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The Organized Parent: Family Scheduling for Peace of Mind

It’s coming- September is around the corner and soon it will be time for back to school. For kids and parents, there’s a lot of great things to anticipate about the regular scheduling and structure of the school year, but between work, school, after school activities, weekend plans, field trips and special projects, it’s tough to keep track of everything. The solution? A family planner that works for you. We have so many different types of calendars and planners that are designed specifically to help busy families stay on top of everything, so that you never have to wonder what’s coming next, and neither does your family.

Below are our top 5 picks for effective planners; click here to see more on our website, or here to find your nearest retail location.

For the family where everyone is doing something different:

Busy Family 2018 Wall Organizer Calendar is perfect for families that have a lot of scheduled extracurricular activities and appointments, and runs from September 2017-December 2018. This calendar comes with over 300 stickers as well as a storage pocket in front, and each daily square has large colourful stripes so that multiple family members can have their own ‘colour’ and it’s easy to see who is doing what every day of the week. Check it out here.

 

For the planner-lover:

Sometimes you can’t beat the portability and practicality of a perfect planner. This gorgeous Secret Garden Do it All Engagement Calendar is ideal for tossing in your bag to make plans and check in on as you go. One of our best-selling formats, the Do It All™ Planner is small enough to be portable yet provides plenty of room to plan your busy schedule and stay organized—for a full 17 months! Each title includes colorful designs and an inspirational weekly quotation. You can see more planners from this series here.

For your teenager (or twenty-ager) who has a million activities, essays to write, and friends to see:

This Student Organizer is 16 months of pure organization for your busy student. The larger size means that it’s big enough for their busy and exciting lives and it helps organize and motivate them. Despite technology, using pen and paper  is still a great visual reminder of what is coming up, and they won’t need to look at their phone to use it. There’s lots of room to track school schedules, sports events, extra curricular activities and their social life. The Student Organizer has 260 cool stickers to help remember important events, a large back pocket for tickets and invites. Find it here.

For families with lots of paperwork:

Perfect for the office as well! The WSBL Office 2018 File-It is a calendar and filing system all in one. Record your engagements on the spacious calendar grid and store your documents, receipts, and anything else you need to track in the built-in file folder for each month. A Notes section on the back of the folder lets you keep track of the contents. You can find more styles here.

If you like the idea of a calendar with pockets but don’t need each month to be as big as a file, then the Note Nook series will be perfect for you:

Each month has two pockets at the front which gives you a full twenty-four pocket calendar perfectly designed to help you stay organized all through the year. The Garden Birds 2018 Note Nook contains 12 months of calendar grids, decorated with detailed artwork by Susan Bourdet of backyard birds perched on flowers and trees, each with two pockets to store coupons, bills, receipts and more. You can find more styles in the Note Nook series here.

Feel inspired to get organized this fall? Why not share it?

 

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6 Benefits of Playing Board Games with Your Kids

Playing games as a family has a huge impact on your children’s development. Kids as young as four or five can begin practicing important life skills in a way that makes it as fun as it is educational. Games motivate kids to learn, making it easier to keep them engaged so it is a win for the whole family.

Featured today are six major benefits of playing board games with your kids, along with our favourite board games to keep handy for rainy days and family game night!

Social Skills: Teamwork, learning to be a good sport, and practicing patience when waiting for your turn are all key social skills that kids get a chance to develop in their home environment. Family Charades is a great way to learn all of these lessons – the more they practice, the easier it gets! 

Family Charades, for ages 5+

Family Charades Compendium

Math Skills: Lots of board games involve counting squares or spaces to move their piece around the board, which is a great way to develop number recognition by adding up dice or tallying up points at the end of a round or game. Chutes and Ladders is a beloved favourite to make counting fun while also encouraging your little ones’ imagination.

