30+ Fun and Thoughtful Family Question for Dinnertime Bonding

family questions game
(Getty/10'000 Hours)

Looking for a fun new way to bond with the fam? Experts say that families who eat together are often more bonded. That bond can lead to not just better mental and emotional health, but better grades, too. Of course, it’s hard to get your kids to sit down at the table with you sometimes. Between baseball practice, homework, and screen time, there’s so much competing for your kids’ attention. If you want to get them around the table without all the whining, the key is to make it fun and spend that 20 to 60 minutes focusing on eating and chatting.

The best way to get your kids engaged: Ask them questions. You can make it a game or simply ask questions for the sake of hearing answers. If you have older kids, you could even try the Instagram/TikTok-inspired family superlatives game so many families and celebs have made videos of. We pulled together a list of both sets of questions. Hopefully, you’ll soon find dinnertime is filled with laughter.

Questions To Get Kids Talking

1. What do you think is mom/dad/sibling’s favorite food?
2. If you were making dinner, what would you make? Whose dinner sounds best?
3. Can you guess the ingredients in tonight’s dinner?
4. What’s your favorite thing to do alone?
5. What do you like to do when we hang out together?
6. If you found a genie and had three wishes, what would they be?
7. What would you do if you found $100 on the sidewalk?
8. What is something that really bothers you about: School, our family, our house, your friends, life?
9. What made you laugh today?
10. Would you change any decisions you made today?
11. If you could make one law for the entire world to follow, what would it be?
12. What is the best thing about your best friend?

Would You Rather Questions

13. Would you rather skydive or scuba dive?
14. Would you rather have one giant mansion or two normal homes in different places?
15. Would you rather have a cat or a dog when you’re a grown-up?
16. Would you rather live somewhere always warm or always cold?
17. Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or ten duck-sized horses?
18. Would you rather give up steak or chicken?
19. Would you rather lose your sense of smell or your hearing?
20. Would you rather go to the movie theater or stay home and watch movies?
21. Would you rather go to Disney World or Universal?
22. Would you rather do without music, movies or video games?

Family Superlatives

23. Who is mom’s favorite?
24. Who is dad’s favorite?
25. Who is the funniest?
26. Who borrows the most money?
27. Who gets into the most trouble?
28. Who gets away with the most trouble?
29. Who has read the most books?
30. Who’s the more lenient parent?
31. Who’s the best cook?
32. Who has the biggest potty mouth?

Apple and Google Remove Fortnite, Players Buy It on eBay for Thousands

fornite iphone on eBay
(eBay/Mukas-47)

If you’re into gaming, you probably felt a disturbance in the Force this week. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced? Don’t worry, you’re not crazy: Fortnite was removed from the Apple store and Google Play.

They pulled the mega-popular game from its stores after they determined that the manufacturer, Epic Games, had violated Apple store guidelines by allowing users to make in-app purchases directly and bypass the 30% tax.

“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result, their ‘Fortnite’ app has been removed from the store,” Apple said in a statement that was echoed by Google.

“The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users,” the Google statement said. “While ‘Fortnite’ remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring ‘Fortnite’ back to Google Play.”

Epic Games is now suing Apple for “anticompetitive conduct,” and the game remains off the platforms.

There is some good news: if you’re desperate to get it back, there is a solution – if you’ve got the money. A lot of it.

If you’ve already got Fortnite installed on your phone, Apple and Google can’t remove it. So, seeing an opportunity, enterprising eBay users are selling phones that have the game. But they’re selling them at a premium. Several Fortnite-installed phones are being listed at thousands of dollars, and one even offered with a starting bid of $12,000 (and Buy It Now at $19,000?!) on the auction platform, which is simply insane, especially since the game remains available on plenty of other platforms, including Playstation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, even personal computers.

In a sign that America hasn’t completely lost it, there haven’t been any bids placed on those absurd listing. It looks as though the top bid thus far is $2500. Of course, if this conflict with Epic Games isn’t resolved soon, it’s going to be a tough fall for kids wanting to hold Fortnite in the palm of their hand – and their parents who might be willing to pay whatever it takes to get those kids to stop whining about it!

55 Road Trip Questions and Games to Help You Bond With Your Future Adventurers

road trip questions and games
(Getty/AleksandarNakic)

Now more than ever it seems like travelers are returning to the idea of the great American road trip. Sure, you can fly to Florida in three hours. But, you’ll see none of the cool things you pass along the way. Hard pass. Enter the minivan. And the snacks. And the screen time debate. And the “Are we there yet?” question asked every fifteen minutes from now until eternity. (Or until you lose your shit and someone ends up crying.) Again.

There are cool things about road trips, though. Honest. For one thing, you don’t have to rent a car when you get there, figure out a new car seat or sit in someone else’s cigarette smoke. For another, it’s the chance to eat Waffle House at 3 a.m. It’s a chance to do a fire drill around the car while making a pit stop in some tiny town you’ll never see again. All while eliciting giggles from your most favorite people in the entire universe.

So, how do you pass the hours when you’re trying to limit technology, encourage your kids to look out the window, and avoid losing your cool? Maybe you should try bonding by keeping your kids thinking with road trip questions and games. Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up some questions sure to start some interesting conversations. Bon voyage!

road trip questions
Fox

Would You Rather and This or That Questions

1. Drive or fly?
2. Driver or passenger?
3. AC or Windows down?
4. Sleep or look out the windows?
5. Radio or headphones?
6. Music or podcast?
7. Music or audiobook?
8. Disney or Universal?
9. Disneyland or Disney World?
10. Beach or Lake?
11. Mountains or desert?
12. Hotel or cabin?
13. City or country?
14. Swim or sight-see?
15. Nature or city?
16. Waffle House or Denny’s?
17. McDonalds or Burger King?
18. Milk or juice?
19. North or south?
20. East or west?
21. Minivan or SUV?

