Top 5 New Board Games of 2021

Best Board Games of 2021!

This last year has been full of surprises! The biggest surprise was just how much time we would be spending at home and with our families. You have probably been thinking of some fun ways to keep your kids entertained. Besides some fun scavenger hunts, or other indoor or outdoor games, let me suggest a couple of new board games for you and your family to try! There are a ton of board games out there, and knowing which ones will be a hit can be a gamble. Luckily, my friends and I have tried a ton of games released in 2021 and made a list of our favorites!

#5: Juicy Fruits

Juicy Fruits Board Game Box

Number five on my list of top board games from 2021 is the game Juicy Fruits. This game has a lot of moving parts, so you might have to play it a couple of times to get all the rules down. In this game, each player has their own Tropical Island to capitalize on. Each Island has fruits they can harvest to then use as a resource to gain points. There are multiple strategies to winning, but first you have to clear space on your board by filling orders on boats. Each boat order gives you points, so even clearing your board is one way to win!

Opposite of clearing you board is filling your board. Each player has their own Island, but there is a shared “Market” where you can buy vacation attractions, food booths, or other fruit baskets. Any attractions you buy are placed on your board and cannot be moved from their spot. This can make fruit harvesting a challenge, due to the games unique fruit sliding mechanic. Another way to win is to buy the moving food booths. These can be a great way to make lots of points quickly, but be careful of competition! Another island with a food booth could get all the points first!

Overall, this game is pretty fast moving and not too competitive! You spend all of your time and attention on your own island, so there isn’t much island to island competition. Because the turns can be pretty fast, unless you have planned ahead, your turn might come quicker than you expected and slow you down. Juicy Fruits is also only a four player game. Many families do not fit in that box and you might have just a few too many players in your family group. This one gets an 8/10 from me for its pure fun! I think the brightly colored and fun shaped fruit pieces really make the game, and as your family gets more advanced, there is an optional “Juicing Station” with lots of fun features.

#4: Tiny Epic Pirates

Tiny Epic Pirates game pieces

Do you like Pirate games? I have an uncle who collects them and we have reviewed some pretty awesome Pirate board games in the past! Since this is a 2021 game, it is brand new and freshly printed!

Tiny Epic Pirates was easily my favorite, but I cant quite give it the number one spot. This game is part of a series of games. Ever heard of Tiny Epic Zombies, Dinosaurs, Galaxies? If not, I highly suggest you look into these gems as well. Tiny Epic Pirates is called Tiny & Epic for good reason. When my copy came in the mail I was shocked at the tiny box size! Even better than the box size were the tiny Pirate Ships! I have a soft spot for small things and this one called my name!

You play as a pirate! (Obvious I know.) You take your ship and pillage, fight, recruit crewmates, hideout in secret coves, and bury treasure! Each player, hereto referred to as “pirate”, starts with a captain card with a special ability and a helm card. The rules can be tricky to explain and trickier to understand, but it basically works like this: Plunder Booty from islands or from sinking merchant ships, then sell that Booty for doubloons. once you reach 12 or 13 doubloons, you have to sail to an island and bury your treasure! The game ends when the first person buries their third treasure chest.

If you love pirates, doubloons, and tiny ships, this game is definitely worth a try! When playing, I found a couple of weird rules I wasn’t crazy about, but the reason Tiny Epic Pirates doesn’t take first place is because of its difficulty. This is not a game for small kids. Even tweens might struggle. The rulebook is quite lengthy, and there are some features of this game that feel overly complicated. All that being said, this was my personal favorite and I give it a 9/10 fun rating! If you have some real board game nerds in your family and feel up to the challenge, pop Tiny Epic Pirates into your Amazon cart next time you’re looking for something interesting!

#3: MicroMacro Crime City

MicroMacro Crime City ranked best board game of 2021

MicrroMacro’s Crime City is one of the most surprising board games I have ever played! Crime City was created in Germany and won the most prestigious board game in the world, the Kinderspiel des Jahres award for 2021. In the board game community, that means this thing is kind of a big deal. Since winning the award, this game has been sold out all over the world. They printed more copies in September, but they were sold out in a week!

So, what makes it so great? Crime City is essentially clue and Where’s Waldo smashed together. The box comes with a 75cm x 110cm map of “Crime City.” Rightfully named, the map is covered in cartooned crimes to be solved. The characters on the map mostly resemble animals or blob shapes with bodies. The black and white cartoon nature means there are no explicit images, but there are some adult themes. Luckily, the creators of Crime City have a clear rating system on each case.

The game comes with 16 cases to be solved. Cases range from 6 to 15 cards, each asking for a new piece of the investigation. On the front card of each case, there is a title, a game length, a star difficulty rating and an icon with its rating. The instruction manual describes these ranks as either, “Accidents” or “Adult themed Crimes”. The handbook expressly recommends parents play through any adult ranked crimes to determine their playability for their children.

As a young adult, I think the couple of cases I have played through have been a ton of fun! Some are really challenging, but everyone has something to do! This game really is addicting, and MicroMacro knew what they were doing buy only having 15 cases to solve. Although there is a lot of variety in the cases, there isn’t much replayability. Which means you kind of have to stretch out the cases unless you rush out and buy the expansions.

My only other complaint is the map. It is so big, and its only glossy paper. Unless you have a large flat game-space, this thing is going on the floor. And, because everyone is leaning over the map to find the clues, wrinkles and creases are inevitable. Because it is black and white stains or spots might become a problem. Despite these shortcomings, I give it a 10/10 fun rating! There are so many surprises and the hunt for the crime is so thrilling! If you are okay with getting an expansion once a year, I highly recommend MicroMacro Crime City! And, if I haven’t convinced you, MicroMacro has a playable demo on their website here!

#2: Bristol 1350

Bristol 1350 Board game pieces: picture includes the Patreon expansion

Bristol 1350 is the fourth and newest board game from Facade Games. Each game comes in a nifty Book box, and has delicate stylish pieces. Each game is historically themed, including Salem, Tortuga, and Deadwood. Bristol 1350 is themed after the Black Plague in England. It might seem a little dark, but it is actually a seriously fun party game! Unlike all the other games on this list, Bristol 1350 is a 9 player game. I’ve played this with 3 people, 4 people, and 7 people. Seven was easily the most fun!

Each player chooses a color peg. Then the each peg is placed inside one of three colored carts. Each round, 6 dice are rolled. The color on the dice represents how many spaces that colored cart can move. The symbol, either a rat or an apple, represents whether or not you have to “mingle.” This gets into the main theme of the game: get past the finish-line and don’t catch the plague! You also can’t have any infected people in your cart either. The whole game is a matter of avoiding the sick, and moving your cart.

Well, what happens when you get sick? That might just be the best part! In Bristol 1350, when you get sick, your win scenario changes. Now, you win when you infect everybody or if you cross the finish-line and make an noninfected person.

It’s a game of poker facing and sabotage. Its fight for yourself until you get sick, then its fight to destroy everyone else. I give this about a 5/10 for four or less players, but a 10/10 fun rating with six or more! I don’t have enough friends to play a 9 player game, but I bet anything it would be a ton of fun! It is very stylistic, and the rules are simple. The game is fast paced, and can be extended if you wanted longer play. But the coolest bonus: the awesome Book Box makes it great for storage.

#1: Happy Little Dinosaurs

Happy Little Dinosaurs board and piece set

Just by looking at the picture of Happy Little Dinosaurs, you can probably sense something familiar. This is one of many games made by Unstable Unicorns, most famously known for their games Unstable Unicorns, Here to Slay, and Llamas Unleashed. Their art style is known as the brand Tee Turtle. They make lots of quirky adorable tee shirts.

The cards have the same adorable and quirky descriptions, and the player boards are to die for cute. Although this is only a four player game, it is the shortest game on the list. My family could go three or four rounds of this and still have a great time! Similar to the play style of other board games like Exploding kittens, your goal is to avoid your own destruction, foil your opponents plans, and get the most points.

