blog is all about writing and you can also find Jean on twitter talking about writing as herself @jeanoram and representing her kids' site as @KidsPlay

What's your favourite kids' game?

Jean's got a Facebook page up and going - it looks great! Check it out too :)

76 comments:

  1. And some of that stuff is so alien to kids now! Go outside? But my WII controls won't reach!
    And I always read books in the car.

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  2. It sounds like a great resource! :) Thanks for the link.

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  3. Sounds great! I'm off to go check it out.

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  4. Alex - it's sad that some kids really don't know how to play without technology!

    Golden Eagle - it really is! Hope you enjoy it :)

    Amy - it is! Enjoy :)

    Faith - thanks! Have fun!

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  5. Thanks for sharing my site with your fabulous readers, Jemi. I had a ton of fun making this list of things to do when my daughter was just a baby--it quickly grew into so much more!

    If anyone has any questions or wants to connect with me on Twitter, I'm there just about every day! (Gee, I think I need less screen time. ;p )

    Thanks again!

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  6. Jean - you're very welcome! I hope lots of people pop on over - there are SO many fantastic ideas on there. Kids and parents will have a blast! :)

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  7. What fun stuff! So much better than turning into a TV zombie.

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  8. Anita - it really is! Jean has dozens and dozens of fun, easy activities! :)

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  9. What a great idea for a blog! I know I can use it for sure.

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  10. Janet - you're going to love Jean's ideas! They're easy and so much fun :)

    Mindy - yay for Jeano indeed! :)

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  11. I'm thankful to live in an area that has so many wonderful things to do outside, either alone or as a family. What a great site with wonderful ideas! Thanks for passing the information along. I'm particularly going to look for things to do in the car.

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  12. I wish I knew as much about techology then the children do.
    Loved the post.

    Yvonne.

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  13. My children have all grown up but us adults still like playing. We've just come back from an activity holiday where children aren't allowed and I've spent the week playing at line dancing, zumba, singing, bridge, canaster and eating! We would have played Scrabble but we ran out of time.

    [I'm trying to keep Mr A from seeing your article about the delicious fudge toffee on your other blog. He'd eat a whole tray full given the chance!]

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  14. Shannon - sounds like you've got a great place to be - perfect! The car ride ones are so much fun - enjoy :)

    Catherine - it really is! :)

    Yvonne - thanks! It's amazing how quickly kids pick up new technologies! :)

    Rosalind - that sounds like SO much fun! I bet you had a blast! And that toffee is NOT something Mr. A should be eating at this point!!! :)

    Talli - you're welcome! It is a great site :)

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  15. Off I go to get a child or three!!

    Take care
    x

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  16. Old Kitty - there you go! Have fun!! :)

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  17. As Rosalind said, play isn't just for kids. I love to try something new and it sounds like your vacation was a ton of fun!

    Old Kitty, I love borrowing other people's kids. (And I don't think the parents mind too much!)

    Anita, I hear you on turning into a TV zombie. Sometimes it's just so easy at the end of a week.

    Janet, I hope you enjoy the activities!

    Shannon, what luck to live in an area with so many things to do outside. We ended up moving to a new town that had more family friendly things to do. It's wonderful. Well worth the move for us. Enjoy the car games!

    Thanks to everyone for taking Jemi's mini tour.

    Have fun playing! :)

    Jean

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  18. Oops. I just noticed your question: What's your favourite kids' game?

    That's a hard one! I think it would have to be Guess the Animal. (Just like 20 Questions, but we only pick animals. One person guesses and animal and the rest of the players have to ask 'yes' or 'no' questions until they have enough info they can figure out what the animal is.) We play it on all our long car rides.

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  19. Jean - I like that one! I think my fave is the doodle game - where one person draws a mini-doodle (just a line, a box, a squiggle...) and the other person has to make it into something :)

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  20. I'm forwarding a link to your post to a couple of my girlfriends with young kids. Thanks for the link.

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  21. Cool game, Jemi! I haven't done something like that since grade 1! I had to make a question mark into something--tricky!

