January 28, 2012

Sharing Saturday - a few questions

It's been FOREVER since we had a Sharing Saturday and I miss them!  Here's how it goes.  I list three questions and you give your answers in the comments.  If you have a questions YOU'D like asked of everyone here, just shoot me an email and we'll fit it in sometime.  Since it's been a while, I don't have reader questions.  They are mine.  I'd love your help/suggestions.


1) What is the best product for cleaning off the hardened brown stains on a stovetop.  Our stovetop is stainless steel and when the water accidentally boils over I can never get it off very well.  Any tips?


2) What are some games that are great for young children other than Candyland?  Let's just say I've spent hours playing Candyland this week month and I need something new.  Rex can't get enough of it.  He's only four, so I need something else that he can understand and like.

3) Where's the best family vacation you've ever been on?  Is it Disneyland, Legoland, or is there some place that you'd rate higher?  I don't know if we'll really do it, but we've talked a little about trying to do a little family vacation sometime this year.  Our kids have never been to any of those places.  Thoughts?

Thanks for your advice and input!  I can't wait to hear what you have to say.  Thanks for reading!

161 comments:

  1. As far as board games for preschoolers and toddlers alike, we play "I Can Do That" its a Dr. Seus Cat in the Hat Game, and even though my 3 year old cant read yet he can still figure out what the cards say to do, and we all laugh hysterically playing this game. I know your kids would love it!

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  2. For the stove: spray easy off oven cleaner and then wipe after 20 minutes or so. It works like a charm! My parents have their house professionally cleaned and their cleaning ladies shared this tip with me.

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  3. barkeepers friend for the stove. make a paste and let it sit for a minute. sparkling clean. you can get it at grocery or walmart.

    card games for kids. i bought these from amazon to help them hold the cards

    http://www.amazon.com/Jobar-Playing-Card-Holders-Set/dp/B000V7P5FM

    my kids favorite vacation was to nyc. the still talk about it.

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  4. For cleaning a stainless steel sink or cook-top, I love either Bon-Ami or Bar Keepers Friend. It will not scratch (I still go in the direction of the grain) and leaves a beautiful shine... the way it looked when new. You avoid all of the harsh chemicals in oven cleaners, etc., while still not requiring much effort.

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  5. I agree with the easy off comment for the stove. For the game...it's not a board game...but I have a three year old and a five year old and they both LOVE this new game they got for Christmas...it's called Red Rover. It's a little red dog with plastic bones in his back pack. You spread the bones out and he calls out which ones to bring over: "Red Rover, Red Rover, bring a BLUE bone over." I think it was $20 or so, at Walmart! Vacation-wise: We're taking our clan to DISNEY WORLD, this year! In April, as a matter of fact. I used to live in California and LOVED Disneyland. I've never been to Disney World, but I'm super stoked to take my chitlins and see if they love the magic of Disney as much as I used to, when I was little! Good luck!!

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  6. My nephew is 5 and over the year he has become obsessed with board games. I splurged a little for Christmas and bought him this little gem from amazon called Dinosaurs Extinct? he loves it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EUMP1S/ref=oh_o03_s00_i00_details Also he received the Cars monopoly game. It is amazing for a child to learn a little bit about money. Unlike regular monopoly the money is all in ones and the most you pay for a property is $5. Also the dice in the game is Lighting McQueen and a track that you push him on to get the number of spaces. Another simple game like Candy Land is Chutes and Ladders.

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  7. 1)Make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for a bit. I also LOVE bon ami.
    2)Santa brought my 3 and 5 year old boys Richard Scarry's Busytown Mysteries board game which is a lot of fun, and they have 'What's in Ned's Head' which is a sensory game. It's a big cloth head with gross boy items like bugs and boogers and they have to 'guess' what item they're touching w/o peeking.

    3)Disneyworld. But my kids love going to the Outer Banks of NC every year.

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  8. I hate to be just like everyone else, but Disneyworld is a classic family vacation for a reason. I'm not a huge Disney fan, but we took our girls and they LOVED it. And of course that made it fun for us too. I suggest that if you plan on eventually going, you go now before the boys are in school and you have to wait for school vacation when every other person in the world is at Disney. Having lived in Orlando, I can tell you that Oct - March are great months to be there.
    (plus, if you're at Disney, you won't have to clean your stove or play candyland :)
    -Adrianna

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  9. I really like playing UNO with my kids. And the professor noggin games can be easily tailored to younger kids too :)

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  10. For the stove I love the magic erasers. I think they can scratch though and can be costly. We have to use them sometimes for stubborn stuff and they work awesome, just be careful when using the first time. Board games are huge in family. Our kids (9, and the twins are 5) got Jenga for Christmas and we ALL (even mom and dad) have a blast while playing. The kids also got Disney Scene It a few years ago and they are finally old enough to play it. We always have so much fun while playing that (it does have a DVD with it). The younger ones will need mommy and daddy to be a partner because there is reading and some of the questions are tricky. We still have YET to go to Disney but I hear is amazing. We have heard that it can be very expensive so be prepared to spend a lot of money so we keep putting that one on the back burner. We have been on a few "real" vacations and a few "cheap" vacations. Our kids always have the most fun on the cheap ones. I dont know why, but those are the ones they remember and go on and on about. We usually go camping some place fun every year and our kids love it. We always come home a little closer every time.

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  11. Chutes and ladders, memory
    Here on the east coast we love to go to Sesame place, I even have a 7.5 yr old who still loves it, the beach, and Philly or NYC or DC. NYC and Philly are their favorites though. Luckily we live close enough that they are all day trips. We are going to try Amish country this year.

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  12. The two games my kids have been playing since they were Rex's age. And now play without me.

    Go fish! This is great because when they were younger they would say "do you have any -insert animal name-" OR the numbers, and it worked. :)

    http://www.amazon.com/Littlest-Shop-Fish-Card-Game/dp/B000Q0CBRO

    This is our go to game when Candyland gets old. Just as easy to understand:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hasbro-4555-S5-Chutes-Ladders/dp/B00000DMF6

    Have fun!

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  13. For games, Pop-up Pirate and Ned's Head. I hate games that have lots of cards and rules to deal with. Both of these are easy games with simple concepts, but are still fun to play (even for a grown-up, for some amount of time!).

    And for vacations, we went to Hershey Park and Sesame Place (both theme parks) a couple years ago. The kids loved both of them. Hershey has a little kids section, and Sesame is obviously geared towards little kids. Personally, I feel that Disney gets a little too overwhelming for the kids (we're in FL, so have been several times), and the lines are sooo long!

    BTW, thanks for responding to my Picnik question- let's cross our fingers for a good replacement!

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  14. I stink at cleaning so I have NO idea there!!!
    so far our best family vacation was at the beach. The kids loved boogie boarding and making sand castles.
    My sons love ISpy games and books!!!!

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  15. We love, love, love board games for little ones. I have an almost 6 and a 3 year old. Some of their favorites:

    Feed the Kitty http://www.amazon.com/Gamewright-5510-Feed-The-Kitty/dp/B000GEALZO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327759126&sr=8-1

    Zitternix http://www.amazon.com/Haba-4415-HABA-Keep-steady/dp/B0002HYHSW/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1327759182&sr=1-1

    Any kind of Picture Bingo, we own this one http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Journey-Match-Picture-Bingo/dp/B000P9VSAM/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1327759215&sr=1-1

    Slamwhich http://www.amazon.com/Gamewright-200-Slamwich/dp/B00000DMFS/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1327759296&sr=1-1

    Rory's Story Cubes http://www.amazon.com/Gamewright-318-Rorys-Story-Cubes/dp/B003EIK136/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1327759376&sr=1-1

    Charades for Kids http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Stage-Charades-Game-Tin/dp/B000ZPF906/ref=sr_1_4?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1327759419&sr=1-4

    The Ladybug Game http://www.amazon.com/Zobmondo-Entertainment-The-Ladybug-Game/dp/B0008ELWYG/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1327759500&sr=1-1

    They also like any kind of balancing game, like Jenga, or Coocoo the Clown http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Orange-220-CooCoo/dp/B000EPJHO6/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1327759615&sr=1-1

    We own all of these (and many more) and with exception of the Ladybug Game, which can get tiring (for me, not them), I don't mind playing any of them repeatedly.

