Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ThinkFun has Yoga games!!! (And I have a giveaway!)

Not sure about where you live, but here in Charlotte this winter has been pretty much insane.  Freezing cold one day, 60 the next.  Mother Nature is seriously confused.  We get "snow days" for school called and then get nothing but cold.  No snow.  Nothing.  Yesterday they were originally calling for 5" of snow.  THEN it got downgraded to freezing rain around 10am, but they still cancelled school the night before.  We. Got. NOTHING.  Well, eventually it drizzled.

Days like yesterday call for indoor activities.  Can't go play in the snow because we don't have any.  Too cold for my southern kiddos to run around outside though.  I swear ThinkFun knew this was coming because just last week they sent me two AWESOME yoga games to try out.  Yoga Spinner and Yoga Cards the Game. (Please excuse my beat up coffee table...kids)

 First up we tried the Yoga Spinner.  This game is for ages 5 and up.  The premise is there are 4 types of cards. You have to spin the spinner and pick a card that corresponds to the color you landed on. Once you have the card, do the pose and hold for 10 seconds. First person to collect all 4 cards wins.

The poses aren't too hard at all and are a great introduction to yoga. Most of the kids have never done any before.  V took right to it.  I did let the kids slide a bit on some of the moves.

Probably my absolute favorite of the game is the White Cards. These are the cards where you must perform with a partner. Here you can see Nate pretending to be disgusted with V's stinky toes.

Overall this was a fun game.  We had to change the rules a bit. Nate is rather sensitive and did NOT enjoy losing cards. Yeah yeah. I know. Nate is 8,he should be able to handle it.  I might have let him respin a couple of times. I like how the cards all fit nicely into the box and it is a game that can easily be packed up and taken with you! Retails for $14.99 Not too bad at all for a game that gets kids moving!

 Speaking of easy to travel with, Yoga Cards is all tucked away into a card box.  EASY PEASY AND it is a steal at $4.99
This game is geared for kids 6 and up.  This takes some reading, so I needed to help V out.  There are 6 mission cards, a "help card" and then 48 poses.  A lot of the poses are the same from the other game.

You pick a mission card then have to complete 5 poses on goal #1 and 2 from goal #2.  The help card tells you what cards correspond to your goals. 

This game was a bit trickier in the actual game play.  You start with 7 cards and you have the option to do the pose on the card or trade it in if none of yours correspond.  That part got a bit tricky.  I ended up "helping" out with the trading of the card.  Nate was able to understand if the card was one that would work with his mission, but V couldn't.  Yoga poses themselves weren't that much harder than the other game. 

I can picture this game getting more hands on than the other simply because of how portable it is.  This would be great to throw in your purse to take to the park even if you don't play the actual game. Just to have the cards for the poses.  I can picture us making up our own way to play. Oooh.  Or on vacation when you are stuck in a hotel.  We are planning an awesome trip this summer.  This is definitely getting thrown in the suitcase.

The cards are fantastically made in both sets.  They are a thick plasticy material.  Like normal playing cards sort of,but more durable. Nate got mad and tried to bend one. What would have creased a normal card, just made it a bit wrinkly. (he didn't fold totally in half, he was on his way to though!)

I mentioned a giveaway in the title of this post.  YOU have a chance to win a copy of each of these games from ThinkFun!  One lucky reader will win.  Enter below and good luck!  US readers only!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

  The House of Boys...& a Girl is not responsible for the delivery of the prize item.  ThinkFun will be shipping it out.  I was given a copy of each game to try out in order to facilitate my review.  All images, opinions, and fun times had are all my own...and my kids.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

O Romeo, Romeo...

Back in high school I was all about drama and my love for theater continues 20 years later.  Plays, musicals, even dinner theater.  One experience I never had until recently was opera.

Opera Carolina recently ran Romeo & Juliet and I had the opportunity to experience it.  The costuming was fantastic, the music was superb, and even the lighting was interesting with the stage being bathed in different colors dependent on which house was on the stage.  The opera was composed by Charles Gounod (1818-1893) and was based upon a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre.   This performance was a French translation of Shakespeare. The conductor of the evening was James Meena.  

The first time this opera was ever performed was in Paris in 1867.  It is rather interesting to think that I had the same experience Parisians had over 100 years ago.

The Juliet for Charlotte was actually sick the evening I went and Sarah Joy Miller, a Juliet from another city, played the role.  If they didn't say that she was filling in, I would have had no idea.  She merged beautifully with the other performers.  It was an over all enjoyable evening.

If you are a first time Opera goer like me, I figured I would leave you with a few tips for your first experience!

  • The Opera is in a foreign language.  Due to this, there are subtitles to read.  Not sure how other performances are, but for Romeo & Juliet it was above the stage.  For foreign films I am used to reading under the screen. It took a bit of getting used to.  If you need glasses to read BRING THEM.  I have perfect vision and even towards the end my eyes got a bit tired.  The lettering is large enough to easily read, but it was about 3 hours of reading which brings me to my next point.
  • The Opera can be a long experience.  It was about an hour and a half before the intermission, about 3 hours total.  Make sure to wear something that you are comfortable to sit in for that length of time.  Also, towards the end it got a bit toasty in the theater.  Wear layers.  You will be much happier.
  • Speaking of what to wear, PLEASE think of those around you especially if you are a teenage boy who recently discovered body spray.  A little goes a long way.  I wish someone told the kid next to me that!
  • Blumenthal Performing Arts DOES sell drinks beforehand and during intermission. Beverages aren't allowed inside the theater, so again, plan accordingly.  

I hope my little tips help you to have an enjoyable experience in the future!