Sunday, March 22, 2020

A bad time in general, but a good time for a new game

My friend Jason Schneider is the VP of Product Development for a highly imaginative company called Gamewright.

Last summer, he asked me to help write a fast-paced trivia game called Hit List. I love trivia, games, writing, and Jason, so I said yes.

Today, I received my author copies (or whatever they're called in the game industry); with families everywhere currently staying home due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), one might say perfect timing. 

I posted to my neighborhood list serv that I put outshrink-wrappedgames for the taking.


All were gone in less than 45 minutes. 

Your move, cabin fever!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Fun, easy, home-based activities for kids

Schools worldwide are closed in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

It is heartening to see author/illustrator friends and children's book publishers sharing free content online to help kids keep brains/bodies active during homebound days:



Here is my small contribution.

Twenty years ago, I wrote a now out-of-print book called 365 Adventures (later repackaged as 365 Things to Do Before You Grow Up).



Starting with the first day my own kids were out of school, I began adding one entry a day to this post (newest at top; not in book order). You are, of course, free to copy/share.

Disclaimers:


  • Some minor references may now be outdated. But that gives you a secondary activity: look up those references.
  • Some activities require friends. When social distancing is in effect, substitute "friends" with "people who are currently in my house/apartment." (Or you can do some activities with friends by Zoom, FaceTime, or a similar program.)
  • As the title suggests, there are 365 entries. World, don't make me post them all.

Another suggestion: to start a discussion with kids ages 9 and up about social justice, primary source research, intellectual property/copyright/creators' rights, 20th century history, persistence, and/or speaking up for others, show them the feature documentary Batman & Bill on Hulu. It's the first film based on a nonfiction picture book (Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman). Warning: it's a tearjerker!


The activities:

day 77 - trace your family tree - posted 5/31/20

day 76 - celebrate an unsung hero - posted 5/30/20

day 75 - draw from memory - posted 5/29/20

day 74 - create a miniature park - posted 5/28/20

day 73 - mix up meals - posted 5/27/20

day 72 - make riddle cards - posted 5/26/20

day 71 - balance a book - posted 5/25/20

day 70 - invent a secret code - posted 5/24/20

day 69 - find your dream job - posted 5/23/20

day 68 - create a moon calendar - posted 5/22/20

day 67 - soundtrack your life - posted 5/21/20

day 66 - make and bury a time capsule - posted 5/20/20

day 65 - attract a spider - posted 5/19/20

day 64 - argue someone else's view - posted 5/18/20

day 63 - write your pet's biography - posted 5/17/20

day 62 - go thumbless - posted 5/16/20

day 61 - make name cookies - posted 5/15/20

day 60 - learn birdcalls - posted 5/14/20

day 59 - write a song parody - posted 5/13/20

day 58 - draw the unseen - posted 5/12/20

day 57 - make a prism - posted 5/11/20

day 56 - cast a movie about your family - posted 5/10/20
(NOTE: you won't know a single actor mentioned in this entry)

day 55 - publish a family newspaper - posted 5/9/20

day 54 - go metric - posted 5/8/20

day 53 - find a sister school - posted 5/7/20

day 52 - watch things decompose - posted 5/6/20

day 51 - conduct a sniff test - posted 5/5/20

day 50 - kick a bad habit - posted 5/4/20

day 49 - find the meaning in your name - posted 5/3/20

day 48 - party with babies - posted 5/2/20

day 47 - save a tiger - posted 5/1/20

day 46 - test pollution level - posted 4/30/20

day 45 - do three (or one!) things that scare you - posted 4/29/20

day 44 - speak backward - posted 4/28/20


day 43 - read lips - posted 4/27/20

day 42 - help a missing child - posted 4/26/20

day 41 - organize a fashion show - posted 4/25/20


day 40 - invent a board game - posted 4/24/20

day 39 - be a mime - posted 4/23/20

day 38 - draw someone at the reverse age - posted 4/22/20

day 37 - survey your friends - posted 4/21/20

day 36 - test truth in advertising - posted 4/20/20

day 35 - write a dog dictionary - posted 4/19/20

day 34 - make a trauma doll - posted 4/18/20

day 33 - list your island top five - posted 4/17/20

day 32 - dress from another decade - posted 4/16/20

day 31 - call a radio station - posted 4/15/20
(NOTE: I realize you may be unfamiliar with the concepts 
of "cassettes," "radio" and "calling," 
which is why this may be especially fun!)

day 30 - flip a cartoon - posted 4/14/20

day 29 - repair a stuffed animal - posted 4/13/20

day 28 - plant mistakes - posted 4/12/20

day 27 - draw from a bird's-eye view - posted 4/11/20

day 26 - keep a dream journal - posted 4/10/20

day 25 - make a sundial - posted 4/9/20


day 24 - break your own record - posted 4/8/20


day 23 - race paper airplanes - posted 4/7/20

day 22 - calculate your (material) worth - posted 4/6/20

day 21 - wear a new hairstyle - posted 4/5/20

day 20 - run a family quiz show - posted 4/4/20

day 19 - recreate famous images - posted 4/3/20
(NOTE: the Getty Museum of Los Angeles has done
something similar, and that's where the similarities between 
the GM and MTN end)

day 18 - splatter a shirt - posted 4/2/20
(NOTE: requires a yard or other private outdoor space, 
a plain solid-colored T-shirt or sweatshirt, and fabric paint; if you do not have 
some or any of this on hand, you'll have to get [even more] creative)

day 17 - change hands - posted 4/1/20
(NOTE: not for the whole day as it suggests; 
start with 15 minutes and see how much longer you can go...

day 16 - make and take Rorschach test - posted 3/31/20


day 15 - rescue a bug - posted 3/30/20


day 14 - act out the dialogue from a film - posted 3/29/20
(NOTE: "tape" and "VCR" are the medieval forms of Netflix)

day 13 - make a house of mirrors - posted 3/28/20

day 12 - take an animal census - posted 3/27/20
(NOTE: though we're mostly staying at home at the moment,
you can do this by looking out the window!)

day 11 - know your blood type - posted 3/26/20
(NOTE: forget the self-test; just ask your parents!)


day 10 - compare news stories - posted 3/25/20

day 9 - celebrate another country's holiday - posted 3/24/20

day 8 - draw your great-grandparents - posted 3/23/20

day 7 - recite a famous speech - posted 3/22/20

day 6 - toss a rainbow salad - posted 3/21/20
(NOTE: you can also use fruit/nuts/other healthy food)

day 5 - put inventions in chronological order - posted 3/20/20
(NOTE: you don't have to use sticky notes; just make a list)


day 4 - go sled bowling - posted 3/19/20

day 3 - list the Seven Wonders of Your City/Town - posted 3/18/20

day 2 - make a string path - posted 3/17/20
(NOTE: you don't have to start at the front door)

day 1 - hold a no-laughing contest - posted 3/16/20
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