In-depth questions about traveling for the ride there…

22. If you were planning our trip where would we go?
23. What would we do when we got there?
24. Where would we eat?
25. What’s the first thing you want to do when we get there?
26. What’s the absolute one thing you must do at our destination?
27. Is there anything you don’t want to do?

In-depth questions for the ride home…

28. What was your favorite thing we did?
29. What was your favorite meal?
30. Any favorite snacks?
31. What souvenir will you always keep?
32. What’s your favorite memory from this trip?
33. Is there anything you’d change about this road trip?
34. How does this trip compare to others? (If this is their first: Do they want to do it, again?)
35. Where do you hope we go next?
36. Where do you hope we never go?

More questions to start conversations

37. Where do you want to take your family when you’re a grown-up?
38. Where do you want to go by yourself when you’re a grown-up?
39. What do you think would make a vacation very expensive?
40. Where would you go if you needed a cheap vacation?
41. Where would you suggest someone else go on vacation?
42. Do you think you’ll travel a lot when you’re older? Why or why not?
43. Do you think it’s more important to buy souvenirs or make memories when we’re on vacation?
44. Would you rather get super cool presents for holidays and birthdays or know we’re saving for super cool trips in the summer?
45. If you could go on a vacation with just Mom, where would you go?
46. If you could go on a vacation with just Dad, where would we go?
47. Where would you like to go on vacation with your siblings, without your parents?
48. Which do you like better: Getting there faster and having more time at the destination or taking our time and enjoying the ride?
49. Would you rather we drive at night, while you sleep, or during the day, so you can see where we’re going?
50. Do you like surprise trips or do you want to help us plan our vacations?
51. Do you want a trip to the beach or the mountains?
52. Do you enjoy movies or music in the car?
53. Do you want to help with cleaning up or setting up?
54. If you could go on vacation with just your friends, where would you go?
55. If you could only bring one gadget to a deserted island, what would it be?

 

25+ Smart Brain Teasers For Dads Who Love To Laugh (and Troll)

brain teasers
(Getty/Oliver Rossi)

Looking for something fun to tease your kids with? Riddles and brain teasers have long been the ultimate Dad trick. They’re right up there with dad jokes — frustrating yet surprisingly simple (once you’re told the answer) and always worth a (very, very small) laugh. When was the last time you quizzed your kids? These brain teasers won’t teach them anything… except for a little logic. Think of each teaser as a very simple prep for your future lawyer’s attempt to take the LSATs. It’s certainly cheaper than hiring a tutor. Sit back, read through, and enjoy a laugh, Dad. Those burgers were perfect and you’ve earned this.

1. I left my campsite and hiked south for 3 miles. Then I turned east and hiked for 3 miles. I then turned north and hiked for 3 miles, at which time I came upon a bear inside my tent eating my food! What color was the bear?

White. The only place you can hike 3 miles south, then east for 3 miles, then north for 3 miles and end up back at your starting point is the North Pole, where only polar bears live.

2. If you drop me I’m sure to crack, but give me a smile and I’ll always smile back. What am I?

A mirror.

3. Always in you, Sometimes on you;

If I surround you, I can kill you.

What am I?

Water.

4. How can a man who shaves several times a day still sport a long beard?

He’s a barber.

5. I’m not clothes but I cover your body;

The more I’m used, the thinner I grow.

What am I?

Bar of soap.

6. What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water, but no fish?

A map.

7. When may a man’s coat pocket be empty, and yet have something in it?

When it has a hole in it.

8. What is cut on a table, but is never eaten?

A deck of cards.

9. What building has the most stories?

The library.

10. A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is. The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who was in the photograph?

His son.

11. What coat goes on wet?

A coat of paint.

12. A sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece. Which has the most?

An hourglass—It has thousands of grains of sand.

13. Take off my skin – I won’t cry, but you will! What am I?

An onion.

14. Five apples are in a basket. How do you divide them among five girls so that each girl gets an apple, but one apple remains in the basket?

Give the fifth girl her apple in the basket.

15. What goes through cities and fields, but never moves?

A road.

16. A man stands on one side of a river, his dog on the other. The man calls his dog, who immediately crosses the river without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How did the dog do it?

The river was frozen.

17. You live in a one-story house made entirely of redwood. What color would the stairs be?

What stairs? You live in a one-story house.

18. When will water stop running downhill?

When it reaches the bottom.

19. What tastes better than it smells?

A tongue.

20. What day would yesterday be if Thursday was four days before the day after tomorrow?

Friday.

21. What is made of water but if you put it into water it will die?

An ice cube.

22. Sometimes I am born in silence, Other times, no. I am unseen, But I make my presence known. In time, I fade without a trace. I harm no one, but I am unpopular with all. What am I?

A fart.

23. On which side of a chicken are there more feathers?

The outside.

24. What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

Short.

25. Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

The number 8.

26. I can’t be bought, but I can be stolen with a glance. I’m worthless to one, but priceless to two. What am I?

Love

27. I am the beginning of sorrow and the end of sickness. You cannot express happiness without me yet I am in the midst of crosses. I am always in risk yet never in danger. You may find me in the sun, but I am never out of darkness.

The letter S.

28. Your parents have six sons including you and each son has one sister. How many people are in the family?

Nine—two parents, six sons, and one daughter

Super Mario Themed Jenga and Monopoly Celebrate Game’s 35th Anniversary

Super Mario Themed Jenga and Monopoly Celebrate Game’s 35th Anniversary
(Amazon)

A childhood without Super Mario is like Thanksgiving without a pie-eating contest. It’s boring, uneventful, and there’s no concrete way to assert your dominance over your siblings (and cousins, family friends, basically any kid naive enough to pick up a fork/controller). There’s no question as to just how iconic Super Mario is – people who have never even played the game can easily identify several of the lovable characters, as well as the ones we love to hate (looking at you, Waluigi).

