Posts Tagged ‘games’

PostHeaderIcon Sims 3 Inspired Craft – Plumbob Headband

My daughter can be sneaky, but sometimes it’s not a bad thing. When my daughter found this craft, she didn’t share it right away. Instead, she asked for help ordering off Amazon with her Christmas gift card with the comment “Don’t look at what I’m buying… it will ruin the surprise!”. Being that it was her money, I didn’t ask, but certainly was curious.

Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Indoor Toddler Activities

Indoor Toddler ActivitiesWith the weather being a bit damp, I figured today was a good day for a few indoor toddler activity ideas. This list I’ve been keeping around since my own kids (now 10 and 13) were little. Honestly I don’t think much has changed as far as simple indoor toddler activities go, since it is very simple to keep a toddler entertained with a limited (or non-existent) budget.

Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon Family Favorite Wii Games

Summer days are long and hot, with only so many times the kids can visit the pool. Believe it or not, in between family outings and playing in the water, we all still play the Wii over 2 years after making the leap to buy it.

For the older boy, the xBox has snagged full attention. But for the rest of us who don’t much care for regular video games, we turn to the Wii for indoor entertainment. Here are the games we all still play the most, especially with friends and family…

1.

Just Dance
My daughter’s favorite game, which she loves to play with her friends. The movements involved are a bit too simple for me and it’s focus is competition, but it’s perfect for a pair of 8 year olds. I almost wish we had a few extra Wii remotes so more than two could play, although they do just fine most the time with only two remotes. They also get some serious exercise without leaving the livingroom, which I love.

2.

We Cheer and We Cheer 2
Both of these games happen to be my favorite, even though they were originally for my daughter. Once in awhile if I have the time, I’ll pop one into the Wii and get dancing. I prefer playing alone, so I can challenge myself to get better scores on my profile. My daughter only plays this one if others are playing with her, but since we got Just Dance she hasn’t played much. I personally prefer it over Just Dance because the moves are more complicated and I feel I get a better workout while having fun.

3. My Fitness Coach
I’ll admit I haven’t done very good using this one to the fullest. When I first got it, I exercised almost every day and followed the program the best I could. I just flat out don’t have the time for it now, although we still use it for Yoga once in awhile. That alone has made this one worth it. Although I SERIOUSLY need to get my hands on Wii Fit , since it has a whole lot more in the relm of Yoga and fitness. Plus my 13-yr-old cousin highly recommends it (and trust me, she is very picky!)

4. Wii Sports
Surprisingly, we still occassionally play the original game that came with our Wii. Mostly for the bowling as a family or with adult friends, although sometimes my daughter will play tennis with herself or others. There’s a little something for everyone on this disk, making the Wii totally worth it alone.

That’s all the main games we play on a regular basis…what games do you still play on your Wii?

PostHeaderIcon When the lights go out…

At some point, it happens. The electricity goes out for a number of reasons – storms, ice, power company issues, etc. We’ve become so dependent on electricity that we often don’t know what to do with ourselves. No TV, no video games, no movies, and no computer. If you are lucky to have battery operated devices such as MP3s or radios, you’ll have a bit of entertainment. However, the fascination doesn’t last for long with kids, and they’ll soon be looking for something to do.

This list covers ten different activities for both night and day when your lights go out.

During the day:

1. Dust.
Even though it’s not the most entertaining activity, it’s still one that needs to be done. If possible, get the kids involved in dusting or cleaning areas they can reach, while you take care of the cobwebs in the corners.

2. Play games.
Hopefully, you have a game or two stashed in a closet somewhere. Pull it out and play with the family! If your home has gone totally digital, make up a game. Ask the kids to make up a game, since they’re imaginations can come up with almost anything.

3. Crafts.
Are there projects you want to get to, such as sewing or painting? Without a computer, you now have the time to.

4. Clean the House.
Since all you need are window cleaner and a paper towel, get the windows cleaned. Don’t forget the mirrors, too! You can also pull out the furniture polish, or scrub the neglected cupboards and drawers.

