#155: Tic-Tac-Toe / X's and O's

Who can make a line first in tic-tac-toe, also known as X's and O's.

How to play tic-tac-toe or X's and O's:
You will need two players, paper and a pen or pencil. Draw a grid like above. One player is 'X' and the other is 'O'. One player goes first and draws their letter in one of the spaces. The next player then draws their letter in a grid. Take turns until someone makes a line, or you are out of spaces. To make a line, you have to get three of your letter in a row--not blocked by another player's letter. The lines can be straight across, straight down or at a diagonal. In the above example, 'O' won as they made a straight line up and down.

Make this a family activity: Have a family tic-tac-toe tournament.

This activity promotes strategy.


#154: Yoga

Let's get bendy! Yoga relaxes your mind and body and promotes flexibility.

Here are five common poses to get you started. You can learn more about yoga from a book, video or class. Remember to keep breathing and be gentle with your body. Yoga should never hurt.

Warrior pose

Cat pose

Child pose

Cobra pose

Downward facing dog pose

Make it a family activity: Have the whole family join a yoga class.

This activity promotes flexibility and strength as well as calming the mind.


#153: Draw a Picture

Draw a picture. Use pencils, markers, pencil crayons, crayons, pens...whatever you want to make your drawing.

Make it a family activity: Everyone draws a picture. Draw each other, the family pet, the house, the tree out front...anything!

This activity promotes fine motor skills and artistic skills.


#152: Penny Rugby (aka Quarters)

To play Penny Rugby, you will need a friend, a table and a penny (or other coin).

Each person sits across from each other at a small table. One person goes first (player 1). Player 1 starts with the penny overhanging (balanced half on and half off the table) their end of the table. Player 1 flicks the penny with their fingers or bumps it with their hand up to 3 times to move it across the table. If the penny goes off the table or doesn’t overhang the other end, they do not get points and the turn goes to the other player (player 2). If it overhangs, player 1 gets 5 points and a chance to go to goal.

To go to goal, player 1 spins the penny on the table and catches it between their thumbs while it is spinning. (If they do not catch it between their thumbs, their turn ends). If they catch it, player 2 makes a goalpost by placing their thumbs together and spreading their hands out, elbows on the table. Player 1 keeps holding the penny between their thumbs, then ‘throws’ the penny through the goal (2 more points if they get it between the posts). Whether it goes in or not, it is now player 2’s turn.

Make it a family activity: Have a tournament!

This activity promotes coordination, judgment and fine motor skills.


#151: Sailing

Let's go for a sail.

Safety First: Wear a lifejacket and go with someone who knows the water and all about sailing.

Make this a family activity: Take the whole family out!

This activity promotes learning about the wind and navigation and water safety skills.


#150: Gymnastics

Somersaults, handstands, cartwheels...

This activity promotes coordination, flexibility and physical strength.


#149: Spoons

You will need 4 or more players, a spoon for each player (minus one player), and a deck of cards.

Spoons are placed in the middle of the players where everyone can reach them. One spoon per player, minus one player. So, if you have 4 players, put out 3 spoons. From the deck of cards, pull out 4 cards for each player. The 4 cards for each player need to be the same. (For example, pull out 4 jacks.) Shuffle all the cards together. Each player gets dealt four cards. Players look at their cards. If all four of their cards are the same, they grab a spoon. As soon as one player grabs for a spoon, everyone else does too. The player who does not get a spoon, is out of the game. If nobody happens to have been dealt all four the same, everyone gives away one card by passing it, face down, to the player on their right. They look a the card they have been given. They can keep it, or pass it along.

Variations: Players, once out, stay out until there is only one player with a spoon left. They are the winner. (As players leave the game, remove a spoon.) Or, players who didn't get a spoon can still play in the next round.

Make this a family activity: Everyone plays! Family game night!

This activity promotes quick reflexes and visual identification skills.