Category: Blue Orange Staff

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!

IMG_1412

“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

IMG_1405

 

“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

 

 

IMG_1414

“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

IMG_1415

 

“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

 

 

IMG_1413

“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

IMG_1445

 

“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

 

 

IMG_1446

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

Bart, Sales Intern

IMG_1443

 

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

 

 

IMG_1447

“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

IMG_1444

 

“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

 

 

IMG_1449

“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.

ornament

 

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.

felt house

 

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.

paper tree

 

 

7. Tabletop Holiday Village

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

town

 

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.

jar

 

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.

word

 

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.

snow

 

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

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Finale

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Finale

October is here and now begins the ramp up for the holiday season. Halloween isn’t until the END of the month but you better believe that kids have been in the planning stages well before October 1. Halloween is such a fun period for kids and is the precursor for the remaining holidays to come (kids weren’t exactly looking forward to the start of the school year)! Kids will be filled with anticipation towards the wonderful Halloween decorations, dressing up, and candy!

halloween
Halloween time!!!

 

Are you prepared for the upcoming shopping rush? This Final Installment of Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses will focus on those special touches that stores do for their customers and local community. Fall is the opportune time for this!

 

 Classes

Craft and art classes are a great way to bring people into the store! Don’t forget to promote it for FREE on Social Media, in your online newsletter, and local online communities!

Need an idea? Work with another local entrepreneur such as a photographer and have a parent workshop on how parents can better utilize their smart phones to take better pictures of those special moments. I got this idea from a fellow mom and photographer that does this in my community to raise money and all the spots were sold out! It doesn’t hurt her professional photography services, it only enhances her role to help you capture special moments! Feel free to reach out to your vendors to help support your efforts to increase business!

 

Parent’s Night Out

What kid wouldn’t want to hang out in a toy store while their parents go out for a romantic dinner? This is a win-win situation for all parties. Charge parents a fee per kid and entertain with pizza and games while their parents enjoy a night on the town.

 Fastrack_Player_LowRes   sf 2

Lively Storefront & Special Guests

We are huge fans of working with your local community. Is their a local author in your area that would like to do a speaking and signing engagement? Local artists, local bands, local TALENT! Show your support of all things local. Your customers will appreciate it!

Host Private Parties

Host birthday parties or tea parties. Invitations can include store discount and all presents are wrapped and offered onsite.

S 2 - Fun event - Host Private Parties

Receipt Auction

I have to admit that I had never heard of this idea until I was at Blue Orange. It’s such a cool idea! Organize a receipt auction after the holidays where customers can use their receipts to bid on prizes. The more a customer buys for two months, the more receipts they collection for the auction!

Q - Fun event - Receipt Auction
Props to Castle Toys and Games for this cool idea to reward loyal customers!

 

We wish you the best of luck as we enter the final quarter of 2015! We’d love to hear if you utilized any of those tips! Post below and we might have something to help you this holiday period!

Game Seeker is our September Store of the Month!

Game Seeker is our September Store of the Month!

At Blue Orange Games, we can’t take all the credit for our hot games! We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our fabulous retailers who give us feedback and put energy, passion, and time into their businesses every day. This space is dedicated to a very special retailer each month in order to highlight the stores and individuals that bring Blue Orange games from shelves into homes and that do us the honor of introducing us to families in their area. We are pleased to announce that our Retailer of the Month for September is none other than Game Seeker in sunny Santa Barbara, CA!

game seeker

Bart, from our sales team, recommended Game Seeker because of their dedication to Blue Orange Games, their love of games, and their warm and friendly customer service.

In a previous life, the owner, Lisa used to be in the party planning business. She decided to open up Game Seeker ten years ago because she enjoyed working with kids and those adults that are kids at heart! Game Seeker is a gem of a store that provides Santa Barbara residents all of their gaming needs. To quote a Yelp reviewer, “It’s a place for people who love exploring new things and having a memorably amazing customer service experience.”

I had the pleasure of speaking with Ian, the store manager. He became an avid game player later in his adult life. He initially started visiting Game Seeker as a customer and found the staff to be really knowledgeable about games. He inquired about a position a year ago and is now a fixture at the store.

gameseeker2

Training employees is a priority for Ian, who has played every single game in the store. He’s so passionate about games that he jokes that he spends his paycheck at the store buying MORE games. As a kid, Ian was a hard core video gamer. But he found out that you couldn’t be social playing video games. However you can always get people to gather around a board game!