5. Sort clothes.
Kids grow out of clothes fast, and there’s always a stash of outgrown items somewhere. Use this time to sort them and put them into bags.

6. Go outside.
If the weather is nice enough, go outside. If it’s not, bundle up and go outside anyway! Go for a walk, go sledding, or pull weeds. If the weather is really nasty, you may want to skip this option. If possible, though, attempt to find an activity outside of the home.

At Night:

1. Write.
If you have a laptop or computer that runs on a batter, sit down and do some writing for fun. If nothing else, you can always write the old fashioned way – with paper and pencil.

2. Talk.
Not on the phone – with the people in your house! Remember those people you talked to before there were all the electronic distractions? Sit down and chat for a while! Ask about current events, friends, or anything else that comes to mind. You may be surprised with how well your family can communicate with each other if given the chance.

3. Tell stories.
Take turns making up stories, or telling parts of stories. You can also have the kids share their favorite books with everyone.

4. Pretend your camping.
Grab the sleeping bags and tents! Set up right in the living room, minus the roaring fire (unless, of course, you own a fireplace). Grab some snacks and pretend you’re out in the wilderness!

There are lots of activities that can be done when the lights go out; you just have to be creative. We’ve become a spoiled society with our modern advances, sometimes it’s nice to remember what it’s like without them.

PostHeaderIcon Wii Game Review: Carnival Games

Average Score:
2.86 out of 5

Read about our scoring system here

Don’t let the average score above scare you completely off this game, as we have rated it based on seven different areas of scoring which we feel are important for family games that keep you entertained while getting you in shape. This review is mostly for families looking for great games to play with elementary-aged children, and was tested by a mom, an eight year old boy, and a six year old girl. The details of this Nintendo Wii game review can be seen below.

Review of Carnival Games

Fun Factor – 3 out of 5
Carnival scored a little low on the fun factor, simply because some of the games were quite frustrating and based only on luck. The kids seem to like it, but not quite as much as the original Wii sports. You play for virtual prizes and tickets, which I thought they would get into, but they didn’t that much. They do like unlocking things, but for some reason it just isn’t enough of a draw to keep playing.

Family/Group Factor – 4 out of 5
Since there is a multi-player option for both multiple remotes and only one, we scored this game pretty well on the family factor. Everyone can get involved at the same time and play against eachother just like you can play alone. The only difference is you don’t get the tickets and prizes like you do alone. Still, being able to play together is important, and this game delivers.

Too Easy or Too Hard – 2 out of 5
Was it too easy? Absolutely not. The learning curve for some of the games was actually quite difficult and my kids had a heck of time. Many of them they quickly gave up on saying it was way too hard. Plus several are based on more luck than skill, leaving little room to improve on and lots of frustration.

Activity Factor – 1 out of 5
We weren’t too impressed with the activity factor on this game, since many of them you can even sit down and do. If you do have to stand up, the motions are rather weak. Two of the games actually require vigorous movements for a very brief moment, thus the reason it did get a 1.

Child Friendly – 2 out of 5
While the carnival theme and ability to change clothing or add goofy items is child friendly, some of the things said on this game are not. The vendors of the games can be quite rude at times, and my six year old actually pointed this out. She actually pouted a bit when they’d say things like “Are you even trying?” or “Maybe if you’d actually win we’d give you a prize!”. While I’m sure they were trying to get the whole carnival game experience, I didn’t think this was actually good for a child self-esteem.

Variety – 5 out of 5
Variety was the strongest point of the game, since there are quite a few games you can play right away and unlock as you go (unlike some games, the majority of the games are already unlocked while just a few are locked that aren’t even part of the “main” selection of games, but rather “super” games based on only scoring instead of tickets). This is a great game if you are looking for multiple activities for the kids, and the main reason we purchased it. I figured there would be plenty of room for them to find favorites and games the kids could easily play.

