The 5 Best Gaming Laptops Under $1,000

If you are a fan of popular PC games such as League of Legends and Fallout 4, you are going to want to have a well-suited rig to get as much enjoyment from your games as possible. Most PC gamers will tell you that a desktop is the best way to go, but a desktop keeps you rooted to one place like a ball and chain. Laptops, on the other hand, give you portability. With a laptop, you can take your gaming experience anywhere. The list below features some of the best gaming laptops money can buy for under $1,000.

1. Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch


Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Laptop (Intel Core i5-5200U, 8 GB RAM, 1…

  • Intel Core i5-5200U 2.2 GHz (3 MB Cache)
  • Windows 10
  • 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM

Coming in at the lowest price among the midrange laptops on this list, the Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Laptop packs plenty of bang for the buck. Acting as a suitable desktop replacement, this laptop offers a strong performance and plenty of incredible features that any hardcore PC gamer would appreciate. The 1080p display provides stunning visuals of all your gameplay sequences whereas the discrete NVIDIA 940M video card with 2 GB of memory reduces any video latency that might otherwise ruin your gaming experience.

The laptop comes in a sleek and stylish case with a textile pattern. Two 3.0 USB ports ensure fast transfer speeds when you need it most, whether you are transferring personal files or important data for work. The backlit LCD display optimizes your viewing experience whether you are gaming or streaming videos. The Intel Core i5 processor means this laptop is nothing short of a powerhouse that is capable of running even the most detailed games and graphics.

The Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Gaming laptop makes connectivity based games, such as MMOs, and web browsing a cinch thanks to its 802.11ac wireless card featuring some of the latest and greatest technologies. When paired with an 802.11ac router, you can experience connectivity speeds that are up to 3 times faster than normal to help boost the performance and streaming capabilities of your games and videos.

No PC gaming experience is complete without sound quality. Luckily, you can enjoy an immersive sound experience thanks to the addition of Acer TrueHarmony, which diminishes audio distortion and provides rich tones and incredible base. In addition, you can customize your sound experience using the custom equalizer settings to ensure that all of your games and movies sound just the way you want them to.

With a 1 TB sized hard drive, it will ensure you that it will have plenty of room for all of your favorite PC games whereas 8 GB of RAM ensures that this laptop will keep up with anything you throw its way. You can also opt for different specs such as different processor or perhaps a larger screen for an additional price. However, this particular Acer provides any PC gamer with exactly what they need in a gaming system while offering the portability and other benefits of a laptop all rolled into one.

2. Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch


Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (6th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-6300HQ…

  • Intel i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz Quad-Core (6M Cache, Turbo up to 3.2 GHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
  • 8 GB DDR3L / 256 GB Solid-State Drive

The Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop is ahead of its class in many ways. Despite being a midrange gaming laptop, it is certainly capable of keeping up with some of the big boys. The Dell features the latest and greatest Windows 10 OS, which allows you to enjoy a number of enhanced and new Windows features. For instance, Windows 10 provides quick startup and even faster resumes than its predecessors. In addition, you can hookup an Xbox controller and enjoy some of your favorite Xbox games from your Windows 10 Dell laptop.

If that isn’t enough to whet your whistle, keep in mind that this laptop provides you with an enhanced gameplay experience thanks to its Intel i5 Quad-Core processor that ensures both your gaming and video streaming experience is as smooth as possible. Combine that with the laptop’s powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M video card with 4 GB of memory and you will be amazed at how well this midrange laptop can handle even some of the most detailed and resource hungry games.

As an added benefit, this laptop is equipped with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD in order to ensure plenty that you have the space and power needed for all of your PC games. If that still isn’t enough, then you have yet to experience the pleasure of the wide angle, 1920×1080 display that provides you with anti-glare capabilities. Never again will you have to tilt your head or your screen at an odd angle just to improve your viewing experience. The backlit keyboard ensures that you keep with your games chat capabilities even well into the late night hours.

As with any laptop or computer, one of the most important you need to realize is that resource hungry games can make your PC run hot, which can quickly ruin it. Fortunately, the Dell Inspiron i7559-763BLK 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop stays cool throughout your gameplay experience thanks to its internal thermal cooling design. The laptop prevents overheating thanks to two internal cooling fans combined with three exhaust vents and a total of 240 thermal fins. For an additional price you can acquire both the laptop and an included gaming mouse.

3. ASUS XPC


XPC ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 Gamer Notebook (AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, 32GB RAM,…

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Quad Core (2.3GHz-4.0GHz)
  • RAM: 32GB (2x 16GB) DDR4 2666MHz | Hard Drive: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD (Seq. Read 2000MB/s, Seq. Write 1750MB/s)
  • Keyboard: Illuminated Chiclet RGB Keyboard (White Backlit) | Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

ASUS is quickly becoming a popular brand of PC in many households and with good reason. The ASUS K501UX 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop is a perfect example of what a gaming laptop should be. The laptop features 8 GB of RAM and a 256 SSD in order to power its way through even the most powerful and detailed gaming applications. The Windows 10 operating system provides you with additional features such as the ability to enjoy some of your favorite Xbox games. In order to get the most of your Xbox gaming experience using your ASUS laptop, you can easily connect your Xbox controller.

If you are not quite feeling the Windows 10 experience, you can purchase the laptop equipped with Windows 8.1 instead for a lower price. No matter the OS that you choose, the laptop itself will still arrive with the same incredible specs that allow you to get the most out of your gaming experience. For instance, this powerhouse delivers in gaming performance thanks to the Intel Core i7-6500 2.5 GHz processor. Better yet, the processor is capable of turbo speeds up to 3.1GHz so that it can keep up with even the most resource hungry games and applications.

The 15.6-inch matte HD display offers an impressive 1920×1080 resolution that brings all your games and videos to life while remaining easy on the eyes to decrease fatigue. As if that isn’t enough, this laptop also features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 M graphics card with 8 GB of RAM, which helps to decrease any video latency and lag in your video game graphics. A backlit keyboard allows you to play your favorite games well into the night without missing a single stroke.

For all of your games that require web connectivity, the ASUS K501UX 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop features Gigabit Dual-Band 802.11AC wireless capabilities that allow you to get the most out of your internet connection speed. This laptop is all about speed, which is further proven by the addition of 2 3.0 USB ports for the fast transfer of files between your laptop and a 3.0 device such as a flash drive or an external hard drive.

Bluetooth connectivity allows you to pair your devices with the laptop seamlessly and easily. For instance, you can pair your favorite pair of gaming headphones or a Bluetooth-enabled gaming mouse to your laptop in seconds.

4. MSI GF63


MSI GF63 Thin 9RCX -615 15.6″ Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i5-9300H,…

  • Display: 15; 6 inches FHD (1920 x 1080), IPS Level, 60Hz, 45 percent NTSC, Thin Bezel
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 9300H 2; 4: 4; 1GHz
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4G GDDR5

The MSI GL72 6QD-001 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop certainly deserves recognition for being an incredible machine, particularly for hardcore PC gamers. The laptop features a powerful Intel i5-6300HQ Quad-Core Processor that ranges from 2.3-3.2GHz. With processing power that big, this laptop can keep up with any game you can think of. If that doesn’t seem like enough power for you, you can always upgrade to the Intel i7-6700HQ for an additional price.

The laptop includes 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB sized hard drive, which ensures plenty of space for even the largest of game collections. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX950M delivers stunning graphics with no noticeable latency while streaming videos or playing video games. The 17.3-inch HD display has a non-reflective feature so that you never have to tilt your screen or change positions just to see clearly. All of your videos and games seem to come to life right before your eyes.