The winner is either, the first player to reach 50 points, or the last player left alive. When you near the end of the game, the tension ramps up, and you can smell blood in the water. That is when you pull out all the stops, play all your meanest cards, and force someone out of the game. Be sure to play nicely! Or your family might not want to play with you again.

This game is quick, lighthearted, cute, great for all ages, and affordable. You can pick this up at your local Target! No need to search board game stores or look online. You can grab this next time you stock up on toilet paper! This gets a 10/10 fun rating, and a 5 star review.

The Verdict:

So, if you are wondering what your next Christmas family board game should be, I hope you will consider one of the five above! They are fresh, unique, and fun in their own ways. Every game on this list has brought smiles to my family and friends faces! These are the best from this year, and they get the official FunAttic stamp of approval!

5 Best Wood Youth Bats

Best Wood Youth Bats

There are many advantages to using wood bats, particularly for youths. Wood bats help players develop their skill and technique since a player must adapt to use both their arms and body to ensure a good swing. Thus, we’ve prepared a list of the best wood youth bats on the market for you.

It is commonly said that a wooden bat is prone to breaking during a hard hit, but a quality bat can send a ball straight for the fences without doing any damage to the bat itself.

Wood bats tend to have proper weighting and balancing to ensure a proper swing. In turn, youths who use a wood bat pick up greater barrel awareness, which allows youths to learn the best strike zone grasping techniques so that the player has a greater chance of hitting the ball with the sweet spot.

Of course, knowing what benefits a wooden bat provides is not enough. It is important that you also know which wood youth bats work best. The list below highlights our choices for seriously powerful and trustworthy bats.

1. Marucci JB19 Youth Maple Wood Baseball Bat

Marucci JB19 Maple Woods Youth Bat


This posh and well-crafted Marucci bat combines a thick handle with a traditional barrel, ensuring the player will be in complete control. It’s one of the brand’s most balanced and fastest swinging bats, available in various sizes from 26 to 31 inches. That’s great since it enables the player to pick up the perfect size for them.

The product is made from maple, with every bat bone rubbed to ensure the ultimate wood density. The only downside is that the bat isn’t recommended for beginners – it’s best suited for players with some experience in hitting wood. However, since the bat is made with the very same specifications as the adult version of the JB19, the transition, later on, should be more seamless.

The Marucci Maple wood bat offers a 30-day warranty, so you can be confident in the quality of the materials used in manufacturing. If you’re looking for an elegant bat that will help young players refine their skills and reach their full potential, this one is a great choice.

2. Rawlings Adirondack Youth Wood Bat

Rawlings Adirondack Wood Youth Bats

Similar to the Louisville Slugger Youth 225 Bat, the Rawlings Adirondack Youth Wood Bat is also made from ash and features a nice black finish. However, this bat also boasts a laser-engraved knob for a sweeter appearance that any youth is sure to enjoy. When it comes to youth wood bats, this one is capable of withstanding the true test of time thanks to its solid construction.

The bat features a 1-inch handle that is easy for smaller hands to grasp while a medium-sized barrel ensures a greater chance of hitting a home run. The bat is available in varying sizes ranging from 27 inches to 31 inches for youths of all ages. This bat is sure to improve the swing technique of your young hitter thanks to the balanced feel that it provides.

Despite the fact that the Rawlings Adirondack Youth Wood Bat is somewhat on the thin side, it offers incredible craftsmanship. Although the ashwood ensures that the bat is lightweight, it offers enough weight to help young children develop their batting skills. Overall, this bat is a great choice for any young player looking to improve their gameplay.

3. BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat

BB-W Wood Youth Bats

The BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat by Barnett is perfect from the youngest of youth players to the oldest thanks to its incredible size range. Bat sizes include 24 inches, 28 inches, 30 inches, and 32 inches in length. The bat itself is constructed of quality composite wood, which offers solid swinging capabilities as well as the ability to send a baseball flying for the fences.

The bat is relatively lightweight and smaller in size compared to many other youth bats. It is approximately 2 inches in diameter at the end of the barrel, which may make it seem small in stature, but it is big enough to knock quite a few balls out of the park. A relatively thin handle makes this bat easy for young hands to hold onto while they practice so they can bring their A-game to the playing field.

BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat features a natural finish, which gives it a traditional appearance that is perfect for avid baseball fans of any age. Although the bat is small enough that it is easy to handle, it is also sturdy enough that it allows players to improve their techniques. The thin handle makes it easy for players to determine where the strike zone is so they can find the bat’s sweet spot without issues.

4. Louisville Slugger WB125YB-BW Baseball Bat

Louisville Slugger Youth Wood Bats

The Louisville Slugger WB125YB-BW Baseball Bat is everything a youth player could want from a contemporary-looking bat. The bat, which is made from ashwood, looks incredible with a wine-colored finish on the handle and a black finish on the barrel. Part of what makes this bat so fantastic is that it is the perfect choice for young baseball players. The bat is available in two sizes, which include a 27-inch bat weighing in at 26 ounces, and a 29-inch bat weighing 28 ounces.

This bat is a tad heavier than some bats that are similar in size, however, it offers incredible balance, and the weight of the bat allows players to develop some of the best swinging techniques possible. By improving their swinging technique, youths can gain a competitive edge on the field that allows them a better chance of hitting a home run.

The Louisville Slugger WB125YB-BW Baseball Bat is made of ashwood. Ash is a far more flexible wood than other, more traditionally used woods such as maple. However, the flexibility of the wood provides a more forgiving sweet spot to ensure the bat does not split when your child cracks a ball. In addition, the sound the ball makes when it connects with the bat will have your child grinning from ear to ear.

5. Louisville Slugger 2015 Youth 125 Ash Wood Tee Ball Bat

Louisville Slugger Ash Youth Wood Bats

When it comes to youth wood bats, the Louisville Slugger 2015 Youth 125 Ash Wood Tee Ball Bat is where it’s at. The bat features a stunning natural finish for a more traditional baseball bat look that is sure to make any little slugger happy. The bat is constructed out of carefully selected ash lumber to ensure a solid, high-quality construction.

One benefit of this bat is that it is only 26 inches in length, which makes it the perfect bat for any young tee-ball player looking to improve their gameplay. It is a superb choice as a starter bat for even the youngest of players since it is relatively lightweight and easy to handle. Since the bat is made from ashwood, it provides enough flexibility to ensure that your young player is able to make good use of the bat’s sweet spot.

Hitting a ball and landing a home run should be no problem considering that the bat is 2 inches in diameter. A smaller-sized handle ensures that tiny hands can grasp the bat with ease. This well-made bat is a great choice if you are looking for either a good practice bat or a T-ball bat, especially considering its affordable price. Overall, there is almost no way you can go wrong when choosing this bat for young baseball players.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to do anything to the bat after I purchase it?

A lot of enthusiasts put their bats through what is called a “breaking” period, which essentially means putting it to the test by swinging it against a baseball several dozen times. If you just got your composite baseball bat out of the wrapper and it feels off, then make sure to break it. Aluminum bats don’t need this.

The general rule of thumb is to rotate the bat about a quarter whenever you hit the baseball to ensure that it strikes a different part each time. Another good piece of advice is to only use about half strength when swinging at the baseball to ensure you don’t put so much pressure into it that it cracks before reaching its full potential. After you break in the bat, then it will be significantly more sturdy.

An estimated total of between 100 to 200 hits needs to be achieved for the bat to be fully broken in.

What is the best wood for youth bats?

Regardless of whether or not you’re buying a youth bat or meant for an adult, there are 3 main types of wood that are used in the industry. The traditional choice is ashwood, since it was exclusively used throughout the world until sometime around 1998, when we started experimenting with other woods such as maple and birch. Maple has since become favored, however, due to its extreme durability.

  • Ash – The father of baseball bats and the wood from which most of them used to be made. Ashwood is very flexible but features little density, ruining them after heavy use. It’s known to be less performing than maple and far more prone to breaking.
  • Birch – A mix between ash and maple. A decent middle ground between flexibility and density, making birch a solid all-rounder.
  • Maple – The stiffest and hardest wood commonly used in baseballs. Chosen by professionals due to its extraordinary durability.