This year has been a big one for Super Mario fans. The game celebrated its 35th anniversary, and a lot of exciting Mario-themed news has emerged from unexpected places. Nintendo collaborated with Levis to create a Mario-inspired clothing line featuring hoodies, jean jackets, and it wouldn’t be Mario if they didn’t throw in some overalls. Lego announced a new Super Mario set that will incorporate both the building process of classic Legos and some additional pieces and features that turn your creation into a playable game, à la Mario.

The newest company to hop on the Super Mario bandwagon? None other than the board game legend, Hasbro. Hasbro recently announced two new Mario-themed games, both of which are Hasbro originals with an Italian plumber twist (which is, coincidentally, my favorite wrestling move).

The first of the two games is the Monopoly Super Mario Celebration, which is a fun take on the original. Playing the OG Monopoly was fun, but I truly couldn’t care less if I owned Reading Railroad. I’ve never even been there – how do I know it doesn’t suck? What if it’s haunted? There are just too many unknowns. With the Super Mario Celebration edition though, I would absolutely fight you for Bowser’s Galaxy Reactor. The game features places, characters, and artwork, straight out of the Mario world. There’s also a question mark block on the board that plays Mario sound effects and randomly assigns rewards and penalties to players.

Monopoly Super Mario Celebration

Super Mario Monopoly
(Amazon)

The game is currently on Amazon, though it doesn’t officially launch until August 1st.

Super Mario Jenga

The second game is a leveled up version of Jenga, in which players compete as different Mario characters. The goal of the game is for players to race to the top of the tower in order to defeat Bowser. According to Amazon, players “spin the spinner to determine the number of blocks to stack, how many layers your Super Mario character must climb, or whether to reverse play or collect coins.” For a little extra Jenga flavor, the players also have to be careful not to topple the tower as they move their pegs around and remove blocks. If the tower falls they lose coins, and it’s game over.

Super Mario Jenga
(Amazon)

You can purchase Mario Jenga on Amazon now for $20, and be on the lookout for Mario Monopoly in early August. Happy (board) gaming!

Of course, you could always keep things more adult and play Jello shot Jenga.

“Floor Is Lava” Goes From Living Rooms to Netflix

Floor is Lava
(Netflix)

Kids have been playing “the floor is lava” for years. Mine have, especially during quarantine, and I remember playing a variation of it with my brother, in which we viciously tried to kick each other off the couch or bed to our doom.

Somebody finally realized that this was a natural game show and made it happen, and now that someone – Netflix – is reaping the rewards.

The game, which is highly reminiscent of Nickelodeon’s classic Double Dare, in which contestants couldn’t help but fall into goo and slime and other gross things while they attempted to navigate challenges and obstacle courses, dominated the streaming service over the weekend, coming it at #1 on their list of most-watched shows.

Mashable has a breakdown of how the show works:

“Host Rutledge Wood, known for his role on Top Gear, presents the rules as follows: (1) anything and everything in the room is in play; (2) for every player that gets across, the team receives a point; (3) the team with the most points at the end of their run, or the fastest time in case of a tie, wins $10,000; and (4) don’t fall in because — say it with me — the floor is LAAAVAAAA!

Episode to episode, viewers watch as teams go head-to-head for their shot at the grand prize. Deceptively tricky puzzles, hurdles, and mind games block their way as “volcanic eruptions” coat every available surface with water, further increasing the likelihood of slipping. At the same time, the steps needed to get out at the exit are slowly falling away as the lava levels rise, making the game harder with each second that ticks by. It’s a pressure cooker of anxiety that forces the series’ daring trios to leave it all out on the faux basalt, or be reduced to a metaphorical pile of ashes.”

My kids were transfixed by the show – but they’re also transfixed by other people opening toys and playing video games, so that’s not saying much – so it looks like Netflix has a hit on its hands.

Don’t take my word for it, check out this review of the show from an actual 7-year-old.

30+ Guessing Games for Kids When You Need Something Fun to Do

guessing games for kids, father playing with child
(Getty/fizkes)

Holy balls. Quarantine is getting to us. We’ve played every game in the closet, built every LEGO kit from scratch… twice, and binged every single show you can imagine. Even ones we had no interest in! Of course, many of us aren’t actually ready to go out in public yet. Pandemics are real and terrifying, dude. Still. We need new ways to entertain ourselves and our kids.

Enter guessing games. A great way to improve critical thinking, guessing games can not only be used for fun but also for educational purposes. This giant AF list of guessing games will give you an idea of what we mean.

Low-Cost, Low-Investment, And Little-To-No Tools Needed Guessing Games

1. Mystery Grab Bag/Box

This is way more simple than you realize. Find a bag (like one of your spouse’s ten zillion cloth grocery bags) or a box (from that drunken Amazon binge buy last week). Put a thing inside. Any old thing. The lumpier the better. Let your kids shake, sniff and grope the thing without actually seeing it. (And save reaching inside to feel the actual “thing” as a last resort.) Can they guess what’s inside?

2. Pictionary

Use some sheets of paper to make suggestions and then split your family into teams. A selected person will pick a suggestion from a hat or bowl. And attempt to draw it. Let them use a notebook, tablet, or one of those craft paper rolls. Give their team 60 seconds to try to guess what the paper said.

3. iSpy

“I spy with my little eye… something green and bouncy.” It’s a tennis ball, Dad. Try harder.

4. Twenty Questions

For the best results, assign some rules or a category. (Think: Disney movies, famous princesses, sports, etc.) Have one person pick something within that category, then let everyone else ask yes or no questions until they can make an educated guess as to what that person is thinking of. (To avoid cheating, consider having them write down and hide their answer.)

