A family game night is a great way to relax and enjoy each other’s company after a long week. Tweens and teens are old enough to understand strategy, follow rules, and are creative, funny and not afraid to speak their mind. You'll probably learn something new about your ever-changing tween. All you need is lots of snacks (they are growing!) and a few games to get started. Here are the top games in our house:
- Telestrations: Telestrations is the visual version of the classic “telephone game” where you draw what you see, then guess what you saw to reveal hilarious outcomes! And be sure to check out Telestrations After Dark for adult game night once the kids are in bed. https://www.amazon.com/USAopoly-Telestrations-8-Player-Original/dp/B001SN8GF4
- Sushi Go Party: Pass the sushi! In this fast-playing card game, the goal is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they whiz by. The adorable sushi illustrations on the cards make this an instant hit with tweens. https://www.amazon.com/Sushi-Go-Party-Card-Game/dp/B01CETNKE2
- Say Anything Family Edition: Say Anything Family Edition will have YOUR family talking and laughing in minutes! Every player answers a fun question like “What would make long car rides more fun?” Then players try to choose which answer the judge will like best. https://www.amazon.com/North-Star-Games-5512470-Anything/dp/0980223644
- Pit: Get a taste of trading on the commodities market with Pit. Shout your deal and trade your cards to try to “corner” the market. Be the first to get all the cards of one commodity and ring the bell to win that hand. Warning: this one gets loud. https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Moves-Games-1019-Deluxe/dp/B00000DMBD
- Quoridor: Try to outwit your opponent by navigating your pawn through the maze they are creating for you, one move at a time. Retaliate by blocking their way with wooden ‘walls’ to hinder their progress. Strategy has never been so fun! https://amazon.com/Gigamic-5203-Quoridor-Classic-Game/dp/B00001NTXN
- Pass the pigs: A combination of strategy, skill and a little bit of luck, you’ll become an expert at landing your pig dice in the most winning combinations – once you master the art of avoiding a ‘pig out’ or an ‘oinker’! This is an ideal travelling game as it packs up into a small plastic case. https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Moves-Games-WM-1046B/dp/B00005JG3Y
Your Friends at Calzico
Hurray! You are heading out of town and your tween or teen is now old enough to pack themselves (really, they are)! Whether heading across the state or across the ocean, here are tips to help it go more smoothly for all.
- If you've traveled by air in the last decade, you know the security drill: no drinks through security including large bottles of liquid product, paste, or gel. Keep everything at or under the 3.4 oz. limit. You and your tween can find updates to the rules at the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/travel
- If you are a US citizen heading out of the country, download the Mobile Passport App to your phone. This new and little known time saver helps you breeze through passport control upon your return to the US. Just look for the "Mobile Passport" line in lieu of waiting in the traditional paper form or kiosk lines. Dedicated Mobile Passport lines are available at 23 major US airports.
- If your tween wants to bring a reusable water bottle through the airport, no problem. Just make sure it is empty going through security. It's refillable at a fountain, restaurant or Starbucks, and you save a few dollars.
- For road trips, bring a portable charger to extend the battery life of 'important' devices and extra charging cables for the hotel/car/sharing.
- Bring along a travel game or two: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Toys-Games-Travel/zgbs/toys-and-games/166265011
- Layer, layer, layer --- it's the best way to adapt and keep the fun going despite the weather. Our reversible jacket is a perfect take along for styling options.
- Other packing tips for tweens and teens: https://www.babble.com/babble-voices/top-15-packing-tips-for-the-teenage-girl/
- Use a packing list! We have just the one: Packing Checklist for Tweens
We have a perfect summer project idea with your tween....declutter!
Being a tween is a hugely important developmental stage – their tastes and interests are constantly changing as their personalities really begin to shine, and they start to discover more about themselves and who they are.
To help make it a little less confusing, parents should encourage tweens to remove unnecessary clutter from their lives – while being sensitive that there will be childhood favorites they’ll want to hang on to (and that you might be a little nostalgic about too..!)