If you’d like to find the best wood youth bats for yourself, then picking your desired type would be a wise place to start.

Final Thoughts

With so many bats available on the market, it can seem like a daunting task to try and find the right one. Fortunately, the list above will help you get started with some great starter bats for young players. Each one features its own unique benefits that your children are sure to love. Better yet, each bat listed comes at an affordable price that parents are sure to love.

There should be no reason why you should have to break the bank just to ensure that your child receives a quality youth bat to play with. Although there might not be any warranties available on the bats mentioned above, their solid build should ensure plenty of playtime without the worry of cracking and breaking.

Of course, you should keep in mind that the chances of splitting a bat are always likely with wood, but the better the build of the bat and the more solid the construction, the less likely it is that your little slugger will splinter it to pieces.

All-in-all, the bats mentioned above will provide your child with plenty of playtime both on and off the field while also improving their swinging technique thanks to their balanced weight.

The 5 Best Youth Catchers Mitts

Best Youth Catchers Mitts

Looking for the best youth catchers mitts on the market? We’ve got your back!

When it comes to baseball, whether played professionally or by a group of youths, every player on the field is required to wear a glove, even the catcher. The only difference is that the glove the catcher wears is referred to as a mitt, because, unlike a glove, the mitt does not have individuals places for the catcher to place his or her fingers. Also, the mitt tends to have a rather large, deep pocket that is designed to allow the catcher to trap the ball within the glove once caught.

If your child is currently expressing interest in the position of a catcher, make sure you have the right equipment on hand, which includes quality youth catcher’s mitts. With so many mitts to choose from, it can seem nearly impossible to choose the right one. Luckily, the list below can take the guesswork out of your purchasing decision by highlighting the top five youth catcher mitts available for you to buy.

Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt – Right Hand Throw

  • Size: 31.5″, 32.5″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: No
  • Break-in Ready: No

Under Armour 31.5″ Youth Framer Series Catcher’s Mitt

best youth catchers mitts

  • Size: 31.5″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: No
  • Break-in Ready: Yes

Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt

  • Size: 32″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Break-in Ready: No

Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt

  • Size: 32.5″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Break-in Ready: No

Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove

  • Size: 32″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Break-in Ready: No

1. Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt

Wilson's best youth catchers mitts.

Baseball is a game that requires the development of certain skill sets. The only way to develop those skillsets is by practicing and ensuring that your child has the right equipment to use when playing the game. The Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt is a quality youth mitt that provides a comfortable fit for improved performance during both game time and practices.

The Wilson company makes it a point to work with top-performing MLB players in order to design youth catcher’s mitts that best emulate the mitts that professional players use. This particular mitt consists of a palm and web that are made entirely of pigskin. The glove features a half-moon web shape that allows catchers to adequately catch and cradle the ball during gameplay.

The Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt is available in either a 31.5-inch size or a 32.5-inch size in order to accommodate both older and younger children. Keep in mind that this glove is only available for catchers with a right-handed throw, meaning the glove itself is designed to be worn on the left hand. You should also keep in mind that this glove is specifically designed as a baseball mitt rather than a softball mitt.

2. Under Armour 31.5″ Youth Framer Series Catcher’s Mitt

Under Armour best youth catchers mitts.

Under Armour is an extremely well-known brand within the sports world, and that’s not just limited to baseball. With this Framer Series youth catcher’s mitt, you can get the innovation and design that you know and love from Under Armour.

This catcher’s mitt, at 31.5 inches, is a lightweight glove. This allows any young player to quickly move around. It can also help young players develop their catching skills. While it’s lightweight, it is equipped with PHT Padding Technology, which makes it just as protective as heavier catcher’s mitts.

Contributing to the lightweight design, this catcher’s mitt has an open, perforated back. This adds breathability to the mitt and also decreases the weight. It also uses high-quality synthetic material on the back of the glove. This helps remove excess weight in specific spots of the glove that don’t need durability.

Additionally, this mitt has a deep pocket along with a large surface area. This allows a huge target for the pitcher, as well as a good amount of catching space.

Although this mitt isn’t one of the most inexpensive options, it may provide you with the best value. It has incredible features as well as a decent price tag.

3. Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt

Easton best youth catchers mitts.

When it comes to youth catcher’s mitts, the Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt takes the cake for a number of reasons. To begin with, the mitt is designed with smaller hand openings in order to better accommodate youth players looking for a secure and comfortable fit. In addition, the 32-inch size of the mitt is great for young little league players looking for better control of the ball.

The extended web and closed back provides a relatively deep pocket, which in turn means fewer balls dropped when it comes down to those all-important strikeouts. The mitt comes equipped with a palm pad in order to reduce the damage that the impact of a speeding ball can deliver. The good news is, sting reduction not only reduces the chances that your young player will get hurt, but it also provides a boost of confidence.

It is common for young players to shy away from catching a ball out of fear that it will hurt. Thanks to the palm pad found in this glove, your child will quickly gain the confidence needed to improve their catching abilities and overall gameplay. Although the Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt is not quite out-of-the-box ready, it does not take long for younger players to break it in for a more natural and comfortable feel.

4. Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt

Mizuno best youth catchers mitts.

When it comes to youth catcher’s mitts, Mizuno has certainly made a name for themselves with the Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt. This transitional-sized mitt is available in a 32.5-inch size that is perfect for young hands looking to catch a ball. Thanks to Mizuno’s Power Close technology, youth players will find that it is much easier to close the mitt and keep it closed for increased ball control. A V-Flex Notch design increases the ease with which your child can close the mitt, affecting ball catching and controlling.

You will quickly find that this mitt can improve your child’s catching and controlling techniques, which is in part because of the ParaShock palm pad designed into it. The pad absorbs the impact of the ball, which means young hands will not feel the sting that often comes with a high-impact catch. Sting reduction will in turn reduce your child’s fear of catching the ball, which will enable them to play with more confidence on the field.

Although your child can use the Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt for softball, it is important to realize that it is certainly defined more for baseball. Furthermore, when purchasing this mitt, you have the option of purchasing it for either a left-handed or right-handed thrower. While the Mizuno does not come ready for use straight out of the box, it is relatively easy to break in. In fact, you will find that your child can break it in pretty quickly with perhaps just a few practices.

5. Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove

Akadema best youth catchers mitts.

The Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove is certainly a great choice with regard to youth catcher’s mitts. Part of what makes this particular mitt so special is because of who designed it. When you choose a catcher’s mitt for your child, you want to ensure that it is designed to do its job, which includes catching or scooping a ball, closing around it, and controlling it. No one understood that better than MLB hall of famer Gary Edmund Carter.

As a former player for both the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, Carter understood the importance of a quality mitt, particularly since he played the position so well. For that reason, Carter designed this mitt with a deep pocket as well as a Spiral-Lock Web and Grasp-Clasp wrist system to ensure that your child would have an easier time catching and controlling the ball.

The Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove also features an open-back design that provides breathability for added comfort. As if that isn’t enough. Carter designed the glove to offer a Praying Mantis fit in that it has two more finger slots in order to keep the fingers firmly in place once inside the glove, which in turn improves the level of control your child has over the ball. The glove has a shock-absorbent feature that protects little hands from injury upon catching the ball.

In addition to its very unique design, this glove is made from high-quality, lightweight materials that your child will find comfortable. The pocket of the glove features a Steerhide material that is carefully selected and crated in the U.S. The back of the glove features Akademalyte leather. The materials are secured in place using rawhide gray lacing, which adds additional quality and an appealing appearance.

When purchasing this catcher’s mitt, keep in mind that it is available for either a left-handed or right-handed thrower. The uniquely shaped design and shape of the glove enable your child to gain fast, easy access to the ball, which should in turn help to improve your child’s gameplay experience and overall technique.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between a mitt and a glove?

The terms glove and mitt are used relatively interchangeably within baseball, even though they both explicitly refer to a mitt, as gloves as different. To put it as simply as possible, a glove has separate pockets for each of your fingers, while a mitt has fewer of them, bunching up your fingers together. This helps when catching a ball due to an added sense of security.

Do I have to do anything to the mitt after I purchase it?

