Cinderella Days! Fun And Games!

Cindrella Days! Cinderella Days!  Fun & Games!

My granddaughters, Makena and Marli, love playing games–and I suppose they come by their gaming abilities quite naturally, since my husband’s mother was quite a card shark and their Grandpa Wilding loves the competitive nature of a spirited game being played out!

When these sweet girls were little, we played all the usual games that are still popular for younger children, like Candy Land, Go Fish, Chutes and Ladder, and Memory, but now that they are growing up, it’s fun to see them developing their game chops and becoming a force to be reckoned with at the game table!

Doc McStuffin's Operation game.

Even children’s games that have been around for a while have been given a new face-lift, so to speak, with cute cartoon characters from popular children’s TV shows!  Marli loves her Doc Mcstuffins Operation game.

Fun New Children’s Games!

Just like many of you, our family spent many hours during the Christmas holiday playing games.  Here’s a list of a few new games that are especially fun for kids to play and were a big hit with my granddaughters.

  • Scrabble Scoop is a fast-paced children’s version of the original Scrabble game that so many adults love playing.  The letter tiles are mixed up in a large bowl that comes with the game, then each player takes turns scooping as many letters as they can with the orange spoons that are also provided.  The players work quickly to spell the word they’ve chosen on a card that is passed out at the beginning of each game.  The cards have words of varying degrees of difficulty, which makes this a great game for children with different levels of letter recognition and reading ability.  When their word is completed, the winning player puts a hand over the bowl and calls out “Scooped” –that way no more letters can be retrieved by other players.

Fun children's games.

Scramble Scoop is a great game to help kids learn letters and words if they are just beginning to read.  Even though Marli can’t read, she does know her letters and can match the tiles to the easier words, while Makena does the harder words since she can read most of them now. 

  • The Garden Game is a cleverly designed board game that was just awarded the Oppenheim Toy Award for best new game.  All I know, is that my granddaughters love this game.  The artwork is beautiful and setting up each of the garden pieces prior to actually playing the game is half the fun!

Garden Game by Eeboo.

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The object of this game is to spin the number wheel and work your way around the board until you have collected an item from each garden.   I think I love this game as much as Makena and Marli do!

  • While Spoons is a game we’ve been playing for a number of years, usually with old cruise-ship face cards and mismatched spoons; we often adapted the rules as we played too.  Now Patch Products has come out with a fun, updated variation of this game that comes with brightly colored spoons and matching cards.  The game also comes with an official rules card…imagine that!


You start spoons by setting out one less spoon than the number of players, then after all the players are dealt four cards, the dealer quickly passes the cards to the person on the left–cards continue to be passed in tandem to all the other players.  When someone gets four matching cards, they quickly sneak a spoon.  Often it seems, everyone gets so caught up in keeping pace with the cards being passed and getting all their matches that the game can go on for a while before everyone realizes all the spoons have been taken. 

Spoons game by Patch Products. www.mytributejournal.comMakena takes her games very seriously and has honed her skills well on this game…she has become a particularly sneaky spoon stealer!  

  • Uno Dare is a silly adaptation of the original UNO game and I’m here to tell you, it’s a riot!  Some special cards come with the game that when used, gives a player the option of accepting a dare rather than drawing extra cards when it’s their turn, and since winning is determined by being the first one to get rid of all your cards, this is a fun alternative.  We played this game as a family on Christmas Eve and laughed so hard at the crazy antics people were willing to do so they didn’t have to draw any cards.

UNO Dare Game.

The “dares” range anywhere from having to balance a card on each shoulder until your next turn, to blowing the top card off of the draw pile.  Makena helped her Uncle Cole show off his best dance moves during one of his turns–I wish I had a picture of that, it was seriously so hilarious!  One of the things that makes this game so much fun is that it allows kids to see adults being a little silly–and that’s always a good thing, I think!    


I think one of the things Grandpa loves most about game nights is that Marli usually wants to be on his team–then no matter what, you walk away a winner!

What are some fun games your children love to play together as a family! 


Cinderella Days! Nurturing A Child’s Self-Esteem!

Cinderella Days!  Nurturing A Child’s Self-Esteem!

Cindrella Days!

Perhaps even more fun than seeing the individuality of my own children develop while they were growing up, has been watching the neat, unique personalities of my granddaughters evolve so far!

As parents and grandparents, it behooves us to try and follow the advice given in one of my favorite quotes:

“Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded!”                                                                                                                              Jess Lair

On a recent Cinderella Day, my granddaughters and I met up with their mom at our local mall for lunch, then the girls rode on some motorized toys for a while.  Later, as we were making our way out to my car, the words and geometric heart design on a shirt hanging on the end of a rack caught Makena’s attention.  Since she is starting to read now, Makena knew the last word on the shirt said “me”… when I told her that the rest of the words on the top said, “I Believe In Me”, she very candidly replied,

“Well grandma, I think we should all believe in ourselves!” 

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 After brushing away tears, I just had to buy the cute shirt for Makena!

Raising True Believers!      