    Thanks, Kari. I hope your friends enjoy it!

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  22. Wow, what a lovely idea. The other day I bought a copy of Action Pack, a great family activity magazine, with lots of crafts and recipes.

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  23. I just went to the site and it's awesome.

    I'm still a screen person. When I do play games, it's on my computer or phone, but I'd like to try some of these.

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  24. Kari - you're very welcome! I know they'll find lots of fun things to do! :)

    Jean - it's a lot of fun! My mom started it when we were waiting in doctor's offices :)

    Deniz - I don't know that one - I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

    Medeia - Jean did a great job on the site. It's so well organized and FULL of ideas :)

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  25. This. Is. Awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know about this site. I'm checking it out right now!

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  26. Thanks, everyone. I'm glad you are enjoying the ideas and site. It was a ton of fun to dream up and it's awesome to hear such enthusiasm. Yahoo!

    :) Jean

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  27. Julie - you're going to love it! Jean's compiled dozens of fantastic ideas :)

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  28. I forgot to mention that I have been tweeting an activity everyday as well as article links and other fun stuff on Twitter @KidsPlay and that for those of you who love to Facebook, I will be starting a Facebook page where those posts will be shared as well. (I know not everyone is into Twitter.)

    Cheers!
    Jean

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  29. Good idea Jean! The tweets are fun :)

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  30. Sounds fantastic.
    At the moment my kids favourite game is to see how many times in a row they can pencil dive into the pool and land directly on the round white thing in the deep end. hehe

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  31. Michelle - I knew you'd be one to enjoy the site! I loved playing those diving games when I was a kid! :)

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  32. Great idea! Get those kids outside and playing with each other for real. Wonderful.

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  33. hi Jemi. Now that I have a Kindle Fire I can combine two events: reading time and kids play time. I take them to the park and let them loose for a couple hours, then have quiet time to read. Its a win win situation.

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  34. Sounds like a great place for kiddos!

    I'll go check out Jean's blog. :)

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  35. Lee - exactly! And the activities are great for parents and kids as well - all kinds of goodies! :)

    Stephen - that is definitely a win-win! Kids love the parks - there's so many fun things to do!

    Sharon - it really is a fabulous place! I wish I'd had access to it when my kids were little :)

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  36. Sounds great Jemi! I am all for parents and kids playing more together. I will keep this in mind when I see parents at the library.

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  37. Danette - thank you! I think it's a wonderful resource for all parents! :)

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  38. kids deserve best, and they are usually not getting it these days :(

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  39. Dez - you're so right! While there are lots and lots are caring and smart parents out there, it's not the case for everyone!

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  40. Old fashioned hide-and-go-seek. Even the older kids thinks it's fun!

    Thanks for the link, going to check it out!

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  41. It's great to see so many people enthusiastic about kids! It gives me such hope!

    I have started a Facebook page for anyone who is interested in more free play activities and ideas for kids and families, slow parenting, or just looking for a place to connect with other parents and caregivers. It's here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Its-All-Kids-Play/310799765624876 (I hope it's okay to share it here, Jemi?) There isn't much there yet, but I plan to share my tweets and ideas on that page.

    Thanks, Jean.

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  42. Lydia - LOVED hide & seek as a kid & with my kids! Awesome game :) Have fun at the site!

    Jean - absolutely good to share the link! I'll see if my techie skills (ha!) can let me add it to the post...

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  43. Car games - YES!! I need those! I am so SICK Of all my old fav movies because the kids watch them all the time in the car DVD. Need something different and you're right, its a good family time because they are a captive audience.

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  44. Margo - I agree! It can be such a fun time in the car when you play all the fun games! My kids loved the license plate ones :)

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  45. This is so awesome. I think my 15 year old is beyond help, but a lot of this would be very cool for my 10 year old.

