Author: Sara

Fun Native American Games and Facts

Fun Native American Games and Facts

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to honor Native American cultures and their history as they make up an important part of our nation’s heritage. Native American tribes left behind a rich tradition of games, which were played ceremonially, or to demonstrate fitness, to teach, and of course, for entertainment. Exploring Native American games with kids before the food coma sets shows them that despite the gap in time and culture, Native  American children liked to have fun just like kids today!

1. The Butterfly Game

The Butterfly Game is a hide and seek style game. Stealth and discipline are needed to play properly! The Anishinaabe believed it was good luck if you were quiet and still enough for a butterfly to land on you. To play, one child covers their eyes and chants, “Butterfly, butterfly, show me where to go.” During this time, the other kids playing quietly and quickly hide. The singer repeats this chant a few times and until “the air becomes still.” Then, they must find the other players without saying a word. It’s a game of observation and skill- fun for all to play! Also some momentary peace and quiet for the parents too! Double bonus!

 

2. Where’d it Come From?

Here’s another fun game you can play with kids to help them learn where the food they see on the Thanksgiving table comes from! Save the image above to your computer and print it out for the kids to play! Notice that Indians ate a lot like many of us try to eat: organic, local and gluten free! The answer key is posted at the bottom of this blog

foodgame

 

3. Dream Guessing and Wishing

This game is very important to the Iroquois people and to this day is often played at celebrations and festivals in the form of riddles. Someone would begin to tell their dream as a story and those listening would try to guess the meaning behind the dream. To play the game, start a discussion about dreams and how the subconscious is a beautiful portal to where our imaginations give us the power to be anything we want to be. Ask the children to think of a dream or a wish that they have had, then have them draw a picture of their dream. Once completed have the kids go around in a circle and share their dream or wish, or for a little more fun, have them pantomime their dream while the others try and guess what it means!

4. Plant seeds, Respect Earth

What better way to say thank you for the bountiful meals and the warm fire we continually sit comfortably by through praising the land which we live on. This is a year long call to action for families and children to give thanks everyday to the Earth, their ancestors and community. Whether it’s going out and visiting a farm, starting a garden in your backyard or just planting a seed in a cup of soil and watching it grow indoors. Here at Blue Orange Games, we hold this practice close to our hearts as we make all our products as eco-friendly as possible. Did you know that we even plant two trees for every tree used in our products? You can help by planting seeds this Holiday season!  Giving thanks to the land everyday is something Native Americans have always done even before the first Thanksgiving. What better legacy to leave for future generations than treating our local and global community with respect!

 

 

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Answer key for food search: All the foods origins come from Native Americans!

Batkid Saves San Francisco

Batkid Saves San Francisco

Make-a-Wish Foundation Transforms San Francisco into Gotham City. Hearts melt, lives saved!

Today San Francisco has been transformed into an elaborate Make-A-Wish Foundation Adventure for an awesome kid named Miles, who has been successfully battling Leukemia at just five years old.  His wish? To save Gotham City! Have no fear, Batkid is here! Below are some truly heart warming and exciting photos from Batkid’s adventures though our city. You’re a hero to all of us, Miles!

 

Make a Wish Foundation Batkid SF

Donate to Make a Wish

Batkid’s day of fighting crime

Bat Mobile Batkid SF

Batkid Takes off in Batmobile after being called by Police! There’s an issue with the Cable Car on Nob Hill!

 

Batkid SF rescue

Oh no! A Damsel is in Distress  she seems to be tied to a mysterious bomb on the cable cars! Will Batkid arrive in time?

batkid Powell Street

Phew- Here come’s Batkid!

savingdamsel

Focused and determined, he calmly dismantles the bomb tied to the victim!

Batkid Damsel in Distress

An emotional thanks and Batkid saves the Damsel! (We are officially crying over here too.)

riddler batkid

But the moment of peace was fleeting. Soon after he saves the lady, Batkid receives word that all these shenanigans are the product of the Riddler, and now he is off to the Financial District to rob a bank!

batkid and robin

Batkid fortunately has the help of his trusty sidekick Robin (played by his younger brother)!

batkid sf robbery

Batkid zooms to the financial district and into the Bank to stop the robbery.

riddlerhandcufffed

Batkid apprehends Riddler!

riddler behind bars Batkid

And throws him in the slammer!

batkid lunch

After successfully locking up the Riddler, Batkid hears a loud grumble. He looks around and hears it again…why, it’s his stomach! “Time for a lunch break,” he declares (hey,  superheroes gotta eat too!) and takes off to Union Square to grab lunch.  While enjoying his meal, he hears the shrill cry of our beloved San Francisco Giants mascot, Lou Seal.

batkid over sf

He looks out the window and sees an all too familiar faced Penguin. And he has captured Lou Seal! Batman leaps from his seat. The chase to rescue Lou Seal is on!

penguin seal car

Penguin flees with Lou Seal. They’re headed to AT&T Park!

seal batting cage bat kid

Oh now what is Penguin going to do with Lou Seal tied up in the batting cages?!

Batkid at AT&T Park

Thankfully Batkid was close behind and was able to capture Penguin with the helps of the police officers!

