Tag: Blue Orange Games

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

blueAs if it’s name wasn’t clear enough, Shenanigans is all about the funny business. Our sales representative, Bastien, recommended Shenanigans for their character! From being family owned, to having the friendliest staff, and creating a store with a little bit of everything available, there’s clearly something special about this shop! Although its filled to the brim with entertainment, Shenanigans also has the rich history to match.

Shop owner, Kai, moved from Florida to Charlottesville in the 70’s with her 4 week old son. Working as a copy writer there was never a shortage of tasks that she could lend her creative wizardry to, and add some flare. Just like mom, her son was a little go-getter. As a fast learner, he was walking by 9 months and out growing his old toys and games quicker than most. This left Kai having to travel far just to get those toys and games that were developmentally challenging and gender neutral. With other mothers in the area doing the same, it was clear the Charlottesville needed a toy store where the community could find that big city quality, and diversity, without traveling hours north. It was during these pilgrimages in search of fun that Kai saw a future for herself and family. Since she had also been looking for work with a young child, she was able to design a job with built in childcare that was just right for her. Thus Shenanigans was born!

 store 4With it’s door open for over 40 years, this shop knows fun like no other! In 1974 Shenanigans first welcomed those who sought out fun engaging toys and games without the journey. Fast forward to today where they still provide just that. Even though they aren’t the only toy store in the neighborhood, Shenanigans still reigns supreme! Kai states, “what sets them apart is their product selections”. With such a cute, little store, every item within those four walls is curated by their staff with maximum fun in mind. Knowing what makes customers squeal in delight is something that keeps the neighborhood coming back. Tailoring their selection so that games are completely original and never stale is exactly what puts Shenanigans at the top of the list!

Dr Eureka BoxAs far a Blue Orange Games, Kai would have to name Dr. Eureka as one of her favorites. Going into detail, Kai says our games have such bright and nice art and there’s always a great eye-catching factor.  But what truly lies beneath the cover is Blue Orange’s dedication to inspiring STEM and core developmental skills that don’t go unnoticed to parents. Kai motto is that “if it’s boring, it’s not educational, since they’re not going to play it”. This blunt but true statement by Kai really resonates with our product line.

Kai elaborated that the kids don’t need to think about the skills they’re gaining, but rather the fun should conceal it. When playing with building blocks, a child doesn’t necessarily know he or she is developing a basis of engineering, nor do they understand they are growing familiarity with STEM when they play a game like Dr. Microbe. Blue Orange has the same values; learning should be fun, and if kids already want to play the games then half the work is already done. Shenanigans’ philosophy is to leave the term educational out by labeling their games and toys as fun! As a type of parental shenanigans, or a method of mischievousness, kids are left having uninhibited fun without knowing that their developing better motor and strategic, critical thinking skills!store 1

When considering their success, Shenanigans is no stranger to being a community staple. Kai thanks her neighborhood for being the perfect location, as it is a region with few chain stores and many unique shops that are supported by their community. Not to mention being between two hubs of the city, Shenanigans is accessible for all, either for a quick stop in for the grand kids, or an afternoon spent exploring with the kids. Make sure to grab a copy of the original Shenanigans Coupon Book, with monthly deals such as Board Game Discount November coming up, it’s sure to be a good time! 

Working with Shenanigans has been a pleasure and we proudly award them September’s Store of the Month. As a important part of Charlottesville , Shenanigans is a place where you can find something for everyone, from the helpful staff to the perfect game. Shenanigans is always reachable via their website here or at 601 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA.

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Why Play is Important in Child Development

Why Play is Important in Child Development

image001 Parents want to give the best opportunities to their children. Music lessons, language lessons, extra tutoring, after school learning programs, the list can go on and on. We all want to give our kids the advantages and opportunities to succeed and/or perhaps we didn’t have as children. All of those activities are wonderful opportunities. However, play sometimes gets a bad reputation as being frivolous. On the contrary, play is very important in child development! If you want to learn more, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report about the importance of play in promoting healthy child development (read here). Play can reduce stress and anxiety for kids AND adults so make some time to get silly! The National Lekotek Center , a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides an array of services to improve the lives of children with special needs through the utilization of toys and play. They have 20 wonderful reasons to encourage play for ALL Children.

Top 20 Reasons to Encourage Play for ALL children

  1. Play advances many cognitive skills like learning to focus and paying attention to details.
  2. Play produces an active, alert, but non-stressed frame of mind that benefits a child greatly.
  3. Play opportunities help a child develop problem-solving, organizational and planning skills.
  4. Play promotes both long-term and short-term memory.
  5. Play stimulates language, negotiation and communication skills.
  6. Play teaches a child how the world works from gravity to how things move, float or fly.
  7. Play experiences allow a child to explore symbolic play, imitation and his own creativity.
  8. Play allows a child to build confidence, one trip down a slide or throw of a ball at a time.
  9. Play provides the feedback a child needs to develop self-knowledge and self-esteem.
  10. Play is an excellent way for a child to connect to nature and to explore its many facets.
  11. Active play can enhance a child’s mood, coping abilities and defuse emotionally charged events.
  12. Play teaches the cornerstones of relationship building, cooperation and compromise.
  13. Leadership along with group skills are learned through team or collective play.
  14. Active play promotes a healthy body for children and lowers their risk of obesity.
  15. Play promotes brain development through the use of both the body and mind.
  16. Play can teach a child the lessons of strengthening and balancing his body and coordinating his hands and eyes.
  17. Play stimulates resiliency by prompting the child to try again and learn patience towards self and others.
  18. Play fosters courage to swing higher and jump farther.
  19. Play teaches empathy by allowing a child to explore the role of both winner and loser.
  20. Play leads to engagement and enjoyment that provides a child with both physical and emotional release.