5. Hangman

Do we really need to describe Hangman to you? Use it to guess vocabulary words or important moments/people in their current history lesson.

6. What am I?

Another great learning opportunity. Pop a sticky note onto your little bug’s forehead with an interesting animal they’re learning about or even a specific historical event. Let them ask you yes or no questions until they guess what is written on their note.

7. Who am I?

This is the same as the last game, except you play with the name of a famous person (like a name from their current history lesson).

8. Charades

Act out movies, TV shows, books, scenes from history… anything. This is best played in teams.

9. Hidden picture

The easiest way to play this is just to cut out the front of a cereal box and then cut it into squares. Let the kiddos flip one square over at a time, until they can guess what cereal box they have. You can also do this with pictures of historical figures.

10. Guess the animal

Give hints about animals until they guess. “I have tusks.” “I am grey.” “I live on multiple continents.” You get the gist.

11. Guess My Job

“I use a stethoscope.” “I take your blood pressure at the hospital.” “I wear scrubs all the time.” Is it a nurse or a doctor? “I don’t operate on people.” You get the idea, right?

12. Listening Game

Can your kiddos guess the animal by your noises?

13. Rhyming Riddles

Look up or create rhyming riddles about literally anything you want your kids to learn (or just guess). Can they guess what the riddle is about? Once they get the hang of it, encourage them to try to write their own and fool you.

14. Eye witness

Pick an “it” to stand up and let everyone examine them. Next, they should leave the room and change something about themselves. (Part their hair on the other side, change their shoes, etc.) When they return, everyone has to guess what they changed.

15. Guess Who Is Missing

Blindfold the family and have one person leave. Using only their sense of touch (and maybe sound), can they guess who left the room?

16. Mr. And Mrs. Judge

Have one person cover their eyes or put their head down. Have another person sneak up behind them and whisper, “Good Morning, Judge,” and then return to where they were. Next, have “The Judge” open their eyes and guess who spoke.

17. 30 Seconds

Split your family into teams and give their representative a word. They must describe that word without actually saying the word or a similar word. Can their team guess their word?

18. Button, Button, Who’s Got The Button?

Give one person a button or anything tiny. Have them walk around and hold hands with each person in the group. At some point, they should try to secretly transfer the button to another person’s hand. At the end of the rotation, everyone must guess who has the button. The secret here is to work on faking out everyone watching.

19. Johnny Whoop

You know what? This game is fun but impossible to describe easily. Here’s an easy description. The basic gist is, once again, to fake out everyone playing.

20. Name That Tune

Can your kids guess what song you’re humming? Can you guess when they hum a song? Only one way to find out!

21. Psychiatrist

Designate a doctor, then give everyone else an “illness.” (They should have the same illness.) It might help if you also assign each person with a different symptom. As the doctor talks to the patient, can they guess what illness they all have?

22. Heads Up 7-Up

Remember playing this game during Friday free time at school? True story: You can also play it around your kitchen table.

23. Stool of Repentance

One person must leave the room and everyone else must write down real or fake facts about them. Have the person come back and sit on a chair or stool in the middle of the room and play the victim. You be the “judge” and read the accusations. “Someone said you have pretty eyes. Can you guess who?” If the victim can guess the right accuser, it’s time to switch. If they can’t, go on to the next “accusation.”

Apps For Guessing Games

24. Heads Up

Yep. This is Ellen’s game.

25. Guess Who

Just like the board game with the little flippable tabs, but this time on your phone or tablet.

26. Charades

Someone took the legwork out of Charades by creating an app to give you suggestions and time you. Sweet.

27. Guess The Color

Obviously this is a game best played by people who know or are learning their colors.

28. Draw Something

Just like Pictionary, but this game is played one-on-one and can be done on your tablet. (Or phone!)

26. Charades

Someone took the legwork out of Charades by creating an app to give you suggestions and time you. Sweet.

27. Guess The Color

Obviously this is a game best played by people who know or are learning their colors.

28. Draw Something

Just like Pictionary, but this game is played one-on-one and can be done on your tablet. (Or phone!)

29. Celebrity Guess Who

This app works like every other “guess who” or “who am I” game, except it gives you celebrities and does some of the set-up work.

30. Combo Words

Can you guess the keyword based on two pictures? Think: A can of white paint and a picture of a house. The answer is The White House.

31. Guess The Character

This app has aggregated a ton of pictures of famous characters. Using hints on your app, you can guess what character it is.

20+ Fun Games to Play With a Gaggle of Kids and Grown-Ups

fun games to play
(Getty/PixelsEffect)

After two to three months of quarantine, lockdowns are being lifted (for the time being), but it still may not feel very safe to let your kids hang out with their friends. Now summer is creeping in. School is over. Many pools are still closed. Everything is different except for one thing: Your kids’ infinite ability to be “sooooo boooooored.” These fun games to play are perfect for keeping them busy and entertained. Bonus: If you ever get to have your friends and family over, again, they’re all perfect for playing with adults, too.

1. Saran Wrap Game

Pick a “prize” that’s easily held in one’s hand, like a box of candy, a small toy of a gift card in a small box. Wrap it tightly in multiple layers of plastic wrap until you have a giant ball. Repeat with various goodies until you have enough balls for one for each person. Whoever unwraps their first is the winner. For added difficulty, make players wear oven mitts.

2. The “Baby” Game

You probably remember this game from a baby shower. Each person gets a pacifier or a diaper pin to try to hold onto. No one should use the word “baby”. If you catch someone using the word, you get to steal their pin. Whoever gets the most pins is the winner. You can change the word to fit the occasion: like using “college” for a graduation party.

