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The little book with BIG resources!

Winter Olympic Games for Kids: 8 Ways to Get in the Game at Home!

Winter Olympic Games for Kids: 8 Ways to Get in the Game at Home!

The 2018 Winter Olympic games are coming up and what better way to celebrate them than having your own olympics games for kids at home. These games are perfect for the whole family and best of all, they can be done inside and outside. The Winter Olympic games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9th, so you have just enough time to grab a few last-minute items for your own winter Olympic games.

winter olympic games

#1 Long Jump

If you are inside, take some different colored or patterned tape and cut 5-7 pieces about 12 inches long. Place them on the floor laterally and space them 12 inches apart. Have each person test their long jumping skills by starting at the same end and seeing who can go the furthest! Want to take it outside? Try using chalk! No matter what the weather is, you can still enjoy the olympic games.

#2 Balloon Tennis

This simple DIY is great for the whole family, including those little ones just learning hand eye coordination. Take a paper plate and glue it to a sturdy base to make it resemble a racquet. You could use something like a paper towel roll or paint stirrer! Then blow up 1 balloon for every 2 people and get the game going! You can keep score or first one to drop loses.

#3 Ring Toss

Before you and the family get ready to watch the winter Olympic games, grab those bottles of beverages and set up a ring toss. You can use glow sticks necklaces, pool rings or make your own from paper plates by cutting out the inside. *** BONUS** Paint the paper plates the official colors of the Olympics.

#4 Balance Beam

Take out those old pool noodles and put them to use! Let your kids use them as a balance beam to practice their balance and bring out their inner Olympian.

#5 Javelin Noodles

Another great use for those olde pool noodles are using them as javelins! In a spacious area, create a bullseye on a piece of paper and tape it to the wall. Then using the pool noodle, try to hit as close as you can to the center. Make sure you move anything breakable out of the way.

#6 Table Soccer

All you need for this DIY is straws, cotton balls and tape. Use some tape to make a  rectangle on two opposite sides of your table and one long strip to divide the table in half. Then, using a straw blow the cotton ball into the opposite rectangle to score a point.

#7 Sock Skating

This is something that we have all attempted at one point or another growing up. Turn up your favorite tunes, slip on some of those fuzzy socks and start your routine. Have your kids create their own routine or make one up with their siblings.

#8 Obstacle Maze

This is a one item DIY that is sure to bring out your inner Olympian! In a hallway, grab some toilet paper or streamers and tape them to each wall in different angles. Make big enough spaces to climb over or under each piece. Time each other to see who can make it through the fastest.

I hope you enjoy these winter Olympic games for kids. Let us know which ones you try!

From iFamily to Yours,

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: What You Need To Know About Pokémon Go

If you are a 90’s baby like me, or even if you just loved the show, chances are you spent a lot of time watching the Pokémon cartoon and movies, trading cards, battling on your Gameboy, or were involved in make believe games with your friends on a quest to be the very best. Chances are high that you now have Pokémon Go downloaded on your phone. Or maybe your children do. I’m here to share helpful information and tips on the game that everyone is talking about. Take a look…


About  The Game:

Pokémon Go is a game you can download on Android and IOS. The player is on a quest to “catch ’em all” as they explore the world around them. Pokémon Go requires the player to have the application open and uses GPS and data services. The player walks around his community, explores parks and monuments, and tracks pokémon around them. The player can catch these pokémon. Future updates are rumored to allow trading and battling between other players. As players explore the world around them and gain experience, they will reach higher levels in the game. Once a player is on level 5, they will select a team to join and can battle at the various gyms around them. Players can collect eggs to hatch random pokémon, visit Pokestops to collect helpful items. Pokémon Go is free to download and play, but players have the option to purchase items within the app. The recommended age for this game is 10+.

How To Play:

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will be prompted to register and select a username. Please take caution in selecting your username. It is important to select a name that does not provide personal information because if you take over a gym, your username will be displayed for any player around the gym to see. You will then be able to customize your character and begin the game. You will begin by catching a starter pokémon. Pokémon will appear at random as you are walking around. You can tap on that pokémon if you’d like to catch it. Once you’ve selected the Pokémon, you will be on a screen that shows you a pokeball. You will hold down the pokeball and flick it in the direction of the Pokémon. It is important to pay attention to the target ring around the Pokémon. Ideally, the ring will be green. This indicates that the Pokémon is easier to catch. Orange rings mean harder and red is the hardest. You will want to flick the Pokéball towards the ring when it is smaller in size. Information about the Pokémon can be found if you tap on it. You can see how strong the Pokémon is by its CP (combat power). The higher the number, the stronger the Pokémon. This means the Pokémon can be a good advantage in the gym once you begin battling. After you have thrown the pokeball, the ball will shake. If the ball shakes three times, you have successfully caught the Pokémon. Sometimes they escape and other times they run away. At higher levels, the Pokémon get stronger and harder to catch. In the backpack icon, you can select items to help you catch them, such as a raspberry. In order to level up, you have to gain experience points. Points are earned by catching pokémon, evolving pokemon, or visiting Pokestops.