Another nice featured provided by the MSI GL72 6QD-001 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop is its Steelseries keyboard, which offers you a full spectrum of colors and sleep silver lining print. As an added bonus, hardcore gamers will love the fact that they can customize their hotkeys in order to create a gameplay experience that best suits them.

5. ASUS Vivobook


ASUS M580VD-EB54 VivoBook 15.6″ FHD thin and light Gaming Laptop…

  • Powerful & efficient 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ quad-core 2.5GHz (Turbo up to 3.5GHz) processor, standard…
  • 15.6″ Full HD, anti-glare display and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB graphics for flawless visuals and portable gaming
  • 15″ wide and 0.8″ ultra thin chassis for a portable footprint; Illuminated keyboard; 8GB DDR4 RAM and fast 256GB M.2…

The ASUS K501UW-AB78 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop might be the last on the list, but it is certainly not the least. This ultimate power house is everything a hardcore PC gamer could ever want in a gaming laptop. This laptop offers a sleek appearance thanks to its glacier grey casing and stunning matte HD display in a 1920×1080 resolution. Watch as your gaming experience comes to life thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card with 8 GB of dedicated RAM memory.

If you wish to really immerse yourself in your gameplay experience, then you will enjoy the audio delivered by this laptop, which features ASUS SonicMaster technology. SonicMaster creates a fine-tuned balance between the laptop’s hardware, software, and tuning in order to deliver incredible, precise sound that is music to your ears. Powerful output speakers provide rich tones, louder volumes with pitch-perfect accuracy, and a deep bass delivery. You can also fine-tune your audio experience just the way you like it for added clarity and noise cancellation.

Thanks to the latest technology, namely the Intel Core i7 processor, this laptop is capable of more than just the basics. You can enjoy hours of endless gameplay and streaming. Additionally, you never have to worry about the laptop overheating thanks to its smartly designed dual-fan cooling system. The fans are dedicated to keeping both the CPU and GPU cool no matter what games you play or for how long. Combine that with the ASUS IceCool Technology, which boasts a carefully planned internal layout and you have a laptop that stays cool to the touch at all times.

The multi-touch pad is Smart Gesture capable, which increases the accuracy of everything you do from scrolling to pinching and zooming. Allow your fingertips to control your experience thanks to the intuitiveness of the touchpad, which follow your natural finger movements efficiently. ASUS further increases the impressiveness of their laptop by featuring a 1-year accidental damage protection plan that covers you in the event of electrical surges, accidental drops, and spills.

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13 Fun Road Trip Games for Adults

Before the days of smartphones and tablets, people used road trip games to have fun in the car during long journeys.  Instead of being glued to a screen, you can learn more about your friends or family and create some fantastic new memories.  They are a great way to stay occupied and share a few laughs while on the road!  To help you get started, here are a few of the best road trip games for adults.

Never Have I Ever…

This classic game also works well for car trips.  A person in the car makes a simple a statement starting with “Never have I ever…” and anyone who has ever done that action in their life must take a bit of a donut.  Play continues around the car in a clockwise direction.

Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation is a theory that everyone in the world is connected via six or less relationships.  In this game, one person names two different film or television stars and the other people in the car must try to find a link between the two in six steps or less.  For example, you might say William Shatner and Hale Berry.

They are linked by:

William Shatner starred in  Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock starred in  Practical Magic with Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman starred in Australia with Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman starred in X-Men with Halle Berry!

21 Questions

This game is great fun for people of all ages.  Have a passenger think of a person, place, or object.  The other passengers then have 21 questions to find out what they are thinking of.  Questions should only be asked once.  The questioner who correctly guesses what the person thought of gets to start the next round.  

Don’t Say It!

This is a simple game that tests the memory of players during a long car ride.  Pick 5 common words that passengers are not allowed to say during the journey.  They should be common words used when traveling like “arrive”, “look” or “car”.  Whenever a person says one of the five words they are penalized in some way — either they donate a coin to the “road trip snacks fund” or they have to perform an annoying task like filling the car with petrol or running an errand.

Fictional Families

This is a great game to get your imagination going during the car ride.  Simply pick out a vehicle that is sharing the road with you and have everyone take a good look at the occupants.  Everyone should then collaborate to give these people an imaginary back story based on how they look, what kind of car they drive and how they are dressed.  Some really funny backstories can be invented!

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Human Jukeboxes

This is a great game if everyone in the car loves music.  It is started by one passenger singing a line from a well-known song.  The next person must connect the last word from that lyric to another song. For example:

“Love, love me do, you know I love you…”  (The Beatles)

“…Give love a bad name…” (Bon Jovi)

“…That’s not my name, that’s not my name!” (The Ting Tings)

Would You Rather

Another simple and funny road trip game that will help the time go faster.  Simply think of two strange or disgusting activities and ask your fellow passengers which one they would prefer to perform.  For example, “Would you rather have no arms or no legs?”  Everyone should put some thought into their responses and have a couple of funny reasons why they made the choice.

The Movie Game

This is a great game for people who love movie trivia.  It starts by a person mentioning the name of a random actor.  The next person has to answer with a film that this actor starred in.  The next person has to answer with the name of another actor who starred in the film and so on.  The key to winning is thinking of obscure movies and actors.  If someone gets an answer wrong, they are out of the game until the next round.  For example: “Sean Bean” — “Game of Thrones” — “Lena Headley” — “Judge Dredd” — “Karl Urban” — “Star Trek”

Fortunately/Unfortunately

This game requires a bit of creativity, but it can be quite fun for adults to play.  The first person thinks of something fortunate about the trips or what has happened that day.  It can be something true or something fictional.  The next person must follow it up with some unfortunate event tied to the first event.  For example:

“Fortunately, we are going to arrive at our destination sooner than expected!”

“Unfortunately, it has been invaded by the Chinese military”

“Fortunately, we all like Chinese food!”

“Unfortunately, they have no fortune cookies”

Couples Padiddle

In this game, participants have to call out “Padiddle” every time they see a vehicle with a headlight out.  The last one to say padiddle has to do something for the other person.  In the couples version of the game, this might be to give them a kiss or give them a neck massage.

Image via Unsplash

Hot Seat

This game involves one person in the group being asked five questions by anyone else in the car.  The person in the hot seat has to answer at least 4 out of the 5 questions.

Radio Roulette

As you drive across the country, you will keep finding new (and unusual) radio stations with some interesting and entertaining content.   Radio roulette involves randomly choosing a new radio station every 10 minutes so you get to hear what is out there.  You might find yourself listening to everything from smooth 80s jazz through to evangelical Christian radio!

Explain a film plot badly

This is another fun game for film buffs!  In this game, one person explains the plot of a film very badly and the other passengers attempt to guess which film it is.  For example “A boy befriends a bearded hermit and two gay robots, goes into space, snogs his sister and kills his dad”.  Know the answer?  Star Wars!  Here’s another one — “Bloke punches himself. Encourages others to punch him. Leaves his job. Shaves his head. Bad influence on Meatloaf”.  That’s right, it is Fight Club!

So try a few of the above road trip games for adults — you’ll be surprised by how fun the journey becomes! Want more road trip games? Check out our bonus list of 35 family road trip games.