3. Sticker Stalking

Give each person a sheet of 5-10 stickers. As they go throughout the evening, they should try to stick their stickers on other people. If you’re caught placing a sticker, you have to accept a sticker from the person who caught you. Whoever unloads their stickers first is the winner.

4. Dancing Chain

Player one starts with a dance move — clapping for instance. Player two must start clapping and then add a new move (like head bobbing or hip wiggling). Each consecutive player continues to build on the dance.

5. Musical Chairs

You know how to play this! It’s actually even more fun with adults, contemporary music, and a few cocktails in hand.

6. Honey, If You Love Me…

Can you make another person smile? Good luck!

7. Who Am I? (Post-It note game)

On a stack of post-it notes, write the names of celebrities, Disney characters or anything else recognizable. Next, pop a note on each person’s forehead so they can’t see it but everyone else can. As they mingle, they can ask questions about the name on their forehead until they figure out who they are.

8. Would You Rather?/This or That

Use this giant list of questions to get to know each other. Everyone’s a winner when you’re properly bonded.

9. Charades

If you’re playing with a mixed age group, make sure you keep the choices in mind.

10. Likes/Dislikes

Have everyone write two a few things they like and dislike on sheets of paper. You’ll draw the lists from a hat, read them out loud and try to guess who the list belongs to.

11. Two Truths and a Lie

I’ve kissed a famous person.

Canada is my favorite place to visit.

I drove all the way to California.

Which one is the lie? Take turns until everyone in the room is given the chance to share two truths and a lie.

12. I’m Having A Party

Pick a theme (like the first letter of your name or the same color as your shirt), but don’t tell anyone the theme. Start the game by saying, “I’m having a party and I’m bringing…” and the list something that follows your rule. The next person will say, “I’m bringing…” and list something that hopefully follows the rules. If they get it right, tell them they’re invited. If they break the rule, tell them they can’t come because they aren’t invited.

13. Sardines

You need a lot of space to play this game that is basically the opposite on hide and seek. Only one person hides and then everyone splits up to go looking. If you find the person, you hide with them. Keep collecting people in your hiding spot until only one person remains.

14. Medusa

Have everyone sit or stand in a circle looking at the floor. On your mark, everyone looks up. If they make eye contact, they’re dead.

15. Secret Sounds

Using post-in notes like the “Who Am I?” game, give each person a “secret” word and a sheet of stickers. As they chit-chat, others will see what their secret word is, if they use it in conversation, the person who catches them must tag them with a sticker. Keep playing until everyone can guess their secret word.

16. Minute To Win It Games

There are tons of Minute To Win It games out there and very few of them require much prep. Which will your friends and family like best?

17. Sing Song Ping Pong

Remember this scene from Pitch Perfect? You probably won’t sound as good doing it, but it’s still a lot of fun.

18. Mail Call/A Mighty Wind Blows

Like musical chairs, with a theme. The chair-less person will say, “A mighty wind blows anyone with a red shirt.” Everyone with a red shirt must scramble to find a new seat, along with the person who was standing. The last person standing is the next to blow a mighty wind and pick a new theme.

19. Scavenger Hunt

Give everyone a list of things to find and check off as they party. Let them collect them (if there’s enough), snap pics with phones or tablets or just be able to tell you where each item is located once they’ve found everything.

20. Partners In Pen

Give half your friends/family gift bags with a secret item inside. Partner them with another person who doesn’t know what’s inside. Have partners sit back to back. While one person describes their item, their partner must try to guess what it is.

21. The Superlative Game

This works great for tweens, teens, and also as an ice breaker in large work setting. Divide into groups of over 9 and have the teams arrange themselves based on birth month, age, shoe size, whatever makes the most sense for your group. The team that finishes the fastest wins.

22. Capture The Flag

Seriously. Why don’t we play this once we leave behind grade school P.E.? It’s one of our favorite memories from school and it exerts a ton of energy. The more people you have playing, the bigger space you need, but that can be relatively easy to find.

23. Hula Hoop Race

Split your party into two or more teams and have the teams stand in a line with everyone holding hands. (You’ll need to wait until the days of social distancing are but a memory.) Give the first person in each team chain a hula hoop. The first team to get each player through the hula hoop and travel the hoop to the opposite end of their line is the winner. No letting go!

24. If It Were Me…

This can’t be played in too large of a group, but if you have around ten people (or less), it can be a ton of fun. There are no teams and no winners. It’s just a chance to be silly. Take turns telling a funny or embarrassing story from their lives. (Real is better, but made up is fine.) Then let others chime in with ridiculous ways they would have handled the same situation.

32 Magic Tricks That Will Upgrade Your Cool Dad Status

magic tricks
(Getty/krisanapong detraphiphat)

Ever catch yourself wondering how your grandpa pulled that coin out of your ear? Or how your fifth grade best friend got those rings to separate? Magic tricks stick with you, especially if you saw them as a child. Now that you’re the magical, mysterious grown-up, it’s officially your chance to mystify the kids in your life.

Here’s the thing about magic: Magicians don’t like to give away their secrets. If you step into a magic shop, the salesperson will likely repeat the same thing over and over again, “We’re not selling you the trick, we’re selling you what you need to do the trick.” Meaning, in order to know how to do most of the magic stuff out there, you’re going to need to buy-in. All is not lost, though. We managed to find some solid info on the internet to help us show you how to whip up some magic in your life. And, if it goes well, we’ve included stuff to buy to expand your repertoire of tricks. According to the Magic Masterclass, there are ten kinds of magic, so we’ve labeled things accordingly. Hope that helps!

Production Tricks

Making something appear “out of thin air.”

1. Pluck A Coin From Thin Air

You’ve seen this trick done. But, can you do it yourself?

2. Pull A Card Out Of Nowhere

Make your audience gasp by this single-card production trick and pull a card out of thin air.

