Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Your Brainwaves on Fun: Educational Family Game Favorites

You will no doubt be very familiar with the need to eat healthily in order to look after your body and stay in good shape, but it is also just as important to enjoy what you could describe as a balanced mind-diet. 

Family favorites like card games, are great for having some fun and friendly challenges against others, but they also serve a great purpose in keeping your brain sharp. 

Here is a look at some educational family games that tick most of the right boxes in terms of providing you with some good entertainment, as well as stimulating your brain and keeping that gray matter working hard. 

Seal of approval 

Mensa arguably exist in order to celebrate the achievements of a great mind and to encourage everyone to use what they have got and to test the boundaries of their brain power. 

The Mensa Mind Games competition challenges games manufacturers to put forward their ideas and to produce a game that judges will put to the test in order to find which ones may be worthy of their seal of approval. 

Previous winners include the highly-acclaimed Trivial Pursuits and as you might imagine, competition is stiff. The good news for consumers and avid game players of all ages, is that there are constantly new challenges to experience, featuring ideas for board and card games. 

Mensa have been reviewing new games for the past 20 years, and there is a good chance that you will have played some them, as they have become family favorites across the nation. 

Creative-thinking party game 

A past winner, Scattergories is described as a creative-thinking category-based game that first came to light back in 1988. 

Although the objective of the game is relatively simple, which is to score points by uniquely naming objects having only been given an initial letter as a reference point, it requires a good ability to think quickly, if you are going to emerge as the winner. 

You can also get a fast-paced card game version of Scattergories, for a rapid-fire test that ends when the deck is exhausted and the cards you hold are counted.

Great for problem-solving skills 

If you don’t like getting stuck in a traffic jam, perhaps if you hone your problem-solving skills by playing the popular Rush-Hour game, you might be able to negotiate a way out of the jam more easily in future. 

The point about this game is that it is designed to challenge beginners and experts in equal measure, so the better you get at solving the problems, the harder the puzzles become. 

Rush Hour is billed as an educational game as it aims to develop your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills as well as entertain you in equal measure.

Don’t forget the kids 

Introducing your children to educational games will not only entertain them but it will teach them some valuable skills as well.

Robot Turtles is a good example of the sort of modern game that reflects the modern childhood environment, as it is aimed at encouraging kids to learn and develop some early programming skills. 

Card games and board games alike, you can find plenty of ways to challenge your mind and develop some useful skills that could even make you hard to beat with enough practice. 

Rachael Hancock is a keen gamer, particularly of online games she can play on her phone or laptop. A Mom of two she encourages the little ones to play educational games so that they can learn whilst also having electronics time.

Rachael Hancock is a keen gamer, particularly of online games she can play on her phone or laptop. A Mom of two she encourages the little ones to play educational games so that they can learn whilst also having electronics time.

Japan: The Royal Host

We were lucky that our hotel has a strategic location, you will really not go hungry here because there are several restaurants around the area. The only problem is we are not sure if the taste and price are good. 

My husband asked his officemate for recommendations. One evening, my husband went to The Royal Host restaurant. They have a different menu for take out and dine in food and my husband ordered this.

We were satisfied with the food so we had lunch here on our sixth day. The Royal Host, The Hospitality Restaurant is a family restaurant which serves Japanese, Western food and European food. 

The interiors look simple yet cozy, I noticed that most of the diners are families or group of friends. We took our time in browsing the menu. Good thing that they have a menu for kids and just like other fastfood, there is a free toy per meal. 

The staff even asked the size of the rice, small, medium etc. I only ordered small size since I can only eat 1 cup of rice. My husband ordered medium, ang dami pala. Hehehe! But even you ordered the biggest size of rice, the price is still the same. 

We were surprised with the serving, it was really huge especially for the kid’s meal. My son was not able to finish his meal. 

The taste is good and the price is very reasonable. I can’t remember the exact price but if I remember it right, the total price is not close to P1500. The service is also good, the staff immediately refill our drinks even without asking.

