Unicorn Wins Election 2016!

History has been made! Unicorn was elected President! On the first day as President, the White House lawn began growing colorful sparkles. The Secret Service agents wore pink ties and sunglasses that Unicorn spotted on Pinterest. Unicorn went to play golf (because that’s what presidents do) with the Vice President but their golf cart got too close to the pond and a sharkbearigator tried to eat them! Later that day, Unicorn turned all dollars into candy, and the whole world was happier. What will happen next? Dun dun dun…

congrats-uni

It could happen. That’s because anything’s possible with the Crazy Story Game. STORY CRAZE is the hilarious new game that sparks imagination, creativity, and conversation in children ages six and older as they make up hilarious stories. Developed with kids, this game is play-tested and kid approved.

STORY CRAZE uses random PEOPLE, PLACES, and THINGS cards like rainbow spewing unicorns, secret lairs and french fries as cues to ignite outside-the-box thinking. Kids unplug from technology and have fun hanging out with each other.

Children create three-chapter stories and with each chapter, kids pick new cards that fill their stories with crazy twists and turns. In the end, a judge awards points to winning chapters, and the team with the most points wins.

STORY CRAZE is not only fun to play with friends and family; it has also proven to be a great activity for birthday parties, youth groups, after-school programs, camps, home schooling, and to assist children with special needs.

Check it out on Kickstarter! We are 60% funded with 13 days to go. Check out our project at www.storycraze.com.

Do NOT color within the lines. Please.

divergent-thinking-1-728Ever heard of Divergent Thinking? Unless you’re a teacher or a counselor or psychotherapist, probably not.

And, according to parenting.com, it is the KEY to problem solving and is the backbone of creativity — understanding what the problem is, and then imagining the possibilities of what could be.

Divergent thinking is different, out-of-the-box, atypical, and maybe a little off-key. It’s the process of generating multiple related ideas for a given topic or solutions to a problem. It’s the study of things like fluency, originality, flexibility, and collaboration.

And in order to be successful in life, isn’t that what our kids really need to learn? 

“The word creativity, in our society, tends to be applied to artistic endeavors. But divergent thinking is an essential part of everyday life, whether it’s navigating office politics or devising a new social-media network.” It’s essential to your child’s success. 

Creativity scores have significantly decreased since 1990. In researching why that is, we realized that The No Child Left Behind Act has a relentless focus on performance and that it has seeped down to the earliest levels of education.  Standardized testing in kindergarten? Schools are spending more time and effort drilling for exams and less time supporting creative, child-driven learning. In other words, rather than the answers being A or  B or C, there is only one right answer.

While we were developing STORY CRAZE, we saw first-hand how divergent thinking, especially in a collaborative environment, creates something really special.  Kids draw cards containing topics that are completely unrelated.  Then, they’re challenged to collaborate with others while stretching their imaginations to the sky’s limit to create out-of-the-box solutions. And it doesn’t hurt that all the way through that divergent thinking there is laughter.  Lots of laughter. And great friendships made.

What are your thoughts on relentless standardized testing? Would you like to see more divergent thinking and creativity used in the classroom? 

ABOUT 

Jen editedJan2016_O2A9648Ellen Stebbins and Marcie Jacobs are the founders of StoryClub Games, where imaginations run wild! Our products create experiences where people connect and get to know one another better, stretch their imaginations and have loads of fun. 

Our newest game, STORY CRAZE, is live on Kickstarter at www.storycraze.com. It’s the new game for kids 6+ of random ideas, silly combinations, and crazy stories. It’s different every time you play! Developed with kids, this game uses random PEOPLE, PLACES, and THINGS cards as cues to ignite outside-the-box thinking to make up outrageously witty, laugh out loud 3-chapter stories. Kids UNPLUG from technology and have fun hanging out together!

Just Flipped the #Kickstarter Switch ON and…

just-launched-photoLaunching a Kickstarter campaign could be one of the most nerve-racking experiences of our lives. White knuckled pride is an interesting juxtaposition of emotions. And yet, we’re overwhelmingly proud of what we have accomplished. 