3. Flower-Filled Wallet

Turn an “ordinary” wallet into a bouquet of flowers with this awesome trick.

 

Vanishing Tricks

Making something disappear.

4. Disappearing Coin

That coin pulled out of an ear? Make it disappear with simple sleight of hand.

5. Vanishing Toothpick

You got this. Just follow along with this super simple video and you’ll wow everyone.

6. Disappearing Pencil

Wanna wow your kids with their new school supplies? The disappearing pencil trick is relatively simple and a ton of fun.

7. Blooming and Disappearing Flower

You’ve seen the blooming and vanishing silk flower in a million birthday party magic shows. Why not invest in your own?

Transformation Tricks

Turning something into something else. (Like a rat into a goblet.)

8. The Bending Spoon

Is it possible that this is the oldest trick in the book? Uh… probably not. But, it’s pretty old school and super popular with little kids.

9. Transforming a Marker/Pen into a Magic Wand

This is showy and fun — Magic at it’s finest.

Restoration Tricks

Destroying an object, then repairing it.

10. Magic Can Restore/Repair

Wanna blow the mind of your kiddos and/or drunk friends? Refill a can. This video uses a beer can, but it’ll work with any can.

Transportation Tricks

Making an object appear to move from one spot to another.

11. The Sugar Cube and the Magic Number

All you need are a friend, a sugar cube, a pencil and a glass of warm water to make your friend’s lucky number “magically” move from the sugar cube to the palm of your hand.

12. Moving A Pencil With Your Mind

Really all you need for this is a very light pen or pencil and the ability to expel air without making a face like you’re blowing out candles.

Transposition

Similar to transportation tricks, except you making multiple items move.

13. Linking Paper clips

All you need for this trick is two paper clips and a piece of paper — a dollar bill works best.

 

14. Coin Pyramid

Okay, okay. Once you show this trick to someone a time or two, they’ll figure out that it’s actually super easy to do on their own and isn’t actually magic at all. They’ll certainly feel like it is the first time they watch. Little kids, especially, will be in disbelief.

15. Parting The Pepper

Before you start the trick, privately put some soap on your finger. Sprinkle some black pepper into a glass of water and have your friend stick their finger into the water. Nothing will happen. When you put your finger into the water, the soap will cause the pepper to scatter and separate from your finger.

Escape Tricks

Escape tricks are the ones everyone wants to do and not many people can figure out. There’s usually an air of danger or a sense of urgency involved.

16-18. Houdini’s Top 3 Escape Tricks

YouTuber Nadjib Haffaf broke down three of Houdini’s most popular escape tricks here. These might be a little too involved for the average dad. However, we wanted to include them so we didn’t leave anything out.

Levitation Tricks

Making the magician or something/someone appear to float.

19. The Magnetic Pencil

Make a pencil appear to float behind your hand.

20. Levitating Card

You’ll need to do a bit of prep work for this trick, but it’s sure to blow minds.

 

21. Making Yourself Float

There are multiple ways to do this and some of them require a bit of production. However, this might be the coolest thing you can learn.

22. Rising Card

Different from the last moving card trick, but still great. Noticing a theme yet? Owning a deck of cards helps.

23. Levitating Matchstick

The key to this trick? The match bends when it burns, but to tiny brains or at a quick glance, it will look like the matchstick is “levitating.”

Penetration Tricks

Making solid objects pass through one another — like those metal rings

24. Walking Through Paper

This is less magic and more of a bit of a tease. With a series of snips, a single 8×11 sheet of paper becomes a loop of paper big enough for you to walk through.

25. Cup Through The Table

You’ll need to be fast with this one. With a little practice, though, you can fool anyone.

26. Pen Through A Dollar Bill Magic Trick

27. Linking Rings

Really want to get in on those quality magic tricks? This set of eight linking rings is a go-to for most magicians.

28. Spring & Ring

This super cheap little gadget is small enough to keep in your pocket and whip out at a moment’s notice.

29-32. Mind Blown Magic Illusion’s 4 Easy Penetration Tricks

MBMI offers tons of novice-friendly magic trick secrets on the YouTube channel. This video walks you through four different ways to practice penetration magic with everyday items you can find around your home or workspace.

 

The Best Games You and Your Crew Can Play Over Video Chat

Best Games to Play Over Video

We’re assuming you’ve already built an Iron Man suit with a frikken laser and all 6 forts from IKEA – now it’s finally time to unwind. We highly recommend putting together a crew for quarantine game nights. Just because you can’t be in the same room doesn’t mean there aren’t bountiful games of chance and skill to be enjoyed.

So shoot off some invites, remind everyone “flaking” isn’t a thing anymore, and fire up that Zoom call or Google Hangout, because here 10 fun games still feasible in the age of social distancing.

JACKBOX PARTY PACK

(Jackbox Games)

Whether you’re trading punchlines in Quiplash or conceiving ludicrous t-shirts in Tee KO, Jackbox is destined to be a rollicking good time for anyone with a wicked sense of humor. Effortless setup and laughs aplenty. You can buy all the Jackbox Party Packs right here!

SCAVENGER HUNT

Designate one player King of the Hunt. This person should be decided at least a day beforehand so they can compile a list of household items, the commonness of which is up to them. The King simply requests an item—a wooden spoon, Christmas lights, a DVD with Tom Hanks on the cover—and the players race to find them. The Scoring system is up to you!

Here’s a list of household items to get you started.

CODENAMES

(Amazon)

Codenames is an ingeniously simple and challenging game, kind of like a more strategic Password. The gist is there are two teams and a grid of random words. Only the designated Spy Masters can see which words belong to their team, which belong to their opponents, and which word instantly ends the game. The Spy Masters then take turns giving one-word clues, along with the number of their team’s words it applies to. It’s a blast and very easy to pick up on.