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  16. Happy Saturday! I know this is going to sound crazy given the recent accident in Italy, but my family has found cruising to be a very fun (AND SAFE) way to vacation. We took my sister's little girl with us, and it was nice to know security was so tight. You can also find cruises that own private islands- the only people on the island are people from the cruise ship which makes it even more secure.

    Also, do you guys live near a hotel/lodge/resort? My family spent Thanksgiving at Great Wolf Lodge which has an indoor water park. It was a budget-friendly way to ease into a "vacationing" with little ones.

    As far as board games go, I would look into anything from the makers of The Letter Factory- I can't remember the exact company name, but they have all kinds of DVD's and games that are really educational. Try Google. :) I teach kindergarten and my kids LOVE anything that has to do with The Letter FActory. You will get the songs stuck in your head for days! Good luck!

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  17. Chutes and Ladders is a classic and would be great for teaching counting. Any Memory game is fun too! Fisher Price made a really cute Oreo cookie matching/memory game at one time.
    No vacation suggestion, other than camping. We have to go cheap!
    Blessings,
    Lorilee

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  18. Board games - Zingo (like bingo, with picture, and there is a spanish version too), Uno Moo, Cariboo (no winners, just teamwork)

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  19. Hi-Ho Cherry O is awesome. As is Memory, Chutes and Ladders and puzzles. Disney!!!

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  20. For the game, someone mentioned above Red Rover. My 2 1/2 year old got it for Christmas too and she loves it. It has 2 different levels {a color game or a shape/number recognition game) My daughter has 2 older brothers (6&8) who play with it too. For them, since it's kind of easy, they scatter the bones all around the entire apartment so it's harder to find what the dog calls for. It's great for a range of ages.

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  21. I can not recommend highly enough the Busy Town Game. We have had a let's-play-the-same-game-everyday week here as well, but Busy Town I don't really mind playing. Plus my little guy (who's not even three) can really do it! Did I mention the game board is 6 feet long? With 2 little guys close together I think they would really enjoy it because of the working together element. Hope you enjoy as much as we do. Thanks for all you share here!

    everneveragain.blogspot.com

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  22. My favorite family vacation was taking our kids to Outer Bank, NC. We stayed for a week and it was awesome. We've also taken our kids to Disney World...that was fantastic as well. Last year we backpacked through the UK for 3 wks...but that isn't for everyone!

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  23. My boys (2 & 4) love Don't Break the Ice & Ants In The Pants. We also play a lot of war and memory.

    Our favorite vacation is to rent a lake house. The kids have a blast the sand and water and it's relaxing for adults too.

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  24. I second the Busytown game!! My son is a Richard Scarry nut, but I don't mind that game. It's fun, fast paced, and you do have to work together. We also like Hedbanz. You wear a headband with a card in it, and have to ask questions to guess whats on your card. My 4 year old needs hints to help him along, but still loves to play it!

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  25. Games: chutes and ladders and perfection.
    Vacations: We have done a few cruises, and we loved them. There are tons of things for everyone to do, but there is some great down time too. But our favorite family vacation EVER was to rocky point Mexico. It's not too far across the boarder so it's not scary, but it is right on the beach. It's a pretty small little town with tons of shopping and great places to eat. It isn't really commercialized yet, we've been to cancun and cabo and we loved the authenic-ness of Rocky Point so much more. I was concerned about taking our kids there (they were 3 and 6 at the time) but they LOVED it. Our condo was right on the beach and we found sand dollars and star fish and even a sea horse skeleton! There is a fun aquarium with sea life you can actually touch and at nights there is this "pirate ship" you can ride that takes you our into the ocean, and you play these crazy games and eat dinner and the kids get to steer the ship with an actual pirate! Dolphins came right up next to the ship and we saw whales in the distance. You can rent jet ski's and sailboats for the ocean and gaters to drive around the city. It was incredible! And it's so CHEAP, we stayed for a week and total, with travel and everything I think we only spent $1100. If you want a resort type vacation this isn't the place for you, but if you are looking to really see the culture, it's amazing.

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  26. Another vote for Zingo! Great for ages 3-8. My 4-year-old loves Chutes and Ladders, and can finally count pretty well and follow the board. You might also try Sequence for Kids. My kids love all the Sequence games, and this one just has pictures (we also have versions with math facts and states & capitals)

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  27. We just did Walt D World with a 5 yo and a 2.5 yo. We stayed off property, carried in our lunches, and had a wonderful time for a reasonable amount of money. It can get pricey quick. We love Memory and ants on the pants as well as Cootie

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  28. I don't have a suggestion for the stove because we have a flat cook top and I am going to look up the Busytown game because my 2 1/2 year old loves busytown.
    For vacations, we like to go to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, TN. It is very family oriented which good food, great entertainment and amazing views. Plus if your boys like trains like mine you can look up the Great Smokey Mountain Railway because the do a lot of themes excursions for kids. We go at the end on July beginning of August and ride Thomas. Also, Cherokee Indian Reservation is close and you can trout fish there or just play in the mountain streams.

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  29. I feel your pain, my little boy (3.5) LOVES Candyland too and I have to trick him into playing other games. The ones he likes best are Thomas UNO (like grown up UNO but with fewer cards and your starting hand is smaller) and Yahtzee Jr. My husband and I are big strategy-game players and my son loves puzzles so we've also started him playing Carcasonne. He can match the tiles. We keep score when we play so he can see how it works, but he doesn't quite understand that part yet.

    I haven't taken my kids to Disney yet, but I've been there. Honestly, my favorite vacation spot as a kid was Wisconsin Dells, WI. We'd stay in a waterpark hotel, go to Noah's Ark and Riverview Park (Riverview is a little seedy but all part of the fun), and hit up Robot World and the Wisconsin Ducks. Tons of good restaurants too - there's a new one that brings your food to you via a little train! Haven't been there yet but my friends raved about it. Shorter lines and less expensive than Disney.

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  30. Answer to #2: zingo or guess who

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  31. STOVE - TRY PUTTING A LITTLE BAKING SODA DOWN FIRST THEN SPRAY VINIGAR ON TOP LET IT SIT FOR A MINUTE AND THEN WIPE IT OFF
    GAMES - MY FOUR YEAR OLD LIKE ANTS IN A CAN AND HI HO CHERRY O.

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  32. When I was little I loved Chutes and Ladders! Take the boys to Lego Land. My fam went when J and Lance were little and they loved it. The rides are geared toward their age more than Disney from what I remember.

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  33. I loooove WDW. My older son has been twice -- once on his third birthday and again on his fourth birthday. The first trip was better, but the only explanation for that was that he had some fears at that time and wouldn't ride ANYTHING that he'd ridden and loved when he was 3. It was hard and I wish we hadn't gone -- he even warned us by telling us that he didn't want to go the second time (but it was too late to turn back).

    We still have amazing memories of the first trip, though, and I can't wait to go back with our little one (who is 2). I would recommend waiting until age 3 (or under age 1 would be fine, of course). Between 1 and 3 is going to be too exhausting IMO.

    We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and LOVED it. Expensive, yes? Awesome and easier than commuting? Definitely.

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  34. We love sequence for kids, you can play it by the rules or play it simply as a matching game with the littles. We also love snorta. Again, you can play by the rules, but we just use it sort of like go fish, whatever card you put down, you ask for that animal and it becomes a great animal learning/matching game for the littles.

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  35. My niece and nephew LOVE playing Snakes & Ladders, Crazy Eights, and Go Fish. All good games for the young ones!

    As for Disneyland, I went as an adult, but I would say don't go with young children. It's more taxing on you, as the parent, and they're not going to remember when they're older anyways. Save those trips for when they're a bit older and can a) walk around on their own for the whole day and b) remember the trip.
    My favorite trips as a kid were road trips. Didn't matter where, but we always went on roadtrips, most often to campgrounds actually :)

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  36. I only have an answer for #2. My kids love Cat in the Hat Imagine That. All four of them, from 2-7 years old really get a kick out of it. It has simple directions, gets them up and moving, and you will all be laughing by the end of the first round.