Here are four steps on how to help your tween declutter and give them a clean and fresh start as they get comfortable in this next stage of life:
Out with the old, in with the new
Set a goal with your tween to remove at least five items from their wardrobe that they haven’t used in the past year, or that they may have outgrown. If the clothes are still wearable, bundle them up and pass them down or choose a charity to donate them to. If they are no longer in wearable condition, don’t throw them in the trash – use them as rags. Did you know nylon cloth takes 30-40 years to decompose..? Get the most use out of it as possible!
Clean clothes vs. Dirty clothes
Encourage your tween to form a great new habit. Clean clothes are to be folded and put away immediately, and dirty clothes are to go straight to the laundry. No more piles of clean laundry on desks, chairs or beds…and say goodbye to dirty piles of clothing on the floor. It’s a quick and easy fix that will lead to a tidier bedroom that immediately becomes a nicer place to spend time.
Label and stack
Organizing different items and labeling them is a great way to sort out a closet or a bedroom that is full of clutter. It could be anything from sports equipment to hair accessories. Pop them in boxes, label and stack! Quick, easy and super effective!
Clear the clutter
If you’ve been keeping years of school and artwork, sit and go through it together to select a few great pieces to keep. Maybe there’s a funny story behind a certain drawing, or your tween wrote a meaningful piece in third grade – but I’m sure you’ll both agree, old math homework from 2011 can probably go in the recycling. Before you throw old notebooks in the recycling, remove blank pages and use them for notes, lists or just general scrap paper. You’ll be surprised how much life is left in a half-used notebook!
At Calzico, we get excited about the use of interesting fabrics from around the world. In fact, some of our own styles feature fabrics that are inspired from around the world. So, when we heard about Ife Medow bags and accessories, we knew we wanted to share more about their product line and it's unique African influence.
We caught up with Ife Medow Founder, Toyin Ajayi, who shared some insight into the use of African Ankara fabric in her new line of sustainable bags and accessories.
ST: Can you tell us about the meaning of your brand name, Ife Medow?
TA: I wanted Ife Medow to be a personal brand that paid tribute to the places that have made me who I am. Ife means "Love" in Yoruba, my Nigerian tribe and language. My dad's side of the family is Nigerian. Medow is a phonetic version of "My Love" in Fanti (Fante), my Ghanaian tribe and language, which comes from my mother's side of the family.
ST: You use Ankara textiles to line your products. Can you tell us more about how you decided on the textiles you wanted to use?
TA: There's been an exciting rise in Ankara fashion, which is introducing people to various African textiles. When I decided to start Ife Medow, I knew I wanted the brand to have an African influence, but not be narrowly defined as purely an African brand.
African prints from different regions and countries have different names. In Ghana, "Kente" is a well known type of cloth, but there are many others such as Batiks and wax print fabrics. In fact, many of the wax print fabrics made in Holland showcase designs from Ghana. In traditional Nigerian attire, it is common to see lace prints or prints on silk and women wearing intricate head wraps, called a "GELE".
So, I decided to line each of the Ife Medow pieces in this collection with African prints from Ghana or Nigeria. It's my hope that people will enjoy the pop of color inside and will want to learn more about this culture along the way.
While it is never too early to start thinking about ways to foster independence in your child, sometimes life has a way of getting in the way. As parents juggling the demands of work, home, practice and whatever else happens in a day, we forget or don’t realize our children are in fact old enough to learn ways to help out around the house. Are your tweens starting to learn a few basics like these?
Topsail Island offers a 26-mile-long barrier island that lies just off the coast of North Carolina. Accessible only by two bridges (one at each end of the island) or by sea, the island is home to immaculate white, sandy beaches and tranquil maritime forests. Find out why its a hidden little known gem here.
Introducing my kids to new experiences and cultures is one of the most important things I want to do for and with my kids. Travel often teaches flexibility, respect, and awareness of other cultures, and brings history to life in a way just a book can never do. In addition, travel gives my kids a sense of the greater world that exists beyond their home region, state, or country. The big question for me is how can we travel as a family, without spending a small fortune? Here are some planning tips.