You can generate your own virtual Codenames boards right here!

SKRIBBLIO

(Twitter / bratcontent)

Easily the best incarnation of Pictionary you’ll find on the internet. You know the deal: someone picks a word and draws it. Everyone guesses. Faster the correct answer, the more points awarded. Classic. Pro tip: break out the tablet for this one. Drawing with a mouse is about as easy as drawing with a literal mouse.

Click here to get your Skribblio room going!

WHO AM I?

(Blogspot / A Board Game A Day)

This is that game where everyone draws a celebrity or historical figure from a hat, affixes the card to their forehead, and asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions in an attempt to deduce their identity in as few clues as possible. Of course, we can’t be passing ’round name hats right now, so we suggest simply having the guesser turn down their volume while everyone else agrees on who they are.

Here’s a website that generates random lists of notable people, from John the Baptist to Morgan Freeman.

THE LEONARD MALTIN GAME

(Warner Bros)

This is a movie game famously played on the live podcast Doug Loves Movies. Assign one player the role of quizmaster. The quizmaster finds a review by film critic Leonard Maltin. They then give the other players a genre, year, and a couple of hint-worthy quotes from it. The players then bid on how much of the cast list they’d need to identify the movie if names are given in reverse order. A total blast for even the most moderate of film buffs.

More detailed rules and gameplay can be found here, along with lots and lots of rounds ready to go!

TABLETOP SIMULATOR

(Steam)

This game is incredible. Table Simulator is a multiplayer physics sandbox. In other words, a total free-for-all. It allows you (and anyone else who buys it) play practically whatever board, card, or dice game you can conjure up. Chess, poker, dominoes. Hell, make one up if you want. It’s just you, the pieces, and a super impressive physics engine.

You can even flip the board!

MOST LIKELY TO…

If you’re looking to incorporate a little booze into your quarantine game night, we recommend the easy, fun, and intimate Most Likely To… The rules are simple: someone proposes a superlative. Who’s the most likely be a vampire? Who’s the least likely to skydive? The group has one minute to deliberate, and whoever gets picked has to drink. The pushback is always hilarious, and you inevitably find yourself insisting that no, you are definitely not the most likely to get kicked by a kangaroo.

Click here for a big list of questions you can use!

9 Ways to Quickly Distract Your Bored Kids for 30 Minutes Without a Screen

9 Quick Distractions for Bored Kids
(Getty/Richard Lewisohn)

As much as we love our kids, these days we could really use some peace and quiet in a pinch. Sometimes you need to hop on a last-minute Zoom meeting or submit and overdue TPS report. The easy thing to do would be to plop them in front of the TV and turn on a movie that’s being released digitally. But if we don’t want a bunch of dead-eyed drones running the world, we need to get creative with some screen-less things to do to keep our kids occupied, and fast.

In order to assist all dads everywhere, we thought it might be helpful to provide sort of a series of ideas, we’ll call it a list, of ways to distract your kids without screens.

Here are 9 quick ways to distract your kids during the quarantine without screens.

Make Paper Airplanes

(Fold N Fly)

All you need for this activity is a tiny stack of paper and a little patience. Challenge your aviators to create a fleet that will compete for distance and acrobatics. Check out Fold ‘N Fly – it’s the perfect wingman for this. The website features over 35 different paper airplane designs, data on their aerial abilities, and crystal clear printable instructions on how to make them. Print off a bunch in advance so when you need a moment to yourself can dole out a few sheets and challenge your kids to create and then fly ’em.

Make a Time Capsule

You’re going to need to be involved in this project at some point – but you can still buy yourself some time by challenging the kids to think about what the future might be like. Will there be flying cars yet? I mean, I’ve been waiting for these since I was a boy and am still hoping! Let them explore their imagination and draw, paint, or write down an image of life 10 years from now. Then get them to make a list of their favorite stuff. Maybe they add a few tiny toys or write letters to their futures selves. Then tell them to figure out a good spot in the yard to bury it. All of these activities will distract them while you get a little work done.

Once they’re done gathering the contents you’ll decide on a container for their goodies. We’ve all heard stories about an excavated time capsule that disintegrated or the contents got destroyed by moisture. A paint can works if you’re able to seal it completely and it’s not a bad idea to individually seal other documents inside for added insurance.

Sock Puppet Theater

Cardboard Puppet Theater
(Getty/PeopleImages)

This activity is part crafty and one part performance art. Gather up some old socks, markers, fabric scraps, buttons, and some glue and let the kids create their characters. They’ll be busy for at least 30 minutes. Then give them a box to design with paint and crayons. Boom, 30 more minutes. One done, cut a hole in it and tell them to practice their show. Make sure to record it, everyone can watch it later when it’s finally screentime.

Have Them Make a Movie

Tell them you’re in the mood to watch a sci-fi movie tonight, then give them your phone and tell them to go make it. This doesn’t count as a screen because making movies on your phone is awesome and creative and do you have a RED Digital Cinema camera lying around? Tell them that “real” movies are pretty long and you might get a whole afternoon to yourself.

Have Them Learn a Choreographed Dance

The obvious, and frankly only, pick here is ‘I Want You Back’ by N*Sync. Send your kids off to learn this entire dance so they can perform it at dinner. The benefits of this are two-fold: you’ll get to laugh at your kids dancing to a 90s boy band song and they might find something they actually want to pursue career-wise. And what if they absolutely blow you away? Like what if they’re better than N*Sync? What if you end up managing them as a group? So many possibilities.

Build a Fort

cushion fort
(New York Times)

Oldie but a goodie. Get some couch cushions and tell them to have at it. You can make tin foil hats, create signage that says “No Parents Allowed” but the “s” is all backward and cute. Do the whole nine yards with this one and they’ll be occupied for at least 30 minutes. Or challenge them to build all 6 forts that IKEA provided instructions for.