A mitt just taken out of the wrapper will probably be uncomfortable to use, due to the fact that the material from which it has been made has not reached the level of flexibility required for optimal comfort. In short, it will be quite stiff.
Softening the material and putting it through use, then, is called “breaking” the glove. This is primarily done through repeatedly catching baseballs, and it can take anything from several days to whole weeks. To keep it simple, the more you use your mitt, the better it’s going to perform.

What is glove oil and how does it help?

Glove oil is very frequently seen being used by professionals. It is a light, all-purpose oil that has been specifically designed in order to be able to penetrate the material of most baseball mitts for two reasons: that of helping to break in new mitts by softening the material, and of keeping old mitts fresh and pristine by infusing them with much-needed oils so that it doesn’t become dry and crackly.

It can be used without worry, as even if you put too much oil on your mitts, then you’re not going to damage them. Furthermore, glove oil dries quite quickly and doesn’t leave residue, either, making the whole process quite easy. Keeping your mitt well-oiled can help protect against things like mold and mildew.

How often should I oil a catchers mitt glove?

The need for oiling can range from one time per week to one time per month, depending on the humidity of where you live. There isn’t a specific standard time that oiling is required. It depends on what type of oil you’re using, what type of glove you have, and the overall humidity of the environment where you choose to store your glove.
The best way to get it right is to read the instructions on the oil’s label and determine how often you should oil it that way.

What is the best time to replace a baseball glove?

Whenever the leather seems to be becoming weak that a hard line drive won’t stick to your glove anymore. There’s no exact measurement here either, you kind of have to go by your gut feeling and see how your glove performs during practice.

What size catchers mitt should a 12 year old use?

A 12 year old’s mitt should be within the range of 32 to 32.5 inches in circumference. Players 12 and under will require a mitt of 32″ or less, while a player 13 or older will usually require a catcher’s mitt whose circumference is 32.5″ or more.

What size catchers mitt should a 10 year old use?

Eight to ten year olds should wear mitts from 30 to 31 inches in circumference. Again, this can vary from child to child, but as a rule of thumb, that would be standard size for a catcher’s mitt meant for a 10 year old.

How long do the best youth catchers mitts last?

A standard pair of catchers mitts can last anywhere from a few months to two or three years depending on how much you use them. This also varies depending on the build quality, the brand that made the mitt, and many other factors. The mitts we’ve presented in this guide are all high-quality, so you should expect a decent shelf life.

Best Youth Catchers Mitts Final Thoughts

There you have it, the 5 Best Youth Catchers Mitts. Perhaps you are in need of a baseball bat as well? If so, then make sure you check out our list of Best Wood Youth Bats as well.

How to Play Pictionary: An Illustrated Guide

The quarantine has left us all in need of entertainment. It’s no wonder, then, that people have taken to appropriating the age-old game of Pictionary to Zoom’s environment. If you’re one of the people that wonder how to play Pictionary, then you’re in luck, as we’ve outlined an easy-to-follow guide that will bring you up to speed in no time.

Playing Pictionary on Zoom is not as complicated as some might think. You can traditionally play Pictionary with a pen and some paper. Zoom’s Whiteboard feature, however, offers an amazing alternative. Spicing up a board meeting before delving into what’s serious has never been this easy!

What is Pictionary on Zoom?

Pictionary is a word-guessing game created by Robert Angel in 1985. The game is generally played in two teams and has the end goal of identifying a larger array of words than your competitors. The team that scores the largest number of words is declared the winner.

Zoom is a particularly awesome platform to play Pictionary on due to its popularity and ease of use. The onset of the pandemic has left many people migrating their daily business to Zoom, greatly inflating its user base. Fans of Pictionary know this only means more people to play with.

Zoom’s Whiteboard feature makes playing Pictionary a breeze, although playing online means that you’ll have to use a random word generator as well for a complete experience.

Want something different or is Pictionary not what you’re looking for? We’ve put together a large list of games for you to peruse and enjoy, so take your pick!

vector concept of children playing pictionary

Getting Started with Pictionary

Learning how to play Pictionary is easy, although mastering it requires more than just a couple of ad-hoc games. First thing you should take care of is to relax. While Pictionary is highly competitive in nature, there’s no reason for you to get too involved. Some joke that it’s the type of game that destroys friendships. We’re glad to let you know that’s anything but true.

Ready? Great! In order to play, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  • A Zoom account.
  • (Optional) Pen and paper.
  • A random word generator.
  • A timer.

We’ll be assuming that you’re going to be using Zoom’s Whiteboard feature instead of the traditional pen and paper approach. This removes the need to keep track of word categories on account of the generator.

Setting Up Your Teams

While you can learn how to play Pictionary on Zoom with more than just two teams, the general rule of thumb is that it’s far easier to understand and enjoy the game when there’s fewer teams to worry about.

If you have a large table and are not sure if you can accommodate everyone, then just split it in two and assign more players to a team than otherwise instead of adding more, as that tends to bog it down with additional paperwork.

The situation in which there are only three remaining players can also crop up, in which case it’s recommended you designate one of them as the dedicated sketcher.

Establishing House Rules

Pictionary has a set of rules that must be followed in order to keep up with the spirit of the game. There are also many who have chosen to modify them to their liking. There’s a varied amount of house rules available that you can enforce before starting play, so it’s wise to discuss them with your group for the perfect experience.

The word “basketball” is a classic example to consider when trying to determine house rules. What do you do if a player guesses “basketball hoop,” instead? The consensus among veteran Pictionary players is that the answer goes as long as the key word has been identified.

In traditional Pictionary you determine the starting player by rolling a six-sided die. This doesn’t quite apply to Zoom Pictionary. You can choose the starting player in a myriad of ways, such as going in the order of the webcam layout. Or alphabetically. Or by age, to give only a few examples!

people socializing via video conference

How to Play Pictionary on Zoom

So you’ve learned what it takes to play Pictionary and now you’re eager to get started. First, you must split the players into teams. Then you should get ready to apply your artistic skills before the timer runs out.

The first player has to start the 60 second timer and generate a random word. They will then have to appropriate it onto Zoom’s Whiteboard through drawing.

Let’s assume they generate the word “dog.” This means that the first player will have to illustrate a dog onto the Whiteboard. Then the other player has to guess it correctly before the timer runs out.

There’s always going to be someone who is going to try and declare the word before the first few lines have been laid out, which is great, as it’s all in the spirit of the game.

The host of the game or the player assembly will have to determine a success threshold for winning the game. Traditional Pictionary is played on a game board and has a slightly different scoring system than what Zoom allows. It’s important to establish the winning number of successes before starting play.

The team that first reaches this threshold is the winner, chalking up a success for each word guessed off the Whiteboard.

If you’re part of the winning team, then congratulations! You’ve gotten the hang of Pictionary, and will no doubt have a slew of future successes when playing against less experienced players.

If you’re part of the losing team, then congratulations as well! Pictionary is a game and should be taken thusly. Losing just means you have room for improvement, and there’s no better time to apply your recently learned talents than in future games.

Other Zoom Games Worth Trying

Zoom isn’t just good for playing Pictionary. There are many other games you could engage in, all of which are perfect for a video conference environment. Here’s a small list of suggestions that will leave you enthusiastic at the prospect of discovering a whole world of traditional gaming done virtually.

Twenty Questions

Need to test the amount of general knowledge you’ve acquired over the course of your lifetime? There’s few better ways to impress your peers with just how many things you know than by challenging them to a game of twenty questions.

Truth or Dare

See how brave your friends and family are by challenging them to a game of truth or dare. This staple childhood game can be played on Zoom with no effort whatsoever and is simple enough to thrive in situations in which time is of the essence.

Hangman

What a classic! Students have been playing Hangman since time immemorial, and the game is still very popular among certain groups. Zoom’s Whiteboard feature makes it easy for you and your group to play this awesome word puzzle game. Train not only your mind, but your ability to develop long-lasting friendships!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you play Pictionary without teams?

