The holidays can be so stressful. Duh. We’re sure you’ve never heard that before. Eye roll! However, every year even though we all know the holiday stress is coming we never seem to be able to avoid it. Still, maybe this year we can all focus on just letting what may happen…well happen…and then learning how to relax after the holidays.
First off, stay positive. Know that the worst is over and soon, very soon, your children will be off to school again.
Second, exercise is important. Exercise has been known to boost your mood and help you get better sleep. Both which could make you feel a whole lot better after a stressful day.
Third, unplug from the buzzing of life. We are so attached and in the habit of constantly checking our phones first thing in the morning and throughout the day that we don’t notice the stress that it can put on our daily lives. When we read what’s going on in the world or even simple news from relatives and friends this can have a toll on our mindset. That’s why it is important to unplug from time to time to detox the brain.
Fourth, go outside. The trees and nature have been proven to lower stress levels. Also sunlight has been proven to boost moods and even help the eyesight of young adults.
Fifth, eat a healthy but indulgent snack. Sometimes eating a snack that we seldom have, but enjoy, can be enough to increase our energy and mood. Just be sure to keep things in moderation.
Sixth, listen to music. Preferably something relaxing or something that will trigger happy memories.
With these simple and easy adjustments to your day, you are sure to destress–even if just for a few hours. Until we meet again in the new year…..we at Starlux Games hope you have a very peaceful start to your 2018.
The holidays are a time for celebration and bonding. That is what the themes all boil down to. In our socially conscious world we are all aware of how Christmas is not about the presents but about the love and the thought behind the season of caring. Yet, how can we successfully convey this to our kids (hey! Even convey it to other adults)? Sometimes our giving and volunteering over the holidays can even lose meaning if we feel stressed or obligated to participate. It is important that we show our kids the spirit of caring without getting to frazzled in the process. So what are some ways to give back this Christmas that may be “small” acts of kindness, but still meaningful to the whole family?
The next time you are out shopping, help the store employees by picking up any trash you might see in the store, maybe return a misplaces item to the front desk, or better yet in the parking lot have everyone in the family round up any empty and scattered carts they see and return them to their rightful place. Everyone deserves a little help over the holidays.
Maybe while you sit in your Starbucks drive-thru you decide to pay for the car behind you. Or maybe you send your kids to school with extra lunch money and let them pay for their friend’s lunch or extra snacks. They can also donate that money to the school office who can transfer it to a kid’s account who is overdrawn or empty.
We all love the neighbors who put up the Christmas lights every year. That took a lot of work! However while they may enjoy them as well they would also probably love to hear any compliments from their fellow residents. Maybe write out a “thank you” card saying how much you and your kids appreciate their effort and spirit and leave it at their door step.
Whether you live in a city or in suburbia there is bound to be a yard full of leaves or a sidewalk that always seems to be covered in snow somewhere. Have your kids offer to go shovel or rake the yard of a nearby neighbor. It takes 30 minutes at the most yet means a whole world to those who are less mobile.
What everyone in the world really needs, but seldom gets, is a little appreciation for their work. Face it, we all feel underappreciated throughout the year. This is a great time for you and your kids to sit down together, make a list of the people who you all feel deserve a special thank you, and write our notes to them to let them know how much you appreciate them (even if you don’t say it enough). A card and a kind word can go a long way.
#ways to give back
WE LOOKED EVERYWHERE to find some really unique and cool gift ideas for the lovely kid/tween/adult in your life that deserves….well lovely unique gifts. We have done a gift guide for boys and a gift guide for girls previously but this time….GET READY for the ultimate holiday gift guide for 2017!
HeroMods: Turn your child or yourself into a 3D printed action hero. You send in your picture and then choose between 6 different armor costumes.
Glowy Zoey Stick Figure Costume: ahem….theses could be really cool to wear while you play fun glow in the dark games like Capture the Flag REDUX. (See below). They have a 120 day warranty (unheard of!) and their costumes are so durable that they promise to replace any part that doesn’t work.
Capture the Flag REDUX: woo! The perfect game for the entire family! Something you can play year round that is going to keep your kids up and moving (and away from their phones!). Buy it and use it for birthday parties, neighborhood events, school events, after-school programs, scouting trips…and so much more!
DDASUMI indoor tent: for the kid who can’t get enough of camping-but sadly still has to live indoors. This tent cover can go over a bed and even on the floor and looks like an actual camping tent.
Accoutrements Horse Head Squirrel Feeder: Get some squirrels, get some laughs. This ridiculous squirrel feeder is a fun way to enjoy nature plus why not give the squirrels a treat as well.
