Teaching Children Coopertive Skills Through Games: Dinosaur Escape

Thanks to Peaceable Kingdom for providing product for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

My girls both seem to have an affinity for board games. Little Layah has been eagerly playing the likes of Candy Land for almost a year now, and she’s still just shy of 3! Darah’s interest developed right around the same time last year, only she was 4 1/2. It has been a little bit tricky finding games that both girls can successfully play, but we’ve certainly found some over the past year.

One of the things that has become very obvious to me, though, is that the older child is more focused on who is going to win, and therefore, who is going to lose. We have had MANY lessons on good sportsmanship during our board game sessions, and we now end every game with shaking hands and congratulating the winner, as well as every other player on a good game. This strategy has been helpful!

But I have still been on the search for a game that didn’t focus on “every kid for herself” and on being the first or the best as an individual. Oh, and it still needs to be fun (sorry…I’ve found quite a few very dull “cooperative” games out there). Dinosaur Escape has been the game I’ve been looking for, friends!

dinosaur escape cooperative game 1

Dinosaur Escape allows every player (2-4 at a time can join in) to participate in the same goal: get the dinosaurs safely to dinosaur island before the volcano erupts! The volcano is noted as one face on the dice, and every time it gets rolled, one more piece of the volcano is built. Meanwhile, players work to move the dinosaurs out of the deserts and to uncover the coins that have the dinosaurs on the other side of them. That’s the ticket to dinosaur island. But watch out for the T-Rex! If he gets uncovered, all dinos have to move back to the desert and work their way back to the other terrains.

dinosaur escape cooperative game 2

The game has an element of memory to it, but all players can work together to try to remember the locations of various cards. My kids aren’t able to remember all of the rules without an adult present, but as long as we are on hand, they do a great job of playing. I do have to remind them that they don’t “own” any of the dinosaurs and that they can move any one that they want, and that it is a game where either they will both win or the volcano will win. Since it is such a break from the norm with games, it is taking a while for that to sink in, but when they win, they do celebrate together. I love having a game in our stash that focuses on teamwork! And they ask to play this one frequently, which tells me that they are very intrigued by it and find it to be fun.

This is a game I’d definitely recommend, especially if you’d like to have a game that’s not as likely to induce feelings of competitiveness between siblings. You can purchase it online for $17.99.

I’d love to hear if you have another cooperative game that you’d recommend to others! 

Essential Oils for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Disclaimer: I love and personally use Young Living essential oils, and love to recommend them to other people (in this case, for folks dealing with rheumatoid arthritis). But please keep in mind that I am not a medical professional, and my opinions are not intended to diagnose or offer medical treatment. Always consult with a medical professional before making changes to your current healthcare regimen, as well as before adding essential oils to your regimen. Essential oils have not been tested by the FDA.

One of my greatest joys as a distributor for Young Living is helping people find solutions that mitigate or even eliminate their pain. One of the issues I have been asked about frequently is finding the best essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis.

rheumatoid arthritis and essential oils

If this is a problem you deal with, take a few moments to check out my YouTube video where I go over the products I recommend the most and why they are so helpful. If you are already a Young Living customer, you may already own some of these and can start trying them out right away!

And if you are new to the world of essential oils and would like more information on getting started with them, be it to help with rheumatoid arthritis or just for general wellness, I’d love to be a resource for you! You can choose to purchase a few products as a retail customer, you can go in on my monthly order and take advantage of my wholesale discount (this is a one time perk I offer to all essential oil newbies! Just email me at stuffparentsneed (at) gmail (dot) com to learn about when my next order is processing). Or you can take the plunge and become a wholesale member so that you can get discounted products (24% off!) any time you like. Frankincense and PanAway, which are both featured in the video, come in the premium starter kit, FYI. Feel free to email me if you want to hear more about the different ways to order with Young Living or if you are trying to place an order and have some questions. And if you want to ask some questions about other conditions or concerns, feel free to reach out!

For what it’s worth, getting the premium starter kit was one of the best decisions I have ever made for my health. I went into it expecting essential oils to not work, and I’ve never been so happy to have been wrong! You can read more about how I got started as an essential oils skeptic.

The Tooth Fairy Pillow for Your Child’s “Mighty Twenty”

Product provided for review consideration. All thoughts, opinions, and eager little girls are my own. 

Last week Darah, out of nowhere, had this to say over breakfast: “It’s no fair, mom!” When I asked her what wasn’t fair (thinking she was going to tell me that her sister’s bagel was half a centimeter larger than hers, or something similar), she further explained. She said, “I’m the ONLY kindergartner in my class who hasn’t lost a tooth yet! When is it gonna be MY turn?”

Oh, what a bittersweet moment I had right then! It was one of the first times that Darah has expressed frustration at still being “little” and an eagerness to get to be big. She later said, “I can’t wait to have all my grown up teeth, because then I’ll be grown up!”

Slow down, little one!

Still, the moment made me realize that she really is going to start losing her teeth soon, and I need to have a plan together for maximum tooth fairy success. Mighty Twenty is a company I recently connected with, and they are all about celebrating the journey that Darah can’t wait to be on! There are twenty baby teeth that kids will lose over the course of several years, and Mighty Twenty wants to celebrate every step (or rather, tooth) along the way.