Batkid hugging Giants Mascot

After a congratulatory hug,  it’s announced to Batkid over the big screen that he has earned the Key to San Francisco! Or is it Gotham? No matter, just pass the tissue box please!

Batkid in batmobile

Batkid on his way to City Hall! Crowds flock to the grand building where he will be commemorated for his bold actions!

batkid at sf city hall

Batkid with Mayor Ed Le receiving the Key to the City!

key

 Thank you Batkid for protecting our beloved city! Please donate to Make a Wish Foundation to help hundreds of kids like Miles achieve their dreams.

batsolid

 

Ideas and Recipes for a Healthy Halloween

Ideas and Recipes for a Healthy Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, but don’t let the sugar filled holiday treats scare you!

If you’re planning on throwing a monster mash bash for your little goblins, surprise your kids and guests with these fun and creative healthy alternatives to candy treats!

Check out these spooky and spirited foods that are as fun to make as they are to eat. Have the whole family help to make these Franken-foods in your laboratory (or kitchen) and have a happy and healthy Halloween!

1. Bone Appétit Appetizer: 

Grab your kids’ favorite veggies and make a skeleton out of them!

 

healthy halloween catHalloweenVeggieSkeleton

View the Recipe

2. Green Goblin Smoothie

Make a tasty smoothie that will really scare the kids when they find out it’s made with spinach!

green-goblin-smoothie-2

View the Recipe

3. Smashing Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

Seasonal sweet potato pumpkins with broccoli stems are too cute!

View the Recipe

4. Spooked out Strawberries

Surprise the guests with these ghostly strawberries!

strawberry halloween

View the Recipe

Rethink the Candy Bowl

And if you are interested in creating a healthier Halloween for the entire neighborhood, here are some suggestions for healthy Halloween treats to hand out to!

healthy treats

View full PDF

2013 Potrero Hill Festival

2013 Potrero Hill Festival

Blue Orange Games is delighted to announce we will be vending and playing our eco-friendly games at our local neighborhood festival. Come out and enjoy independent and local food vendors and chefs, artists, musician, children’s entertainment and more at this free, one of a kind community experience!

2013 Potrero Hill Festival

This year’s festival is a benefit for The NABE, which is the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House that has been in operation for over a century! The NABE offers a safe and common area where community members can educate, entertain and inspire.

2013 Potrero Hill Festival
2013 Potrero Hill Festival

The 24th Annual Potrero Hill Festival takes place on Saturday, October 19, 2013, 11:00 am -4:00 pm on 20th Street between Wisconsin and Missouri Streets. Experience the “flavor” of the Potrero community, featuring local food vendors and chefs, artists, musicians, historians, homegrown entertainment and much more! Join us for this one-of-a-kind community event for all ages! http://potrerofestival.com/

Improve Focus with Two Easy Tips

Improve Focus with Two Easy Tips

When we are kids, we are told that we can be anything we want to be as long as we put our minds to it. But realizing our dreams is no easy feat, it requires focusing on our goals with a clear and steady mind. It takes practice to improve focus and it’s an important lesson for kids and adults alike to learn. Just like your physical body needs exercise to stay healthy, your mind also needs exercise to train it to be more aware, mindful and focused. Unlocking and harnessing this control at a young age can set the foundations for a bountiful life whether in school, arts, sports or the workplace.

So how can you develop a more focused mind for you and your kids? Here are two suggestions for how to improve focus:

Practice breath meditation to improve focus

improve focus with meditation

Exercise: For 10-15 minutes (if this is too long for you or your child try 5 minutes and work your way up to longer increments of time.) Take deep breaths focusing only on the sensation at the tip of your nose or the sensation of your breath on your upper lip. These are places where you can physically feel your breath the best. Try your best to only focus on the sensation of your breath, and you will in turn calm your mind of all the other thoughts that often pour into our heads. Although your mind is bound to wander, try your best to notice when it does, and then refocus all your attention back to the sensation of your breath.

Benefits: Breathing is something we do without thinking, but spending 10-15 minutes (or more!) a day focusing on your breath has been proven to decrease stress and increase attention. Learning how to focus on something so simple as a self-regulated breathing opens up your entire pathway to motivation and focus. In a 2004 survey of mindfulness programs in schools by the Garrison Institute in New York, their report found that simply focusing on your breath can help prime a more positive learning environment. (For those athletes out there, consider the analogy that you should always warm up and stretch before you play a sport. Your brain needs time to warm up and focus for the day too!)

Playing games helps to improve focus

eco friendly wooden game Gobblet Gobblers

Benefits: Board games have also been proven to help develop focus in kids and adults. Engaging in in mindful play requires problem solving and stimulates brain development. It creates more neural connections which in turn benefits important brain functions like concentration, consistency and focus. Games like Spot it! promote a wide array of cognitive processes that help sharpen attention and focus, which can be particularly useful for the millions of kids who suffer from ADD & ADHD. The great thing about playing educational games weave important skill building exercises into fun play experiences.

As we learn more and more about the brain, science tells us how important it is to purposefully strengthen our minds throughout our lives. With technology’s constant chatter it is very important to periodically unplug our brains and let them settle. The hyperactive, over-stimulated lifestyles of modern society keep us running all day and night, so it’s important for our minds and bodies to take a break every once and a while and refocus on what is important in our lives.