Brabuzzo Ice Straw Tray: Turn any drink into a cool sip with this ice tray that turns anything into a straw! Great for adults too (helllooooo mimosa!)
Yooner Seated Ski: Take a break from standing? No but really! In case you are in an area where the hills aren’t ripe for skiing but perfect for some fast action sledding…then this is the sports item for you.
Glow in the dark Starlight Swimming Games. If you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate and you have a swimming pool, you and your family with love these glow in the dark swimming pool games by us at Starlux Games!
Ahhh!! Only a few more weeks of school and then the kids will be back in the house 24/7 and YOU will be responsible for keeping them busy. Sure you could let them sleep in and watch tv all day (and maybe a few days of that are well deserved) but maybe you could also keep them active and engaged so they don’t lose any of their drive from the previous semester. We wanted to keep kids busy over winter break so we invented the glow in the dark game Capture the Flag REDUX. The game keeps the kids off their screens and outside and moving. Now that they are missing their recess and PE time, be sure to keep them active at least 30 minutes a day. Other ways to keep them busy:
Keep every part of their brain growing by adding in some fun art time. Invest in an oil or painting acrylic kit from stores like TJ Maxx or Ross. These stores tend to carry cheap art supplies over in the kitchen/organizing section. Have you kids follow a Youtube tutorial (helloooooo Bob Ross) with their new supplies.
Maybe have them take up some free online coding classes. You can go to Lynda.com or Code Academy to have your kids do a two week coding course online.
Have them discover the great outdoors again by sending them on a nature scavenger hunt. Have them collect a variety of bugs, leaves, and flowers to bring back home and investigate. Or they can go out and take photos of their favorite discoveries!
Maybe this is a good time to take up a new sport? Most community colleges or nearby YMCAs will offer winter break classes to residents. They can take up a swimming class or maybe join a local ice skating rink and have them learn how to skate.
Don’t forget to keep them happy and social by planning at least one get together with their friends. In today’s climate, sure they can keep social online, but it’s important that they have some actual face time with their classmates as well. Invite a few friends over for a backyard camp out and have everyone play Capture the Flag REDUX that night as well. 😉
While this is not an extensive list of items to keep your kids busy, it is a few ideas to break up the days where they will be fighting you to stay on their computers and phones. It’s important that they have a bit of a detox from the screens they experience while at school and on the regular. Happy winter break and good luck!
Who doesn’t love getting all the fun family Christmas cards this time of year. While most families opt for traditional images, there is always that one funny group that goes above and beyond and does something crazy. In case you need some ideas of festival holiday cards we selected a few funny family christmas cards to help you get in the mood.
Many moons ago we did a fun gift guide for boys and as promised here is our weird BUT FUN gift guide for girls. This is for anyone searching for something specific for their niece, daughter, wife, sister, cousin, etc. and want to gift them something a little out of the ordinary that they would never expect.
Make them hate you, and then realize that they love you after they bite into one of these creepily realistic sprouts made out of white chocolate.
2.) Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Timbuktu Labs
For the parents who don’t want to instill the idea of Prince Charming and Damsel in Distress before bed comes a modern book full of stories about strong intelligent female characters. Better yet, these stories are all true.
3.) Food for Her Feet Socks by Suckano Socks
These cute socks come wrapped up as food and are brightly colored. Pick from a donuts or sushi!
4.) Kid Friendly Archery Set from Two Bows Bros
This kid friendly-the tips are made of soft material-archery set is perfect the outdoor girl who wants to recreate some of her favorite scenes from Brave (or Katniss in Hunger Games). Or maybe she just wants to learn a new skill….she’ll be sure to love this either way.
5.) Capture the Flag REDUX
I mean…c’mon. You came to the blog run by Starlux Games so of course you didn’t think we wouldn’t recommend our own game! Why is this perfect for girls? One, it is great for campouts, slumber parties, and girl scout games. This game teaches all kids how to work together, be strategic, and also gets in some exercise in the process.
There is always that lull during the Thanksgiving break. There’s the morning of-where everyone is rushing around or watching their preferred event on TV. Then of course there is a massive lunch or early dinner for the entire family. Then from there….there’s always that family Thanksgiving lull. Some people go shopping, some people go to the movies, but no matter what you still have to entertain your guests or family for another few days. Maybe this is the year where you want to conserve your family spending or at least spend more quality time with family! So here are a few outdoor family games to keep your crew moving and enjoying the time together.
So let’s just dive right in and start with Capture the Flag REDUX. A great game to get everyone in the family outside and participating. Not only is this game set up for all ages, but it’s simple to setup, easy to play, and something that can easily entertain for hours.