Yes! While Pictionary is a team game at its heart, Hasbro has also put forward rules for players who would like to eschew the idea of teamwork. All in good fun, of course. If this is what you’re into, then we have some great suggestions for you.
You can play Pictionary in three players by splitting up the table in two teams and choosing the third player as the designated artist of the game. Drawing for the rest of the game isn’t all that fun, however.
The artist is also going to score a point whenever they draw well enough that one of the other players has guessed a keyword. This way you can reward both normal players and the artist.
One simple way to play Pictionary without teams is to rotate the role of designated artist after every guessed word. This can be done in any manner, whether from left to right or by the flip of a coin.
If the artist has a higher score than the other players, then he can no longer be an artist, and is only relegated to guessing.
You can also establish a set number of successes that will win the game instead of deciding freeform. Our suggestion would be to go for 9, which makes for a quick, stress-free game.

Is Pictionary a good game for children?

There’s few games, in fact, that are better suited to a developing child than Pictionary. Learning to identify words and concepts through a visual medium can help develop a child’s cognitive and perceptive skills to great effect.
Pictionary might sound a bit too difficult for certain children, although if you patiently take the time to explain how the game is played, then it only becomes a matter of practice.
Exposing a loved one to a traditional game like Pictionary is a great choice for parents who want to take an active hand in their development.

Can you play Pictionary in class?

Using Pictionary as a learning tool is a very wise move for teachers from all over the world. It’s easy to make class fun when you’re playing a game! If you’re looking for a more personal, laid-back approach to teaching your students words, then Pictionary is exactly what you need.
The convenience of having a blackboard or a whiteboard available solidifies Pictionary as being the end-all classroom game. It is a great introduction to a particularly intense lesson, as it can help students unwind and relax before getting to work.

Are there other ways of playing Pictionary?

You can play Pictionary in a wide variety of ways. The most common way of playing an alternate version of Hasbro’s timeless classic is Reverse Pictionary, which is particularly good when in a classroom environment on account of its unique nature.
Let’s assume your table has been split in two. A designated guesser has to be chosen by each team, who will have the sole privilege of attempting to identify key words. The guesser will have to be positioned with their back to the drawing board.
The game host must write down a word on the drawing board. The two teams will then have to draw it onto any canvas which will then be presented to the designated guessers. Their role, of course, is to identify the key words.
This is a fun way of putting a fresh coat of paint on Pictionary and will no doubt greatly improve its replayability value. Playing Reverse Pictionary on Zoom can be tricky, although that obstacle can easily be circumvented with a bit of creativity.

The Bottom Line

Pictionary is a spectacular game for all ages. Zoom’s Whiteboard feature has made it easy to get together for a bit of rest and relaxation. This opens up a large host of gaming possibilities.

Understanding the rules of the game can be difficult at first, especially when adapting Pictionary to an online video conference. You’re bound to have loads of fun as long as you follow the instructions.

Want to do us a favor? Then enjoy yourself and create some memorable experiences with your friends and acquaintances. Pictionary is the sort of game over which you can easily bond, so forget about your worries! Don’t be afraid to dive right in. You’ll be better for it.

You’ve learned how to play Pictionary. Now it’s all up to you!

25 Glow In The Dark Party Ideas | All You Need to Know

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. So why not consider a glow in the dark party? Today, we will discuss plenty of glow in the dark party ideas to turn you into the absolute master of event planning and your party into a resounding success!

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. Before we begin, let’s see what you need to know to organize the best ever glow in the dark party!

Can You Throw a Glow in the Dark Party at Home?

Yes, of course, you can! In fact, you might consider such an event one of the coolest things to do with the children at home, as they will have a blast helping you organize it and enjoying every minute of it! The best thing about a glow in the dark party is that you can throw it on any occasion: a celebration, a housewarming party idea, a birthday, an anniversary, a fun event to share with your friends to shake off the routines, etc.

What Do You Need for a Glow in the Dark Party?

Usually, the materials needed to throw a glow in the dark party include the following materials and supplies:

  • Glow stick decorations;
  • Black lights;
  • Neon decorations;
  • Glow in the dark balloons;
  • Neon/fluorescent paint, tape, paper, and other items from a party store or a stationery shop;
  • Fluorescent makeup, face paint, and clothes;
  • Floating glow balls;
  • Glowing barware, including glow ice cubes and neon accessories;
  • Fog, lasers, etc.

In case you are wondering how many black lights you need for a glow in the dark party, the answer depends on the size of the room. If you throw the party in a living room, a garage, or a patio, one black light kit should be enough. However, if the space is generous (think between 20×20 feet and 50×50 feet), you might need two blacklight kits to make sure you spread the magic in every corner of that space!

Can I Add Glow in the Dark Food as a Party Idea?

Yes, but make sure you use black light if you want your foods and drinks to glow as well. Here are some suggestions:

  • tonic water (it glows blue);
  • eggs;
  • pineapple;
  • honey;
  • energy drinks that contain vitamin B;
  • syrup;
  • vanilla ice cream;
  • clear soda drinks (such as 7Up or Mountain Dew).

What Clothes Are Best to Wear at a Glow in the Dark Party?

If you organize a glow in the dark party with black lights, some of the best clothes to wear are the glow party outfits and fabrics that are either fluorescent or white. As we all know, the more neon colors you wear, the more chances you have to glow in the dark. Your safest bets are fluorescent clothes in pink, yellow, and orange.

Now that we saw a few details on how to organize a glow in the dark party, let’s see the glow in the dark party ideas we prepared for you!

25 Glow in the Dark Party Ideas

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. Kids, in particular, love face painting and you will keep them happy for the entire length of the party! If you also want to engage your teens in a challenge, prompt them to paint each others’ faces or get creative with their younger brothers and sisters! Be sure to use paint that’s skin-friendly, and not paint that contains lead or any other harmful chemicals. While we don’t want to alarm you, we considered it necessary to tell you about this because many people have made this mistake in the past.

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, activate the black light bulbs, and let the games begin! The rules are the same as the ones regarding classic volleyball so you won’t have to worry about learning a new type of game from scratch.

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 most suited to children, adults who are children at heart will dig it as well. Of course, you’ll need a slightly bigger house than what most people have if you want this activity to be truly fun. Or, better yet, play this game outside during the night while using neon paint and a flashlight. We don’t recommend playing this in public areas, however. Play in a huge backyard or near a forest. Just be careful not to get caught by wild animals while you’re at it.

Balloon Truth or Dare

This is one of the better glow in the dark party ideas. You will need to get some glow in the dark balloons to 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. Here are some hundreds of Truth or Dare questions and challenges that go on any occasion! 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. If you ask us, just about any energetic genre works great with neon lights and glow sticks. Just be sure that everyone likes the specific genres you will be choosing for the party.

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 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 we mentioned in this guide into the mix, and you’ll be sitting pretty. You can get neon plates, cups, and utensils at party supply stores. If you’re really talented, you can get some cardboard and cut it into several shapes and use it to decorate further. Here’s an idea: use cardboard cuttings as stars and planets and hang them from the ceiling. That way, your guests will have the impression that they’re in outer space. Really wicked, huh?

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 sweets. 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 an edible glow in the dark menu. It may look freaky, but you don’t need to worry. As long as the neon-colored frosting is 100% edible, none of your guests should have an allergic reaction or other nasty condition caused by it.

Egg Hunt

Whoever said that an egg hunt was only for Easter? Color some eggs with glow in the dark paint or neon paint, hide them strategically, and have your guests go on an egg hunt around the house! And don’t think that only kids or tweens will enjoy this sort of activity. People of all ages can have some fun and engage in an epic egg hunt. Alternatively, you can also organize this hunt in your backyard, just as you would do with an Easter egg hunt. Just be sure it’s dark enough outside so that the neon paint will be visible using a flashlight.

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! Better yet, if you and your guests consider a Yankee Swap type of gifting game at the party, glow in the dark gift bags make everything even more special and exciting!

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 lawn Twister 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 the pattern, you can go with a traditional checkerboard 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! A game of Ring Toss is one of those cheap outdoor games you can play in your back yard, so check out this guide here and see what other lawn games you can adapt to become glow in the dark party ideas!

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. As we said, 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.

Glow In The Dark Party Ideas: Final Thoughts

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 the party of the year among your group of friends.