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DIY Spot it! Ice Breaker

DIY Spot it! Ice Breaker

Spot it! Ice Breaker

Hosting an event or party in the near future? Worried that conversation will be lacking early in the event? Blue Orange Games will take that worry away by sharing with you our favorite and most successful ice breaker!

Spot it! Ice Breaker Essentials

Your Checklist:

  • Your Favorite Spot it! Cards (Of Course!)
  • 2″ Cork-board DiscSemi Strong Adhesive Glue
  • 1″ Bar Pins
  • Laminating Machine (Optional)
  • Clothespins (Optional)

All of your crafting materials can be found at your local craft & hobby store and purchase Spot it! online or visit your local toy shop.

This simple craft will guarantee that your guests begin mingling from the beginning to the end of your party! Whether you are making Spot it! Ice Breaker tags for a kid or an adult party, your little ones will make great helpers.

Spot it! Ice Breaker Steps:

1. Pick your favorite Spot it! Edition

If you are having a themed event or party, choose from one of our many editions. This is an easy way to incorporate your theme into the event’s details. Spot it! MLB, NHL, and Halloween are just a few of our themed editions. However, you can never go wrong with our classic Spot it!

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          Check out our website to browse all of your options! 

2. Laminate your Spot it! Cards

This step is optional and depends on what type of look you are trying to achieve. If you choose NOT to laminate your Spot it! cards, this will not change your outcome of your Ice Breaker pins, lamination only increases the pin’s durability.

3. Time to Glue!

Blue Orange found that a strong adhesive was best for this project. Any type of rubber cement, Gorilla Glue, or a strong adhesive will work. Apply desired amount of glue to the cork board. Apply the cork board to the red side of the Spot it! card (shown in picture). Make sure you are not gluing to the side of the card with the matching symbols…

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Our next gluing adventure consists of adding the wearable pins to the middle of the g symbols…cork board. Do not worry about the placement of the pin, some images will be upside down and some will be normal.

Press down for a few seconds and move on to the next Spot it! card.

4. Wait! Let your Spot it! Pins dry

5. Party Time!

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Invite your guests to wear your Spot it! pins around your party and find a match on other guests’ cards. Remember this is a great Ice Breaker since every single Spot it! card has a match!

Want to add even more competition to your Spot it! Ice Breaker? Purchase small clothespins of your choice and attach 5 around each guest’s Spot it! card. Whoever is the first to find their match, collects a pin from their opponent. Players can only face each opponent once and whoever has the most pins wins a prize!

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Ice Breakers are always great, but are not limited to the first day of school, birthday party, company event, or a family reunion.

Be on the look out for new and exciting Spot it! editions coming soon!

Did you use Spot it! Ice Breakers at your party or event? If so, let us know on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook! @BlueOrangeGames

New Spot it! Unveiled at Annual SF Giants Event

New Spot it! Unveiled at Annual SF Giants Event

Blue Orange Games hosted its annual Giants Event this past weekend. We invited all of our Bay Area retailers to enjoy a night of games, food, drinks, and baseball…and most importantly—to unveil a new Spot it! game!

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The office slowly turned into a party space with games on every table, lots of snacks, and a rotating hot dog machine. Each table offered seating for guests, as well as many of our favorite Blue Orange Games. Toy store owners and workers were able to enjoy playing new games, such as Battle Sheep, Aztack, and Niya; while enjoying classics, such as Spot it! and Gobblet. The competition became intense when co-workers challenged each other to a game…which always followed with several rematches.

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Guests were also introduced to Blue Orange’s Spot it! San Francisco Giants edition. This Spot it! features images from all of your favorite sites and memories at and around AT&T Park. Each attendee was asked to grab a Spot it! San Francisco Giants edition Ice Breaker pin to get the party started. This ice breaker pin consists of a Spot it! card to wear on your shirt, you then go around to other guests to try and seek your match! To learn more about creating an Ice Breaker pin for your next party, keep your eye out for upcoming posts on our blog, Facebook, & Pinterest.

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Toy store guests walked into the world of Blue Orange and were able to connect with many Blue Orange workers and the atmosphere in which we work. Upon entering, guests checked in and received a ticket to the Giants game, as well as a chance to enter into a drawing. The drawing consisted of many Giants themed prizes—Giants flag, bobble head, hats, & best of all two tickets to the Virgin Mobile Suites. Drawing winners were announced toward the end of the event and headed to the ballpark!

We were excited to feature a photo booth for our Blue Orange team and guests to have some more fun. The photo booth consisted of a fun backdrop and many crazy props to create a fun and creative picture! Stores gathered their whole crew to squeeze into one picture and strike a pose.

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Once 7:15 hit, it was game time. The event moved down to AT&T Park to enjoy a beautiful night of baseball in San Francisco. This annual event is always a great way for Blue Orange to connect with their retailers and to appreciate them. We would like to thank all of those who attended our event, and to those who could not make it—we hope to see you next year!

Look for Spot it! San Francisco Giants edition coming your way soon. Go Giants!