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  37. For games: We love Diggity Dog, Fisher-Price's Ice Cream Scoops of Fun, Playchest Games Go Fish, Cariboo (it's the favorite at my son's preschool), Don't Break the Ice, and Froggy Boogie. They're all nice, fast games that are easy for the kids to play without losing their attention. I find that Chute and Ladders takes a little too long to play sometimes, and my son loses interest.
    Oh, we also love the card game Barnyard Critters! There are 5 animals of different colors and you have to figure out which animal/color is missing and then find that card. When we play with our son, we go nice and slow. But when my husband and I play, we get very competitive and try to find the card as fast as we can. It's nerdy but fun!
    Enjoy!

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  38. For games check out Spot It! It's a great little card game that you can play a bunch of ways. We modify it to play with our three year old and she loves it. It's a really fun one that isnt just a "kids" game.

    Pretty pretty princess is another fav, but I'm guessing he probably wouldnt like that one as much. :)

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  39. The last two years we have gone to Disneyland in October... Always the week of my son's birthday. We love it, especially if you do the Trick or Treat with Mickey. The park had a lot less people, and it was the best fireworks show I have ever seen.
    Plus, this Spring the new CARS Land opens up at California Adventure, though I am sure it will be super busy like the Finding Nemo ride was a couple of years ago.

    A good game that we have is a Whack a Mole game. It can grow with them in stages which is nice.

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  40. There are a couple different games based on Mo Willem's character Pigeon. Memory, some matching dominoes, etc.
    LOVE MO. One of the most genius small fry authors around.

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  41. A couple of games my nearly 4 year old likes are Elefun and Uno Moo. He too likes pop up pirate. It looks like you have gotten a TON of good game ideas and I am going to have to look through them to find some ideas myself.

    As for vacation. Disney does family vacations better then anyone else anywhere hands down. It can be pricey but it is worth it. Disneyland is opening Cars land at Disney's California adventures this summer and has completely re-done Fantasyland. I keep telling myself that we need to go somewhere else on vacation for a change and then Disney draws me right back in. They cater to kids and to the young at heart. ;)

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  42. I just wrote about Candyland today in a post called Tales from the Molasses Swamp. ;-)

    Preschool kids, huh? I think it's fun to make up a game. Kids LOVE to do that. Buy some dice and make your own version of Candyland.

    Maybe do a puzzle scavenger hunt where you hid the pieces of a puzzle all over your house. Or for that matter, maybe hide the Candland game around the house? Ha ha ha. My kids are long past the Candyland phase. I wish I'd had this idea back in the day. I might still use it with my son with autism.

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  43. #3- Best family vacation: When my kids were younger (1, 5, 8) we went to Drowsy Water Ranch in Colorado. It is a small, family run dude ranch that has "Buckaroo Wranglers" for the little kids. May not be the best for your young kids as they couldn't ride with you on the horses, but they do take the kids on horses on lead and while you and the hubs take a ride yourselves.

    This past summer we went to Playa Del Carmen in Mexico and did everything - beach, ZipLines (which ALL our kids could do), swimming in a cenote (ALL the kids went), visiting Mayan ruins (again ALL the kids went) . They are all still talking about it.

    And finally, Williamsburg, VA is a super place. Lots of history, fun for the whole family, lots to see and do and yummy food.

    Love your blog--- :)

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  44. Fun post.

    So games we like:

    Hi-ho Cherry O. They have a new collaborative version that's fun too so you all win or lose together.

    UNO...my son didn't latch onto this until he was 5 but only because we never tried it before then. I would give a it a shot if he knows his colors and numbers pretty well. The plus is I actually like playing this one with him. :)

    Memory. I wish I brought our super hero memory game to you. We've been cleaning out our house and just got rid of it because we also have a Toy Story 3 memory game that my boys like more. Bummer...

    Chutes and Ladders is okay...I feel like it lasts forever and doesn't engage my kids as well as the others, but you can try it.

    Puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles. The Dollar Tree has a ton of super hero and Disney character type puzzles.

    Cootie. I don't really like this game. It's messy and we, as in my kids, never follow the directions by the end of it. {do I sound type A or what} but my boys love it.

    So, as you can see we are game people. :) Come to find out from Owen's 1st grade teacher, they are an excellent way to prepare them for school, reading, math, etc.

    And if you want a spin on Candy Land for next year when Rex starts kindergarten, you can tape some sight words on the cards to help him practice those. Or even do it now with letters and such. Makes it a bit more challenging and he's learning.

    As for vacations....we've never had a lot of money to go far, unless grandparents were paying. But we did take a mini vacation in Salt Lake. We got Salt Lake Connect Passes that got us into pretty much every attraction around town: The zoo, the aquarium, Thanksgiving Place {gardens - beautiful!, museum, etc.}, children's museum, the planetarium, free meal at the Lion House, This is the place, I can't even remember them all right now. You can get a multi-day pass like we did so you don't have to rush through everything and they are not much more. We had to travel to SL, but you could even just make it special by getting a fun hotel. Swimming in the hotel swimming pool completes any family vacation. :) Especially with your kids still small, they might not charge you anything or much for the passes. I can't remember. I wonder if other cities have a pass like this. You could visit a city you've always wanted to go to and buy a pass like this?

    Sorry this is long...great questions. :)

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  45. My 3 and 6 year old both love Zingo (it's like Bingo with a zing!). It's also playable for mom and dad! Memory and Go Fish have always been favs as well.

    We've not taken the kids to Disney yet, but we do plan to once they're a little older. Every summer we go to a cabin on a lake for a week and we all love it. It's actually been a vacation spot for my family for over 80 years! It's a tiny little town with really nothing else to do but swim, take boat rides, go fishing, ride bikes, hike, and get icecream. It's not a very expensive trip and we get all sorts of good family time together. My kids would choose to go there over anywhere else! :)

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  46. You must try Zingo with the boys. My 2 and 4yo love this game! It's a version of Bingo w/ pictures.

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  47. My 3 year old loves the show Super Why! so for Christmas we bought him the Super Why ABC game and he loves to play it. We get at least 5 requests every day to play but I can't really complain because it only takes about 10 minutes and it's educational. :)

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  48. My kids loved "Snails Pace Race" when they were young. It is a great cooperative game.

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  49. I just have to say that I think your boys would LOVE Universal Studios in Florida. It's like Disneyland but it's all Superhero themed. And I think you can get some kind of deal on park hopper passes so you could still squeeze Disneyland in there too. I could just see your boys enjoying Universal way more :)

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  50. #1 bar keepers friend. Works like a charm! You can find it at walmart and sometimes at the family dollar store.

    #2 my kids like chutes and ladders and any kind of puzzles.

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  51. #1 bar keepers friend. Works like a charm! You can find it at walmart and sometimes at the family dollar store.

    #2 my kids like chutes and ladders and any kind of puzzles.

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  52. Oh and another game that I've meaning to try is War with rook cards.

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  53. Our kids are still small, so we don't waste time and money with big vacations. We just do little things out of the norm and they love it. Short train rides, the beach... heck, even a different shopping mall than they're used to is a treat! I'm saving the "big ones" (e.g. Disneyland) for the age when I know they'll have memories of it. In the meantime, we explore things within a 1 hour radius and save a bit of money.

    And board games? We're HUGE Memory fans here. Make your own, or buy one of the gazillion different varieties they have.

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  54. My friend took their kids to Disneyland... My husband and I have discussed a "big vacation" like that before too, and I decided if we ever did go to Disneyland or Universal Studios, or maybe even Lagoon I'd love to make it a surprise like my friend did for her kids. They woke up one day to disney movies playing, mickey ears and disney tee shirts and then they left for California right then! They were sooo ecstatic! Wouldn't that be a fun surprise?

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  55. The only one I have an answer to is the game question. Zingo!!! My 4 yr old twin boys love it and it is one of the few that don't drive me crazy because it keeps their attention. Truly cant recommend it highly enough we got it for christmas.

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  56. ~ for cleaning the stove, I'm clueless but just have cute blue pans like you have and no one will notice!

    ~ our favorite kiddos game is "Duck-Duck-Goose." You can order it on Amazon. It comes with this Goose that when you land on the lily pad, you push its head and it sqawks either Duck or Goose...and then sings a little song when you win. It is sooo fun! We all sing the song and dance around when it comes on.

