Saturday, November 24, 2012

Simple Gift Idea for Kids

Oh my WORD do you all have NaNoBloMo fatigue yet?

Meaning, are you all sick and tired of reading my posts every damn day?

Or maybe you've just quit reading.

Anyway!  30 days in a row!  We're nearly there...

Today I am sharing a brilliant idea that is probably already on Pinterest and therefore not that original, but I swear to you that I thought it up on my own!

So David has an adorable set of cousins who are more like his niece and nephew:

They are fun to buy for, but they also have basically every toy under the sun.

I am that aunt who buys them books for every holiday (yay for reading!) but I usually want to get them something besides a book.  And yet the last thing they need is another Lego set or princess dress up dress.

This year when I was at Target on Black Friday, I saw they had board games on sale for $7.  So... yay!  Board games!  Now I just have to choose which ones!

I chose Twister because Twister is awesome.  

And when I saw Jenga there, I got a brilliant idea, inspired by none other than an alcohol-fueled night in college.

I know, right?  Who says you didn't learn anything valuable in college?

My memory of this is somewhat fuzzy (I have NO IDEA why), but someone I know had a Jenga set that they had turned into a drinking game.  (Note to Jamie:  Was this in Rolla?  I can't remember.)  Anyway, the set up was very simple.  It was a regular Jenga game, but each piece had a drinking game command written on it.  So you'd pull out your piece and before you could stack it on top of the tower, you had to follow the command.  "Take a shot."  "Finish your drink."  "Remove an article of clothing."  You get the idea.

(Needless to say, our Jenga games were relatively short lived as drinking is not especially conducive to smooth and steady hand-eye coordination).

As soon as I saw Jenga, I had the idea to personalize it somewhat similarly, except to make the commands family-friendly and appropriate for little kids.

So I opened the game and wrote on every single one of the pieces with a Sharpie marker.  I just made up commands that I thought would be fun or funny for the kids to do.

Some are educational--like "Spell your favorite color" and "Solve this problem:  5 x 3 = ___".  Most of them are active:  "Hop on one foot."  "Spin around ten times."  "Do a silly dance."  And a few of them are just for fun:  "Sing a Christmas carol."  "Give everyone a high five."  And--David's suggestion:  "Fart."

(Because nothing says funny like farting on command.)

I actually enjoyed coming up with the ideas and it didn't take that long.  I did use a couple of things twice--like "Shout 'Go Cards!'" and "Do 5 push-ups."  And in addition to "Bunny hop across the room" there's also "Skip" and "Leap" and "Gallop."  But I figure that they'll draw different pieces each time they play, so there should still be a good amount of variety.

I know they have family game night on a regular basis, so it was kind of hilarious to think of not only the kids but also their parents following these commands to get through the game.  I know they will be really good sports about it.

The kids have played Jenga before, so I wanted them to know that this game was different.  So I added a tag to the box that says "Warning!  This is not your ordinary Jenga game!"  Now I just have to wrap it up.

Super easy, inexpensive, personalized game.  And one more Christmas gift checked off the list.  (My goal is to get all my Christmas shopping and crafting done before December.  I think I can do it...)


  1. I'm all over this for Christmas...for my nieces and probably my boys too. Awesome idea. Thank you! :)

  2. This is a great idea! We also give books, because of course, you can never have too many books. And although I still love giving books (esp. ones I loved) this is way more fun.

  3. Dude you rock! But for the record books are a great gift. My son is getting 3 novels and a short book for Christmas because-yay reading! I also think candles are good gifts but maybe not for children. :)

  4. Best sudo-Aunt ever!

    And I'll be sad when your month of blogging is up - You'll go back to being lame and posting a couple times a week (if that) like the rest of us. Instead, it's like you're reading me a really entertaining bedtime story every day. At random times. It's great!
    I'm weird.

  5. I love your posts and always love reading what you have to say! I have especially enjoyed seeing the happiness that Caroline was brought to your family this year. May she continue to fill your hearts and gently help to keep the spirit of her sister alive.

  6. This is an awesome idea and NO! Not sick of you yet so keep them coming! :))

  7. No way. First time I discovered my not-yet-husband's Jenga game was... "special"... was when I pulled it off the shelf and suggested we play it with my parents (his not-yet-in-laws). The look on his face was priceless. I quickly switched to pictionary or something else.

    The second time was when my daugther wanted to play it. We decided to get out the eraser (yes, it was all in pencil) and got rid of it all. Every last, glorious, graduate school bit of it.

  8. love the jenga idea....great gift plan! just trolling blogs, should be sleeping. betsy from alaska

  9. Cute! I made my sister the drinking one for Christmas last year, but super cute for kids:)