Author: Gina Campanelli
Gina is a sophomore at Dartmouth College, majoring in Art History and minoring in Anthropology. She has plans to go to medical school after graduation. Gina is currently a marketing intern for Blue Orange.

Congratulations to The Apple Tree on their Amazing Holiday Display!

Congratulations to The Apple Tree on their Amazing Holiday Display!

This holiday season, our lucky store of the month is the winner of our holiday display window facebook contest—The Apple Tree! Blue Orange held a wonderful facebook contest where people could vote on their favorite window display from some of our incredible retailers. We had a host of fantastic and festive entries, but the people’s choice was this adorable snowman display from The Apple Tree in Tulsa, OK.

Apple Tree Display

The Apple Tree was opened in June of 1980 by two local teachers who owned and operated it for 26 years. Sandy, the current owner, worked for them for 15 years before her family purchased the store when the teachers retired. Sandy has worked at The Apple Tree for 25 years and currently manages it with her sister Erika. She really loves her job!

The inspiration for their amazing display was, funnily enough, from facebook! Her creative employee Rhonda assembled the snowmen. It took a lot of hard work but it definitely paid off! They made their own accessories like the hats, scarves, and earmuffs. Then they added the most important component—the games! Sandy says it really helped draw people into the store!

Every winter, The Apple Tree runs an amazing program called “Care and Share”. Between the Monday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, they donate 10% of all sales back to local schools in the area. Customers even get to pick which school they want to donate to! In the New Year, the schools get gift certificates that allow them to purchase games and toys at The Apple Tree. What a wonderful way to give back!

Sandy and the rest of the staff at The Apple Tree really love games! Sandy says her favorite part of the holidays is helping customers find the perfect gift for their loved ones! Thank you to The Apple Tree for their creative display! If you live near The Apple Tree, look out for their Blue Orange Store Party!

 

Should You Let Your Child Win?

Should You Let Your Child Win?

As the holiday season draws near, families often gravitate towards gameplay, favoring warm living rooms and the company of loved ones to the bitter chill of the winter months. Not wanting to be left out, little ones are often eager to join into the competitive melee. Yet, one questions always looms: should you let them win?

It seems unduly harsh to beat a small child at a game, yet the consensus is clear; experts say that you should not throw a game and let a child win if they are over four. When children hit four or five, they begin to hone a competitive edge and rely on adults and peers more heavily as role models for social behavior. When you beat a child at a game, you are not only teaching them how to lose, but also showing them how to win gracefully. We all know a child who celebrates over zealously at a win and rubs it in others faces. When that child begins to play with peers more often, this behavior quickly becomes unacceptable and often ostracizes the child from the group. When you beat a child at a game and end it with a sportsmanlike handshake, children then learn that this is the proper way to conduct themselves in the face of victory—with tact, poise, and respect for their opponents.

Children also need to learn how to lose gracefully. As a former summer camp counselor, I saw countless children who I would classify as “sore losers”. When they lost at a game of kickball or dodgeball, their first response was to throw the ball as far and as hard as they could, preventing other children from playing. This is the attitude displayed by a child who is always used to winning. When you beat a child at a game, it’s essential to nip this type of behavior in the bud. Asking questions like “why does losing make you so frustrated” and “why are you so upset” can start an open dialog about how to lose gracefully and what losing in daily life means.

While it is important for children to experience losing games, this does not mean parents and family members should use their entire adult strategic prowess to absolutely obliterate children during game play. Introducing handicap rules can help even the playing field and create competitive fun for all. For example, an extra rule in “Puzzle Battle” is that adults are only allowed to play with one hand.  Another option is to introduce luck based games. Games like “King’s Gold”, which is a push-your-luck dice game, or “Sushi Draft”, where players don’t know the value of tokens they win until after the game, are great because they give+ children a chance to win easily without adults having to force a win on the child’s behalf. Remember that gameplay isn’t just about winning, it’s about learning how to both win and lose in a constructive and healthy way.