    ~just planning a huge family trip (9 adults and 14 kiddos) to Disneyland. Some really wanted to do Lego land...and we've heard from others that it is great for little kids but not so much for older than 10...and that some of the stuff is getting broken. But everything is so dang expensive even when doing savers programs.

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  57. I love magic erasers but I agree with the other person who said you should be careful the first time you use them. I have an enamel surface on my stove so it's a little different.

    Our best family vacation was a houseboat trip to Lake Mead. Absolutely recommend it.

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  58. We started playing Sorry with my son when he was 4, no fancy moves, we just helped him read and he learned how to count that much better!

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  59. My boys {age 4 & 6} love playing : Dominoes, Memory, Old Maid, & Go Fish.

    Vacations...If you want to go big, Disneyland is the perfect spot. Your kids would be able to everything. If you want to keep it local, Lagoon is a fun place to go as well.

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  60. I agree with Ned's Head, mine love this game. Another favorite is Hi Ho Cherrio! Both have easy concepts and good for developing skills. :)

    As for vacations, our favorite to date is a nice quiet beach. We go to a sleepy little town off the coast of North Carolina every year. No T.V.s, no go carts, no put put golf, nothing. We alternate between pool and beach all day with a nice rest period for lunch and we have ice cream at this great little mom and pop place every evening that is within walking distance.
    It is absolute heaven. For us, this is enough. Some day, when our kids are teens, we won't be the center of their universe. Then we will go to all those fast paced places. :)

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  61. #2:Hullabaloo (we found on Amazon or Toy's R Us) is a great game. Its not a board game but kids of any age can play and they can pretty much do it themselves. It teaches shapes, colors, instruments, food. I love that little pieces are never missing or broken!
    #3:Disneyland is obviously a top spot, and it NEVER disappoints but another to consider with little ones is Yellowstone. It can be as cheap (camping!) or expensive as you want and if you go in the springtime you might get to see some baby animals. That's our plan anyway :)

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  62. I am glad to see the answers about the stove, I about to get a stainless steal one so this is helpful. As for games, mine loved Connect 4 but that might have been when they were a little older and the Memory games were always popular. Vacation, I would wait until both boys are at least 6 before going on a big Disney vacation, the youngest won't remember and will probably tire out easily. I would look on Family Fun magazine, they have great ideas. There are so many places that aren't hugely popular that offer alot of fun. We've had many vacations with our kids and what they remember the most was staying in a hotel and swimming in the pool all they wanted, so there you go! I could imagine your family at some great lake staying in a cabin, fishing, going out on a boat and partaking in some of the activities that the park has for kids. My question, how do you like those pots and pans, considering getting them myself.

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  63. Oh and I totally forgot to tell you I loved you on the show, it was so fun to see you! As for Martha, I don't get why she has a show, she is just awkward, she never says the right thing and it's just weird. I felt sorry for Jessica, she had such a long segment and Martha is so awkward that Jessica didn't know what to say sometimes. I thought she was kinda rude to step on your tongue a couple of times.

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  64. i didn't take the time to read the 63 comments above...so forgive me if this is redundant. we love pictureka..my 3 year old plays it (we bend the rules a little when it's her turn) but she does great. and i love clue jr (who ate the cake)and scrabble jr is great for learning. and uno is classic. those are the games that i don't dread to play!

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  65. Games: Zingo is a great great game. Buck, Buck, Moose is a fun game as well. We also like POP for letters, and Busy Town, and I Can Do That. We also got the kids Kids Cards in a Tin - go fish, war, crazy eights, and old maid. We do mostly go fish and war. We will do memory with the cards too.

    I don't have answers for the other questions, sorry. I'll be interested in seeing others' though. I like sharing Saturday, very fun!

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  66. 2. My son is 4 as well and loves games. Chutes and Ladders, Hi Ho Cherry-O, The Uncle Wiggly Game, and Operation are some of his favorites. He also LOVES memory games.

    3. We went to DisneyWorld when my son was 2. We only went for the day to Magic Kingdom but he loved it. However, we went to Niagara Falls last year and had a wonderful time! J still talks about the waterfall. And Buffalo is full of things to do with families. Seattle is also a fun place for families!

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  67. One more thing...the beach is by far the easiest, most relaxing vacation we have ever taken. Even my 9 month old loved it!

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  68. My stove is never clean ... nothing works completely for me. I have tried them all.

    We like Hi Ho Cherry O. And my kids like playing dice on my phone. My boy loves Angry Birds at Grandma's house.

    We have never been to Disney or Lego($$$). We have done Lagoon after the daughter did "Dance Nationals" there. That was a blast. We got old and some of the rides were too scary for the us old folks. The vacations they talk about the most are Zion and Yellowstone. We love camping and 4-wheeling too.

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  69. My 4 year old loves don't break the ice, don't let the pigeon drive the bus and go fish. Never have been to Legoland, but I think Disney would be tough to beat. I was skeptic, but it was everything we could have possibly hoped for! However, I still love a beach vacation ( specifically, wild dunes, sc by charleston) for a more low key family time!

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  70. 1. Def BARKEEPERS FRIEND it comes in powder or liquid form and is great for more than just stainless...I use it to clean the bathroom too. And, it doesn't have a lot of smell.
    2. There is a veggie tales game, or just hit up the $5 section at target or wal-mart and get a few. Also, you can make your own and do a scavenger hunt inside or out...add things that help to pick up the house (i.e. a dirty dish that belongs in the sink or clothes that belong in the laundry basket).
    3. I always try and go were family is and make it somewhat educational but fun. There are a lot of towns that have a lot of free stuff to do if you are on a budget.

    Happy and blessed Saturday!

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  71. My 6 & 4 year old love a kid version of Crazy 8's (ours is fisher price brand found at the dollar tree), dominoes for kids (ours is mickey), Kids Phase 10. We have been playing them all this week!

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  72. My son got a Marvel Superhero version of Chutes and Ladders for his birthday this year. We play it all the time with our 4 yr old daughter and our 3 yr old son. Also, we recently taught them how to play Uno. Pictionary is a good one too, but we usually play it so that the grown ups are the drawers and the kids are the guessers.

    Best family vacation we ever had was 6 days at Disneyland. We stayed at the Disneyland hotel and we got a great deal, it was actually a very affordable vacation. We had a wonderful and a very relaxing time. B/c we were going to be there for a few days we weren't all stressed out about getting everything done and we took time to meet the characters and enjoy the ambience and go at our kids' pace. When they got tired, we went back to our hotel and every (even the grown ups) got to have a nap. If you do go, I absolutely recommend the Minnie & Friends character breakfast, you have to do that one of the days. Its a really yummy breakfast, but the best thing is that the characters come to your table and spend time with your kids. Mine LOVED it. Your boys will love the Buzz Lightyear ride, they get to shoot bad guys, its pretty awesome. If we get a big enough tax refund, we might be going again this year!

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  73. Also, if you go, do a lunch at the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney, its my kids favorite restaurant, its always a big hit!

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  74. Okay, well we don't have any of those games here (South Africa) so I cannot comment.
    We also don't have a Disney World but we will visit it one day.
    I would totally recommend a Club Med resort, anywhere in the world actually. We went to Thailand last year and it was amazing. everything is catered for so there is no shelling out for meals and drinks and they have the best of both beach and resort (assuming you choose a beach location). They also have kids clubs so if you do want some grown up time for sightseeing, shopping etc you know your cherubs are in excellent hands.

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  75. Games: we love Don't break the ice. It is fun for kids and adults. We played it many, many, many times at our family Christmas. It's usually pretty inexpensive too.

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  76. Wow, so many good game suggestions already!

    We love Don't Break the Ice, Memory, Go Fish, Uno and Ladybug Game, which were already mentioned.

    Three more that haven't been mentioned yet:

    Curious George's Discovery Beach (has little windows that you spy in to find lots of objects). We found it for my second son's third birthday and it's a favorite.

    Blokus: this one is intended for ages 5 and up, but my just-turned-four year old likes to build with the pieces and can play it with us.

    The motorized go fish game with the little fishing poles is a hit as well, and they have a Toy Story version and Cars, too.