We began the process of creating a fun children’s creative story writing game over a year ago.  Mostly out of the fact that looking around, all you see are kids glued to their electronics and communicating in, what appeared to be, a language of their very own.  We felt there needed to be some mechanism that brought kids together (yes, in person), sparked imagination, and conjured up creativity and conversation. As in ‘real words’ kind of conversation. And, guess what?  It worked!

The past year of play-testing with hundreds of kids has been a super fun part of this project. The children continuously blow us away with their un-jaded naivete of what is possible.  I mean, why couldn’t the scary lunch lady at school have a secret button on her spatula that makes the floor open to the bat cave? Or why can’t Dr. Gravity live for a million years to perfect his formula for flying even with some weird side effects? Why couldn’t there be a dude called Shamalamadingdong who lives in a magical place called Unicornlandia and flies around on a magic carpet? 

Yes, content development and play-testing were the fun part. And getting the prototypes designed and made is also fun.  The challenging part was creating this Kickstarter and all that goes into putting a plan together. And believe us, you must love your project because this is truly a labor of love. At least for us, it is. So what goes into the making of a Kickstarter project? Let’s just talk  in general, big picture terms here. 

First, there is the video. So you watch, I don’t know, maybe fifty Kickstarter videos so you get a sense of what you like and what you don’t like. Then you record and edit. And then re-record and edit. And then re-record and edit some more. 

Second are the graphics vs. actual copy. What to put in graphic form and what to put in text form? In the end, you do a little of each and a lot of both. Especially when you have fun images like unicorns, sharkbearigators, and flying dragons. And then you edit and edit and edit some more. 

Third are the rewards. It’s so cool that backers can pledge to help make our dream come true and get some really great rewards out of the deal! But what do you choose? How can you be super creative? Can you structure them in such a way that backers can help you start a movement? What about stretch goals? 

Finally, there is the marketing and press piece. And this is what leads up to the flipping that GO switch. The list development. The Ambassador team. The social media posts. The  social media ads. The marketing graphics. The Press. The Bloggers. The groups. The forums. The emails. The texts. The instant messages. The launch party. Lord, why are we having a launch party?

Needless to say, our eyes are red, our fingers are cramped, and our butts numb. 

So the emotions are running high right now. From moment to moment we go from excitement to fear. But we agree that this white knuckled pride feels good.  Especially when we know how much kids love Story Craze, the crazy story game!

So, let’s spark imaginations all over the world together!

To find out more, please visit www.storycraze.com.

Marcie & Ellen

pink-heart-white-bkgd

“Have fun while writing….which not a lot of things can do!”

Think about it. Teaching a kid to write a story is hard for the kid, but also hard for the teacher. However, through developing Story Craze, we have found that kids are some of the most (if not THE most) creative thinkers on the planet. The way they come up with ideas and rationale for how and why totally unrelated things CAN relate, well it’s just downright incredible. And as an adult, to witness this happen is magical. 

Creating a game with kids and watching how they come together, share ideas and real-life experiences with one another to come up with crazy solutions we realize just how many benefits there are with creative writing that have long-lasting effects over those of formal essay writing. 

Kristen Bellows of Ontario is a director of literary camps for children in Toronto and has been working with kids for years.  She says there are 5 Benefits of Creative Writing for Children

Here are five benefits, according to Kristen.

1.  Creative writing encourages children to use their imagination. Not only is this fun for children to do, but it also allows children to practice how to think ‘outside of the box’. In the long run, children who write creatively will be able to broaden their thought process and think of the world in a different and unique way from their peers.

2.  Creative writing develops reading, writing and learning skills. While writing, children are exploring words and grammar. This will help later in life when children are writing professionally in various capacities and also in their verbal language.

3,  Creative writing develops self-confidence and identity. By creating something themselves and exploring different types of characters who face a variety of issues children learn about themselves as well as seeing that they have the ability to create something unique and praise worthy.

4.  Creative writing teaches children about empathy! When a child is writing about a particular character they are putting themselves into the “shoes” of that character. How do they feel? How do they behave? All of that teaches children about how to be empathetic towards others in the real world.