Mighty Twenty offers a fun variety of pillows perfect for the tooth fairy to easily spot, complete with a special pocket in the front for the tooth, and a larger pocket in the back for the tooth tracker journal.
I love the journal aspect so that you can easily keep up with the dates that teeth are lost. I think I have a chart like this in a baby book…somewhere…yeah, the odds aren’t good that I’ll remember to update that. But this little journal, which is conveniently located in the back pocket of the pillow, has a darn good chance of getting filled out!
Additionally, Mighty Twenty has a fun videos that are perfect for kids who are about to start losing teeth or who are currently snaggle-toothed! They offer a fun way to help kids who might be hesitant about losing teeth to feel more connected with other kids who have gone through it.
I really love that Mighty Twenty is celebrating losing teeth for what it really is: a developmental milestone of life! You can shop online for Mighty Twenty products, including the pillow and journal set featured here ($29.95). Or you can check the list of retailers to see if you have a local option (shout out to Genevieve Bond, here in Chattanooga!).
Do you have any special rituals related to losing teeth? Anyone want to tell me the going rate for a tooth these days? 

My Favorite Deal of the Year! Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (99 eBooks for 97% Off!)

 Affiliate links included. You better believe I’ve already bought this amazing deal! And I couldn’t keep it to myself! :-)  

If I knew it wouldn’t give you a headache (or exaserbate the headache you may already have) then I would be banging pots and pans loudly right now to get your attention.

Friends, right now there is a crazy/awesome/ridiculously good deal happening, and it has overstressed, overworked mamas like us in mind. It’s called the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, and for $29.97 (which is the price of a new hardcover book), you get access to over 99 eBooks all about issues related to homemaking.

Do you need to be a stay-at-home mom for this to be relevant? Of course not! Many of the topics covered are relevant to all adults: we’ve all got to clean and plan meals and then prepare them. If we are married, that’s a whole other type of work we have to tend to. And we’ve got to manage our households. Throw kids in the mix, with their schedules, their messes and their developmental needs and you’ve got a heck of a lot of work that isn’t necessarily intuitive.

I can’t tell you how many times I have said aloud, “I have NO idea what I’m doing!”. 

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle provides a true treasure trove of resources for those of us in the trenches of managing the household. You’ll find countless tips and tools that can help you do your work smarter, not harder. And just as importantly, you’ll find something I crave so much as a busy mama….hearing that, “me, too!” from another mom. That goes SO far in helping me know that I’m not in this alone, and that I’m not the only one making it up as she goes. You’ll find healthy doses of encouragement in this bundle, friend.

So with this bundle you get 99 eBooks (click here for the list!). But friends, that’s not all!!! Oh no! Not even close! You also get audio courses, printables and an AMAZING list of free bonus offers (and I promise, I’m not talking about the kind of bonus offers that nobody actually wants…I saw a free kid’s arts and craft box, a free online craft class, free meal planning subscription, etc. Good, good stuff!).


You may be wondering exactly what topics are covered in the bundle. You’ll find great materials in each of the following categories:

  • Cleaning
  • DIY
  • Faith
  • Faith for Kids
  •  Finances
  • Food: Cookbooks
  • Food: Meal Plans & In the Kitchen
  • Holidays
  • Homeschooling
  • Marriage
  • Motherhood
  • Organizing
  • Planners & Printables
  • Pregnancy & Babies
  • Self-Care
  • Working from Home

Great list, right? But what if some of the topics don’t apply or simply don’t appeal to you? I would say that first and foremost, even if you only really like 2 or 3 of the eBooks you read, you’re already getting a deal. I predict you’ll like at least 30, though! AND…I also have learned that if there is an eBook in your bundle that you know you won’t read, you can GIFT that particular title to a friend. Is that awesome, or what?! So if your kids are already grown up, for example, and have little ones of their own, you might gift the titles specific to children to one of your kids! Or if you have a good friend who is expecting, send along the pregnancy titles to her.

The value of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle exceeds $1200. What an AMAZING deal for $29.97!

ultimate bundlejpg

Friends, this is one to trust me on. It’s a killer deal and I am confident that you are going to be so glad that you snagged it! It’s only available until 11:59pm EST on Monday, April 27th, so the time is now to jump on it. I missed one of these bundles last year because I thought I’d remember to go back and buy it, and of course I forgot and I STILL regret it!

Attention Bloggers!

And if you are a blogger and would really like to spread the word to your readers about this bundle, consider filling out an application to become an affiliate. They let you know super fast if you are approved since the sale is SO quick!

The Video in Which I Pitch a Fit Over Lip Products

Products provided for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own (which is probably obvious…).

Y’all want to see me get madder than a wet hen? And over something that is probably not worthy of my level of outrage? Thought so! Check out my review of the April 2015 Beauty Box 5 offerings in the video below:

You guys, I honestly do love this subscription box. It’s like a fun, affordable little surprise in the mail every month. You can order month-by-month, but the best deal is the year subscription for $99, which equals just $8.75/box shipped to you. You can’t expect to love everything, all the time, but I think that’s understandable. And besides, if you don’t like something you can always post a YouTube video where you pitch a fit about your over-abundance of lip products and sound like a brat! ;-)

Curious to learn more? Check out my other Beauty Box 5 reviews below.

July’s Beauty Box 5

November’s Beauty Box 5

December’s Beauty Box 5

January’s Beauty Box 5

February’s Beauty Box 5

March’s Beauty Box 5