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Fun Family Games – Mexican Train Dominoes and others

When I was growing up, one of my most favorite things was family game night. We would all sit down around our kitchen table, fill up our ice cream float cups and play a mean game of Hearts.

Those were good times because of the way it pulled us all back in as a family. My husband also had a similar experiences in his family so we both were in agreement that we wanted to continue this tradition with our family.

As is common with childhood memories, you don't see the problems involved in making such activities happen. We quickly realized that the age difference between our oldest and youngest (7 years) posed a problem in finding a game that both could play and enjoy.

Some Great Answers

You knew I was going to have some answers, right? First off, a game we were introduced to this summer on our family vacation was a fun family game called Mexican Train Dominos. It was fun, several people could play at one time (which is good in a family of 7) and the dominos rules were easy to learn and follow. One note - the rules that came with our game were different than how we learned how to play. Here are our rules.

Along with our Mexican Train Dominoes game, we found Apples to Apples. This game too can be played by all of us at the same time and we liked that it came in a junior version that was still fun for the older kids.

Blokus is a great colored tile game that is easy for everyone to play. The cool thing about this game is that no matter your age it really works to exercise your critical thinking skills. It is fun to watch how smart your kiddos really are!

These are great Christmas gift ideas and birthday present ideas because they are inexpensive and they don't involve technology. Which means more time to talk and laugh together! What good Christmas gifts!

Filed under Family Games, Good Christmas Gifts, Kids

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Elmo Live!

What’s Popular for Christmas Gifts this Year?

Elmo fans will love Elmo Live! This latest version of everyone's favorite Sesame Street character Elmo has taken talking, singing, telling jokes, to a whole new level. With an interactive style, Elmo Live! encourages creative play and is entertaining to kids from 18 months onward.

Moving, Talking, Dancing Elmo!

Elmo Live! has the furry, bright-red exterior and the big eyes so well known in the popular Sesame Street character. His actions give him a life-like quality:

His mouth and head move while he talks, sings, and tells stories;

He gestures with his arms, and he moves his legs.

He can even cross his legs when he sits on the stool that is included.

Out of 18 reviews, 15 found him very easy to play with. He will tell you a story. He even acts out parts of his stories! Squeeze his nose, and he'll make a silly sound.

If your child doesn't play with him for a while, Elmo will go into a battery-save mode by yawning and says he's tired.

Reviewers like this toy because, unlike some other "talking" toys, Elmo Live! doesn't just spout programmed phrases.  This makes an almost magical experience for your child, as if her toy is really coming to life.

Tips on Playing with Elmo Live!

Elmo makes lots of fun movements and gestures -- the only slight drawback is that his movements generate a somewhat loud, mechanical sound. He has a tendency to fall over, however when he falls over, Elmo asks you to help him back up again, and then says "thank you."

What's in the Box?

Elmo Live! doll, with 6 AA batteries included.

Want a sample? Watch a video of Elmo Live! by clicking here.

You need to get this one now, word is it's going to be one of the hottest items this Christmas!

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Filed under Good Christmas Gifts, Hottest Toys, Kids

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