5.  Creative writing provides an emotional outlet Children have the opportunity to express certain thoughts and ideas in a safe manner. By having a character live out their own feelings offers children the opportunity to safely sort out and process feelings that may be upsetting for them.

We think that creative thinking and writing is one of the best things you and your children can do together. Stretching your imaginations together is not only fun, but the sky is the limit on what crazy stories you’ll conjure up.

And creative writing will boost your child’s chances of being President because WOW….you must be a creative thinker to be on the campaign trail!!!

Every minute of the day our lives are filled with real stories. They are just waiting to be created and shared.

 

ABOUT 

Jen editedJan2016_O2A9648Ellen Stebbins and Marcie Jacobs are the founders of StoryClub Games, where imaginations run wild! Our products create experiences where people connect and get to know one another better, stretch their imaginations and have loads of fun. 

Our newest game, STORY CRAZE, is live on Kickstarter at www.storycraze.com. It’s the hilarious game that sparks imagination, creativity, and conversation in children to make up crazy stories. Developed with kids, it’s play-tested and kid approved! STORY CRAZE uses random PEOPLE, PLACES, and THINGS cards as cues to ignite outside-the-box thinking to make up outrageously funny stories. Kids UNPLUG from technology and have fun hanging out together!

 

Nurturing Creativity and Problem Solving at Home

“Children-must-be-taught-how-to-think-not-what-to-think.”-Margaret-MeadIt’s a fact.  Creativity fuels the ability to problem-solve, innovate, and explore new and unfamiliar areas. We experience this every single time we play-test Story Craze, the crazy story game.

Some people consider creativity that of being a painter or writer or dancer.  “Oh, she’s so creative!” Yet, creative thinking is inside every single one of us from the minute we are born. It is the ability to think in unusual ways. It is a kind of rational thought that is called divergent thinking. And as it suggests, the thought diverges in different directions or branches off into multiple solutions or answers to questions or problem. 

As an example, what are all the things you can do with a paper-clip? Most people can come up with a few, but highly divergent thinkers can come up with hundreds. And we believe that children are among some of the most highly divergent thinkers around because their minds are open to thinking in all sorts of directions. You know those kids with the endless questions of why? or how? or how come?

Yet studies show that over the past few decades childrens‘ creativity has tended to decrease with age. According to aboutkidshealth.ca, there is a decline that is most significant from kindergarten to third grade. They say it is due to the increase in standardized tests which stress conventional thinking skills that are focused on one idea or correct solution (convergent thinking). So, as a consequence, there seems to be less and less divergent thinking in the classroom.

There are things a parent can do to nurture creativity in your child, especially at home.  Most importantly, value creativity. Kids value what their parent’s value. So if a parent supports and encourages a painting or story or a different solution to a problem, that shows a child that they value their creativity and creative thoughts. Display art projects, attend artistic plays or shows, watch innovative TV shows. 

According to aboutkidshealth.ca, another way to value creativity is to model it. Everyday creativity can be as simple as rearranging furniture or having new ideas for dinner or vacations. Make creativity accessible for your child: if your child enjoys drawing, leave art supplies around. By modeling new ideas and perspectives, children learn how to think and behave creatively.

Give your kids opportunities to be self-expressive, autonomous, and original. Let them generate their own ideas and explanations for things. This helps nurture self-expression, which is a key part of learning to take more intellectual risks. Simple activities indoors and outdoors can help too. For instance, let children explore what the naked eye can’t see by using a magnifying glass throughout the home. Promote unstructured playtime outdoors. Studies show that exposure to nature will boost creativity and the desire to explore new things.

Reward creative behavior and original self-expression in your child. Rewards do not have to be material. Instead, use reward as an opportunity to bond with your child. For instance, spend 15 or 20 minutes reading their favorite book to them, or playing together with their favorite toy. If you choose to reward your child with a small treat, do it within reason. When your child is intrinsically motivated to be creative, rewards can be a distraction. They can cause a child to easily forget they were doing something because they enjoyed it.