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  77. We are big BIG into games at this house. My 4 yr old's favorites are Busytown (yes! another vote for this one), Pop up Pirate, Hiss, and then we have some Haba games, like Grab Bag, Monza (cars-love!), and Viva Topo! The Haba games might be a little tricky to come by, but they play great, are easy peasy to learn, and I really love the quality of the wooden pieces.

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  78. I don't know about the stainless steel part, but putting the grill parts in a ziplock with ammonia does work. I saw it on pinterest. We really like the Curius George board games. We have two of them and love both.

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  79. My kiddos love Eric Carle's ABC game (all the Eric Carle games), Feed the Bunny (Lakeshore), Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus game, memory games and etc.

    Legoland is awesome! Disneyland and Seaworld are great, too. We are staioned in San Diego so we have been to all those places a lot. Legoland is the best because my son loves legos and they have this building with thousands of duplos for the kids to just go crazy with.

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  80. 1. ... have no idea!! lol

    2. ... hide and go seek is a big game in my house. As far as like a board game, my kids don't have that much attention span, but we have gotten a few LARGE piece puzzles that they enjoy a lot! I also like to buy the brown ups-like wrapping paper for shipping at the dollar store. I lay it on the ground, trace my kids and they can use all sorts of fun things like markers, glue pom-poms on, glitter, stickers, etc. Once they are done and it's dry, cut it out and hang it up on the wall for a little while -- they love it! I'll be doing this feature on my blog soon.. www.mom-onabudget.blogspot.com

    3. ... when I was a kid we did DisneyLand a few times..but my all time favorite was our week long camping trips!! Those were the best memories to have!

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  81. 1. Elbow grease and vinegar.

    2. snakes and ladders.

    3. We're big campers and last year we took our little one up north where the lakes are nice and clean and you can hike for days. It was a great trip.

    Have a good weekend!

    amelia

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  82. Fun post!

    1. No idea on the stove.

    2. I have a 4 year old too and a 2 year old. We just got a cute Peanut Butter and Jelly game where you build sandwiches with cards. It's really fun. We also like HiHo Cherry-o.

    3. The Zoo! We love the zoo... any of them. SLC and Phoenix are great and not too far. The kids love the animals, we love the price. Staying over night in a hotel with a pool really rounds out the trip!

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  83. 1. I have no idea... we have an ancient apartment stove!

    2. My son got a game called the "Maisy Game" for Christmas that he likes. It's a matching game, and his favourite part is using the little spinner. Snakes and ladders is another good one.

    3. My favourite family vacations were camping trips. They were so educational for us growing up and we took our son on his first one last summer. I think it teaches so many great things about being outside in nature, respecting the wildlife and plants, cooking over fire, dealing directly with weather, and finding fun things to do that don't involve all the "stuff" we have at our homes. It's not for everyone and can be a lot of work, but for me it is just so worth it.

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  84. candyland is a favorite around here too. we have recently started playing uno with our 4 year old daughter and she loves it! we also really like toy story yahtzee and hiho cherryo.

    we have loved our trips to disneyworld. our daughter loves it! also loved our trip to san diego....the zoo is wonderful! would love to make to disneyland someday too!

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  85. 1) i have no idea. good luck!
    2) uno (teaches numbers and colors)
    3) national parks. cheap and beautiful and educational

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  86. #1 Can't help you but I will be checking out the comments to find a solution myself. :)

    #2 Candyland is the favorite in our house wiht my 4/5 year old. But some other favorites are Toy Story Yatzee (sp?) and Elefun (sp?) this one gets them running around to catch the little things... even my big kids enjoy playing this with their little siblings. Another good one is Halabaloo. This one makes you get up and dance silly! big favorite. Hope this helps.!

    #3 Disneyland and Legoland is a favorite in our family. The last time we went to Lego Land the kids said that wanted to skip Disney and do a few more days at Legoland...That didn't happen because the tickets to Disneyland were pre-paid. We also had a good time at the San Diego Wild Amimal park. But I must say that ALL of my kids (I have 4 ages almost 13 to almost 5)when asked what kind of vacation we should take all said they wanted to go on a Cruise again. For us a 7 night crise on Carnival was cheaper than a 4 day trip to Disneyland... We had a blast! The kids loved Kids camp. Even my little guy who was in a seperate camp than his siblings. It was nice for the hubbs and I to get a little alone time too. If you live where you can drive to a port you should really look into it. We live in Northern CA and were able to drive to the ship in Long Beach.

    I hope my suggestions helped... If you do want to look into a cruise, you can email me and I will tell you who I booked with... Best rates I have found.

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  87. Hi Ho Cherry-O is a great game for little ones. Mine also love dominoes. I got some that use pics instead of just dots, and they enjoy playing that.
    We went to Seaworld recently with our four children and it was very fun. This winter, though, we took them all up to a cabin in the mountains here in AZ, and it was a BLAST!! Just us, sleds, snow, hot cocoa... I found that I prefer the quieter family time to being in a crowd.

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  88. have not been to disneyland since 80's when we lived in ca, but it is one of the all time most magic places i think. also love seaworld--both of these are in southern ca and lots of other things down there are fun, too...knott's berry farm, for instance. if on the east coast, disneyworld/epcot are wonderful and again, several other places near by.

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  89. Lots of comments...wow! Not sure if any one has suggested this game or not, but The Very Hungry Caterpillar game is great. My little guy is 3 1/2 and LOVES it, even his friends that are a year younger got the hang of it, so it may be something that Baden and Rex can play together. Super simple not fancy on the box so might get over looked, but it is great. Hope that helps :)

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  90. Oh I also forgot, not sure if it will work with your stove, but our friend installs appliances for a big store up here (in Alaska) and to clean off any stainless steel he uses pledge... I just spray it on a cloth and then wipe it on the surface, works like a charm :)

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  91. Stove: Baking soda helps. A baking soda and water paste, then scrub and rinse.
    Games my four and five year olds love: Hi Ho Cherry-O (counting)
    Chutes and Ladders
    Memory
    Pop the Pig - silly, but my MIL recommended it and my kids (18 months, 4 and 5) LOVE it and play it almost every day.
    We also have the Cat in the Hat, I can Do That and it is fun.
    Vacation: We took our kids to Disneyland, Legoland and SeaWorld last year and their very favorite part was the couple hours we spent at the beach, with no structure and no entertainment other than water and sand. That's the part they ask to do again and talk about the most. And it was free. :) Our other favorite mini-vacation is hiking in Zion National Park. (less than 2 hours from our home) but it is gorgeous and has some very family-friendly hikes.

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  92. We just got Go Away Monster and it's a huge hit with our 3 year old...plus each player gets their own board which is nice. For the stovetop I agree with the paste made from Barkeeper's Friend...there isn't anything that stuff can't do!

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  93. I have no idea how to clean a stove effectively. Mine stays a mess until my momther-in-law visits & takes pitty on me.

    Our favorite game for non-readers is Don't Spill the Beans, followed by don't break the ice, and Cooties.

    Disney is a great, although very expensive, vacation. I'm a little biased because we live in the area, but Lancaster, PA is a great family vacation spot! There is a kid's amusement park called Dutch Wonderland that is very nice in the summer, and the Strasburg Railroad. It's not far from Hershey's Chocolate World and there are a million fun things to do like taking a horse & buggy ride from an Amish family. :)

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  94. Card games a great! Go fish is one that would be great with a little one, or Memory!

    We LOVE Disneyland. I live in CA, but it is still a 4 hour drive. Both my 7 year old and 2 year old love it! (We make the drive a couple of times a year.)

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  95. In our house we love UNO Moo, Go Fish (not sure who makes this version, but it isn't the typical card game...it comes in a fishing tackle box), Memory and the Ladybug Game. The Ladybug game is overwhelming at first, with lots of pieces and rules, but it gets easy really quick, and the kids love it!!

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  96. I just stumbled upon your blog but I think I have the best cleaning tip for the stove (although I've only skimmed the other comments.) It's a trick my Grandmother taught me, use a used dryer sheet. After your done drying your clothes get it wet and wipe it down it works great and it doesn't leave any sctaches behind. My husband hates this trick because I have a pile of them under every sink in my house. :)

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  97. 1. not sure about that, ive always had the same problem!