Chutes and Ladders, for ages 4+Chutes and Ladders Board Game

Increased Attention Span: Longer board games require strategy and time to play, which can help kids focus their attention for longer amounts of time. Consider having a screen-free policy during game night to increase focus and reduce the odds of any distractions, too. For kids who have outgrown Chutes and Ladders, Sorry! is a classic choice with lots of twists and turns to keep things interesting.

Sorry! for ages 6+Sorry!

Communication Skills: Different types of games help increase communication skills such as reading, writing, drawing, or role-playing in a variety of ways. Practicing these abilities can translate into confidence and stronger social skills. Blurt! Is a fun way to expand kids’ vocabularies as players race to the finish line.

Blurt, great for ages 7+

Blurt

Cognitive Development: Problem solving, decision making, and critical thinking are all key aspects of strategy and planning. It’s never too early to help kids practice these skills and increase their ability to predict and plan. Guess Who? will have your little ones asking questions and narrowing down characters to determine the mystery person and win the game.

Guess Who, ages 6+

Guess Who? Board Game

Family Bonding: Family game night can be a weekly tradition that leaves everyone with long lasting, happy memories of playing together. As the kids grow, you can switch out the games, and let each family member take turns choosing what everyone plays. Stocking your home with games that everyone enjoys makes family game night that much more fun and enjoyable, and ensures that everyone (even the grown ups!) look forward to it. Big Boggle lets you play longer words for a high-scoring version of this family favourite.

Big Boggle, for ages 8+

Big Boggle

Happy game night! If you like this post, why not Pin it?

 

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Top 5 Party Games for Weekend Get-Togethers

Having people over doesn’t just have to be another ho-hum night of chatting about current events or watching a movie. Party games make a night in with friends instantly more fun and memorable, and they often help you get to know those you are playing with, no matter how long you have been friends! Summer weekends are a great time to gather friends together and let loose. Here are our top picks for hilarious games that are perfect for grown-up gatherings!

Apples to Apples Party Refresh Board Game

Apples to Apples Party Box

Players: 4+
Ages: 13+

This infamous wild card and party game provides instant fun for 4 to 10 players. It’s as easy as comparing apples to apples. Just open the box, deal the cards, and you’re ready to play. There are two types of cards: Things and Descriptions. Each player takes turns being the judge and pulling the next Description card. The other players try to pick, from the cards in their hands, the Things they feel best match that Description—in the eyes of the judge. Each round is filled with surprising and outrageous comparisons from a wide range of people, places, things, and events. Fast moving and stimulating, it’s perfect for any get-together with family and friends.

Personally Incorrect

Personally Incorrect

Players: 4+
Ages: 19+

Unlike other lame comparison games that try to be cleverly ‘edgy’, Personally Incorrect was designed specifically so that every round will offend people!

Playing is easy: one player reads a Personally Incorrect Question Card, then everyone submits their most appropriately inappropriate Personally Incorrect Answer Card. Once all answers are handed in, players rapidly vote for the one they feel is most inappropriate. Rather than having the question reader vote with the other players, they serve as a tie breaker.

Our top selling party game, Personally Incorrect attacks the people you are playing with – and no one is safe! For the particularly daring players, expansion packs are available here and here.

Loaded Questions Party Board Game

Loaded Questions Party

Players: 4+
Ages: 13+

Race around the board guessing which player wrote which answer while writing your own creative responses to 225+ hilarious and highly loaded questions. With simple rules, no right or wrong answers, and exciting twists to the original game play, Loaded Questions Party is your answer to an epic and memorable game night. Loaded Questions Adult is also available for those who dare.

Wits and Wagers Party Board Game

Wits and Wagers Party Edition

Players: 4+ (as many as you want!)
Ages: 8+

Wits and Wagers Party Edition is a simplified version of history’s most award-winning party game. With tons of new questions, Wits and Wagers Party Edition will get any large group cheering and laughing in no time. Read a fun question then everyone writes down a guess. Place your bets on which guess is closest. Feeling confident? Bet on yourself. Think others know better? Bet on them. No idea? Bet on any guess and hope to get lucky.