Being positive about learning from mistakes in a playful manner is good!  Remind your child it is OK to make mistakes. Encourage them to think outside the box, explore, and make lots of mistakes. Doing this sparks the imagination and fosters the desire to discover. 

ABOUT 

Jen editedJan2016_O2A9648Ellen Stebbins and Marcie Jacobs are the founders of StoryClub Games, where imaginations run wild! Our products create experiences where people connect and get to know one another better, stretch their imaginations and have loads of fun. 

Our newest game, STORY CRAZE, is live on Kickstarter at www.storycraze.com. It’s the hilarious game that sparks imagination, creativity, and conversation in children to make up crazy stories. Developed with kids, it’s play-tested and kid approved! STORY CRAZE uses random PEOPLE, PLACES, and THINGS cards as cues to ignite outside-the-box thinking to make up outrageously funny stories. Kids UNPLUG from technology and have fun hanging out together!

Kids say the darnedest things. Creativity starts in the home.

Someday I'm Gonna Be a Super Hero

I don’t have a creative bone in my body!

Moscreativity-starts-in-the-homet people think that we’re either born with creative talents or we’re not. News flash…creativity is a skill more than it is an inborn talent. And, it all starts in the home where parents encourage creative thinking and expression with their kids. See creativity isn’t only limited to being an artist or a musician. It’s the skill of creative thinking where the serious problem-solving magic happens. And that is a skill that kids naturally master.

Someday I'm Gonna Be a Super HeroWho doesn’t want to be a superhero? Forget the traditional super heros, we asked 15 kids if they could have any super power in the whole wide world, what would it be, and what would they be called? And as the saying goes, kids do say the darnedest things. Below are just a few of the responses. And as it turns out, these new super heroes that they created are actually solvers of many of today’s world problems, from fashion disasters and unsightly landscaping to pollution and crime.

Fashion Girl can magically turn any fashion disaster into haute couture so we all look fabulous all the time. 

Periwinkle uses her wand to give you fairy wings. So you can fly.  And who doesn’t want to be able to fly?

Green Arrow shoots, well, green arrows, of course, to clean up trash and pollution.

White Tiger Boy is a shapeshifter who fights crime. Shapeshifter? I was immediately given a crash course by an 8 year old, about this apparently most common phenomenon…

Nature Girl has the power to make all of your trees and flowers and shrubs grow healthy. Who needs Lowes? 

Silence Girl who through her eyes has the power to silence anyone or anything.  How brilliant!  I can think lots of ways to use this power.  Oh the world problems this power could solve!

 Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever. Walt Disneytwitter-button

We have launched our newest game, STORY CRAZE, on Kickstarter. It’s for kids, so, who better to help us create it but kids? While we had the game concept, the kids came up with the content and then went to town creating stories together. Below is just one of the stories.  It’s the tale of Nature Green Arrow.Nature Green Arrow - Kids are creative

If in fact, the world is going to end one day, I rather like the idea that it’s by exploding grapes, don’t you? At least it would be a sweet and healthy ending. LOL!

Get your kids solving problems with creative thinking. It’s as simple as asking them the super hero question we asked. It’s sure to spark all kinds of creativity and your kids are gonna love it!

We are thrilled to help you and your children have more enriched and fulfilling life experiences and to learn something about yourself and each other. We hope you’ll join the STORY CRAZE mission to spark imagination, creativity, and conversation in children.

Check out STORY CRAZE now! www.storycraze.com

Every minute of the day our lives are filled with real stories. They are just waiting to be created and shared

 

Kids driving you crazy this summer? Why girlfriend getaways improve your health.

Girlfriend Getaways

Mom’s need a summertime break!

Are you pulling your hair out yet?  Every May, on the day school lets out for the summer, my sister declares, “Only 80 days until they go back…” Okay, maybe not on the very first day of summer vacation, but no doubt on the second, and then often, and in a manic kind of way, throughout the summer. Yeah, during summer break, kids can make you crazy!  The best cure?  Some good old fashioned girlfriend time.  So getaway with your friends. It could possibly save your sanity! 