    2. i love "In a Pickle", its a card game where you place cards that say words that can go "inside" of another word. like "pickle" would go on "jar", "table" would go on "house" and "house" would go on "Utah" and so on.

    3. my best family vacations are always roadtrips, stopping at national or state parks we happen upon, and taking our time. with a young child, that might not be as fun (we have no children).

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  98. Definitely Easy-Off for the stove...seriously works like a charm! I have an almost 3-year old and a 5-year old, and they love Hi-Ho-Cherry-O (It's GREAT for practicing counting too!), Chutes and Ladders, Zingo, and Dominoes (you can find cute character ones at Kohls for a great price).

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  99. Hungry Hungry Hippos! It gets rough on your ears (I swear it's louder than it was when I was little), but it's one that I really don't mind playing over and over. I also play memory card games with my 3 year old all the time. I had a hard time finding an actual memory card game, so I just bought two sets of a "My First Words" flashcards from the dollar store. And we don't have it, but my sisters say Blokus is a great family one. Their kids are a little older, though.
    Stove-wise? I have a flat top and use Bar Keepers friend, but I bet it would work in your situation.
    Good luck!

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  100. Games - we like bingo (with pictures, numbers, shapes, etc. - a DIY game if you want to make one up).

    Go Fish

    Blink - a card game by the makers of Uno - fun for learning to identify shape/color/quantity.

    Sequence for Kids - excellent ease into using strategy to accomplish a goal. Easy to learn and fun to play.

    Elefun. Looks like the dorkiest game in the world but the kids LOVE IT and they can practically play it themselves (which gives us 10 minutes to blog) Silly, messy (within a 3' radius) and fun.

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  101. I think it was mentioned already but you have to try the game Feed the Kitty. It's so much fun!! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GEALZO/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=4336092311&ref=pd_sl_3822cpr9fu_b

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  102. 1) no clue good luck!

    2.) my little ones current favorites are Chuck it chicken and a game called Cat and Mouse I think they are both by ravensburger. They are easy to set up & play. Plus neither take an incredibly long time to complete

    3.). We went to Yellowstone last year and loved the beauty and all the wildlife that was easy to spot and enjoy!

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  103. My son is 4 and loves the curious george at the beach game. It's actually a lot of fun - a mess-free i spy search game. Highly recommend it :)

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  104. Check out the Busytown game (I bought it at Target, but they have it on Amazon too). It's pretty fun and I love that there is no winner or loser.

    Camping is the best trip for us. We went 5 times last year. The boys (4 and 5) love it. It's winter here in CO and they keep asking when we are going again.

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  105. We always loved Cootie and Disney Yahtzee as kids. Also, Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly Jr. We always joked about my mom getting stuck in the bathroom!!

    While I loved our trip to Disney (and every kid should go there once), I think we got a lot more out of camping in some beautiful places, and going on hikes to see waterfalls, big rock formations, historical sites, etc.

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  106. #1: Ditto on BarKeeper's Friend.

    #2: I fondly remember Hi Ho Cherry O from when I was a kid; my guy is too young for it yet, but I think Rex is probably the perfect age.

    #3: Disneyland was awesome. We took a book with us that outlined the age and height limits for every attraction, showed us tips and tricks for taking little kids, and overall helped us have an amazing time this summer.

    However, I keep seeing the commercials for the Harry Potter theme park in Florida, and every time I think, "I want to go to there . . . and be ten years old." Because it looks kinda awesome.

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  107. BTW: has anyone been to the City Museum in St. Louis Missouri? It looks amazing. Look it up if you've never heard of it. It's on our "someday" list.

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  108. So my 2.5 year old loves Memory. We don't play it quite right but it is more a matching game. Kind of fun. Also I love the game Spot It. Every card has a picture of something that has a match to every other other card. So you call out the match. I think Rex could play it. There are a few different ways in the instructions and it is fun.

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  109. we found a miss spider kids uno game at our goodwill (brand new) for 99 cents!i think my 4 yo could have done the regular version, but for 99 cents vs 5 bucks...!

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  110. We went to the beach last fall with our seven kids. We rented a house and were less than a hundred yards from the beach. Some days we were the only ones on the beach. It was fantastic! It was also cheaper and less crowded than a hotel or condo. As for the game, we got Uno Moo for Christmas, and my 4 yr old up to my 14 yr old love playing it.

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  111. I don't think anyone has mentioned Pengolo yet in this list of preschool games. It's an adorable design and concept, and my son (3.5) loves it.

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  112. Uno. My four year old can't get enough. I feel the same way about Uno as you do for Candyland.

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  113. I have 3 boys and 2 girls and my kids have loved the game Buckaroo. It always gets us laughing. We also love Rat a Tat Cat...but that's probably a little too old for your wee ones....I'm not sure. Hungry Hungry Hippos is always popular. Oh! I just thought of one of our favorites....Ned's Head. Yep. Your boys would love it. You have to stick your hand into Ned's giant head and try to find things like a spider, plastic vomit, a fried egg, a martian, etc. It's awesome.

    We took the kiddos to Legoland a year ago and we all really loved it. The advice I got was that if your kids are really into legos then you should take them there when they're still small because it really is a park meant for younger kids....although our 11 yo really liked it too. It was so great to see all the fun things made of those wonderful colored bricks. The rides were fun. We stopped and played in the area where you got to make your own lego race cars and race them down a pinewood derby like track. They loved the aquarium. The mini lego USA part was really really cool. We got a five day pass from Costco and came and went as we pleased. It was great.

    As for stains....erm....I just say they give my oven character? blech. I'm not too good in that department.

    Well. That was a long response...

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  114. here are my opinions!
    Stains on your stovetop...or anywhere weird (oven, stainless steel sink, etc: SOS pads...they're amazing. they even get the weird nast off of cookie sheets, etc.
    games...my kids LOVE Zingo (it's sort of like bingo...but waaaay better!) and hi ho cherry-o (we tried chutes and ladders...but it's super long, so we have to work our way into that!
    I don't have an opinion on family vacays...but we live 20 minutes from dland...and it's RAD!

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  115. For the stains- soft scrub with bleach-no its not an "all
    Natural " fix- but I promise it works! Kiddo games, any kind of card matching ( in my house this usually turns into card house building) or, a bop it! Sooo much fun! As for
    Vacations, we have never really gone on one :(. Hopefully we will make it to Disneyland someday!

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  116. They make "my first," uno games that are great. I have a winnie the pooh version that's a bit easier, but I have played with normal cards with kids too. My niece and nephew LOVE break the ice, but the adult has to put all the ice cubes in the grid each time, so it gets tiring after awhile. But kids love it! I have to second pop up pirates, that one is awesome! I need to add that to my collection. Your kids may be able to play a simple dominos games too. I've seen cars/disney themed cardboard ones at the dollar stores.
    No ideas for vacation or cleaning stoves, but it looks like you have some great ideas coming your way!

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  117. I'm curious to read all the other comments for the stove. We have the same problem, except the top of ours is glass.
    As for games. My 3 year old LOVES
    Cranium Hullabaloo.... I love it too because he virtually plays it by himself, which makes for a nice break.
    He is also into - Don't Break The Ice and Cars Memory.

    Best vacation we have done so far.... Santa Cruz, Ca. Fu. Little beach town, very casual, neat old boardwalk we reLly had a blast :)

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  118. You may already have plenty of answers similar to this, but I didn't read through all of them. We LOVE Disneyland as a vacation. We have also loved Disney World, but living in Utah, Disneyland is much more accessible and way cheaper. We just went to Disneyland in November and our kids were 5, almost 3, and 4 months. It is harder with kids, but it makes me giddy just to think about how excited they are. They still believe in the magic and that is awesome.

    One of our friends suggested staying at the Desert Inn & Suites a few years ago and we've stayed there with our kids twice now and enjoyed it both times. It isn't super posh, but it is majorly inexpensive (I think this last time we paid $69 a night?) and it is right across from the entrance to Disney. They also have an ok continental breakfast.

    If you decide to do something like Disneyland, I would suggest taking a really good stroller, and staying within walking distance. We also spent 3 days there both times, which might be too much if you were just going with adults, but makes it nice with young kids because if you need to head back to the hotel for a nap then you can without feeling like you are going to miss some rides because of it.

