Top Activities For Kids To Express Themselves: Teach Self-Confidence, Independent Thinking & Creativity

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

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

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

 

Five reasons why playing games makes us happier & healthier.

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!