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  • Game : Mancala

    This classic game of strategy traces its roots to Africa. You may already own this fun board game. If not you and your family can craft a homemade version that works just fine with an egg carton and a few beads or marbles! Before you know it, you’ll boost your strategy skills to become an expert at the traditional rules.

    What you need:
    Egg carton
    Two small bowls
    48 beads, coins, seeds, marbles, M&Ms or other small objects

    Give the beads, coins, or other objects to your child, and have him place four objects in each trough of the egg carton. Have her place one small bowl or box at each narrow end of the egg carton. These start out empty.

    The game is played with two players, and the object of the game is to capture as many beads (or other objects) as you can.

    To play, choose who goes first with a quick round of rock-paper-scissors. The first player picks up the beads from any trough on his side and carries them clockwise, dropping one bead in each subsequent trough. The bowl or box to that player’s right—called his store—also gets a bead dropped in it. Each player skips the opposing player’s store. The player’s turn is over unless the last bead he drops lands in his store. If it does, the player gets another turn, starting from wherever he wants. Once the player’s turn is over, the opposing player gets a turn. Whenever a player lands a bead in an empty trough, he gets to collect the opposing player’s beads in the trough opposite the one he landed in. The opponent’s beads and his last bead get placed in his store. Play continues in this way until one player is out of beads on his side. He then gets to collect the opposing player’s remaining beads. The player with the most beads in his bowl or box at the end of the game, wins.

  • Outing : Flashlight Tag

    Dress in dark clothes, and head out to the backyard after dark. Give each family member a flash light. Play hide and go seek with one family member being “it” and the others hiding. Instead of tagging someone when you find them, you turn on the flash light and “tag” them. As players run away to dodge the light continue to try to tag them with the beam of light. Take turns being “it” and enjoy hours of laughter and fun as your family takes the initiative to make new strategies on how to dodge the light and stay in the game. This would be even more fun if you invited another family over to play. The more the merrier!

  • Recipe : Yogurt Bark

    This easy snack can be made completely from start to finish by kids, no parent help needed. Everyone will think they are having dessert, but they will be enjoying a healthy snack.

    Ingredients
    Yogurt
    Freeze dried fruit of choice
    nuts/chocolate chips/granola (optional)

    Line a flat pan with sides with parchment paper and spread evenly with yogurt, make sure it’s not too thin so that it breaks easily. I would say about 3/8 of an inch thick is good.

    Sprinkle with your mix-in (fruit, nuts, etc)

    Freeze for a few hours until completely frozen. Ours took about 4 hours for an 8″ square pan, but of course it will depend on the size of your pan. Remove from frozen yogurt from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces. Keep frozen when you’re not eating it.

  • Craft : Bubble Makers

    You’ve never made bubbles like this before! These fun bubble wands are easy to make and hours of fun in the back yard.

    What you need:
    Pipe Cleaners
    Bubble Solution
    Tall Tupperware container

    What to do:
    Have fun shaping pipe cleaners into whatever shapes you like, one denominational or three denominational. You may want to start out easy making a round shape, but can mold the pipe cleaners into any shape or abstract figure you like. As long as the shape is closed you will be able to make bubbles.

    Shape Ideas:
    hearts
    diamonds
    figure eights
    flower