Women have been doing girlfriend getaways since the dawn of the 20th century. At least that’s as far back as we could find. Way back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, women were skipping town to let loose with their besties.  You can’t tell me these victorian era gals aren’t whooping it up big time.  From the looks of them, they wasted no time mixing Old Fashions and went straight to the bourbon bottle.  

victorian-era-women-get-together

 

Our experience is that a mini break with a bunch of girls changes your attitude, stress level, and pretty much your whole life. These little holidays become serious girlfriend therapy and are a necessity to staying sane and connected. Especially in the summer. Kids 24/7 have been known to drive women to the brink of madness. So even a couple of days away is a quick fix.  

There are tons of ideas where BFF’s can escape together.

Heck, there are even books written about it. The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Girlfriend Getaways, written by Lisa Kasanicky (a big time spa and beauty enthusiast) suggests that we “Just go for it” because “good old fashioned girl time” is necessary for good health.

Summertime girlfriend getaways are necessary for a mom’s sanity! 2-Key-Ways-to-Advertise-on-Twitter-1

So why (other than being a total blast, which in our opinion is reason enough), take time away from your families and domestic responsibilities? Why utilize those valuable vacation days to be with your girlfriends? Well, why not! Even more reason is because it is healthy!  Escaping with your good friends will accomplish a bunch of things.

Good for Your Soul.

Need we say more? If they’re good friends, then just being around them will give you a little pep in your step.

Uninhibited Behavior – Seriously, have you ever known women, when they’re together in groups, behave well-mannered and ladylike? We’ve yet to witness this phenomenon. For some reason, groups of women (especially after a cocktail) are bold, brassy, and sassy. We give one another the strength and daring confidence of Wonder Woman and Cat Woman combined. Watch out fellas.

Great Talks – Nothing like getting deep with your BFFs. We call it brain-sucking. When women get together and start talking, nobody knows where it will end.

Problem Solving – We predict that the middle east crisis could be solved with a group of women on a weekend holiday. Yep, there are no problems we can’t solve together.

Rejuvenation – These mini breaks are truly Calgon Take Me Away moments from the brash of everyday reality.  

Laughter – We know that when we begin to laugh, especially in a group, it’s catching. And then at some point, the tears begin to flow, the abs begin to spasm, and as hard as we try,  we can’t get a word in because we’re laughing so freaking hard that our faces hurt. That, my friends, will cure just about anything that ales you.Girlfriend getaways

So whether it’s to the spa, the beach, the big city, Vegas, or just a sleepover, break free, grab some of your girlfriends and getaway! We guarantee that you’ll come back with a new energetic lease on life and ready to conquer the world. WOOHOO!

SealTell us about your favorite girlfriend getaway and you might just win a copy of our Collector’s First Edition game called Girls’ Night. A perfect addition for your NEXT vacation!

 

One perfect tomato. Little things can change your life.

enjoy.little.things.in.life

enjoy.little.things.in.life

Last summer we had 3 big pots on our deck loaded with green tomatoes. Such a successful year! Or so we thought. As the days passed we eagerly anticipated that first ripe red treasure. Then, one afternoon, I came home from doing some errands and every freaking green tomato was gone. GONE!  All that remained of our summer bounty were 3 big pots of gnarly vines.  

Imagine how freaked out and pissed off I was when I looked around and there, lying under the patio table, was that goofy yellow dog of ours. Yeah, she was looking all guilty with a double dose of “mom help me I’m gonna be sick”.  And boy was she…

So this summer our plants are ‘dog proofed’ and we did celebrate that first delicious red tomato. It was so incredible that we will compare every tomato from hence forth to it.  

So this tomato thing got me thinking.

How can a little thing like a tomato make a difference in our lives? Think about it.  Maybe a time where you accidentally met someone who ended up changing the course of your plans. Or how about that amazing rainbow you saw on your way home from work that turned a shitty day into a beautiful night.  Or how about the surprise friend request from someone you hadn’t connected with since the second grade.  It could be as simple as the perfect heart shaped froth on top of a perfect latte that you claimed was the best you’ve ever tasted.  Or it could be as simple and special as the scribble that your child threw away that you found.  