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7 Board Marble Games

Do you feel like you’ve lost your marbles as of late? Have you sat around feeling bored and wondering what could possibly keep you entertained while challenging our brain at the same time? Perhaps you’ve lost your marbles over the fact that your kids are equally as bored and in need of something to do. Luckily, you can get your marbles back with the help of 7 board games with marbles.

Board marble games are a fun way to pass the time. You can play board games no matter the weather outside, and some board games you can choose to play by yourself or with someone else. The list of board games below can help you choose those that best suit you whether you are looking for a game for you or perhaps your children.

1. Solitaire


Marble Solitaire – Made in USA

  • Board measures 8-1/2″ in diameter.
  • Made from solid cherry wood.
  • Each game is finished with a clear non-toxic finish for long lasting durability.

Pass the time away with this single player board game featuring a round wooden board with 37 round grooves and 36 marbles. The goal of Marble Solitaire is to clear all but one of the marbles off the board by jumping one space over a marble using another marble. While that might sound relatively simple, directional movement limitations make this game both fun and challenging at the same time. For an entertaining brain teaser, this marble board game is highly recommended for one person looking to pass the time.Enter your text here…

2. AGGRAVATION


Aggravation

  • WHATS IN A NAME: Aggravation, comes from capturing an opponent’s piece by landing on their space, known as…
  • THE OBJECT: Two to six players compete in this classic game of race around the board from base to home. Be the first…
  • THE PLAY: Take shortcuts to “zip” ahead. Or, try the super shortcut and shoot across the board! There are no safe…

Aggravation is a classic marble board game that was first introduced in 1962. The game is fun for 2 people or an entire family of 6. Aggravation challenges players to move their marbles around the board from their base positions to the home area. The first player to get all of their marbles to the home area wins the game. Keep in mind that challenging players can capture your marbles, which makes this a challenging, competitive, and fun game to play.

3. CHINESE CHECKERS


Brybelly Wooden Chinese Checkers | Made with All Natural Wooden…

  • SECOND TO NONE QUALITY: Our Chinese Checkers board is made from Natural Wood and sports an 11.5″ diameter, making it the…
  • A RAINBOW CONNECTION: Playset comes with 60 wooden marbles in six distinct and brilliant colors
  • MASTER CRAFTSMANSHIP: Expertly drilled holes ensure that every marble fits snugly in each space on the board

Of the 7 board games with marbles found on this list, Chinese Checkers is perhaps one of the most well-known. The game offers a natural wooden board that is 11.5 inches in diameter and 60 wooden marbles in 6 different colors, including red, green, white, black, blue, and yellow. Chinese Checkers provides fun and challenging play for up to 6 players, a player for each set of colored marbles. The goal of the game is to move your colored marbles across the board to the adjacent triangle. 

You can move your marbles in any direction you would like, but you can only “hop” one space to an empty adjacent space. You are allowed to hop over the marbles belonging to other players as long as there is an empty space just beyond where their marble sits. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to jump over more than one marble at a time. All-in-all, this class marble game can provide hours of intellectual challenges and entertainment.

4. MANCALA


Wood Folding Mancala in Cardboard Sleeve (Packaging may Vary)

  • Great game for counting and strategy
  • Challenging but simple game for adults and children
  • Two-player strategy game

Mancala is yet another classic, yet well-loved, well-received game. The game is played on a wooden folding board with 48 beautiful glass gemstones or slightly flattened marbles. The game encourages strategic and fun gameplay among 2 players. To play, place the board long ways in front of you. You should have 6 holes on your side of the board and 6 holes on your opponent’s side of the board. Take the 48 marbles you have and place 4 in each of the empty holes.

The goal is to move your marbles in a counter-clockwise direction. You grab all of the marbles at once but you are only allowed to drop one at a time into the hole next to your gems. The first player to get rid of all of his or her marbles wins the game. In other words, losing your marbles in this instance is a good thing.

5. HUNGRY, HUNGRY HIPPOS


Hungry Hungry Hippos

  • Classic Hungry Hippos game has 4 hippo heads and bodies plus marbles for them to chomp
  • 20 marbles included
  • One golden marble, cleanup is a snap with the marble and hippo storage

Most of the other board games mentioned above are for older children and adults. Young children might find the brain-teasing, mentally challenging games above too difficult for their liking. Fortunately, Hungry, Hungry Hippos is the perfect game for young crowds. The goal of this game is to get your designated hippo to swallow as many marbles as possible. Whoever manages to get their hippo to swallow the most marbles wins the game.

Hungry, Hungry Hippos supports up to four players. Each player chooses their designated hippo and the 20 small marbles are placed in the middle of the board. Players then send their hippos into a feeding frenzy in order to swallow as many marbles as possible. This game is great for groups of young children or even a fun, family-friendly game night.

6. KER PLUNK


Mattel Games Ker Plunk Game

  • Ker Plunk! is a blast from the past with a cool look and attitude!
  • The object of the game is to skillfully remove the sticks from the tube while dropping the fewest marbles possible
  • This best game from yester-year is just as much fun today!

For over 35 years, Mattel has used a combination of marbles and strategy to create a fun game known as Ker Plunk. In order to play, players must push 30 of the included thin sticks through the small holes in the middle of a plastic tube. You must then pour the 32 included marbles on top of the sticks. Players take turns removing sticks one at a time, but you must do so carefully. The player who causes the marbles to fall to the bottom loses the game. This blast from the past is a fun game to play for 2-4 players.

7. SCREWBALL SCRAMBLE


Tomy Screwball Scramble Games For Kids

  • Easy to set up: this Maze game for kids is easy to set up but not easy to master
  • Maneuver your marble: use skills and hand-eye coordination to guide your marble through the crazy obstacle course:…
  • Beat the clock: challenge yourself to beat the clock on this time game or challenge A friend to see who’s fastest!

Screwball Scramble might be an older marble game, but it is still a goodie. This fun game encourages young players between the ages of 5 and 10 to race against the cock as they scramble to get their marble through a maze of obstacles. From a moving platform to jumping through hoops, this game can provide hours of entertainment with just one marble and some careful thought process. The game is just challenging enough to be fun and yet simple enough that young children will enjoy it, too.

The list above provides you with some of the most entertaining board games played with marbles that there are. Luckily, you can now use one of the games mentioned to prevent you from losing your own marbles. You can keep yourself, your family, and your children entertained for hours with any one of the games mentioned above.

Featured image via Unsplash

17 Math Activities for Preschoolers

It is very easy to overthink all of the ways that we, as adults, can teach math to our preschool-age children. Mathematical functions and concepts can be shared in the simplest ways to even the youngest children. Numbers can be explored all over the place in a child’s world! Teaching these ideas can be fun, highly interactive, and entertaining for kids, you just have to find the right way for your preschooler.

17 Activities to Try with Your Preschooler:

Look for patterns…EVERYWHERE:

Patterns are a great way to work on math with your preschooler. Kids clothing often has a great display of patterns – think about stripes! Also consider patterns around your home – tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, patterns in the fence, or in a piece of home decor. If your child loves music, there are plenty of patterns to recognize in children’s songs. Help your child to identify and copy simple clapping and rhythm patterns in their favorite songs.

Investigate Shapes:

While investigating shapes, children can discover the ways that different shapes fit together to build the items that we use or see everyday – cars, tall buildings, and eventually puzzles. Work together using yarn to create various shapes – circles, squares, triangles – as a budget friendly way to teach shapes. You can even use learning about shapes as a means to create some artwork together.

