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A Parent’s Guide to Playground Games

This summer, we spent many mornings touring playgrounds all over the metro area. It’s challenging to find playgrounds that are fun for all my kids, so they often play classic playground games to make the experience more fun. The best part about playground games is it’s a great way to meet other kids. I find it odd and miraculous no matter where we’ve been, kids seem to know the same games. There aren’t lengthy explanations of the rules. One kid will shout, “Who wants to play Groundies?” and before you can scamper up the big slide, kids are introducing themselves to each other.

Often, I’d sit on my bench and watch them tear around and wonder what they were doing. After consulting with kids, I’ve developed a guide for other parents so they too can know the rules of Groundies, the nuances of Infection, the joys of clogging the toilet.

Groundies: To play Groundies, you need a minimum of three people, a maximum of about a million. Mostly, according to my nine-year-old, you want to make sure everyone can fit on the play equipment. The group decides one person to be It. The rest climb up on the play equipment. The person who is It counts to ten while everyone gets into place. She can keep her eyes open while on the ground. Once she reaches ten, she has to find the other kids. If she climbs up onto the play equipment, she must close her eyes while she searches for a kid to tag. The kids must be quiet so she won’t find them. If she comes near, they might move off the play equipment. If they touch the ground, she can yell “Groundies!” which makes the ground-toucher automatically It. If she tags someone while on the equipment, they become It. Obvious dangers of this game include running around on playground equipment with one’s eyes closed. I suspect a bit of cheating occurs because it it didn’t, our family would probably have a fleet of wheelchairs and a wing named after us at the local hospital.

6 Apps The Family Can Gather ‘Round This Holiday Season

There are few thing as fun and full of memories as family game nights during the Christmas family get togethers. If you own a few board games but are always losing the pieces (which renders them unusable) another option you may want to consider is the iPad app version of your favorite games. Not only do they offer a great “Pass ‘n Play” option, but there’s no set up or clean up involved (and that’s always a plus when there are a dozen kids wrecking the house one room at a time during the Christmas family reunion).

Mama Drama: Staying Connected to Our Kids

Dear Mama Drama:

My children and I are so busy. Between work, school, activities and life, I feel like I am just not connected to them like I was when they were little. How can I find time to stay involved in their lives?

~Disconnected Mama

(photo credit)

Dear Disconnected:

The connection we have with our children when they are little is special and fleeting. Maintaining those bonds while allowing our children room to grow can be a delicate dance, but is an important one to develop.

Begin by taking a look at the