Point is…pay attention to the little things in life. 

Open your eyes and view your daily life with more intention.  You’ll see and experience things in a deeper and richer way.  Just like ingredients mixed together that make the perfect cake, all of these little things in life, when combined, can and will change you and your life.

  You can’t change everything in 1 night, but 1 night can change everything.images-1

What little thing did you experience recently that made a change in how you think and view your life? Tell us about it in the comments below.  We love hearing your stories!

 

 

My Dad and Me: Cues for being the Best Dad Ever

best-dad-ever

My Dad.  

If dads want to be better dads, they ought to take a few cues from mine. He set the bar for Best Dad Ever. Let me tell you why.

Our relationship was was one of true connection. It was built on playing hard, laughing all the time, and loving…yeah, to infinity. I’m very lucky, I know. And while he passed way too soon, I know that we had more experiences, love, and togetherness, than most get in a lifetime.

Best dad ever.  

As a daddy’s girl, it was Dad’s Day all of the time. Like most of you, I claim that mine was “THE BEST DAD EVER”. He was Eddie and he was one of my best pals. Being one of four kids close in age, we all vied for time with him. But as my siblings would attest, I took after him the most. I have his freckly coloring. I have his goofy playfulness. I have his creativity and curiosity. 

I remember.

There are so many things about Eddie that I recall. And when I think of them, I realize how much they all involved loads of honest to goodness quality time together. Even as a busy teenager, there was always daddy/daughter time. 

I remember once when my Mom made a cherry pie. It was still warm when Dad and I grabbed a single fork, found a secret spot, and shared the whole thing. Our stomach aches were no comparison to the trouble we got in when Mom came home. I think we both were grounded! But we also laughed about it for years to come.

I remember Dad in the summer. In the pool. Playing games. Tossing us around and and laughing so hard I thought I’d pass-out. “One more time Daddy!” comes to mind.

I remember him at the grill making endless hotdogs for all of our friends all summer long. I remember him leaning over the sink polishing off a rack of just-off-the-grill ribs. I remember the annual tomato garden and Dad eating them like apples…also leaning over the sink. 

I remember his great Donald Duck impression. He’d get real close to your ear, and in that horsey-voiced ducky kinda way say, “What’s a-matter with you?” I think his playful sense gave me some of my creativity and wonderment.

I remember the funny words that he’d make up, on the spur of the moment, that would inevitably become family terminology. I remember his silly Yiddish words that made us all laugh. I remember his friends nicknaming him “Friendly Eddie.” He shared his silliness with everyone he came across, and it makes me smile when I find myself doing the same.

I remember Eddie, the dancer. Eddie the singer. Eddie dancing and singing all around the house. And all of us rolling our eyes and laughing at AND with him. He shared this talent with me except I’m not nearly as good at either. Dad

I remember him fixing things all the time. Turning trash into treasures at his über-organized garage bench. The wrenches hanging. The hammer drawer. The saw drawer. The tape drawer. The glue drawer. The little nut, bolt, screw and nail drawers.  And his transistor radio hanging from a hook.  He was a handy-dandy fix-it kinda guy, and if you couldn’t find him, most likely he was roaming the isles at the neighborhood hardware store.

Dads.  They play like kids, give advice like friends, and protect like bodyguards. twitter

I remember all the times I called my parent’s house.  When Dad answered he’d put me through the same silly list of questions regarding “who was calling…”.  After three or four, he’d say, “Oh, I know you! You used to come over and eat fried chicken with me every Friday.” This was not true.  And it made absolutely no sense.  But it made me laugh every single time he said it.

I remember Dad’s smile, his kindness, his hard work, and his hard play. I remember his constant encouragement of all my endeavors. Good and not so good. He played a big part in my entrepreneurial sense of achievement, and I believe he’s a big reason why I am where I am in my life today.  

Sometimes, he visits me in my dreams and I can feel his warm hug when I wake up. And even though he’s been gone for many years, the love and togetherness remains today. And will forever.

Happy Father’s Day!