Encourage Estimation:

Help your preschooler learn about making guesses based on what they can see! Fill jars with buttons, candies, beads, or any other small items that you can find and ask your kids to guess how many of each of the items is in each jar. After they guess, they can count how many of the items are in the jar. Over time, children’s guesses will get closer to the actual amount of items in each jar, but this is a great way to get them started with educated guessing.

Introduce Sorting:

Anything around us can be sorted; pens, pencils, socks, shoes, cups, mugs, glasses, silverware, you name it – it can be sorted! Get them to help you out around the house by helping to sort the recycling. Even little kids can help sort papers from plastic and glass. This is great way to teach children how to organize items down to small and more manageable amounts.

preschooler cooking

Image via Pexels

Let them “cook”:

Encourage your preschooler to help you in the kitchen! Your child can help with measuring and counting our ingredients (two eggs, three scoops, etc.). You can also supervise the usage of knobs and buttons on the stove. This is also a great opportunity to have them help pack their daily lunches or snacks as they can help portion out the foods they eat each day. For example,  “I eat 5 carrots and 3 grapes at snacktime!” Think about having your preschoolers count out their Cheerios, Halloween candy, or even Easter candy! The options for counting food have no bounds! They can even help out with feeding pets if you have any!

Play a “look out” game:

While out on a walk or riding in the car, ask your child to count how many fun things they see! Those fun things could be any item that your child chooses to count – stores, fire trucks, dogs, or anything else that the child might recognize. With this activity, they can practice counting and talking about all of the fun things that have counted.

Track your child’s measurements:

Get out the ruler or yardstick to mark your child’s height on the wall. Talk about how big they are in comparison to their siblings or favorite animals – this helps them to think about themselves and the world around them. This is a great chance to introduce your child to units of measurement and help them compare and contrast the marks on the wall to see how much they’ve grown from year to year.

Use the phone:

Learning how to use the telephone has more than just a mathematical benefit, it’s also good for emergencies! Next time you’re making a call, write the number down and have your child help you dial it into your phone. This helps them to see the numbers being used, but also gives them a chance to practicing reading them from left to right. Your child gets bonus points if they can memorize the number!

Plant a Garden:

Preschoolers love helping outside when they can. Have your child assist with counting out the seeds and then making sure they put the set amounts in the right rows or pots. Once the plants start growing, they can count out the leaves and petals as well! This is also a great place to introduce science concepts about plants and plant growth.

preschooler gardening

Image via Unsplash

Color by Number Sheets:

Most young children love to color! As their number recognition skills continue to improve, they can learn to match the colors with the numbers, but early on they may need help identifying what number goes with what colors.

Dominoes:

Aside from playing a tabletop game, dominoes can be used to teach simple math concepts! Children can count the dots on each domino, children can sort matching tiles and create stacks, and they can create shapes and towers with matching dominoes. Dominoes are a cheap game that can easily be found at most stores.

Tell the Time:

Reading a non-digital wall clock is something that even little kids can do! Clocks are everywhere, so this is something that can be worked on at almost any time! Practice reading the numbers and telling time to the quarter and half hour as they are able. Once they have reading a clock down, you can compare and contrast a digital clock and wall clock together for another great conversation about time and numbers. Don’t forget to mention that there are sixty seconds in one minute and sixty minutes in one hour!

Read a Number Book:

There are many amazing books for preschoolers! Some of the most popular include: City by Numbers by Stephen T. Johnson, Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin & Michael Sampson, or How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague. Number books are a great way to practice numbers and counting, but books like these also introduce your child to other educational concepts. Not to mention a little bit of reading practice for your child. Check with your child’s teachers or even the local children’s librarian if you need more ideas, they are a wealth of knowledge about great counting books for kids!

Mark the Calendar:

Introducing your child to a standard calendar is a great way to introduce the concept of days and passing time. Have them highlight special days on the calendar (birthdays, holidays, other celebrations) and create countdowns to those special days. Working with calendars often helps children to understand days of the week and how the sequence of days happens each week. You can also have them help in creating a calendar – learning about leap years, but also how many days are in each month.

child making calendar

Image via Unsplash

Pay for Purchases:

Whether at a real store or while “playing store” at home, teaching children about counting money is never a bad idea. This is also an opportunity for them to practice reading numbers on price tags and counting their own money! Kids can even help search for matching items to coupons inside the store while shopping! It’s never too early to squeeze in a few lessons about money management as early as possible. Tip: Don’t take the little ones into a busy store to practice counting their money, go on a slower day to avoid a line and many waiting customers.

Play Card Games:

Who knew that teaching math concepts to your preschooler could start with a standard deck of 52 cards? Games like Memory (teaching kids to look for similar cards and pairs), War (teaching your child about numbers that are bigger and smaller), or Go Fish! (helps your child to identify and talk about numbers) are fun to play, but also have some educational value. You can also play games with various flash card decks or other game decks (like Old Maid).

Popular Phone Apps:

Let’s face it, kids know how to use some apps better than many adults! Capitalize on that and let your child practice their math skills on your phones and tablets. Some popular math apps include: Preschool Math Games for KidsCounting Caterpillar , and Hungry Fish. These are all interactive apps that are entertaining for kids, but also give them a chance to practice math functions and number identification. Who knows? Maybe they’ll find math exciting when they’re bored! Use that screen time to their (and your) advantage.

For preschoolers, learning about and exploring numbers should be all about fun and play. Work with them to discover how numbers can fit into their everyday lives. As they see those numbers in action, they’ll get more and more comfortable with the math concepts around them. Have fun exploring those numbers (and concepts) together!

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13 Fun Outdoor Games for Kids of All Ages

When it comes to the great outdoors, there’s plenty of games that can be enjoyed by children of all ages, and in some instances, even the adults. As well as children being able to enjoy the excitement that a vast selection of outdoor games is able to deliver, there are also a number of other benefits associated with outdoor games.

Playing outdoors ensures our children are getting the necessary amount of exercise, and helps develop muscles and coordination of children as a result. What’s more, engaging in outdoor games allows for the development of other important life skills, such as social interaction.

In this regard, we look at some outdoor games that have become popular with children. Some games are more classic, while others have been introduced quite recently.

List of Outdoor Games for Kids

Potato Sack Race

We begin the list with an instant classic, one of the best outdoor games for kids, that was first introduced back in the 1800s, also known as ‘gunny races,’ potato sack races become the main attraction at many a carnival. They say a classic never dies, and this is true for the much beloved potato sack race.

The game can be played with a minimum of two players, the maximum is completely up to you. The player simply line up while standing in potato sacks, and upon the blow of the whistles, have to hop their way across the finish line.

If you don’t have any potato sacks, the pillow cases will do. Failing that, you can actually purchase burlap sacks for this very purpose.

A fun-filled outdoor game that even adults can join in with.

Balloon Volleyball 

We’re all familiar with the game of volleyball, and while a real of volleyball could be chaotic in some instances, Balloon Volleyball is a much more laid back affair.

All that is needed for a game of Balloon Volleyball is some balloons and a piece of string. Players lie on their back and must simply kick the balloon back and forth over the lines without dropping it. Should the balloon touch the ground, then the other player is awarded a point.

If you don’t happen to have any string, then a row of toys or a sheet makes an ideal alternative.

Outdoor Games for Kids: Boochie 

Boochie is game that takes elements from a series of different ball games, and combines them into one action-packed game that provides hours of fun for adults and children alike.

The Boochie set comes complete with 4 rings, 4 bean balls, 4 wrist trackers and 1 twelve-sided Boochie ball, and all of this can be transported within the carry bag included.