This interest in the community extends pass the store as Game Seeker is working with a local coffee shop which will host regular game nights. Be on the lookout for their announcements!

Thank you to Game Seeker for supporting Blue Orange Games! You’re a small but mighty store in Santa Barbara!

 

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Part Deux

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Part Deux

We continue in Part Deux (hey, the founders are French!) of Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses. It’s all about how your employees can create a great customer experience so that customers can return over and over again!

Staff Training

Take the time to train your staff so that they are better equipped with selling to customers. You can make it a party by reaching out to your vendors and sales reps for games, toys, and other products.

F - Happy Team Staff Training
Happy Team Staff Training

 

Email Newsletters

Newsletters are a FREE way to let your customers know about the latest specials, events, etc. Involve employees where they can provide some content. Such as a section on a sales’ person’s favorite toy and why, along with a picture of their friendly face.

In addition, give your employees access to vendors’ newsletters. Email newsletters can be great tools for employees to learn more about the items they are selling. Newsletters provide valuable tips, promotions, demo videos, etc.  Was a product in a popular magazine? Was a celebrity spotted with an item sold in your store? Newsletters can provide great talking points for the latest products!

newsletter
Blue Orange newsletter

Social Media

Like Newsletters, Social Media is another free way to let your customers know what is going on in your store. Are your employees playing a heated game of Spot it? Take a picture and/or video and post to your fans! Employee selfies wearing the latest fun gear? Employees will enjoy sharing something special that happened at the store and will make them feel a part of what makes your store special.

le twitter image
Twitter fun at Learning Express Roseville

 

Employee Contests

You can create employee contests or challenges based on the number of particular products sold within a period of time or based on who will be the first one to reach an objective.

Ask your vendors to sponsor the prizes. It doesn’t hurt to ask!!

 

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Part One

Marketing and Sales Tips for Small Businesses – Part One

Our sales guys travel the country to visit local specialty retailers. They see what is the secret to successful local businesses and how they are pillars in their local community. Blue Orange recently presented marketing tips at a convention and we wanted to share our findings with you. While these tips were made with toy stores in mind a lot of the principles can apply to nearly all local businesses. This is only Part One so be on the look out for upcoming blogs for more tips – yes, plural!

Demonstrations

  • Ask your vendor for a demo. Whether it’s a fun Blue Orange game or types of craft kits at your hobby/craft store. Keep them updated (watch for missing parts).
  • Try to keep demos at the appropriate eye level. If you have a toy store, keep the demos at children’s level for easy reach. Customers come in all sizes and ages so be cognizant
  • Keep inexpensive items close to the register for that last minute impulse buy.
Silly Times at Happy Team
Silly Times at Happy Team

 

Video Demonstrations

  • Display videos in-store
  • Use websites or social media to post instructional videos
  • Link to vendor videos through social media. It truly is the age of the video. Most vendors will have instructional/demonstration videos.
GG video
New Gobblet Gobblers video

 

Promote Birthdays!

  • Have an open book on the counter to create a mailing list for birthdays.
  • Create a birthday club on your website.
  • Send postcards or emails with $$ off coupons the week before the big day.

birthday

 

Suggestion Box/Read those online reviews

  • Invite your customers to give their feedback and check out reviews for your store online.
  • Display all positive comments, and discuss with your team how to fix the negative ones.

feedbox

 

Brand Yourself

  • Add your store name and logo to shopping bags and t-shirts. Reusable bags are a great way to show your brand around the town!
  • Offer cute postcards featuring your logo or store picture at the counter.

 

Store Displays: Be Fun and Creative  

  • Create window displays that are relatable and relevant – to draw people in and bring customers back!
  • Take advantage of vendor provided displays, signage and posters.
  • Explore your creative side with unusual and unique DIY display ideas. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas!
  • Share your displays on social media to gain additional exposure.
Castle Toy & Games
Castle Toys & Games in Beaver, PA awesome window display. We’re a little biased.

 

What draws you to your local neighborhood store? Leave your comments below.