Featured Image via Pexels

6 Affordable Christmas Presents Ideas

Being stuck indoors during the holidays isn’t fun for anybody. It is only natural that you might want to visit your family, your teens may want to go out with friends, and your little ones will surely want to go outside and play in the snow. Not being able to do any of those can be quite discouraging, however, buying gifts for your loved ones is still on the table! Here are a few affordable Christmas presents ideas and some tips for keeping your finances under control this holiday season.

6 Gifts for Family and Friends

1. Advent Calendars

They are a month-long investment, but they will keep everyone excited with one little present every day! And they can be filled with anything: mini bath bombs and hand cream, face cream or body wash for mom, fancy tea and coffee samples for dad, little toys for the kids, and makeup samples or tabletop games figurines for the teens! With an advent calendar, you will keep the recipient of the gift always curious to know what they’ll find the next day.

2. Games for the Kids

If you have two or more children, the easiest way to get a little time for yourself in the middle of the holiday excitement is to give them something to do. And a new two-player game is a great way to keep the kids busy and relatively quiet for… well. We do not guarantee more than half an hour. But even that can be enough sometimes. Pick something that is age-appropriate and captivating, but beware: you might find yourself sucked into the gameplay too!

3. A Gaming Console

This is the kind of investment that could really cover gifts for the entire family. It would be a house gift that anyone can use as they please. It is indeed a big expense, but you will have unlimited fun and a go-to present idea for years to come. If you feel that your budget does not stretch that far, you can use a digital app to help you save money for the things that really matter to you! Plant a couple of individually wrapped games for each member of the family, along with a “daily gaming timecard” to hint at the main present and to ensure everyone gets some, but not too much playtime.

4. Teaching Time

It is never too early to start teaching children about giving and being generous. Nor is it too late. And seeing as they have most likely interacted with their grandparents, neighbors, and teachers this year, you can take this opportunity to reverse the roles a little. Explain to the little ones that teachers deserve a little “thank you” gift this year and decide together what to send them. Use this handy guide to pick out a great present for your kids’ favorite teacher!

5. Something You Made

For older kids, teens, and even young adults, a fun holiday activity is a DIY project. Reuse materials you have around the house and let their imagination run wild. You can join in too; after all, it is a fun and relaxing activity. And the resulting projects can be offered as gifts for grandparents. You get bonus points if you are a teen yourself and surprise your parents with something you have crafted yourself. Decorations are always a win, but you can try jewelry (or other small items) boxes, bookmarks, or even paintings and sculptures!

6. A Plush Toy

I have yet to meet a person, child, adult, or elder whose heart does not melt at the sight of a cute, fluffy, cuddly toy. They have many psychological benefits as well, the soft texture can help with anxiety, and hugs, even plush ones, are known to relieve stress. At best, a plushie will create a corner of safety and relaxation, and at worst, it can be a cute replacement for a throw pillow. Either way, that’s a win!

Plan Ahead and Stick to Your Budget

As demonstrated through past years, some of us may tend to go a little overboard with the Christmas presents. Nevertheless, December is all about showing your appreciation and making sure that you have a gift prepared for your loved ones.

Whereas some have a natural talent for putting money aside, others find it difficult to keep track of their finances. Digital apps can really come in handy in such cases. For example, Qube Money is a digital wallet that will not only give you an overview of your daily spendings but will also help you prioritize your finances and see which areas could benefit from a budget cut. When it comes to ticking off your gift list, planning makes perfect!

Bottom Line

So, here you have it! Six great ideas for affordable Christmas presents that are not mugs, ties, and gift cards. Have fun this holiday season and happy giving! Merry Christmas everyone!

21 Fun 70th Birthday Party Ideas to Celebrate a Platinum Jubilee in Style

When planning a 70th birthday party – or a platinum jubilee as people call this anniversary in some circles, it is important to make sure that your guest of honor is comfortable and will enjoy the celebration. It is their party after all!  This will depend greatly on their health, food preference, and the desired party size. It seems like a ton of stuff to consider, right? Well, worry not, because, in this article, you are sure to find something that will work for any lucky 70 years old! So here are our most fun and best twenty-one 70th birthday party ideas to consider this year! If you were looking for some fun surprise 70th birthday party ideas for your lifetime partner or some special 70th birthday party ideas for mom or dad, you will find your inspiration here!

If you want even more creative incentives to organize a memorable event for everyone involved, check out our 80th birthday party ideas as well! We are sure you can adapt the themes and activities to any situation!

21 70th Birthday Party Ideas for Your Loved Ones

On the Day You Were Born:

This is always a fun party idea because it allows you and other guests to get a glimpse inside the life of the honoree that they might not have seen before. The first thing you will want to do is either go to your public library or on your computer, and do a search for the exact day they were born, and learn! Then you will need a way to display all of the information you have just learned. My favorite way is to get a big chalkboard and decorate it with facts about the day of the honoree’s birth. If you do decide to use a chalkboard, a fun idea is to also place a second chalkboard next to it, and allow guests to write memories or sweet notes. You can write and draw a lot of stuff related to the decade that the person was born in. You can also look on the internet for far lesser-known stuff related to the person’s birth year or birth decade. It’s worth doing as much research as possible because you never know what you might stumble upon.

Slide Show:

Slide shows are a great way to keep the party intimate, and also bring back happy memories with loved ones. There are two different formats that can be used for a slide show, one is a “Now and Then”, where you would display pictures of the honoree from childhood through to their 70th birthday party. Another way to present a slideshow is “A look Back and a Look Forward”. This one is my favorite, because not only do you get to share and enjoy the memories of their life so far, but you get the chance to ask them and display pictures of where they hope to go and what they want to achieve. This is an idea to be careful with, you do not want to dredge up old and painful memories. For example, you might want to avoid putting up pictures from the person’s wedding if their spouse has died recently. It might be too much for them and the birthday party might turn out much sadder than you would have planned otherwise.

Milestone Photo Book:

In case, you are concerned that a slideshow might evoke too many painful memories, I suggest using a photo book instead. Choosing this route will allow everyone to look at the photos at their leisure. People can talk to the birthday guy or gal about the photos. This is a beautiful way to hear stories from the honoree and learn about their life and what is special to them. Choose not only photos of the honoree, but also ones of children and grandchildren. They will be reminded of the life and joy still flourishing around them. It might also be the perfect moment to allow them to share their own take on some events or memories. You might even end up finding out something that you had absolutely no idea about the birthday boy or gal.

Host a Roast:

This is a great way to liven up any party, especially a 70th birthday party! Can you imagine all of the stories after 70 years of living!?  It is important that you include on the invites the plan for a roast, and have whoever wants to participate think of a funny story about the honoree they would like to share at the party.  Be sure that you ask to see each memory/funny story first, this way you can avoid duplicates and, most importantly, hurt feelings. This is a theme where the guest of honor is remembered and gets to feel special while laughing. Organizing a roast for a guest of honor is, in general, a great idea for any type of party or celebration, so you can keep it in mind for an 80th birthday party as well. Again, try not to be mean and try talking to the other guests about what questions would be good and what things are absolutely off-limits for anyone so that you don’t end up causing the guest of honor to cry.

Classic Car Theme:

If your birthday honoree is all about old, classic cars, this is a great theme to have. Find out what cars they owned, or always wanted to own, and decorate the place.  The important thing to be aware of is that this is not a party for a child. That being said, the cake can be in the shape of an old car, you could try organizing a car show for the party, but I would keep the decorations for the most part subtle. You are celebrating something they love, and need to be cognizant of where to draw the line.

best 70th birthday party ideas for family members
Image via Pexels

Casino Night:

This is one of my favorite ways to celebrate well, ANYTHING!  If the one you are celebrating is the type of person who likes to go to casinos, then this is a party that simply cannot fail.  You can put their picture on everything from the poker chips and cards to the slots in a slot machine! With this theme, everyone can play games at their own pace, and party while remembering who they are celebrating. Besides, who would not want their face on a poker chip? Speaking of casino nights and recreating the atmosphere of noir cinema and literature, why don’t you check out this guide on the best card games to play to get your imagination wheels in motion? If the party honoree does not want to play poker necessarily, you can always engage in a mean game of Canasta. Just make sure you all remain friends afterward, as Canasta can heat up the spirits like no other!