Boochie turns the world of ball games on its head, by offer children a series of fun throwing challenges that’s guaranteed to keep them entertained for hours due to the variety of different games available.

Hide and Seek 

As well as being a tried-and-tested classic, Hide and Seek requires no investment whatsoever, just somewhere with plenty of hiding places. Days out in the park can become much more enjoyable with a simple game of hide and seek, as children just love hiding from others.

In order to play one player must cover their eyes and count up to a specific number, the higher the number the more chance the other players have of finding a hiding place. Once the number has been reached, the child must then go and seek out the others.

If you want to mix up things a little, you can instill a ‘home base’ which can people can retreat to if they feel they have been hiding for too long.

children playing outside

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Kick the Can 

If the kids have enjoyed a good game of hide and seek and are looking to take things to the next level, then why not consider a game of Kick the Can?

All that is required for a game of Kick the Can is a can, bucket or anything that can effectively be kicked over. A holding pen is then designated for all the captured players to be held.

Like Hide and Seek, a player is allocated as ‘it’ and must cover their eyes and count while their friends seek out hiding places. However, when players are captured, they are placed within the holding pen. If one of the un-captured players are able to kick the can that is placed in the middle of the play area, then all captured players are released.

The game is over when all those hiding have been placed into the holding pen.

Swingball 

Although a staple in many homes, there are those who may not be aware of how much fun Swingball actually is. You may be asking yourself how much fun can a ball a string really be, but literally millions of families turn to Swingball for some much-need respite and bonding time.

Whether there’s only one of you, or ten of you, a simple game of Swingball is not only energetic, but helps fill an otherwise mundane weekend.

Lawn Scrabble 

Scrabble is a popular word game that’s been part of many get social gatherings and Christmas celebrations. Playing the game on the lawn could prove to be troublesome, due to the uneven surface and the size of the playing pieces. However, if you’re still keen to inject some learning while the children are outside, then why not play ‘Lawn Scrabble.’

All that is needed for a game of Lawn Scrabble is some large pieces of cardboard and some marker pens to make up your letter pieces. Once complete, simply turn the lawn into a giant Scrabble play area, using the same rules as its smaller counterpart.

Not only is Lawn Scrabble a lot of fun, but it’s also very cost-effective.

We R Memory Keepers DIY Piñata 

Although piñatas are built for destruction, that doesn’t stop them being a lot of fun, especially for children. Often a staple of children’s birthday parties, piñatas can also be used to entertain children at a loose end while out in the garden or park.

We R Memory Keepers DIY  Piñata not only allows children to enjoy a game of piñata when the fancy takes them, but they can also decorate them to their own specifications. If you have a birthday party coming up, why not ask the children to help you with the making of the piñatas’.

Red Light, Green Light 

Red Light, Green Light is one of those games that’s so simple, anyone can pick it up. Children stand behind a starting line, and another child will stand about 30 feet in front of them, with their back turned. They will then be responsible for shouting out two commands, one being red light, the other green light.

Like the traffic lights that inspired the game, the children at the starting line must respond to these signals. So when green light is shouted, the children must try and tag the child shouting the commands. However, as soon as the child shouts red light, all children must stop. The child will then turn around, and if they catch anyone moving, that child will be sent back to the starting line.

Red Light, Green Light is a true test of nerves as well as a game that really raises the excitement level. Trying to reach the child before the stop signal is announced can really get the blood pumping, adding to the fun factor of the game.

children playing outside

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Mabua Ring Toss Game 

Ring toss games have always been enjoyable, whether you play them at the fun fair, or at home. Finding things for children to do while exploring the outside world can be challenging, especially if you’ve exhausted other avenues. However, the Mabua Ring Toss Game is a fully mobile bundle of fun that will keep the children entertained for hours.

Complete with its own carry-case, the Mabua Ring Toss Game can be transported to a number of outdoor venues. So whether you’ve a weekend of camping ahead, or lazy Sunday in the garden with the family, the Mabua Ring Toss Game is a great investment that will ensure you’re never at a loose end while enjoying the great outdoors.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a game that has been enjoyed by almost every generation. While today’s world is filled with a number of entertainment channels, it can be hard to believe that such a simple game can still be enjoyed by children. The fact is that many children love a game of hopscotch, and it all it takes is some creativity.

If you have a paved area in the back garden, then your child can create a hopscotch playing area with some chalk, which can be easily washed away afterwards. Similarly, if you’re looking to play the game in the back garden, you may want to create a play area by investing in a hopscotch play mat.

The basic rules behind hopscotch is that an object, such as a small stone, or beanbag, is aimed towards the number 1 grid in the play area. The player must then hop through the squares, ensuring they do not miss any or step on any lines. On the way back the player retrieves the object and then passes it to the next player. On the next turn, the child would aim for the number 2 on the grid, and simply repeat the process.

The other reason that hopscotch is so popular is the fact that the play area can be fully customized as you see fit. So a game of hopscotch can be as easy or as challenging as a child wants it. Different playing areas allow for a series of different outcomes.

Fun Air Scoop Ball 

Ball games are always a popular choice for keeping children entertained while they’re outside, but sometimes the same old ball games can become monotonous. Fortunately, the Fun Air Scoop Ball play set allows children to enjoy the excitement of catching a serving a ball, while improving their hand-to-eye co-ordination.

The Fun Air Scoop Ball set is a set that only requires a small investment. It can be used for a number of outdoor activities. So regardless of whether you’re visiting the beach, or playing the back garden, this fun little set will provide players with hours of fun.

Simon Says 

What could be more fun that having a child telling other children what to do. This alone could be why the game Simon Says is played globally and enjoyed by children of all ages. Some may not have experienced the game yet. Seeing as the game can be played without spending a dollar, it’s certainly worth considering. If you’re looking for some inspiration for outdoor games this is a solid option.

A selected child will issue a set of requests to the other children, such as ‘put your hands on your heads’ or ‘touch your nose.’ However, the demands must be started with ‘Simon says’ otherwise any requests carried out will mean that child is out of the game.

This is a game that’s not only fun, but actually promotes how children process information before they act on it, really giving their brains a workout in the process.

KanJam

KanJam was first introduced as Garbage Pail Frisbee in the 80s, but fear not, the game has been cleaned up a lot since its first guide. Now known as KanJam, the aim of the game is to aim your Frisbee into the can of your opponent, while trying to defect any Frisbees aiming towards your can.

KanJam can require a slightly larger space to be played, so if you’re planning a day out in the park or on the beach, then this can be the ideal travel companion to ensure boredom is kept at bay.

While Kanjam is slightly more expensive than some of the other games available, the price is reflected in the quality of the product. The tins are highly durable, so there’s very little chance of the cans being damaged in the first one or two games.

Final Thoughts

These are just a mere selection of the many outdoor games for kids available. Some of the games require very little investment, it won’t be long before you have a vast selection of outdoor games in your arsenal.

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25 Glow In the Dark Party Ideas

When it comes to hosting a party, you want to make things as fun and memorable as you can for your guests. Assembling a playlist of cool tunes, offering up a nice buffet of food and planning some fun games are a must. But if you really want to up the fun factor, you need to go a step further. And one of the ways you can accomplish this is by going the extra mile.

Whether your party is for kids or for adults, you can incorporate a glow in the dark theme to make your party the best place to be in town. A lot of these ideas are really inexpensive and will mostly require a bit of your time and some creativity. But it’ll all be worth it in the end. Read on for 25 glow in the dark party ideas that’ll certainly turn your event into a crowd-pleasing affair.

