More Fun Mondays: DIY Wrapping Paper

This week for More Fun Mondays, I have an idea. Instead of trying to hide those presents you bought for family and friends on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, why not wrap them sooner with some DIY festive paper? They'll look rad under your tree and everyone can admire your wrapping style (and maybe rapping style, depending on the holiday music you prefer). 

I know, ugh, this sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be. Here are a few ideas for making your own wrapping paper (and one cheat): 

1. Washi tape it.

Last year I bought a couple rolls of butcher paper and a handful of rolls of washi tape. Instead of putting names on each package, each member of the family had a designated colored tape on their wrap. It was really simple to do and not messy at all. I love this holiday pack from Michaels that will last you year round.

2. Get the kids to do it.

Here's a fun trick (let me know how it works out!): Set up a craft table with large rolls of paper and lots of art supplies. Paint, stamps, markers, whatever you have laying around that your kids LOVE. Have them decorate the paper, and then use their creations to wrap their presents. They'll know exactly what is theirs under the tree on Christmas morning. 

3. Sticker it. 

This solution seems so simple and obvious, and yet I feel like our minds go straight to potato stamps. Buy some plain colored wrap or kraft paper, and a bunch of stickers. Get something seasonal, grab a sheet featuring your family or friend's favorite animal, or go super simple like the bright pink dots PopSugar used in this example. 

4. Buy it. 

Rather buy than create? Skip the chain store and hop on Etsy.com instead. There are a bunch of stores selling holiday wrap. A few of my faves include Coal from Norman's Printery and these Pink Nebula sheets from Chroma Space.


Mario Party Star Rush...one sure fire way to turn up your family PLAY-time!

If you’ve read my book, or caught one of my play-fueled TV segments, then you probably already know that one of my favorite quotes is “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play, than in a year of conversation.” 

I have witnessed this over and over again from the time I was a teacher in the primary classroom, to the last 19 years of mothering my two boys. Play brings families together in the most joyful, unabashed, connective way ever. 

This holiday season I am thrilled to be working with Nintendo to spread the word about their new family friendly, super fun, all-inclusive new game for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, Mario Party Star Rush. My son Truman and I recently received the game and he has had a blast showing me the ropes…and paths and tricks and skills involved in playing a digital game full of characters we mutually love. I love Peach, he loves Luigi, it’s a match made in Mario heaven.

And this simple, yet engaging game let’s us play together, no waiting our turns, just full-on PLAY-time… even if we only have 15 minutes. 

I often wish I had more time in my own busy, kid-and-work-filled day to just let loose and play it up.  It’s how I bond best with the people I love most. And I know I’m not alone in this wish. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Nintendo, parents tell their children they are too busy to play with them eight times a week, with almost half of parents (48%) saying they spend more time commuting to work then playing with their kids. As parents, I think most of us wish we were able to play more and said “no” less. But who has the TIME?

For me, it’s all about taking advantage of those simple pops of connective playfulness as they appear throughout the day. One easy way to jump into some family fun is by taking part in the stuff our kids love to play most. 33% of parents say that video games are their kids’ #1 favorite activity. But it can often be difficult to find a game we feel happy about letting them play, and would ever want to play along with them, right?

Mario Party Star Rush can be played on any device in the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, so no matter what device your child has, they’re good to go. And one feature parents will particularly love is the ability to own one game, and have everyone with a device play simultaneously, by simply downloading the free Mario Party Star Rush – Party Guest Edition from the Nintendo eShop. Can you say “holiday travel”?  This is a game you’ll all enjoy, guilt free.

Today my extended family starts to trickle in for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and I’m fully looking forward to Truman teaching his Grams and Pap and college freshman brother the ins and outs of his new favorite game as well. Grandparents like to game too! They just need the right game and an enthusiastic teacher.

If you’re looking for a game the entire family will have a ball jumping into, Mario Party Star Rush is next level. Get it? And it’s available now for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems for under 40 bucks. Score!

Buy it for yourself, and ask your kids to play with YOU. Then watch your kiddo’s eyes light up. My favorite game is Toad Scramble, probably because I’m good at it, and it was a quick learn. Hey…baby steps. In our hectic, get-it-don’t days, let’s all try and say yes to the beautiful bonding power of playtime a little more. You’ll never regret it. 

Game on!

You can snag yourself the just launched Mario Party Star Rush game right HERE. Your kids will think you hung the moon. And Grandpa and Grandma might too.

Disclaimer:  I am working with Nintendo to spread the word about this new family-friendly game, but all opinions and observations are strictly my own.


More Fun Mondays: Reminder Printables for the week of Thanksgiving

I wanted to share a few words of encouragement this week as we head into Thanksgiving. Let's enjoy our time with family, eat delicious food, and be happy for what we have.

Both of these images can be downloaded at the bottom of the page as one PDF, and printed off to be stuck on your fridge or placed in a standard 5x7 frame. I hope they put an extra skip in your step and a smile on your face this week, no matter how much turkey drama you encounter.

1. There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as thought everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

2. Generosity is the best investment. Diane von Furstenberg



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