Articles by "Shannon, Author at Quirks & Recreation - Page 4 of 29"
9 Jan
2017
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Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games

There isn’t a whole lot I enjoy about winter, but a family game night at home because the weather is too frightful to be outside in is one of the positives of cold-weather living. We’re experiencing a winter with intense winds which makes the safety and warmth of home a giant blessing. Our wind is soul-sucking at times. More than once in the last month I’ve asked myself (and my husband) why we continue to live here. Thankfully our summer and fall are wonderful enough to keep me living in Arctic-like conditions, for now.

We own a lot of board, dice and card games. Each Christmas we add more to the collection. Our kids now range in age from 7-14, so it’s tricky at times to find games we can all play that hold everyone’s interest. I like card games more than board games. My perfectionist tendencies have
me constantly straightening the pieces on a game board. It’s also difficult to find a board game that six people can play simultaneously. My Amazon.com shopping cart has several card games waiting for a reason to be purchased. My top gifts for birthday parties are books and games. It’s fun to share an activity you find entertaining with your friends.

The following are our current favorite card games, as well as a bonus game that, next to UNO, is our favorite go-to game:

Nacho Loco Nacho Loco — This game is played with triangular-shaped cards, like tortilla chips, and can have two to six players. Players attempt to be the first to get rid of their cards while stopping their opponents from unloading their cards. The rules say it’s suitable for ages 8+, but our seven-year-old has played with all of us for a couple years now. Younger kids can play with a little assistance, but aren’t as good at outwitting a teenager or adult.
SET SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception — One or more players can play this game, and children as young as six can participate, but may just be a little slower at seeing the sets. Players identify sets of three shape/color/pattern cards out of 12 cards placed in the center of the playing surface. The sets have to be either all the same or all different on all three cards. The player with the most set of three wins. Admittedly, the first time we played this game it was slow and frustrating. It took us a few games to get the hang of spotting the sets in accordance to the rules. I’m still slow on the up-take each time we play. It takes me a bit to get in a groove with this game. Once we start playing it’s difficult to stop. There’s a lot of begging for one more game when this is the center of family game night.
Five Crowns Five Crowns: The Five-suited Rummy-style Card Game — This card game can be played by up to seven players and suggests ages 8+. Once again, our youngest plays this game with us. She requires a more partner-type relationship with one of the the parents playing, but it works fine to help her along. Five Crowns is from the same company that created SET. The game consists of 11 rounds starting with three cards and adding one card each hand with changing wild cards. Players make combinations out of the cards until one player can make enough combinations to only have one or no cards remaining in his hand. Points are given on the remaining cards in each player’s hand at the end of each round. The player with the lowest number of points after 11 rounds is the winner. Much like SET, it took us a few rounds to understand what we were doing and come up with strategy. It’s another game that’s hard to put away once we start.
Spot it! Spot it! — We were slow to join the bandwagon for this game. It’s great for younger kids as well as teens and adults to play. It’s another visual perception game. Players attempt to match an image on their card with one in the middle. There are several ways to play the game which gives you options to keep from being bored. Our youngest adores this game. It’s not complicated. Our older boys were skeptical of playing it because it looked too easy. Honestly, it does look easy to spectators — “Why can’t you see that both cards have a cactus on them?” It’s not until you play the game do you realize the pressure of spotting objects quickly makes it more difficult than on first glance I like that the round cards are in a metal container with a snug-fitting lid. The game is easy to carry in a purse or leave in the car. There are several editions of Spot It! I plan on purchasing an edition different than what we have at home for our vehicle.
Pass the Pigs Pass the Pigs — This is my bonus game. You’re welcome. It’s not a card game. It’s a pig-shaped dice game, sort of. Players toss two rubber pigs and earn points based on how the pigs land. It takes a little bit to learn the terminology, but phrases like double trotter, snouter, and razorback will become second nature after a few games. This is the game we are most likely to bring to a party. We’ve played as many as 10 players at once. There is also a version, Pass the Big Pigs, with bigger pigs that will be moving from my Amazon wish list to my final cart here soon.

What are your favorite family-friendly card games? I’m always looking for more games to add to our collection.