Picnic or BBQ:

If you are throwing a party for someone who loves the outdoors, a wonderful party would be a picnic or BBQ. Find a beautiful shaded and somewhat secluded place, place blankets on the ground, and picnic baskets filled with goodies. If the honoree enjoys being on the grill, have a personalized apron made for them with something like “kiss me, I’m 70” or “made in 19__” for a special touch.  This is a great way to celebrate a spring or early fall birthday. In fact, it is one of the loveliest ways to celebrate any birthday, especially for kids and teens born in the summer. It makes a wholesome and laidback event where everybody can be themselves.

Afternoon Tea Party:

If the guest of honor is not much of a party animal or prefers smaller crowds, an afternoon tea party is a sweet and intimate way to go. Find a nice room to rent for an afternoon, and place lace tablecloths down, some flowers, perhaps even some pearls. A trick I have used is to find clear vases or bottles, and put pearls and glitter in the bottom, and then stick a flower in. They make lovely centerpieces. Tea lights are also a classy and fun way to go. Just because this is a tea party for a 70-year-old, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! You could try searching for bundles with many different types of tea to try out. That way, every guest will be pleased and each person can share a recommendation about their favorite tea. The more tea enthusiasts you bring to the party, the better, as you yourself might find out about a flavor that you didn’t even know existed.

Golfing Theme:

This theme is another fun outdoor type of party to have. This theme is not just for the adults either, you could go big and set up a miniature golf section as well for the kids. A game that I think is a fun one for this type of party, is to get a large glass jar, fill it with golf balls and tees, and have people place bets on how many items are in the jar, with a prize for the winner. Otherwise, you could actually rent a golf venue and do your business there. Keep in mind, however, that doing the latter is quite expensive, and unless you can afford to throw your loved one such a birthday party, you’re better off just sticking to a regular golf theme in your backyard and that’s that.

Games:

This type of party would be fun for any age, but especially for someone hitting 70.  Lookup popular television show games, or family games and go wild!  Find out which games to use and replace some things. For example, make player pieces with their face on them, or for a question/answer type game, come up with questions about the honoree.  This is a fun way to keep everyone interactive while keeping the focus on the main person. A nice idea would be an adapted version of one of the many Get to Know You games. You can challenge the guests to answer questions about the honoree and see who know him/her better and who has the funniest stories.

best 70th birthday party ideas for mom and dad
Image via Pexels

Memory Jars:

Memory jars are a great way to illustrate the life of the person celebrating their 70th birthday party.  You can start by making ones yourself as table decorations. Provide extra jars, photos, and other fun things for the guests to make their own. Then after the party is over, everyone will have something to take home as a keepsake of the wonderful life they just celebrated.

Dance Party:

A themed dance party is a great way to celebrate any 70th birthday party for someone still very active. Choose music from their teen to young adult years, and let the music take control.  Finding a DJ can be expensive, yes, but it doesn’t have to be. Just pick someone you know and have them create a playlist, then all you will have to worry about is the speaker system.

Photo Booth:

A photo booth is a welcome attraction at any party.  Pick some cool props that are appropriate to celebrating the honoree.  Help them and everyone creates new memories that will last forever. This is something that will be interactive and fun for everyone! You’ll surely remain with some nice memories after such a well-organized event.

Food Throughout the Years:

If the person you are celebrating is a foodie, then here is the party for them!  Pick popular foods from the last 70 years, and have at it.  A fun idea to do with this is to make the tables different themed and allow guests to move about. Sitting at different tables enjoying different foods will make for excellent conversation and full happy stomachs! This is also an excellent way to ensure that you have a wide variety of foods for special diets.

Do Not Forget the Balloons:

The right balloons can make any party a success.  They are a reminder of youth and fun and keep everything light and fun.  If you are having trouble pinpointing the perfect theme, balloons can help.  By simply picking a color scheme, themes will just sort of start popping out of the woodwork! They do this party planner anyway.

3 More 70th Birthday Party Ideas for Mom

Now, let’s see some specific 70th birthday party ideas for mom that you can plan in the blink of an eye! Of course, all the party ideas above are unisex so to speak, but if you want something truly special, here are five ideas to start with and get you going!

Theatre Play to Honor Her Achievements

This idea here is excellent if your mom had always had a soft spot for theatre or cinema. Talk to the other family members and note down all the important and proud moments in your mother’s life so far. Something that will put a smile and even some tears of joy on her face. Get some inspiration from our guide on improv games, as you may want to celebrate her achievements with a comedic flair.

An All-Women Celebratatory Photo

This 70th birthday party idea does not exclude the male members of the family. However, when it comes to the best 70th birthday party ideas for mom, you cannot go wrong with this one. Talk to all the women in your family and have a photo together – a large one so your mom can display on a wall – including everyone, from granny to the youngest girl in the clan. Sign the photo all of you, frame it, and make a girl-themed party out of it if you want.

Play The “Never Have I Ever” Game

Women and their secrets, right? In the vein of organizing a laidback game party for mom and her guests, try playing the Never Have I Ever game. At 70 years old, your mom probably did a lot of things and this is the best time to find out some of her secrets and less-known life adventures! As long as the questions do not trigger painful memories or lean on some family issues no one wants to learn about at a party, you should be fine. Choose your questions well and have a blast from the past with your mom, dad, family members, and friends!

3 More 70th Birthday Party Ideas for Dad

As we said above, all these 70th birthday party ideas go great for both men and women, but if you want to celebrate your dad in style, here are some more tips on how to organize a memorable event!

The Honorary Cocktail Party

Does your dad have a favorite drink or cocktail? Make a party out of it or, better yet, invent a special cocktail for your dad and name it after him! You can also choose a different approach: start from your dad’s favorite color, make a cocktail that has that color (after you mix and stir the well-chosen ingredients), get some party decorations in the same nuance, and have some fun with it! Your dad will be more than happy to name a cocktail and share some good times with all of you!

The Sports Party

You probably already had this idea, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. A sports-themed party revolving around your dad’s favorite sport is always a good idea to keep him invested and the guests entertained. You can go to any lengths with it. Prepare an awesome sports-themed gift (like a great baseball glove) and try to have it signed by one of his favorite players. Since it is a bit difficult, you can have it signed by all the family members. While it may be hard to get an autograph from a sports celebrity, it is not hard at all to order a cake in the shape of a basketball or even a baseball bat.

Dad’s Favorite Things Party

Last (but definitely not least) on our list of best 70th birthday party ideas for dad is a themed celebration revolving around all the things your dad loves, from snacks to movies. It is one of the best ways to make your father feel like a king and see everyone around him enjoy all the things that he enjoys. Order his favorite chocolates and foods, decorate in his favorite color, play his favorite music, watch his favorite film together, you know… Add a splash of all those wonderful things that make your father so wonderful and enjoy them with the rest of the family and guests!

Bottom Line

There you have it, some of the best 70th birthday party ideas. The most important thing to remember is to celebrate the life of the person, and not to focus on their age.  Keep it light and fun while making new memories.  Your goal is that everyone walks away from the party feeling like they have been a part of new memories being made. Good luck, not that you will need it!

Featured Image via Pixabay

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 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. Just a word of caution, however. We recommend letting everyone play except the driver so that they will be able to pay attention to the road. We don’t mean it in a discriminatory manner, just in the sense that safety is too important to be forgotten. Or if the driver really wants to play, we recommend saving the donut bite for later so that they won’t have to take their eyes off the road or their hand off the stick shift.

Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation is a theory that everyone in the world is connected via six or fewer 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!

See where this is going? You can take either two celebrities you like and then link them as fast as you can. Just don’t pick two stars that have starred in the same movie. That would ruin the game in most scenarios unless it’s something very obscure and forgotten by most of the population.

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. You can try all sorts of characters, objects, and what not to think of. The more obscure what you’re thinking of is, the more frustrating or pleasant the game can be. It depends on who you’re playing with and on their taste.