    We also went down to San Diego and went to the USS Midway museum and the other ships/submarines at the embarcadero. My boy was in heaven. We also took a Pirate Cruise out on the bay that was totally awesome for both my 5 and 2 year old.

    One more thing to add to this long novel. We have driven with our kids and flown with them. Last time we flew on Jet Blue into Laguna Beach airport for less than it would have cost us in gas to drive (we have some family there that loaned us a car once we were there) but we also ended up taking a shuttle back to the airport from our hotel in Anaheim and it was really inexpensive, so I think that is a great option with small kids. It is so much easier to fly for an hour and a half than to drive for 11.

    Anyway, I love you blog and also obviously love Disneyland! I'd totally recommend it for a vacation.

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  119. we like to play the toy story game buckaroo. super simple and fun.

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  120. For the stove I swear by Shaklee's Scour Off paste ( http://safeandnaturalliving.myshaklee.com/us/en/products.php?sku=00430 ) The best part is that it's all natural with no harsh fumes or chemicals to burn your nose and eyes. I use it on the stove top, inside the oven, and it is fabulous on hard water spots on the shower or glass. It is a life save for cleaning a house around those little ones!

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  121. Question #2 I do child care in my home and the age 3-4 children love Ants In The Pants, Don't Spill The Beans and their most favorite is Memory. I have 2 Memory games, one that I bought, and one that I made. The home made version I went to Home Depot and got some color samples that are in the shape of Mickey Mouse and laminated them. If you don't have access to a laminator you could use clear shelf liner and cover on both sides then cut out. They love this game and it helps them to learn their colors.

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  122. My kids love to play Uno Moo...and now they can easily play Uno with the adults! They also love sorry and Guess Who.
    Last fall we went to Disneyland and Legoland. Legoland is great for a 4 year old boy...nothing scary, all fun and they can do everything. It was just pretty expensive for what was there. After Disneyland it was a little of a disappointment. We love Disneyland!

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  123. No idea on the stove top, I hope to try some of these suggestions. :)

    My 4 year old loves memory although we usually play as a team as opposed to against each other. He will also play it by himself, we just trim the game down a bit (maybe half the cards).

    We've been going to Disneyland since our son was 8 months old, (too be fair long before he was born too). We go twice a year and he loves it, and from the time he was about 1 starts asking when our next trip is as we drive out of the park. My thoughts on Disney with young kids is if you think you are going to only go once or twice wait until they are 40 inches tall, it opens up most of the rides they are still young enough to enjoy the characters, and most kids can handle at least some of the walking. If you think you will be able to go several more times (or lots more) go ahead and dive in, each age has been so fun all for different reasons and as far as remembering the trips he very much remembers them and can tell you stories for different ones. My only real advise if you go is spend at least 3 days, don't expect to see and do everything, and checkout the baby care center (kid size toilets!) We also went on a route 66 tour a couple of years ago (California to Utah) and it was lots of fun,lots of crazy stuff to see and the Grand Canyon. At 2 (almost 3) he enjoyed that too, but there was a lot of driving. The beach is also a great time, everyone likes to build sand castles.

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  124. Not so sure about the stove top thing...mine usually looks messy even after I clean it...might need to look through the comments! HA!

    I have a 6 and 5 year old (boys)! They love Trouble...especially the Star Wars one I found and also Guess Who? (star wars as well! ha!)...they are simple enough for them to play alone or with minimal help which is nice and then they are also just plain fun for all of us to do together!

    We have so much fun camping with our boys! It's cheap...and all about being outside which we love and it's a great time to really disconnect and spend time getting to really hear their little hearts! LOVE!

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  125. Barkeeper's Friend for the stove. It is so awesome. Gets rid of everything and leaves my stove all sparkly and new looking.

    Uno is great and so is Kerplunk and Don't break the Ice. My kids like anything that has the potential to fall over. I might introduce Jenga soon.

    We did DisneyWorld last year and it was fun. But I prefer little vacations, like a trip to the beach or mountains rather than the big ones. Less planning and stressing for me. The kids have fun either way.

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  126. Memory, Don't Break the Ice, and Chutes and Ladders are all great games for 4 year olds. :)

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  127. The Pictureka games are great for the whole family! My 3 year old can play and legitimately win some of the challenges. . .makes her feel so great to beat mommy, daddy and big brother! Mommy and daddy enjoy it to. . .not like a lot of the other games aimed at the younger set. ;)

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  128. Hi,family holidays (from the uk can you tell) we went to Disney when was at school 13 and my sister was 9. It was amazing also first trip to the US amazing in itself. I would like to take my boys one day they are 3 and 4 months do not at the moment. We will wait awhile so they can enjoy as much as possible.
    So far with my family the best holiday's have been spent in the woods, outside as much as possible. And swimming with our 3 year old seeing his confidence grow. Also we love the beach even the good old British weather has it's moments. Currently raining. So for us it's the great outdoors with a few board games thrown in. Trying to teach Tate how to play snap hours of fun.
    First comment hope not too wafflely
    Claire x

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  129. I did not go through and read all of your comments, but we LOVE Uno Moo at our house.

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  130. My kids love the game called Pick and Draw. All ages can play and it requires no reading. Very fun.

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  131. I'm surprised to hear so many say chutes and ladders, candyland, and hi-ho cherry-os. These games are not fun to play with young children because they have a "start over" element: hitting the longest slide right before you win, drawing the gumdrop card near the end, or losing all of your cherries. For most young children it is extremely difficult to handle such severe set backs and most adults don't enjoy how these elements contribute to a very long, seemingly never-ending game. Zingo, and Uno are great. For games that are enjoyable for children with broader age ranges try Set, Sequence for kids, or anything by Simply Fun (Walk the Dogs and Arrgh are our favorites). We love all of these games because our little ones can play with older siblings without assistance and the games are fun enough that you don't have to bribe the older ones to play.

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  132. #3- We loved Disney World in FL. Also when we went there we stayed in what is now the Wyndham Lake Beuna Vista which has an awesome pool area- kind of a vacation in itself. (See my blog!)http://queenofthecrazyhouse.blogspot.com/

    Also, we enjoyed Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, TN-AWESOME RESORT!!!
    http://www.wildernessatthesmokies.com/

    Hope you enjoy! :)

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  133. We got a dice game called LCR for Christmas. It says it is for players age 3-90. It is! We love it because it's fun and all my kids enjoy it and they are 4-17.

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  134. For the second question...Memory has been a favorite of our family with our young kids, and their are several different versions so you don't have to play the same one all the time. Plus, you can play it in different ways. With really young kids you can lay the cards out facing up and let the kids find matches that way, and everyone wins.

    As for vacations, we kinda freak out at the thought of taking our little kids (who are prone to running off without us) to a place like Disneyland. We've opted for quieter locations. We took our 4 and 2 year olds to the Oregon coast a couple years ago, and that was seriously the best week we've ever had together. They got the freedom to run around on the beaches and explore, we saw some amazing stuff, and we never had to worry much about losing them. We're thinking of trying it again this summer (now with four kids!) and going to Glacier National Park. Either way, family vacations are SO worth the time and money. Just don't forget the camera!

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  135. My stove is full of stains so no help there. We really like Headbandz (will have to modify it a little maybe for the younger ones but it's even fun for adults). Toy Story Yahtzee. Vacations, Disney wasn't my favorite. A lot of money and waiting in line. The kids did enjoy it but I'm not sure it was worth the $. However, we went between Christmas and New Years which we were told is a busy time. Maybe if you went during the off peak season, it would be better. Our favorite vaca was to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, TN. The mountains are beautiful! We spent a whole day just swimming, playing in the river. Cade's Cove (google it) is full of wildlife (bears, deer, etc.) Amazing! There are also magic shows, an aquarium, and lots of other family fun in the area. We stayed in a cabin. They are fancy cabins with hot tubs. We ate 2 meals a day there to save money. Cabins are around $99 and up a night. Usually a discounted weekly rate. It's the only place we've ever wanted to go to more than once! Also, have you heard of geocaching. I think your family would really enjoy it and you can do it pretty much anywhere. The website is geocaching.com if you want to learn more. ;)

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  136. For games, my daughter loves Guess Who and Trouble.