 


 
Favorite Books of 2016
By     |    Dec 30, 2016
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Favorite Books of 2016

I’m a bibliophile. I have a rotating stack of books on my bedside table, a never-ending list of books on hold at the public library and keep track of the books I read each year. This year I read 60 books, not including the countless books read to and with children. What follows are my favorite books from 2016: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman This is not only a favorite book from this year but one I’ll be... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Great Lakes Love
By     |    Dec 29, 2016
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Take a Trip: Great Lakes Love

For someone who has spent almost 40 years living near mountains, I sure do love the beach. I love the sound of the waves crashing. I love the feel of sand in my toes. I love the pure joy my kids have in the water. However, I don’t love what the salt does to skin or hair. I don’t love the smell of the saltwater-soaked towels or swimsuits. This summer I learned the perfect substitute for the ocean is the... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Discovering History
By     |    Dec 28, 2016
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Take a Trip: Discovering History

We’re only a few weeks into winter in Wyoming, and I’m over it. The mounds of snow followed by hurricane-strength winds, seriously 70+ miles per hour, wears me down and makes me irritable. I’m finishing 2016 with a few posts looking back on our summer adventures while I begin planning our 2017 vacations. For me, gifting our children with experiences is the most ideal way to teach them. We travel a lot by car because it allows us to see... [Read More]

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Finding Solid Footing this Christmas Season
By     |    Dec 16, 2016
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Finding Solid Footing this Christmas Season

I was sprawled at the bottom of the stairs to our basement two weeks ago, my foot on fire with pain, thinking that I did not just do that. I had slipped and fell down the last four stairs. It was late at night, and thankfully, my husband was home and awake. He helped me upstairs where I passed out for a few minutes and suffered a mild case of shock with uncontrollable shivering. I have given birth to four... [Read More]

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Gifting Experiences Over Things
By     |    Dec 12, 2016
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Gifting Experiences Over Things

I watched our seven-year-old come on stage to walk-through her part in The Great Russian Nutcracker with big eyes and slightly hesitant steps. The stage was bigger than she’s used to dancing on with movable backdrops and multiple props lining the stage’s wings. Professional dancers from the Moscow Ballet company waited in the wings or on the stage. They were speaking Russian and looked aloof and marginally bored. As I watched our daughter and her fellow snowflakes, I was impressed... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
By     |    Nov 10, 2016
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Take a Trip: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

All outdoor enthusiasts or lovers of beautiful landscapes should place Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan on a must-see list of places to visit. The foliage-covered sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks rise above the aquamarine water of Lake Superior lending itself to picturesque views around every bend. I couldn’t get enough of the landscape. While the view was truly mesmerizing, our nemesis on the trip, stable flies, were in full-force. Stable flies are quite possibly the worst insect we’ve encountered... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Apostle Islands and Keweenaw Peninsula
By     |    Nov 9, 2016
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Take a Trip: Apostle Islands and Keweenaw Peninsula

There have been several places we’ve visited that we hope to visit again when children are older and physically capable of doing more. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin is one of those places. I hope to go back and try kayaking Lake Superior. During our July vacation stop at Apostle Islands we enjoyed hiking a mainland trail to view “sea” caves. We hiked most of the Lakeshore Trail which begins at Meyers Beach. We only saw a handful of... [Read More]

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Take a Trip: Mississippi Headwaters, Voyageurs National Park
By     |    Nov 8, 2016
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Take a Trip: Mississippi Headwaters, Voyageurs National Park

We’re in the middle of a crazy warm November in Wyoming. The temperature has been hovering in the mid-60s with sunny skies for weeks now. I’m not going to complain about beautiful, fall weather, but it makes me itch to travel. By this time most years, we’re settled into shorter days and cold, blustery weather. Dry, snow-free ground makes me want to plan a trip and hit the highways again. School schedules and extracurricular activities have us staying at home.... [Read More]

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Coaching and Expectations
By     |    Oct 19, 2016
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Coaching and Expectations

Three years ago when our oldest son started youth tackle football, people told me to be prepared. Tackle football was not for the faint of heart. There was the physical nature of football, but there was also the nature of football coaches for these 5th and 6th grade-age boys. By the third football game of our son’s first season, it was apparent that football coaches were different than any coaches our athletic children had ever been acquainted. Our oldest son’s... [Read More]

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Keeping Children Out of Politics
By     |    Oct 5, 2016
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Keeping Children Out of Politics

I’m not overtly political in nature. I have my opinions, but I don’t enjoy debating politics. The last few weeks I’ve had conversations with my elementary-age children regarding issues they’re hearing at school from children that have me questioning what, exactly, adults are thinking. It started with comments about Benghazi and deleted emails. Then there were walls and taco trucks. My daughter has been told by a fellow 1st grader that she’s “what’s wrong with the country” because of who... [Read More]

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Act with Abandon
By     |    Sep 26, 2016
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Act with Abandon

If I was an animal, I would dig a hole and hide in it when things were too much. The person that I am copes by huddling my family closer in this home we’ve made together. I want to close the curtains, disconnect the WiFi and pretend it’s just us. Really I’m not coping, just hiding. Eventually I have to come out and actually deal with the world. Life has been heavy the last few weeks. We have too many... [Read More]

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