Addiction – 3 out of 5
There is a slight addiction quality to Carnival with the whole ticket and prize system, but not much. Some games weren’t hard to reach the “Jumbo Prize” level and a few bonuses were fairly easy to get with 25 or 50 tickets. However, I don’t know as I’d want to sit and play until we had 300 or 500 tickets just so I could wear something on my character. Plus of course I don’t have “I’ve done something useful” feeling as I do with Wii Sports. The kids will play for maybe 20 minutes before wanting to switch to something else that’s more entertaining. They aren’t too interested in unlocking items. My six year old has a computer game she collects tickets with and does enjoy it, but this one just doesn’t seem to have the same pull.

Additional Comments

If you are looking for a slightly lazy game for the family, you might like it. I think we would have liked it more if not for the comments the vendors make. Carnival might be better suited for an older child who wouldn’t get quite so frustrated by the difficulty and rude comments.

My advice is to rent this game first if you have doubts on if it would be a good family game for you.

See more reviews of Carnival Games at Amazon

PostHeaderIcon Wii Review: Spiderman – Web of Shadows

Spiderman: Web of Shadows Review

Average Score: 3.71 out of 5
(Read about our scoring system for Wii games)

Don’t dismiss this game just yet – the reason for our lower score is only because of the low “family” aspect of the game. If you are looking for a great game for a boy who loves Spiderman, this is a perfect fit!

Fun Factor 5 out 5
While mom and sister weren’t too excited about the game, the 8 year old boy of the house was very much into it and played it for hours. I haven’t seen this kid play a game as much as he did Spiderman – Web of Shadows in ages. He REALLY loved this game!

Family/Group Factor – 2 out of 5
This is basically a one player game, and all the rest of the family could do was watch. However, my 6 year old daughter DID sit and watch her brother play with zero whining about wanting to play something too. She was perfectly happy to watch him play, thus the reason we did give this game a 2. I rarely see my youngest actually WATCH without wanting to join.

Too Easy or Too Hard – 4 out of 5
It only took my 8 year old a few minutes to figure out all the controls, then he was good to go with very few problems. Would a younger child figure them out so easily? I don’t know. Plus there is some needed reading skills to help you along with the missions, so this probably wouldn’t be the best for real little ones.

Activity Factor – 3 out of 5
While there wasn’t a whole lot of jumping around, my son did stand the majority of the time he played and did a few Spiderman-like moves (web slinging, for example). Just the simple fact that he was up and moving a little for a few hours earned this game a 3 in the activity factor.

Child Friendly – 4 out of 5
If you are a big fan of the Spiderman cartoons and have no qualms about cartoon violence, then this is a very child-friendly game. Should you mess up a bit, the game is good about not teasing for losing (while he was playing, I heard a character say “No problem, try again” or something similar in an upbeat voice). There is, however, fighting in Spiderman style.

Variety – 4 out of 5

Instead of the old fashion Mario games where you go from level to level, this game gives you missions to complete instead. I loved the set up and the ability to roam freely around the city.

Addiction – 4 out of 5

Since there was no frustration and it was overall a fun game for the boy, the addiction level was quite high. There’s the aspect of wanting to complete all your missions that keeps the kids wanting to play for so long.

Additional Comments

Overall this game is a perfect for one kid needing a personal game, but not so great if you are looking for something to do with the whole family. Since our whole drive at this site is to find games that work for everyone, we had no choice but to give it the lower score. Taking out the family factor you have yourself an excellent game for a die-hard Spiderman fan.

Buy Spider-Man: Web of Shadows at Amazon

PostHeaderIcon Wii Star Wars Review

Wii Star Wars Lego the Complete Saga
by Heidi Lovell
Certified Business Moms

Average Score:
4.29 out of 5
(Read more about our scoring system)

This game really brings a different perspective to the galaxy far, far away straight to your living room. This game will entertain everyone even if they are not playing! Even when our kids were not playing they loved to watch what the crazy Lego characters did next.

Buy Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga at Amazon

Fun Factor 5 out 5
This game will have you laughing from the start. It is full of slapstick comedy and quirky videos which are based on different Star Wars movies. However all the characters have been replaced with Legos who add their unique goofiness to the saga!