On Father’s Day our whole family would go to the park and my mom would cook a big breakfast on one of the park grills while we all played.  In honor of Eddie’s spirit, on this Sunday, I’ll be whipping up a that same breakfast. And before we eat, I will ask exactly what Dad used to ask. “This is a breakfast fit for ………..?” And rather than four monkeys  (that’s what he called us) shouting, “A King Daddy”, my husband will happily reply, “A King Honey”.

Happy Dad’s Day to all the men in our lives.  Past and present.  We heart you!

In the comments section below, tell us one of your “I remembers” with your dad.  We’d love to hear your stories!

 

Five reasons why playing games makes us happier & healthier.

Life-is-a-game

Life-is-a-gameDarth Vader should have been playing games.  

If he did, he would have had healthier relationships and, in general, would have been much happier.  

You know anyone like Darth Vader? Life is bad, the dark side rules, they only see problems, they can’t see the forest through the trees, worry-wart, etc.

We all know people like this. Heck, I have a brother like this! It’s rare when his conversations don’t include snarky negativity. When I think back, I remember him being all kinds of fun and funny when we were kids. Incredibly competitive, but a really happy guy. Even more so in his teens when my mom kicked him out of the house one day because he was driving her nucking futs. She said, “Don’t come home until you’ve made some new friends.” Which he did, and then he was never home, and then she began begging him to stay home more… But that was a long time ago, and somewhere in his mid-30s he changed. He grew up, got all serious, and stopped, well, playing.  

Happy leads to healthy. And it just makes sense that games are a great way to turn a frown upside down. Here’s a few reasons why.

One of the best happy pills is playing games!

Yep. Who would have thought to do research on the subject, but it’s been done. There are umpteen reasons why playing games connects us and makes the world a happier & healthier place, and here are our top five.

Games connect us and make the world a happier place. tweet 

1.  Games are good brain food.

It’s a good thing when we challenge our minds and jog our noggins. When you play games (especially creative thinking games), you stimulate growth in those little things called nerves that exist in our brains. And nerves process emotions and decision making. So if everyone’s brain is getting all juiced up, imagine the energy among players. It usually manifests into a state of unstoppable laughter and connection. And when you win? That brain food turns right into self-confidence and, probably, a little peacock strut.

2.  Games connect us with our inner child.

So many of us are depressed and bored to tears with our lives. Games give us permission to be playful and silly and goofy. And that is the kind of child-like behavior among players that can turn into sheer unabridged snorting laughter. Take a look at kids and emulate their giddiness at even the silliest of games. I remember creating the ‘best fort ever’ with my twin nieces out of bedsheets and duct tape. We even added a string of twinkling lights. I think all three of us laughed ourselves to sleep that night!

3.  Games allow us to escape the drama and stress of daily life.  

Bosses, deadlines, spouses, homework, dinner, laundry, etc. All the stuff that happens every single day. We call games a ‘Calgon Take Me Away’ experience from real life monotony. Especially when we’re playing games that take you on a trip to a land far far away. There are tons of hot video games that do this, but also table top games. Experiencing that ‘escape’ with other players translates to closer connections because you’re sharing the experience together.

4.  Games help us be better friends.

Which is something Darth and his cronies really need! Sharing is caring folks! And when we’re playing games, we’re playing with friends which means we’re sharing time out of our lives together. Whether table top or online games, mutual play is a state of friendship. Think of when we started playing games. Yes, back to being kids. Most of the time they were the best games of imagination ever. And to be victorious, we were required to listen and share ideas.  We needed to take our turn and play fair. What a great way to build friendships!

5.  Laughter and the game of life.

If we’re going to get through the daily stress and difficulties, then we ought to look at life as an actual act of playing a game. If we think about it in this way it will make our tough times seem not so tough, and our good times even better. When we can do this, then we have surely advanced to the highest game level where work is play, and play is work. And that, my friends, is where the medicine called laughter allows us to live happier and healthier lives.

There is little success where there is little laughter. ~Andrew Carnegie images

 

 So get your happy on and have a game night. Or day. Or weekend. It’s good for your health!