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  137. Chutes and ladders, my kids love it and they love candyland to. We LOVE Disneyland, we are going to attempt Yellowstone this year, We have a young family so we are hoping they will enjoy it.

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  138. my kids favorite game at that age was Cariboo.....easy enough for even 3 year olds to play mostly on their own!! It has 2 versions of play, super easy and a little more advanced. My kids liked it up until about 1st grade. We bought ours at Target, it's usually under $20.

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  139. Barkeepers friend. Such a great cleaner!

    Memory, hi hi cherry-o, UNO, there is a kid version of Skipbo, guess who

    We are taking our kids to Disneyland in 30 days. I am excited. However, the other trip we did a few years ago was to drive up to Yellowstone. We stayed in a very nice cabin in Island Park, Idaho and then drove into West Yellowstone. It took maybe a bit under 4 hrs to get there from SLC. So fun!

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  140. We have a game called "Give the dog a bone" that we just picked up at TJ Maxx that my three year old LOVES. All our little ones also love Hungry Hungry Hippos, Memory, and this matching game where there is a picture with a number of items and you match it to the actual number kind of like a puzzle (say there are three butterflies and then the number 3).

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  141. For games, have you tried Qwirkle? The bright colorful shapes are great for learning shapes and colors and easy to play in a domino like fashion. You don't have to keep score until they are ready for the math. And they are great for setting up giant domino tracks.

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  142. Games my boys love (the one the boxes are the most beat up haha) are of course Candyland, Tumbling Monkeys, Cars Top It, Hulabaloo, Hyperdash, and Chutes and Ladders. Though card games are fast becoming a favorite as well - Go Fish and crazy 8.

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  143. We've never been to Legoland or Disneyland (on our someday list), but we do love our Houston Children's Museum. It's ranked #1 in the country and for good reason. It is amazing. Everytime we go we spend our whole time at a different exhibit. Then, while you're here you can check out the Houston Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium, among other things.

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  144. Disney World! We took our son there at 15 months, and are going there again in October (He'll be 3 1/2 and my daughter will be a smidge over 2). You don't need car seats if you plan to stay on Disney property...they have buses that take you to and from the airport and buses that take you to all of the parks on Disney property. And frankly, there's so much to do there you don't need to leave. I have never been to Disneyland b/c Disney World just covers the whole kit and kaboodle. :)

    -Amanda-

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  145. 1) I use a stainless steel cleaner called "stove top" it comes in a white bottle with a black label and it's the only thing that saves my stove!

    2) My 4 year old son LOVES guess who!

    3) I think Disneyland is a great vacation, but Disney cruises are great for everyone too! And, then you can see some grown up places too!

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  146. 1) I use a stainless steel cleaner called "stove top" it comes in a white bottle with a black label and it's the only thing that saves my stove!

    2) My 4 year old son LOVES guess who!

    3) I think Disneyland is a great vacation, but Disney cruises are great for everyone too! And, then you can see some grown up places too!

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  147. There were just too many comments to read thru them all so these might be duplicates, but Chutes and Ladders, Old Maid, Crazy 8's, Memory, Sorry, and Outburst Junior are all great. When I was a kid I LOVED Cooties...and there is a whole line similar to Cooties, like Don't Break the Ice and Ants in Your Pants that are fun too.

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  148. I have 4yr old twin boys and they love playing charades (find free printables online)...gets us up moving around and laughing!!! And one of the favorites in our home now is gone fishing....lots of fun!!!!

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  149. I have a 4 year old and a 2 1/2 year old and another on the way (all boys!) and we love Don't Break the Ice, Zingo (our favorite and can be educational!), we even play Monopoly - just roll the dice and they count the dots on the dice and then the spaces.
    As far as vacations we aren't really into theme parks yet. We love the beach (Outer Banks, NC in particular) because we can do things at our pace and relax. we can take in local museums and attractions if we want - or be completely lazy without feeling like we are "wasting" our theme park tickets.

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  150. I try not to clean my stove(that way I can coerce my husband into doing it!), and we've never been able to take a vacation, .... BUT, preschool board games, I know!!! I have a 3.5 year old, and some of his favorites are Uno Moo(we got this for Christmas, and he loves it!), Zingo, Memory Game, and Uhoh Cherry-o. But I definitely recommend Uno Moo first out of all of those.

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  151. I would also like to know what gets those pesky brown stains off because, like you, I have stainless steel stove top and said stains!
    I loved teaching my kiddos to play card games. Go fish, old maid, uno, and there are these card holders you can get for little hands.
    When we go on family vacations we love to camp or go to the beach. We are not huge fans of those specific "hotspots" like disneyland mostly because of the crowds. I get overwhelmed when so much is going on and so do they. I found that when we are out in nature we have THE most fun!!

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  152. The grame Trouble or any version of it out there right now with their favourite character (cars, diego...). And make him play by the rules. My son is 5 and loves it. Been playing since he was 4. I love watching him strategize how to knock one of my men out and back to start again!

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  153. Guess Who?
    Hisss
    Wig Out!
    Chomp!
    Blink
    Slamwich
    Memory Match
    Uno
    Cranium Hullabaloo
    Go Fish
    Old Maid
    All these games are great fun with 4 to 6-year-olds.

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  154. With my almost 4 year old, she loves matching games, even though she doesn't quite get taking turns idea. She also loves hi ho cherry o, and made up ones with dice. As far as vacations, we like outdoor ones, and hiking, so we drove up to Oregon with the Columbia river gorge, and saw a bunch of waterfalls, and went to cannon beach for the goonies film location, and went down to the tillamook cheese factory. That was a lot of fun!

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  155. My kids love "Kids on Stage." It's basically charades but with the added fun of a board and spinner. And all the clues are illustrated on cards so they can "read" it themselves. The classic Heigh Ho Cherry-O has also been big fun lately!

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  156. Sorry, a few days late but wanted to add my say-so.
    (We have 4 kids 8 and under)
    Favorite family vacation is to Pine Cove family camps. Ok, it's not camping. Nice roomy hotel-like rooms, they cook and serve all your meals and even cut up the kids' food and pour your refills! Millions of day time activities for everyone at every age and the most amazing counselors to watch young kids and babies so mom and dad can ride horses, tube/raft, walk.... Costs a pretty penny but not as much as Disney.
    Games for 4yos:
    Bingo, guess who, geranimals' version of candy land, scrabble (no score, just take turns spelling whatever words they can sound out), go fish, "bocce ball" with coins (heads/tails of nickels, penny is jack), tic tax toe....
    Great questions, great series, thanks for a great blog!

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  157. 2. Cootie
    3. The Beach (my personal favorite is in Thailand - but we live in asia so that's what's actually closest to us).

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  158. My kids who are 3 and 6 love Sequence for Kids and the Curious George Hide and Seek Zoo game. They think the Curious George game is hysterical and could play for hours!

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  159. We have done both Disney World and Legoland. Honestly, for the age your boys are, Legoland is perfect. We went when my youngest was 10. He could ride every ride at Legoland, unlike Disney, where there were many rides he couldn't because of his height. Legoland is geared to younger children. We went to the one in San Diego in July and the weather was AWESOME. Nice and cool.

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  160. Maask is a game that my son could play at 2 1/2 years old but it's still fun for adults without kids playing: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Orange-Maask-Childrens-Board/dp/B0006GVA2A/ref=sr_1_30?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1328318987&sr=1-30

    I highly recommend Great Wolf Lodge if you're near one. Awesome for young kids and not as overwhelming as a large theme park. We have been there three times now with our two boys (similar in age to yours). When you go you can bring food (we've cooked dinner in our crockpot while we swam) and save yourself a lot of money that way. Another great vacation we had recently was renting a cabin near a river and lake and just doing local shopping, parks and other tourist activities. My oldest begs to go back all the time.

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  161. I'm not sure which board games have been mentioned, so I may be duplicating... we love Hi Ho Cherry-o! and Old Maid, Crazy 8s, Go Fish. We just bought Zimbbos - it's a game where you stack wooden elephants- and my 4 year old loves it. I wrote a blog post in October where I list a few of my other favorites: http://www.themaryfrancesproject.blogspot.com/2011/09/board-games-for-kids.html

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