Pokemon Go


As you walk around town, you will find Pokestops. These are indicated on your map. Once you are in range, you can select the pokestop and spin the coin. At the pokestop, you will gather pokeballs and other items, such as eggs or raspberries. You will also gain experience points each time you visit. You can revisit about every 10-15 minutes. Pay attention to your map when you are searching for Pokestops. Pokestops that are surrounded by hearts have a lure attached to it. Lures are used by players to attract pokémon to the area. Any player can take advantage of this if they see a pokestop with a lure. Lures last for 30 minutes. Certain areas attract more players because of the amount of pokestops. Hot areas around town include the Independence Square, Zona Rosa, Nelson Atkins art museum, and the Plaza. These are usually loaded with pokestops and Lures.

Items and Equipment:

There are several items you can collect or buy in the game that serve a useful purpose.

*Incense: attract pokémon to you for 30 minutes.

*Lucky Egg: gives you double XP for 30 minutes.

*Eggs: hatch into potentially rare pokémon after you walk around for a specified distance.

*Egg Incubator: must be used to hatch an egg.


Pokémon are found as you explore the world around you. You will have a map indicating pokémon near by in the right hand corner. Underneath each pokémon are footprints. These indicate the distance away from you. One footprint indicates the closest pokémon. If you haven’t caught, evolved, or hatched the Pokémon to register it in your pokedex (that tracks all your pokémon), a gray silhouette will appear on the map instead of a picture on the map like the ones you have caught. You can tap on the Pokémon to target it. Pokémon are evolved and can be powered up after you have caught them by using stardust and candies. Stardust is collected every time you catch a pokémon. You will have to collect stardust to power up the Pokémon. Candies are collected through catching pokémon and transferring them. These candies are specific to each pokémon. For example, a Charmander can only use Charmander candies to evolve or power up. You will typically earn three candies each time you catch that pokémon. You will earn one candy for transferring it. You want to keep the Pokémon with the  highest CP and transfer the duplicates. Your pokémon can even be named!


Once you have reached level 5,you can battle in the gyms. Gyms are found at various locations like pokestops. You will select a team from the following: Team Mystic (blue), Team Valor (red), and team Instinct (yellow.)  At rival gyms, you can battle the Pokémon left to defend it in order to capture the gym for your team. You will attack by tapping on the screen. Special attacks can be made after the blue bar is completely filled. You will simply hold one finger down on the screen. You can also dodge attacks by swiping left or right. If you capture the gym for your team, it will turn to the color of your team and you will leave a pokémon there to defend it. At friendly gyms, you will train your pokémon and gain prestige for your team’s gym. This will level up the gym to make it harder to take over.

Tips and Tricks :

*Watch for rustling leaves on the screen. This indicates a pokémon near by.

*Pokestops that are more popular, such as the Independence square, will benefit you more.

*Collect pokémon in their “natural” environment. For example, water pokémon will be found near lakes or rivers. Electric pokémon can be found near transformers or gas stations. Ghost pokémon can be found  near graveyards. Always remember to be respectful of the areas you are in. Please pick up after yourself and don’t wander into someone’s backyard without permission.

*Try drawing a circle around the pokeball before you throw it in order to have a curveball.

*Join the same team as your friends to help each other secure gyms.

*Utilize the power saving tool in the settings. Your battery will drain quickly if you use the game frequently. It might be wise to invest in a portable charger if you plan on playing for long periods of time.

*Don’t play and drive. Be aware of your surroundings. Eggs won’t hatch at high speeds and it is incredibly dangerous. Rumors in different areas indicate that some users are being placed on a soft ban for a few hours if they are traveling too fast.

*Always remember to be safe, cautious, and have fun! And please… Try not to get too mad when the servers are down. 😉  

As you go out to play the game, please be mindful of your surroundings. Don’t travel onto private property, make safe choices, and never travel alone after dark or in dangerous areas.

From iFamily to Yours,



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Lights, Camera, Action!

By: Shari Jacobs

My daughter recently finished a month long theatre class in May called, Circus Hilarious at the Coterie Theatre in Crown Center.  She had so much fun pretending to be a lion tamer, a tight ropewalker, an excited clown, and even a sad, scary, and confused clown! The Coterie Acts Theatre School will be offering more exciting summer theatre classes for grades K – 12 beginning in June. The list of classes being offered is long and class sizes are small so make sure to check out all the opportunities at www.coterietheatre.org and www.pembrokehill.org for Pembroke Hill classes.

This is a great chance for kids to be around other kids their age, make new friends, learn about theatre all while keeping it cool in the hot summer months!  Make sure to check out the class schedule to find out if there is a theatre class that is offered near you.  With a variety of classes and class locations convenience and fun could be just around the corner this summer!

Some of the summer classes offered for the older grades are “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “Comedy on Your Feet”, “Advanced Musical Theatre” and even “Fun Effects in Theatrical Makeup”.   For the younger students classes range from titles like “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” to “Summer Term at Hogwarts”!

My daughter looked forward to going to her “Circus Hilarious” class every week and the homework that her teacher assigned kept her excited and engaged!  Parents can visit the final class to watch performances. I was so surprised to see how much she learned, there was a big focus on teamwork and self-expression.  I have to say “Circus Hilarious” was definitely hilarious! The teachers at the Coterie Theatre are professionals, very good with kids and great at communicating with the parents.