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. You can think of lots of ways to “punish” the one who isn’t paying attention and says one of the words in question.

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 if you’re creative enough.

Image via Unsplash

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 with 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. We like this game because it can be as wholesome or as roast-like as anyone wants it to become. Again, depending on the type of people you’re playing with, you can go over the limit or play it safe. It’s up to you and the others in the car how much you’ll be laughing during such a bout of banter.

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! You can even try inputting random frequencies on the radio tuner and see what you’ll get when you’ll have driven three miles past the point where you set the chosen frequency. We bet you’re already thinking about all the different possibilities!

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.

Featured image via Unsplash

5 Romantic Picnic Ideas

The picnic is one of the most romantic ways to spend your time, without any additional ingredients needed.  Two people, sat together, by a trickling stream, alone but for the butterflies that flutter around like tissue paper in the breeze and the odd cow chewing cud in the corner.  But, how can you make sure your partner is alive with love over your picnic blanket.

Location is Key

The location of your picnic can make or break your romantic picnic, so choose well. Look out for ant hills and wasp nests. There is nothing more likely to ruin a romantic picnic than an insect bite in a compromising place. You need to create the perfect scene.  You need to be somewhere isolated but somewhere where there is the sound of water and the chance of sunshine with a cooling breeze.  You need the backdrop of beautiful wild flowers and the privacy that tall grass can offer. Remember to let nature be your soundtrack – with a river or the sea to serenade you.

Just Like in the Movies

Photo by Tim Collins on Unsplash

Find an old oak tree, that has lived through many ages before yours, and carve your initials into the bark and surround it with a love heart.  Take it in turns to carve each other’s initials.  Make this your place, the place where you had that picnic that was so romantic.  Then, in years to come, you can come back to this tree and remember this moment and the romance will return. And don’t limit yourself to just the nearby locations. If you have a car and you can afford gas, take your partner to a more popular place, one that you can keep coming back to years and years after the picnic and remember the event that started it all.

Don’t be Shy

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Sit on the same side of the picnic blanket. Come on, you say, surely this is obvious. Well, for those who are romantically awkward it is sure to be news to them that they sit on the same side as the one they love.  Normal human rules suggest we sit facing each other to eat… but not at a romantic picnic… surely you chose the picnic over the restaurant so you can sit side by side…You will begin with a small gap and then hands will touch and then you will lean into each other.  The picnic is the most amazing way to get close and to relax in each other’s company without the formality of a restaurant and the darkness of the cinema. Of course, every person is different, and if your partner is the shy type you might want to take it a little slow. Unfortunately, there’s no one winning formula to win their heart over, but shyness will cause more problems. So don’t be afraid to get close as long as you’re not making them feel uncomfortable.

Watch What You Eat

Photo by Thomas Martinsen on Unsplash

Avoid onions and garlic in any of the food in the basket… unless you have some handy mints in your pocket, the smelly breath could kill off any romance!  You never know what message you are sending by snacking on food that repels – avoid thoughtless food errors! Instead, focus on more fancy ordeals such as caviar. Or why not try some sweets? We recommend asking your partner beforehand what foods they enjoy so that you don’t embarrass yourself. You might be surprised to find out that not everyone is the same and some might even prefer a more modest approach. Younger couples don’t even care that much about the food they consume as much as they care about the person that they’re spending time with. So show your interest and give them exactly what they like.

Romantic Picnic Foods

Photo via Pixabay

Include strawberries and champagne in your basket.  Strawberries bring out the taste of champagne… surely you saw Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and her carpet picnic in Richard Gere’s penthouse suite.  Clinking two champagne flutes together and holding out a strawberry for your partner to bite. Also, the champagne will add that moment of luxury and a feeling of warmth rising from within.

The perfect picnic with a loved one needs planning.  You need to cover each detail to make sure it is as romantic as possible. Except, there are those relationships where an impromptu picnic is possible – you bundle each other into the car with some hastily bought food – sit in your favorite spot and just sit together, outside, enjoying some warm weather.  These too can become the moments of legend without any thought whatsoever – just because you are both there. It all depends on your chemistry and preferences. Make sure to be thoughtful and consider your partner’s preferences. Even if both of you have different tastes, you can still compromise and find something that both of you will find enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve found at least a few interesting pieces of advice to take into consideration for your following romantic picnic. In any case, we wish you the best of luck in finding your true love. And even if your following date turns out to not be the one, you can still remain friends if you’re not compatible. Some couples have been friends for years before getting romantically involved, so it’s not the end of the world if you get inside the friendzone.

7 Virtual Meeting Icebreakers

Virtual meetings are becoming more common in business environments.  For some staff members, the only time they see their colleagues is on a screen!  Even when participants are in different geographic locations, you can organize icebreakers that help them learn more about one another and become better collaborators.  Here are some of the best virtual meeting icebreakers!

How’s Your Social Life?

Ask participants a simple question about their social life so everyone can learn more about each other.  Participants can share funny stories and get to know one another.

Ask questions like:
  • What was the most enjoyable thing you did last week?

  • What is your favorite place to go on holiday or your dream holiday destination?

  • What do you love or hate about social media?

  • What is your favorite meal?

  • What music or television show do you love that most people hate?

Take a Picture Why Don’t You!

One of the difficulties with collaborating online is that the other participants don’t feel as “real” as a person in the same room.  One way to overcome this is by learning more about the person’s workspace and the objects that they have around them.  You can ask participants to take a photo of a specific object that is nearby and share it with the group. 

Some ideas for photos include:
  • Their favorite coffee cup

  • Their favorite gadget

  • Their desk

  • Their favorite t-shirt

  • The nerdiest thing in their office or home

  • Any pets that they may have

This helps participants learn more about each other and helps to “humanize” one another!  You can also ask participants to share some photos of the town where they live.  This helps the group understand the part of the world where other participants live.

Eat Lunch Together!

Traditionally, people working in the same workspace often get the chance to share lunch with one another.  During lunch they can have a chat and get to learn more about each other.  Why not have a weekly lunch day where everyone eats lunch at their computer and talks about what they have been up to.

Participants can show others what they are having for lunch that day!   Some subjects to talk about include any movies people in the group want to see, what books everyone is reading and what plans everyone has for the weekend.

The Best of the Web!

Because you are all in an online environment, it’s a great opportunity for the group to share the websites and online resources they absolutely love!  The facilitator can ask the participants to share some of their favorite websites and explain why they love them so much.  In many cases, the group shares some really useful online resources which are very beneficial for collaboration.

What Movies Do You Like?

Who doesn’t love watching something entertaining? Or something artistic for that matter? Well, while each person’s movie taste is going to differ to a certain degree, we can’t think of anyone who has never watched a movie in their life. It’s one of those hobbies that spans across the world regardless of culture. And speaking of cultures, you might even find out about movies you have never even heard of before. This is an especially awesome fact if your conference involves people from different backgrounds. You can check IMDB’s Top 250 movie list to get some ideas. Maybe you’ll even host a watch party later down the line.

Do You Play Video Games?

Not everyone is a pro gamer with an expensive PC or a new console. However, even boomers enjoy their Candy Crush or Angry Birds sessions from time to time. Why not try asking this question? If one member of the conference is also a fellow gamer, you’ll have a new partner for your multiplayer sessions. If not, you might still get someone interested enough to want to play a game that you like, and that way you’ll have someone to talk about it with.

Examples of popular video games you can talk about:

  • Call of Duty
  • Fortnite
  • Fall Guys
  • Valorant
  • Minecraft
  • League of Legends
  • Dota 2

What Books Did You Read This Past Year?

Books come in all shapes and sizes. Literally and figuratively. Even teens and children will definitely find one that suits their taste. And since the number of titles seems to increase without stopping, the chances of discovering something that both you and your coworkers might like are high. So the next time you’re hosting a teleconference, why not ask this question? Maybe you’ll find out about books that you’ve never even heard of. Or maybe you’ll discover a sensitive side to a colleague that you thought to be soulless. There are many great outcomes that can emerge from asking such a simple question.