Another idea is horseshoes. Another simple setup where you just need to drive to stakes into the ground and secure some horseshoes. The rules are easy to follow: points for every horseshoe that goes around a stake. Each family seems to have their own versions or own made up rules so you could also start some of your own.
Ever heard of Spikeball? It is a cross between four square and volleyball, and sets are sold online. To play, smack the palm-sized ball onto the net which is a square on the ground, so it bounces back up toward your opponent. The player then tries to slap it back down into the net and over to you. When a player misses, the other scores a point. The first one to 21 wins!
There is also the all American go to: touch football. Have the family divide up into two teams. You are tackled if you are tagged twice. Our family always elected the strongest athlete to be the “all time quarterback”. This person will throw for both sides and keep things a bit more fair.
Thanksgiving family games should be about bonding and getting outside to enjoy some of the crisp Fall air. Plus, everyone will need to run off that big meal! That’s why we love our game Capture the Flag REDUX. It brings together exercise and fun so you can enjoy a game that incorporates all generations. This year maybe we should all focus less on Black Friday shopping and going to the movies, and more on spending time outside and enjoying one another.
We at Starlux Games tend to talk a lot about outdoor games. Which makes sense because A) we have our own outdoor glow in the dark games and B) we support getting more and more people outside no matter what. What we don’t spend enough time on is talking about how to stay healthy indoors. Indoor health starts with nutrition.
They say that one of the healthiest ways to eat is to eat within season. Why is this? First off, it helps you focus in on more on the fruits and vegetables that are available to you during the season. Refined grains and sweets are usually available year round. Second, it’s healthier for the environment too! Less travel time for trucks that are driving around out of season veggies and fruits from one place to another. You can also benefit the local farmers by eating local and in season foods. Eating seasonally can also be a fun way to teach your kids about the weather and habits of growing their own food. It’s an easy way to connect your kid to the environment and keep them healthy.
What are some healthy Fall foods that your kids will love?
Here’s a great fall recipe that utilizes some seasonal outdoor goodies!
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cauliflower and garlic and cook for about
10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender. Drain, return it back to the hot pan and let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes with the lid on.
Transfer the cauliflower and garlic to a food processor, add the olive oil, salt and pepper and purée until smooth. (You can also use a potato masher or hand blender).
Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
(Cauliflower mashed potatoes can get runny if you store them for too long so it’s best to eat them within one or two sittings.)
Twice a year the majority of the US decides that we need to either fall back an hour or spring forward for an hour and this can have some bad side effects on the human body.
For example, as adults, most of us are already sleep deprived to begin with and when you take away another hour….things get even worse. So studies have even suggested that fertility rates can be affected because of our body’s circadian rhythm, that more car accidents happen within the first week of daylight saving time, and even strokes are more likely during this time. Again, it’s all linked to the lack of sleep and offsetting our natural body rhythms.
While most of us simply struggle for a few days to get back into the habit of things, what is this doing to our kids? Researchers note that severe mood swings, tiredness, and a lack of appetite tend to show up in kids during this period. So how can you adjust their schedule to make the transition as easy as possible?
Daylight Saving Day is the night of November 4th, 2017 here in the United States and we lose an hour.
Take advantage of it being dark longer by playing our fun glow in the dark games.
It’s that wonderful time of year when Autumn kicks in and everything gets a little bit more creepy! Yay for Halloween! Sure it’s a traditionally child centered holiday, but adults can have some fun to without standing around and eating all night. Starlux Games thought we would scour the internet for some of the most fun halloween games for adults who want to keeps things moving through the month of October.
Prepare ahead of time a list of images or actions your guests have to film with their phone and set a time limit. Some ideas of photos or videos could include:
Another one of our fun halloween games for adults is compiling your own film fest! Have your guests join into teams and give everyone a week to recreate their favorite scary movie. Then screen them all from the comfort of your living room and have everyone vote for their favorite actor, film, or moment.
That’s right! Invite your friends over for hours of activity with our popular game, Capture the Flag REDUX. This glow in the dark game is best played for groups of 10 or more, and with game variations and new game cards you can keep the night fun by experimenting with different versions. Buy the game here.
Pour a few bags of candy corns into a pot. Divide up into two different teams. Have one person at a time run to the pot with a spoon in their mouth. Using only the spoon they must dip into the pot and try to bring back as many candy corns as they can to their team’s collection bucket. The team with the most candy corns wins!
These are just a few creative and fun Halloween games for adults that don’t involve spending a whole night at a bar standing around in a costume. Also they’re a great way to be build friendships!