Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pick & Draw Review and Giveaway!

We frequently play games as a family after dinner. The usual games are fun for the kids. We love seeing the kids excited to play games together, but the games themselves are usually pretty lame for us. Not anymore!!
Pick & Draw is an incredibly simple and fun game! All you need to play are the playing cards, pencil and paper. We usually add crayons and clipboards (since we play our games on the living room floor).
The high quality cards come with very clear, easy to follow  instruction cards, and 5 different sets of features (face, eyes, nose, mouth, and hair)
To play you select one card for each feature. It’s fun to see how players can use the same shapes to create very different pictures by simply changing the features size, location, angle, etc.
Beyond being a fun way to spend some family time together. This game is a great way to get creative juices flowing, practice fine motor control, and build self-esteem. Ryan has been so impressed with some of his own drawings! Even two year old Ella gets super excited to play. She likes when we draw the face shape for her and then she adds in features, and lots of extras :) It was during a game of Pick & Draw that Ella first drew eyes as two circles with circles inside!
As you can see in the pictures, we like to name our characters, create silly families, and tell stories about our drawings!
To give the game a try, check out:
At $10, this is cheap family entertainment! If you would like to win your own copy of Pick & Draw  become a follower of my blog or comment if you already are  (1 entry) (use the follow button on the right hand side of the page :)
* ‘Like’ Giving Up On A Clean House on Face Book  (1 entry)
* Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link (3 entries)
Giveaway ends March 6, 2011 at 11:59PST.  Be sure to leave a valid email address otherwise I won't be able to contact you if you win.  Winner will be chosen via  If the winner does not contact me within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.  Good Luck!
**I received a free copy of Pick & Draw, as well as a copy to giveaway, in exchange for this honest review ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Learning Your Name with Valentines Games

Life has been crazier than usual around here! We thought we were moving, but now we are staying put for the time being. We are about to leave on a mini-vacation, but I wanted to share some Valentine activities with you before it's too late!

I'm starting to work with Ella on identifying the letters in her name. We have been spelling it a lot, pointing out the letters when we see them elsewhere, and trying to incorporate her name into art projects.

When I hosted preschool co-op a couple of weeks ago I made these felt hearts to play with. I used puff paint to write a letter on each heart (super easy and super cute!) Remember, that our felt board is just our $14 Ikea easel with felt stapled over the chalkboard side (because I hate chalk and needed a felt board). During circle time I had the kids guess which name was which. Another time I gave them the letters of their name and worked with them to re-assemble it. There is so much you could do with these cute hearts, and it was great for the kids to be able to hold and manipulate the pieces of their names.

Using a new heart press, I created this simple file folder game for Ella. Her job is to match the correct letter to the letters on the game board. Of course, it's most beneficial when I play it with her and say each letter. This would be fun to turn into some sort of fishing game, or even just put the heart pieces in a bowl and have her draw out one at a time.

Another simple game that we will be playing in our yurt in the snow this week involves making hearts with the kids names on them. Today I'm going to show Ryan the magical trick of making his own hearts by folding the paper and cutting on the fold. For Musical Hearts spread the hearts on the floor and turn on some good music. When the music stops the kids have to hustle to stand on a heart with their name on it. They can collect them as we go.  For Valentines Beanbag Toss spread the hearts with names on the ground. Toss a beanbag and try to have it land on your name. Collect each heart you land on with your name. You could also do letters of their name. Older kids would have to collect them in the correct order, and younger kids would identify the letters they land on and lay them out to spell their name.

Happy Valentines Day!!