This is the best edition to play when several generations of the family get together for an evening of fun and laughter.

Scattergories Board Game

Scattergories

Players: 2+ (or you can play in teams!)
Age: 13+

Think fast! Team up in this fun, fast-paced game and rack your brain for items that fit the category. Can you think of articles of clothing, things you fold, or things at the beach that start with S? You score points when you come up with things that no one else does….but you’ve only got seconds to come up with them! The more creative your answers, the more points you score. Scattergories Categories and Scattergories the Card Game are also available.

If you are looking for lots of ideas for fun party games for adults, we have a whole Pinterest board full of great game ideas – check it out here!

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Party Board Games

 

 

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Family Road Trip? The BEST Travel Games for Kids

Family Road Trip? The Best Travel Games for Kids

Summers are the perfect time for family getaways and road trips can be a wonderful, economical way to see new sights or travel to family hangouts. But long road trips with young kids can be really challenging, and it’s not ideal for kids to spend several hours on a tablet or watching videos in the car, even if it can save your sanity. The solution? A bit of preparation and some on-point games that kids can play quietly, again and again!

My First Fun Felt Shapes Toys

My First Fun Felt Shapes is great for little kids (ages 3 – 5). Perfect for preschoolers, this open-ended activity will reinforce colour and shape recognition, fine motor skills, patterning and creative thinking. No mess and great for travel, this felt board even includes a neat and tidy storage bag.

Travel Magna Doodle Travel Toys

Travel Magna Doodle can work for a wide age range (ages 3+), as the only limit is their creativity! A travel size version of the popular Deluxe Magna Doodle toy, Magna Doodle Mini lets you draw using a mini magnetic screen and pen, then erase and create something new. The mini screen takes up less space but still lets you stay creative. It’s the fun way to draw and draw again!

Dinosaur Scratch A Doodle Travel Toy

The Dinosaur Scratch-A-Doodle is a great road trip activity for your budding artist or dinosaur enthusiast (ages 5+). This kit includes 5 Scratch A Doodle Art Board Stencil Sheets and a Wooden Stylus. Use the stencil and wooden stylus to reveal fun rainbow colours under the surface of the art boards as you draw and create cool dinos. Travel with your colourful art project on a long road trip to visit a friend or anywhere else you go. The tin carrying case keeps everything together.  Princess Fairies version also available!

Fairy Fun Magnetic Puzzle Travel Toy

Puzzles aren’t usually road trip friendly, but this magnetic fairy puzzle is an exception! Both the board and the pieces are magnetic to keep everything together through every bump and pothole along the way. The colourful illustrated fairy play scene encourages imagination with special flying fairies and details on their imaginative forest scene. Also included is an information sheet with fun facts about the fairies for easy storytelling, and the puzzle stores easily in its convenient carrying box with a handle. Ideal for ages 3 and up. Magnetic on the Farm Puzzle also available!

Dinosaurs Magnanimals

Kids can create their own dino stories with this creative magnet set that allows them to position dinosaurs in a variety of different settings for creative play. This exciting magnetic set comes jam-packed with 20 wooden magnets in a wooden carrying case.  Ideal for ages 3 and up.

Disney Frozen 2 in 1 Activity Assortment

For those that love to colour, this invisible ink and magic pen Frozen set is perfect for mess-free colouring and activities in the car. The special pen does it all- A rainbow of colours appear like magic! Reveal the invisibly printed pictures and answers. You can also find similar Magic Pen activity sets in Sea Creature, Dinosaur and Fairy Tale versions.

Looking for lots more ideas for road trips with kids, including great ideas for car snacks, family games, and clever tips? We have a Pinterest board full of them- come check it out!

Speaking of Pinterest, You should definitely pin this post to find it again later!

Family Road Trip? The Best Travel Games for Kids

 

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