Face Paint

With some face paint that glows in the dark, you and the people at your party can really have a wild time. Have everyone get really artistic and paint their faces with different colors. When the lights go off, the face paint on all of those faces will glow with creativity.

Balloon Volleyball

Now this activity will definitely get the adrenaline rushing! First, you’ll need to string together some necklaces that glow in the dark to make the volleyball net. Then you’ll need to inflate a balloon that glows in the dark. You can either buy such a balloon or put some neon pain on a regular balloon. After that, you’ll need to create teams. Once the teams position themselves on their assigned sides of the net, active the black lightbulbs and let the games begin!

Glow in the Dark Hide and Seek

Ensure that everyone has on some sort of glow in the dark face paint or clothing, have everyone but the seeker hide and then, after the countdown is completed, have the seeker use a flashlight to seek out the hidden party goers. While this activity is mostly suited to children, adults who are children at heart will dig it as well.

Balloon Truth or Dare

The is one of the better glow in the dark party ideas. You will need to get some glow in the dark balloonsto get started. However, before you inflate them, you’ll need to fill each of the balloons with a note containing a silly or fun truth or dare challenge. When you’re ready to get the game underway, play some fun party music and, while your guests are dancing and keeping one of the balloons airborne, stop the music at some point. Whoever was the last guest to make contact with the balloon after the music stops will need to pop the balloon and do the truth or dare challenge contained in the balloon. After doing this, you’ll start the process again by playing the music while a balloon is being knocked around in the air.

Hoops

For this fun activity, you will need a glow in the dark hoop. You can use either a hula hoop or string together some necklaces that glow in the dark. You will also need a lightweight ball with some glow in the dark paint or tape on it. With the lights off, have your guests take turns trying to get the ball through the hoop. You can have the boys versus the girls and keep score. This will definitely get everyone pumped!

Glow Sticks

A party isn’t a party without glow sticks. When you have a glow in the dark theme, then glow sticks are even more appropriate. Play some energetic techno or electronic music and have your guests dance up a sweat as they wave their glow sticks. Of course, you can use other genres of music if you know that your guests will be more into different music styles.

Wall Graffiti

Go to a craft store and get some black craft paper. Then find a wall in the room where your party will take place and cover the chosen wall or a portion of it with the paper. When your guests come, you can shut off the lights and give them the supplies they need to contribute to your wall graffiti. With a wide range of glow in the dark paint and some creativity, you and your guests will have a lot of fun working creating a work of art. 

Plates, Cups, and Utensils

If you use black lightbulbs, your neon plates, cups and utensils will glow in the dark. That will be a perfect complement to your glow in the dark party. Add some of the goodies from # 10 to the mix, and you’ll be sitting pretty. You can get neon plates, cups and utensils at party supply stores.

Invitation Cards

You don’t have to save all of your creative energy for the actual party. If you’re up to designing your own invitation cards, then add some originality with a bit of glow in the dark paint. Better yet, ensure that no two invitation cards are the same. The added uniqueness will have your guests anticipating your party.

Good Enough to Eat

Everyone loves cupcakes and other sweats. Add some neon-colored frosting, and your cupcakes, brownies or other sugary edibles will be the perfect addition to your glow in the dark party. Again, black light bulbs will turn neon into edible glow in the dark gems.

Egg Hunt

Whoever said that an egg hunt was only for Easter? Color some eggs with glow in the dark pain or neon paint, hide them strategically and have your guests go on an egg hunt! And don’t think that only kids will enjoy this sort of activity. People of all ages can have some fun and engage on an epic egg hunt.

Glow in the Dark Bubbles

How do you make glow in the dark bubbles, you ask? It’s actually really easy. Head over to a party supplies store or even to a dollar store, and buy some glow sticks and some bubbles solution. When you get home, carefully cut the glow sticks open with a pair of scissors and pour the solution from the glow sticks into the container containing the bubbles solution. Close the bubbles solution, shake it well, open it up and blow from the bubbles-blower end…and you’ll have glow in the dark bubbles!

Gift Bags

If you really want high marks from your guests, you need to hand out gift bags before everyone leaves. Buy some bags from the dollar store and decorate them in a way that includes some glow in the dark paint. You can even adopt a theme such as animals so that every bag showcases a different member of the animal kingdom! The possibilities are limitless!

Ceiling Fan

You can really wow your guests by taping glow sticks to your ceiling fan. When you turn the fan on and shut off the lights, you and your guests will be in awe. It will look like a multi-colored swirl, which will be the perfect complement to your groovy party.

Strobe Light

When the music is blaring and the guests are dancing, nothing sets the atmosphere better than a multi-colored strobe light. It’ll definitely be a hit at your party.

Twister

You haven’t played twister until you’ve done so out on the lawn. Use neon spray paint to paint the various circles needed to play the popular game, and then have a blast. If you have enough space inside, you can spread a piece of tarp, for instance, and paint the different colored circles on the tarp.

Neon Dance Floor

If you have an area designated for dancing — and why wouldn’t you? — you can use neon duct tape to make the dance floor sparkle. Be sure to use black lightbulbs so that your neon tape will glow in the dark. As for pattern, you can go with a traditional checker board look or simply use your creativity to do something more original. One thing’s for certain, your guests will really get into the vibe when the dance floor is so alive with living color!

Bowling

For this party idea, you’ll need a bit of space like a hallway or a part of a large basement or living room. Use empty water bottles that each have a glow stick inside. Line up the water bottles as though they were bowling pins, and get a small ball like a tennis ball or a soccer ball. Then let the games begin!

Ring Toss

For this fun activity, you will need a glow stick positioned so that it’s standing upright, and you need some glow in the dark bracelets. Whether inside or outside, you and your guests can have loads of fun trying to toss the bracelets in a way that lands right over the glow stick. Have a classing boys-versus-girls challenge and see who comes out on top!

Sunglasses at Night

If you like to wear your sunglasses at night as did songwriter/singer Corey Hart, then glow in the dark sunglasses is just the thing you need for your party. You can get them at party supplies stores. In order to use a sunglasses-at-night theme, you’ll need to hand them out to guests as they arrive. Shut off the nights, and enjoy your sunglasses in the dark.

Tic Tac Toe

Did you enjoy playing tic tac toe as a kid? Well, incorporate this fun game at your party by taping some large sheets of paper to a wall and using UV reflective gaffers tape in order to create a grid. And you can use glow in the dark markers to mark your x’s and o’s.

Ping Pong Toss

Ping Pong Toss is a great party game. To make a Ping Pong Toss board, you’ll need a square or rectangular piece of cardboard, and you’ll need to glue a number of plastic cups on the board. For instance, you can make seven rows positioned horizontally and seven rows positioned vertically. Using neon glow cups will work great. When you’re done, position the board so that it rests on an angle against a wall. Then have your guests stand several feet behind the Ping Pong Toss board and take turns tossing glow in the dark golf balls to see how many balls they can throw into the cups.

Lightsaber Tourney

Chances are many of your guests will be fans of the Star Wars franchise. You can use that to your advantage by having a fun light saber challenge tournament. You can use glow in the dark pool noodles, which won’t cause any injuries. Have timed rounds and designate someone to be the referee. May the force be with you and your guests!