I am not a psychologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I was a daughter of caring parents, and then a mother who loved raising her children.  Now that I’m a grandma who dearly cherishes my Cinderella Days, and so many other special times with my sweet granddaughter’s, I’m realizing that although each generation faces its own set of challenges, there seems to be a few fundamental concepts that always hold true in helping to nurture a child’s self-esteem so that they can truly believe in themselves!

Helping children believe in themselves.

Be Brave!  We have to be a little fearless at times!  Like the words from the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, with careful guidance by those who love them, kids are better prepared to:

“…show how big your brave is!”

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Effort equals success!  Win or lose–when we put forth our best effort, we can always be proud to say that we worked hard!

I love that my daughter and son-in-law, along with my cute granddaughters, work together to follow their family motto of:

Quote: "We can do hard things" Believe in yourself!

Love unconditionally!  Even when he had to reprimand me, my dad never missed a chance to tell me he loved me!  One of my favorite definitions of self-esteem is:

“Feeling capable while feeling loved!”

Believe in yourself!


Imagine your own dreams, but be inspired by others.  Makena is learning to play the violin now after watching some older girls play at a recital.  (Parental support is integral here.)    

Quote: "Everything yu can imagine is real." Believe in yourself!   

Encouragement is key to feeling good self worth.  My husband told our kids that their best pep talks should be the ones they give themselves!  I like this Chinese proverb:

“Take risks: if you win, much happiness; if you lose, much wisdom!”

Believe in yurself!   

Vocalize feelings.  My daughter says that instead of asking her girls about specific details of their day, they respond better when asked how they felt doing an activity. 

“How did it feel to play your last soccer game, was it fun?”   

Believe in yourself!  

Everybody has something to offer!  Appreciating other’s strengths, as well as our own, helps us work better together… and isn’t that what life should really be about!

Quote: Everybody makes a difference."

What I’m learning now is…

I’m realizing that like many grandparents, I often feel a little more anxious about sheltering my grandchildren from the tough knocks of life, even more so than I did with my own children–go figure!?  What I’m learning now is that some of the hard things we “survived” with our own kids were well worth the effort when we eventually get to witness them become such wonderful parents!  I sincerely hope that my young granddaughters will always see me as a positive influence in their lives.  I look forward to many more years of being able to watch Makena and Marli (and other grandchildren as they come) grow and mature and continue to embrace life with the same exuberance and conviction that they do now!

I am impressed with so many of the young people today; more often than not, they prove their ability to be resilient despite tough odds sometimes!  I’d be interested to hear what bits of wisdom you would offer to help better nurture a child’s self-esteem.  



Cinderella Days! School Is Cool!

Cinderella Days!  School Is Cool!

Cindrella Days!

I don’t know about you, but I love watching the genuine enthusiasm of young children as they anticipate the opportunity of being able to attend school for the first time!

My oldest granddaughter, Makena, got an early start on her new school year, since the elementary school she’s attending just stared a year round program.  It was surreal and indeed bittersweet for her parents (and her grandparents) to see Makena march off to first grade last week (yes, July 21st) with such a happy spring in her step!

I think what gave us all a small sense of comfort was seeing Makena so excited to go to school–and so well prepared!

School is Cool!  First Grade!

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” 

                                                               Graham Greene

My daughter, Malia, and her husband have always been good to read books with their girls, and they did workbooks and flashcards with Makena before she started kindergarten.  Most likely, this set the foundation for why Makena and Marli love to play school on some of our Cinderella Tuesdays together!

Playing School Is So Cool!

School Is Cool!

It tickles me to see how a few “official” looking school supplies can open up a whole new world of imagination and learning for young children!

School Is Cool!

I think that sometimes kids do their best learning when they learn from each other.  I love how on this particular Cinderella Day, Makena patiently helped Marli with her letters. 

My own children loved playing school when they were growing up almost as much as my granddaughters do now.  Maybe one of the things that makes playing school seem a little more authentic for Makena and Marli at my house, is being able to use an old desk that my husband and I brought out of storage that we had picked up years ago when a local school purchased new desks and gave some of their old ones away.  The girls have learned to share and take turns sitting at this desk when “class” is in session!

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Makena is so loving when it’s her turn to be the “teacher”…it makes me realize that she has obviously already known some pretty amazing teachers in her young life!  My daughter will tell you that her kindergarten teacher was a parent’s dream come true! 

School Is Cool!

On our Cinderella Days, I have found that the best playtime often happens when I pre-plan a few details and then let Makena and Marli’s creativity take its natural course!  Children’s minds often outwit anything you could possibly dream up yourself!

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Oh, and most any child will remind you that recess and a little treat are an important part of any school day too–especially if it’s Cheetos and yummy peanut butter cups!

Nurturing A School Is Cool Mindset!

Playing school with my granddaughters is always a good reminder for me that a positive outlook on getting a good education starts at home and will only get stronger each year as children and parents work together with teachers in the spirit of teamwork!

Mary Engelbreit quote

All my best wishes for a fabulous August and good luck to everyone who has started or will soon start another school year!

Do you have any fun memories of playing school when you were growing up or now with your children or grandchildren?