Family/Group Factor – 5 out of 5
You can work as a team or by yourself. We had some who wanted to play and some who liked to watch either way everyone involved had a blast. The only difficult part is deciding who will go where, because the screen at times did not know who to follow. This made some of the characters fall off cliffs and crevices, which may cause younger children to argue who should follow who.

Too Easy or Too Hard – 2 out of 5
The Controls take some time to get used to, but in the end you do not have to think about it at all. The younger kids seem to understand the controls much faster than the adults. Once you overcome the difficulty of the controls it really is a blast!

Activity Factor – 4 out of 5
Unlike the majority of Wii games, there was not an abundance of movement required. However we have found that if you stand while you play you will want to move around naturally.

Child Friendly – 4 out of 5
As far as violence goes this game is pretty mild due to the fact that the Lego characters fall apart into little pieces instead of dying. The game has some problem solving which may make it a challenge for younger children.

Variety – 5 out of 5
For those of us that were fans of the first Star Wars this game really hits the spot! Every section is based on a different movie which contains 6 levels full of secrets and bonuses to unlock making it worth playing each level more than once. In addition, after you have completed a level you can return and play the level as a different character and even change between characters during the level, making it an entirely new experience!

Addiction – 5 out of 5
All things considered this game is extremely addicting. With all the bonuses and hilarious secrets to find this game will have you laughing and exploring for hours!

Additional Comments
If you are a Star Wars or Lego fan this game is definitely for you and your family. Sit back and enjoy it or grab a remote and jump right in to a new world of action and comedy bundled up into one unforgettable package!

Buy Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga at Amazon

PostHeaderIcon Wii Play Review

Average Score:
3.86 out of 5
(Read more about our scoring system)

If you are looking for a great follow up game to Wii Sports, Wii Play might be just right. For the price when purchased with the extra remote, this game is a family fun winner! It was tested by a mom, an eight year old boy, and a six year old girl.

Buy Wii Play with Wii Remote at Amazon


Detailed Review of Wii Play

Fun Factor – 4 out of 5
Because there are several types of games to play, there’s a little something for everyone. We all seem to have our favorites, and games we strive to beat our own best score on. The movements are fun, especially with the Cow Races.

Family/Group Factor – 4 out of 5
This is only for two players, but it’s still fun gathering around and picking out different games to play against eachother. After each game is played, one of the players gets a “point”. You can do this for a few games or all night if you choose.

Too Easy/Too Hard – 4 out of 5
Since the real purpose of the Wii Play is to get you use to some of the movements with the remote, it’s not too difficult to get some of the motions down. We still have some issues with a few of the others games, but over all it gives you pretty clear instructions and isn’t hard to master.

Activity Factor – 2 out of 5
Unfortunately there aren’t any “get up and move” games offered here, and some are even best played while sitting (the fishing and shooting, for example). The cow races are even low energy games, but still extremely fun.

Child Friendly – 5 out of 5
Wii play gets 5 stars for being child friendly across the board on all games. Even the shooting game is mostly shooting balloons and pop cans, with a very quick option of shooting ducks in a few of the rounds. My 6 year old daughter doesn’t like shooting the animals, and luckily her score isn’t effected if she doesn’t.

Variety – 4 out of 5
In all there are nine games, so it’s pretty easy to find enough to do. The only thing it lacks is different options for the specific games (such as the shooting game only has a set amount of round that are the same every time, and the cow races only have one track). Still without the extra options, there is still enough games to play.

Addiction – 4 out of 5
Much like Wii Sports, you are given medals for higher scores. It also keeps track of your scores and gives you a mini score board when you are finished. This alone makes you want to keep playing just to beat your own personal score and get another medal.

Additional Comments

Overall this is a nice game when purchased with the extra remote. The kids like to play it, and so do the adults. Even though slightly low on the fitness aspect, it still offers relaxing family fun for everyone.

Buy Wii Play with Wii Remote at Amazon