Treasure Hunt!

Tell your kids to take turns hiding something in the backyard and then create a detailed treasure map so the other one can try to track it down. This is a three-part distraction. First, they’ll spend a little time finding a spot to bury something. Then they’ll have to create the map. And then they’ll have to find the treasure. By the time they’re done you’ve bought yourself at least 30 minutes.

Make a Comic Book

(Picklebums)

Every awesome superhero movie originated as a comic book so it’s time your kids channeled their inner Stan Lee. Have the kids create their own hero, change an ending, or even introduce themselves into a story. Use one of these printable templates from Picklebums to bring a new story to life.

Have Them Paint Each Other

Get some paints, a couple of easels, line the floor with newspaper (lol jk what is this 1947?) I mean trash bags, and encourage them to paint either each other or some wicked cool still-life. Before you leave the room make sure you explain you want them to paint an image of each other on canvas, not paint on each other. You may discover one of them is the next Bob Ross. Or you may discover what you suspected all along: they are kids and their paintings will stink and you just need to lie and tell them they are amazing.

Bonus: Books?

kids books
(Esquire)

We know. Har har. Not happening, right? But there is always a window in which to get your kid to become an avid reader, you just need to find it. It’s that perfect moment when they are bored, but not too bored. And you have to be like, “Oh hey this book is cool, whatevs” and not press it too hard. Maybe they’ll pick it up and maybe they’ll actually become invested. And maybe they start reading a lot and go to Harvard on scholarship and become rich and take care of you in your dying age. All we are saying is get your kids to read.

IKEA Put Together 6 Guides to Fort Building During Quarantine Life

(IKEA)

Building a fort out of your existing furniture is like a rite of passage for every child. Not only is it insanely fun for them, but it’s even more fun for you because it keeps them occupied for a nice long while. IKEA has decided to make fort-building official with ideas on how to build 6 types of forts during the quarantine using nothing but IKEA products. Equipped with their notoriously difficult-to-follow IKEA instructions, you can spend hours building the actual furniture (and claim that you “built that” as we all do), and the kids can take it from there. Once they’re done might we suggest pairing it with homemade IKEA meatballs?

Ikea Castle
(IKEA)

Krokig goes in there. See the arrow? It’s out there but it’s also in there.

Ikea House
(IKEA)

An obese bear by the name of Djungelskog resides in this house. Do not disturb Djungelskog.

Ikea campingtent
(IKEA)

You cannot see her, but Pressa the octopus is hiding in the tent. We don’t know what Pressa is when she is not hanging in a tent. Is she a decoration? What. Is. Pressa.

Ikea cave
(IKEA)

This cave requires 8 books. 2 of them are for keeping the cave in place. 1 is for reading. and the other 5? Well, we don’t speak of those books.

Ikea Fortress
(IKEA)

If you seek solitude, the fortress should do the trick. Make sure you stock up on one million clothespins for these forts.

Ikea Wigwam
(IKEA)

Is this…is this allowed?

IKEA “fans” have already hopped on the fort train (sorry) and are showing off their suspiciously sleek photos. These were 100% not pre-planned by the Russian agency (called Instinct) who created this campaign:

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IKEA выпустила инструкцию по тому, как построить Dömik, Vigvåm и Krepöst. Скорее хватайте подушки и пледы! ⠀ Российское отделение IKEA опубликовало в инстаграме инструкцию по созданию детских домиков. Каждый тип домика получил свое название в стиле товаров IKEA: Dömik, Vigvåm, Palåtka, Norå, Krepöst, Zåmok. Домики предлагают собрать из подручных средств: столов, табуреток, пледов, гирлянд и подушек. ⠀ Также компания планирует каждую неделю публиковать в инстаграме фотографии домиков, которые выкладывают с хэштегом #явдомикеИКЕА, можете присоединиться 😊⛺️ ⠀ #хоббивиль

A post shared by ХОББИВИЛЬ – детский клуб (@hobbyville) on

If you’ve got some dollars and time to spare (and who doesn’t???) then this could be your next quarantine project!

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 Coming To PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on September 4

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 2
(PlayStation)

What were you up to 20 years ago? My memory is a little hazy but if I had to guess I was slamming Bagel Bites, listening to Eminem, and playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater… all while putting off studying for my AP Calc exam. On September 4 I may just take a trip down memory lane (sans the AP Calc), since Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 are being remastered and re-released for PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One X, and PC via the Epic Games Store.

The Birdman (who also happens to be a fan of The Dad) himself dropped the news on his Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Happy birthday to me! #THPS 🎮🛹

A post shared by Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) on

Returning for this hotly anticipated remaster is everything you loved about the original games. The S-K-A-T-E challenges:

(Activision)

All your favorite signature tricks, from Kareem Campbell’s Casper Slide to Bucky Lasek’s Fingerflip Airwalk to Tony Hawk’s elusive 900:

Despite a few licensing issues, a “vast majority” of history’s greatest video game soundtracks will be back for your kickflipping pleasure. As long as “Cyco Vision” by Suicidal Tendencies and Primus’ “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” made the cut, we’re good. Also, “Superman” by Goldfinger. Chances are you remember every word to that and don’t even realize it.


And for the first time ever, THPS 1 & 2 will feature online capabilities, including various multiplayer modes and the option to share and download custom skate parks. It’s a dream come true for anyone who knew the sense of gratification that came with unlocking Roswell.

(Activision)

And if that wasn’t enough, today is Tony Hawk’s birthday! A very happy 52nd to the world’s oldest kid. To celebrate, enjoy this video of him driving around and commanding teen skaters to perform kickflips.

Did you know The Dad has a gaming community with leagues, events, and tournaments in 9 different games? It’s true. Pick up the sticks, squad up, and join the gaming club.