Happy holidays from Blue Orange Games

Staff Holiday Gift Favorites

Staff Holiday Gift Favorites

Blue Orange Staff’s Holiday Gift List

Working at Blue Orange Games is amazing because we are always surrounded by fantastic gifts! See what our personal favorites are and who we’re giving games to this holiday season!

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“I will be giving Ring It! to my nephew because it is the perfect game for the whole family to enjoy!”

Martin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

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“I will offer King’s gold to my young cousins. They are little pirates and the game will introduce them to strategy while having fun.”
Max, Sales Intern

 

 

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“I choose Ring It! I will give it to my grandfather, because he is ultra-competitive and once I will have taught him my secret skills, he will beat all his friends at the bar.”

Hoël, Sales Intern

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“I will offer Thumbs Up! to my nieces: it’s a great party game mixing both dexterity and speed. Kids have the most fun playing Thumbs up!”
Alex, Sales Intern

 

 

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“I’m giving Spot It! Giants to my friend because he is a huge Giants fan and the tin is a beautiful and portable collector’s item, as well as containing a super fun game!”

Gina, Marketing Intern

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“I’m giving Prohis to my sister because she loves bluffing and she will be really good at this game!”

Xavier, West Coast Sales Manager

 

 

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“I’m giving Wink to my brother because he can’t wink so I know I will win!”

Bart, Sales Intern

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“I’m giving Sushi Draft to my friend because she loves sushi and this is a fun and portable game!”
Keyva, Accounting Assistant

 

 

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“I’m giving Gobblet Gobblers to my 4 year old nephew because everyone can play it with him and it will teach him strategy”

Yann, Regional Sales Manager

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“I’m giving New York 1901 to my best friend because she loves New York City and I know her family loves to play gateway board games”

Corinne, Marketing Manager

 

 

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“I’m giving Pengoloo to my nephew because it is a high quality game that will help his color recognition and memory skills”

Renaud, East Coast Sales Manager 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you got some great ideas for fun games to give this holiday season!

 

Happy Holidays,

The Blue Orange Team

 

10 Fantastic Holiday Crafts Kids of All Ages Will Love

10 Fantastic Holiday Crafts Kids of All Ages Will Love

Schools out, the air is chilly, and the Holidays are here again! Make this time of year extra special with these 10 fun DIY crafts kids and their parents will enjoy! Here in San Francisco, snow is a scarcity, so many of these crafts involve turning your home into an artificial winter wonderland. All of these amazing crafts foster sensory development and encourage creativity—something your child won’t even notice amidst all the fun they’ll be having.

1. Snow Dough

This incredible recipe creates “snow” that crunches in your hands—just like the real deal! Recipe here.

imagination tree

 

2. Christmas Crackers

Fill these with candy, small toys, and other goodies for a fun and interactive stocking stuffer. Instructions here.

crackers

 

3. Crayon Drip Holiday Ornaments

These adorable ornaments are so easy to make but look like professional abstract pieces of art! Find out how here.

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4. Yarn Wrapped Winter Wreath

This festive wreath is fun and easy to make! Instructions here.

wreath

5. Felt Houses

Turn your home into a Christmas village with this display of tiny homes. Put LED lights in them for a cute and festive night light! Instructions here.

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6. Tissue Paper Tree

Douglas Firs are nice, but this tissue paper tree is just as impressive and takes up virtually none of the space! Have fun making it using the instructions here.

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7. Tabletop Holiday Village

This printable village will make any tiny space festive! Print it out here.

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8. Mason Jar Winter Scene

Make your own tiny winter wonderland with just a few materials and a mason jar. Add lights for an adorable holiday effect. Get the instructions here.

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9. Winter Rhyming Activity

Just because school’s out doesn’t mean the learning fun has to stop! This fun rhyming activity can be customized for a range of activities, from vocab to addition and multiplication! Instructions here.

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10. Winter Photo Backdrop

Just because you don’t live in a snowy city doesn’t mean you have to forsake gorgeous winter photos! This snowy backdrop is perfect for winter family photos. Get the instructions here.

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We hope you have fun making these fun and easy crafts! Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

 

Your friends,

The Blue Orange Team

 

****This lovely blog post was put together by our intern, Gina Campanelli!

gina