11/22/17

Best Toys to Buy on Black Friday 2017

I took a trip around the country this morning on another satellite media tour for local news stations, sharing some of the best toys and games to buy this Black Friday. Not all of these are on sale for Black Friday, but are definitely some of the best sellers of the season that you'll want to grab fast before they're gone.



Project Mc2 Smart Pixel Purse

Ages 6+, $59.99

The Netflix series Project Mc2 has become a big favorite for young girls interested in STEAM. This Smart Pixel Purse is featured on the show and can even be customized using a free app. Think Lite Brite for today's generation.



Smooshins Surprise Maker Kit

Ages 6+, $39.99

The Smooshins Surprise Maker Kit is a unique craft kit that gives kids the opportunity to use their creativity to make adorable characters. The kit is simple to use, and totally grabs onto the suspense kids love in the "unboxing" trend.

Playfusion Lightseekers

Ages 8+, $19.99–$69.99

Lightseekers is an epic mobile and tablet role playing game that connects with smart action figures, trading cards, and accessories. The figures are fun with or without the game, and can be mixed-and-matched to customize gameplay.



Colorific Build-A-Bot

Ages 5+, $29.99

With three special characters (a fox, a bunny, and a dino), each pack comes with over 20 pieces to create a functional robot. Using a simple click'n'create system, kids get to build their own new best friend. Once built, they interact and move with their own accessories.



Tonka Tinys Rescue Response Station Playset

Ages 3+, $24.99 (Tonka Tinys are $3.99)

Tonka Tinys are micro-sized vehicles built Tonka tough, with the same great styling as the classic Tonka vehicles. This playset brings three levels of action and stores eight Tinys vehicles (includes three). All Tonka Tinys playsets can be connected to build a whole Tonka world.



Collector's Edition Star Wars Battle Drones

Ages 14+, $149.99

The Collector's Edition of these Star Wars Battle Drones come in a wax sealed box that lights up and plays clips from the original soundtrack. They also feature a special training mode for new pilots, and new technology that creates cool laser battles.



11/20/17

Using the Power of Play on Thanksgiving

My number one goal at family gatherings, especially around the holidays, is to get all ages to ditch their devices and PLAY together. Whether you're cooking, reminiscing, or playing a new game together, the together part is the most important, and I wanted to share a few ideas and toys that can help you get started.

Here are a few pops of playfulness to place around your house this Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving to give people that kickstart they need to ignite the spirit of play.


Turkey on the Table

This little gobbler is not only a super cute addition to your Thanksgiving table, he helps teach the younger members of your family about being thankful for what they have, especially as all the new toys and games are popping up around this time of the year. This is a great centerpiece and conversation starter that's reusable year after year.


Utter Nonsense: Family Edition

The more something doesn't make sense in this game, the better. I love how Utter Nonsense can let you see a silly side of a family member that may have been hiding before, and really get the belly laughs going.


Chronology

My family absolutely loves this game, and it really never gets old. It's great to play with all ages, and spins a little history into family time as well.


Colorforms

This is a great game to place on your kitchen island or kids table while everyone is cooking. Grown ups will have fond memories, and kids will love it for the first time. This is a family favorite of ours.



Arts and Crafts

A little DIY is a great way to get kids involved in Thanksgiving traditions and contributing to the holiday table, without having a bunch of extra hands in the kitchen. I love the adorable Fall Foxes Placecard Kit and DIY Turkey Centerpiece as two ideas for family projects from PaperSource.


Also check out these FREE Thanskgiving game printables from last week.

Cheers to a Thanksgiving filled with playful family memories and new traditions!


11/16/17

Thanksgiving Printable Games

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Want that perfect dream of everyone spending time together, and not just while stuffing your faces with stuffing?

One of my favorite things to do during family gatherings is to play simple games that work for all ages. In the past, I've shared a few free printable games, like Bingo! and Thanksgiving Charades, that were a big hit. This year, I wanted to switch things up a bit.

Which brings us to Thanksgiving Scattergories!

Thanksgiving Scattergories




Did you know there is an 'r' in the middle of Scattergories? I've totally been saying "Scatt-a-gories" my whole life but feel like I've finally discovered the truth.

There are TWO parts to this printable, but I promise I did that for a good reason. Part 1 is your topic cards. You'll want to print these on card stock, and cut them along the lines, so you have cards similar to those found in the traditional Scattergories box.



Part 2 is your player sheets. You'll want to print these double sided, then cut them in half. This way each player has a small sheet that they'll keep for six rounds. (You'll need as many of these as there are players, but only one of Part 1. I divided these for your printing sanity.)



You'll also need a timer and an alphabet die. I grabbed mine from our normal Scattergories box. If you don't have an alphabet die, you could write all the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper, cut them up, and have someone choose randomly from a basket. Or, use the letters of your family's last name.

Thanksgiving Scattergories Free Printable

Part 1 | Part 2




Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo


I've also updated my Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo cards to fit what we'll see in the parade this year. If we're going to be around the TV, we might as well make it a game for our families as well.

There are so many types of clowns in the parade this year! And some awesome new floats and balloons I can't wait to see. There are seven different cards in this PDF so everyone isn't shouting BINGO! at the same time, and there's a chance for everyone to point out all the new stuff in the parade line-up.



I love the tradition of watching the parade together, and how this simple game we all know can make it an activity for all generations.

Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo Free Printable

Click here to download


If you print and use these games, post a photo and make sure to tag me on Instagram @meredithplays!
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