Tag: fun for kids

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.

Congratulations!!StoreoftheMonth_HiRes

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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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!