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  46. I hear you, Margo! Captive audiences are good--especially if you can turn it around so it isn't you listening to the same movie over and over. ;)

    Matthew, your 15-year-old might enjoy some of the tricky challenges such as balancing a stack of pennies on their bent elbow and then trying to catch them all with that hand as they straighten their arm. Very tricky! We used to do that on the school bus allll the time when we were that age. (More instructions on that trick in the "tricky challenges" section of the website.)

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  47. Matt - lol! A lot of parents say that about 15 year olds... I bet the 10 year old will love the site though! :)

    Jean - that's such a fun one! I should pull that one out in my classroom and see how they do! :)

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  48. That sounds like an excellent site! When my kids were younger, it was always such a challenge coming up with new and interesting activities for them that didn't involve a TV or computer.

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  49. Jean's blog sounds awesome!

    I couldn't help but notice her last name Oram. My maiden name is Oram. It's not very often that I find someone who spells it the same way.

    I'll have to check out her blog.

    Thanks!

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  50. Susan - exactly! There are so many fantastic ideas on the site - lots and lots to keep everyone busy :)

    Kathi - it's a really great blog. You're right - you and Jean are the only 2 I know who have that name. It'd be interesting to see if you're connected somehow! :)

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  51. Jemi, I think the record for pennies caught was something like 14! There were a bunch of us who spent hours and hours on the bus challenging each other. My record was maybe two or three. ;p I think I should try again, I think my coordination is better than it was then.

    Kathi! A fellow Oram! Hello! There aren't that many with our spelling out there. Although I hear there are some in England, Australia, and somewhere in Africa. :)

    I hear you, Susan. The TV and computer are sooo easy!

    Thanks again for having me on your blog, Jemi! Appreciate it! <3

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  52. Jean - 14 is huge! Pretty sure I could do 3 too - maybe 4 if I was having a good day!!! :)

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  53. Oh, man! I'm always up for another cool site for my kids. Thanks a bunch!

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  54. Very cool! I love Jean, even if I haven't been around AQ for a while. Great highlight!

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  55. Jackee, I hope you enjoy it!

    Hi Elana! Long time no virtual see. Thanks for stopping by.

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  56. Jackee - I think you'll find a ton of things to enjoy on the site. Your kids will love them :)

    Elana - Jean is completely awesome! :)

    Jean - it's so nice to see all these folks excited about playing! So glad we decided to tour your site :)

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  57. Yes, thank you so much for having me. You've got a wonderful group of blog readers and it is so wonderful to see everyone excited about play. (Play is good for adults, too.)

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  58. Jean - I definitely like to play! Probably why I became a teacher :P

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  59. Jean Oram's site sounds great. How nice of you to promote it.

    Have a great weekend!

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  60. Theresa - Jean is terrific and so is her site! Hope all is going well with you in the new year! :)

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  61. Oh, I think I know what my class will be doing in computer lab the first week back at school. Can't wait to go preview the site. Thanks for the rec.

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  62. Leslie Rose - you're very welcome! There are a TON of fabulous activities that the kids will love :)

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  63. These look like fabulous ideas! I don't have kids yet, but I can see myself doing some of these as an adult. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  64. Shelley - exactly! There are so many ideas there that are fun no matter what age you are! :)

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  65. thx jemi...

    of my 3, the youngest is 26, and he's NOT interested in anything to do with younger ones any more :O lol

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  66. Laughing Wolf - so true! Although there are some tricky games there ... you never know! :)

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  67. 32 categories! That's a lot of content. My kids are all grown, but this sounds like a great resource for those with younger families than mine.


    Lee
    Have you heard about the A to Z Video Challenge?
    Blogging from A to Z

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  68. Lee - it really is! I think anyone who likes to play games will enjoy it! :)

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  69. I love Alex's comment. Go outside, but my Wii controls won't reach, lol! This is a fabulous idea and all power to this blogger!

    Denise

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  70. Denise - sad, but often true, isn't it. Jean has so many great indoor and outdoor activities - lots of fun... and no controllers needed :)

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  71. Great ideas! I have two little boys that keep up to all kinds of trouble.

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  72. Christina - you'll love the site. There are so many fun and easy ideas to keep kids busy and enjoying themselves :)

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