Glowing Ice Cubes

After your guests have worked up a sweat, they’ll want something to quench their thirst. You can enhance the party experience by using glow in the dark ice cubes. They’re actually quite easy to make. Combine regular water with tonic water, pour the solution into an ice cube tray and place the tray into the freezer until frozen. You can then use the ice cubes like you would any other type of ice cube. Under UV or black light, your ice cubes will be all aglow.

Musical Chairs

Musical chairs can really get the blood pumping. Play the music nice and loud while your guests go around a circle of chairs. When the music stops…well you know the drill. You can use glow in the dark paint to highlight the chairs.

So there you have it – 25 glow in the dark party ideas that’ll make your next party a smashing success. Again, you don’t have to break the bank in order to afford any of these ideas, and the return on investment will be astronomical. Try some of them out and be prepared to amaze your guests. Who knows? Your party might be a candidate for party of the year among your group of friends.

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9 Icebreaker Games for Adults

Icebreakers are group facilitation techniques which can help people communicate, learn more about one another, relax and enjoy themselves.  They are an excellent way to foster a creative and friendly environment that is ideal for learning or collaboration.

Groups of adults can really benefit from icebreakers, particularly if participants are meeting for the first time.  Icebreakers can be used in a wide range of environments including classrooms, conferences, parties and meetings — wherever you want a group of adults to relax and communicate freely.

This article will share a few reasons why icebreakers are so useful and a few of the best icebreaker games for adults.

Why are Icebreakers so Useful for Adults?

Icebreakers can reduce inhibitions or tension in a group

Icebreakers can make a group event fun!

Icebreakers can energize and motivate participants

Icebreakers can help a group learn more about one another

Icebreakers can improve the ability of people to learn

Icebreakers help the facilitator learn more about the group

Icebreakers increase the sense of community within a group

Icebreakers get everyone involved

Icebreakers foster creativity

The Best Icebreaker Games for Adults

People Bingo

This is one of the most popular icebreaker games for adults because it is simple to explain and very effective.  It is ideal for use in classrooms, seminars or meetings.  It can be used for groups of up to 30 people in size.

If you already know a few things about the participants, create a list of interesting facts about them, like “plays guitar” or “always does the morning crossword”.  If you don’t know the participants very well, use more general descriptions that probably apply to multiple people, like “is fanatical about coffee”, “has been on holiday to Europe”.

Now create bingo cards where each number square has one of these descriptions written in it.  These sheets are handed to participants who will then talk to each other in an effort to find someone who matches one of the squares.  When they do find someone who “is fanatical about coffee”, that person signs their bingo square.  The first person to reach 10 signed squares wins

2-Minute Mixer

This is another common icebreaker for adults that is very effective for introducing people to one another.  Have participants find a random partner and form a large circle, with one partner standing closer to the center of the room.  Each participant will then spend 2-minutes talking to their partner.  They will discover each other’s name and something about their background — where they work, what they like to do, why they are attending the class.

After the 2-minutes has expired, the people on the edge of the circle will rotate clockwise and spend two-minutes talking with the next person.  The session can continue until the circle has done a complete rotation.  By this point, each participant will have met half of the class.

Expectations

This is a simple and fun icebreaker for adults that encourages them to be creative.  Each participant is asked three simple questions:

  • What is your name?
  • What do you hope to get out of the class
  • What could be the craziest thing that could happen if their expectations of the class are met?  Encourage participants to think of a crazy and interesting outcome after completing the class!

For example, a student attending a computer class might say “My name is ted,  I expect to learn how to program computers and understand computer hardware.  If I can learn those skills I will use them to become the next Steve Jobs, marry Charlize Theron and buy the island of Hawaii”.

Two Truths and a Lie

This icebreaker is usually quite popular with adults and can lead to some funny responses.  Each participant in the group says three things about themselves — two truthful things and one lie.  The other participants can guess which one is the lie and give a reason why thick so.  You can elicit some very funny, creative and interesting responses from the group!

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Guess Who

Each participant in the group writes a very interesting or unusual fact about themselves on a piece of paper.  The group facilitator then reads out the responses and the group guesses which person wrote the interesting fact!

All My Neighbors

This is a simple icebreaker that helps people communicate with one another and learn more about each other.  The group is seated in a circle with one person in the center.   The person in the center says “I like all my neighbors who…” then mentions some characteristic like “wears glasses” or “has brown eyes”.

Everyone in the circle who matches that characteristic will switch spots with someone else.  The person in the center will also try to find an empty spot.  The participant who doesn’t find a spot will have to ask the next question!  It is a simple, fun and easy icebreaker for adults.

The Toaster Game

This is a useful game for meetings where participants may turn up hungry!  It requires the facilitator to bring a toaster and a large assortment of condiments.  Insert a piece of bread into the toaster and while it is browning ask everyone in the group to reveal one thing about themselves.  The person who is mid-sentence when the toast pops up is challenged to eat a piece.  The catch is — the group decides which kinds of condiments they have on their toast!  They may decide to have peanut butter, chilli flakes, and mayonnaise!  Just make sure the participants aren’t allergic to any whacky condiment combinations you think of.

Toilet Paper Game

The very premise of this game will get the group laughing.  The group facilitator passes a roll of toilet paper around the room and asks each member to tear off how much they normally use when going to the toilet.  After everyone has their tiles paper, ask them to tell the group one interesting fact about themselves for each piece of toilet paper they have.

Question Ball

Buy a large beachball and write some icebreaker questions on its surface.  Things like “What is your favorite place to go on holiday?”, “What is your perfect Sunday morning?”.

Throw the ball to a random participant in the group and ask them to answer the question that their right-hand index finger falls on.  You can elicit responses from the entire group and help them learn more about one another.

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There are many more icebreakers for adults available!  They are a great way to start your group activity or to energize participants.  You can modify any of the icebreakers above to suit your specific group and the participants involved.  Remember to stay flexible and have fun!

15 Fun 80th Birthday Party Ideas

There is plenty of reason to celebrate when someone turns 80 years of age. Of course, if you have never planned or even attended an 80th birthday, there are some things you need to know. Some helpful tips and ideas regarding 80th birthday party ideas can go a long way.

1. Feature the Year of Birth

Feature center pieces made of cardstock that display a top 5 list from the day or year the guest of honor was born. For instance, the centerpiece could list the price of a gallon of milk at the time the birthday gal or guy was born.

2. Tell a Story Through Pictures

Ask guests to bring pictures that feature them with the guest of honor. Take the pictures and place them on a poster board. Everyone can have fun sharing their favorite stories behind each pictures. Also, the special birthday guest can keep the poster board as a keepsake to hang on the wall.

3. Add Some Pep to Your Step

When it comes to entertaining 80th birthday party ideas, there is nothing more fun than music and dancing. Get everyone up and grooving to music that was popular during the time the guest of honor was born. For instance, that may entail swing music or even jazz.

4. Host a Roast of a Toast

If the elderly person you plan on throwing a party for has a good sense of humor, consider hosting a roast. Make sure the guests know to keep it clean, lighthearted, and fun. The goal is to make sure everyone gets a good laugh without any feelings getting hurt.

5. Enjoy Photo Ops from the Decades

Starting with the year your elderly loved one was born, select clothing from thrift shops that represent each decade of the person’s life. Encourage guests to dress up for fun photo opportunities using either a hired photographer or a rented photo booth complete with props.

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6. Play Fun, Appropriate Games

Among all the fabulous 80th birthday party ideas are the opportunities to play games. Coming up with fun games for the guests and guest of honor to play is a great way to add fun and enjoyment to the party. One example is setting up a game of picture bingo, which is played like regular bingo, except the board features pictures of loved ones rather than numbers.

7. Choose Live Entertainment

Live entertainment can often spice up a party and make it fun. For instance, a DJ can set the tone for any event, including an 80th birthday party. Another option is to hire a live band to play music, particularly some of the birthday guest’s favorite tunes over the years.

8. Create a Birthday Inspired Video

Before the party, gather all the guests together and have them help you create a video montage that you can play on a big screen TV or large projection screen. Inspire guests to retell their favorite moments with the celebratory guest. Make sure everyone leaves their own personal Happy Birthday message on the video.

9. Host a Themed Birthday Bash

Themed parties are great for a loved one no matter their age. However, you should select a theme that best suits an 80th birthday. For example, you can host a Hollywood themed bash featuring photos of actors and actresses from when the guest of honor was young.

10. Get Creative with Foods

If you plan on feeding everyone who attends the 80th birthday party, try getting creative with the foods you choose. One idea is to pick foods that were popular around the time the birthday gal or guy was young. For instance, chocolate covered pretzels would work well for someone born in the 1930s since the pretzels were first introduced in 1933.

11. Take the Party Elsewhere

Hosting a fun and exciting birthday party does not mean you are limited to a specific residence. In fact, it is sometimes better to take the party elsewhere. For instance, if the celebrant has a love of gardening, see about hosting the party in a nearby public garden. You can always invite guests to enjoy the beautiful view while enjoying a luncheon birthday celebration.

12. Prep Before the Party

To ensure that your loved one enjoys their 80th birthday party, make sure you prep beforehand. Perhaps take your loved one out where the two of you can enjoy manicures, pedicures, or even a new hairstyle before the party starts. A barber shop for a spiffy haircut and a shave is always an option for men.

13. Host a Potluck Birthday

Nothing can destroy the fun of a birthday party than having to cook for many guests. Ask the guest of honor to list of some of his or her favorite dishes and have your guests pitch in on cooking them all. By asking each of your guests to bring a small dish of the celebrant’s favorite foods, you will relieve stress of your back and everyone will get to pitch in and have fun tasting different dishes.

14. Add Some Light to the Event

Considering that an 80th birthday is meant to be a time for celebration, consider entertaining the celebrant and the guests in attendance with an incredible fireworks show. Of course, you would need to contact your local city hall to determine if you can light off fireworks. If you happen to get the green light, consider hiring a professional for the job.

15. Hire Professional Dancers

To really throw a birthday party with a bang, hire some professional dancers to come in and show guests some popular dance steps back from when the guest of honor was younger. For instance, a professional could teach you some jazz steps or even how to swing dance. Your loved one will get enjoyment out of seeing some familiar moves and the guests will have fun learning.

All-in-all, the possibilities for a terrific 80th birthday party are endless. As long as you are creative enough, you can think up just about anything from themes to music and everything in between. In the end, all that matters is that you are there to celebrate an important milestone in the life of someone you care about.

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5 Large Group Icebreakers

It can be difficult for a single facilitator to manage groups this large!  Ideally, you should have assistants who can help you organize groups and provide instructions to the group. Icebreakers for large groups are usually team-orientated and can be a lot of fun.  Here are a few of the most fun large group icebreakers.

The Shoe Game

This is a simple icebreaker to get a large group mingling and talking to one another.  Ask the participants to take off their right shoe and toss it into a big pile in the middle of the room.  Participants are then asked to pick up a shoe from the pile and find the owner!  Once they find the owner, they must stand next to them.  The end result is the group collaborating to form a large circle.

Celebrity Heads

This is a fun icebreaker that is very simple to organize.  To begin, write the names of different celebrities on post-it notes.  Place a post-it note on the forehead of each participant without them seeing the name of the celebrity. The participants will them be told to mingle and ask “yes or no” questions of other participants.  They are only allowed to ask a single question of each person they talk to.  The first few participants to correctly guess their celebrity win a prize!

Organize Without Speaking

This is a simple game that tests the collaborative skills of participants.  Ask them to arrange themselves in a line ordered by their birth year or how many years they have been living in their current house.  The only catch — they can’t speak, they have to use hand signals!  Participants will have to organize themselves and pay attention to the signs from other people in the group.

True or False Running

This is a great icebreaker for energetic groups of young people

Have the group stand in the middle of the room.  Place a marker on the right side of the room and on the left side of the room. Nominate the right side as the “true” side and the left side as the “false”.

The facilitator then asks a series of true or false questions of the participants.  They could include questions like “Small dogs live longer than big dogs” or “The capital of Australia is Sydney”.  Participants then have to choose true or false for the answer.  If they get the answer right they are given a token or their score is recorded on a scoreboard.  After twenty icebreaker questions, the person with the most points wins a prize!

Simon Says

Sometimes the silly games that you played as a child can bring back some great memories!  The facilitator rapidly yells “Simon says” orders to participants to get them moving.  Remember that participants should only do what the facilitator says when he includes “Simon says” in the request!  Shout the commands rapidly to see if the participants are paying attention and thinking quickly.

Collecting Autographs

Participants are given a worksheet that includes 20 questions on it.  They must find other participants who answer yes to that question.  Participants will then sign their name next to the question.  Participants can only sign once per sheet, so people must walk around the room to find 20 different people to answer “yes” and sign their worksheet.

Questions can include things like:

  • I have been to France

  • I know how to play guitar

  • I have rode an elephant

  • I am wearing a brown shirt

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Icebreakers for High School Students

Teenagers can be awkward; this is especially true when it comes to meeting new people and making friends. If you are a camp leader, after school worker or a teacher; you may want to put in place some icebreakers. This will help your students get used to each other and perhaps even encourage them to get to know one another and forge friendships.

With this in mind we have put together some of the best icebreakers for high school students.

Crossword Names

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This icebreaker is ideal for a group that has literally just met. It encourages them to walk around and speak to one another, as well as learn names too. Give each person in the group a pen and piece of paper. Ask them to write down their first name, in capitals, in the middle of the paper. They will then need to move around the room asking other members of the group to add in their name where the first letter matches a letter on the paper; just like a crossword puzzle. This game is timed and the aim is to see who can add the most names before the time runs out.

Freeze Frame

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One of the biggest things about icebreakers is that they are designed to relax people and make them feel less self-conscious. Games that get them up on their feet and moving about are best for this, just like Freeze Frame. This game involves the group moving quietly around the room, waiting for your instruction. As they are walking you will need to call out the name of your chosen “activity”. This could be different sports, different animals, or perhaps emotions. The group then need to freeze in a position that acts out that activity. In no time at all you will have every member of the group smiling, laughing and ready to have some fun. An even better thing to do is take a picture of some of the freeze frames and display them in a common area, just so they can remember this early bonding game.

Who is the Best?

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This particular game involves the group working together to score the most points. It may involve discovering more about one another and even uncovering some hidden talents that they might not realise they had. Split the group into even teams and move these teams into different sections of the room (or outside space if you have one available).

The object of the game is to be crowned the best at whatever activity or question which is put to you. An example of this is, “Who is the tallest?” The groups will then have 30 seconds to decide who is the tallest in their group and put them forward into the centre of the space; whichever team puts forward the best will win a point. The questions can vary; “Who has the loudest scream?” “Who has the most brothers?” even things like “Who can hold a plank the longest?” It really does depend on the type of group you are.

So there you have it, just some ideas to get your high school students letting their guard down and getting to know one another. All with the power of icebreakers!

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