Royal Host 
Plaza 4F on a hill, 1-44, Ochiai, 
Tama-shi, Tokyo, 206-0033

Monday, July 25, 2016

Japan Day 6: Exploring Tama Tokyo

Day 6 is also our last day to enjoy Tokyo, Japan because we had an early flight the following day. Initial plan is to stay till Sunday para sulit but my husband needs to be in Indonesia by Sunday so we need to go home na ng Saturday. 

Anyway, I have three choices for Day 6 so it depends on the weather and our stamina. 

1. Hakone Free Pass Tour 
2. Tokyo Disneyland 
3. Fuji Shibazakura Festival 

We wanted to see Mt. Fuji so we planned to avail the Hakone Free Pass Tour but if the weather is cloudy, we will just go to Tokyo Disneyland or Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Fuji Shibazakura Festival only happens from April to May, since we were not able to see cherry blossoms, this is a good alternative where we can see lawn cherry. The ground looks like pink, white, or purple carpet because it was covered with moss phlox. Ang sarap sana magpapapicture. :) 

But on our third day in Japan, my husband’s officemate learned about our plan, he said that the entrance is already free kasi naglalagas na daw ang mga flowers. Maybe because it is already the last week of the festival so we already removed this to our choices. Sayang naman kasi baka hindi na rin maganda at may mga kalbo na part. 

On our way back to hotel after our Tokyo DisneySea trip, my husband and I decided to cancel our Day 6 itinerary. Wala na kami lakas, we really need to rest and suko na rin ang aming paa sa kakalakad. #signsofaging

Read: Tokyo DisneySea 

The Royal Host 

When we woke up, it was raining so I was really grateful to God for giving us good weather from Sunday to Thursday. It was really bed-weather so we had late lunch at The Royal Host

Read: Royal Host

Good thing Keio Plaza Hotel Tama is close to everything so even it was raining, we were still able to visit malls and park. Since we cancelled our day 6 activity, we have extra budget for pasalubong. 

Read: Keio Plaza Hotel Tama

We did not bother to go to Don Quijote Akihabara anymore since we will not buy a lot of pasalubong. The train fare is also expensive and ayaw na nga namin maglakad ng malayo. Hahaha!

If you like collecting bento stuff, ang dami dito. 

Side story: I bought Tomica Cars at Sanrio Puroland because I know that there are limited designs in the Philippines so imagine my reaction when I saw Tomica Cars in the mall. Waah, I bought Tomica My Melody at 796 yen and 580 yen lang dito. Akala ko pa naman nakamura na ko. I also checked Uniqlo store but there was no sale so I did not buy anything. 

Then we went to grocery, one thing I noticed here in Japan, there is no bagger so you have to pack your own stuff. The cashier gave me one plastic bag and she asked me if I need two (sign language lang ulit) and I said yes naman. When I checked my receipt, kamote may bayad pala yung plastic. Ang hirap ng may language barrier. hehehe! Ok, next time, I will bring ecobag. 

Tama Central Park and Parthenon Tama 

We went back to the hotel to drop our groceries and off we went to Tama Central Park and Parthenon Tama. Japan likes park, I wish we also have park like this where you can unwind and relax without spending money. I’ve seen houses and residential buildings the near the park, so the people are so lucky because they can just go to the park if they want to walk, jog or kill time you can go here.

The Daiso 

I’ve seen The Daiso on our first day in Tokyo, Japan but I did not bother to check it because we have Japan Home here. But since we have nothing to do, we paid a visit and even I have no plans in buying anything. May nabili pa rin ako, 108 yen lang kasi, cheaper than the P88 rate here. I will share my shopping finds on my next post. 

Read: The Daiso

Dinner Dan Cafe 

If you visit Sanrio Puroland, don’t forget to eat crepe at Dinner Dan Cafe. The crepe is really good, I wanted to buy pa ulit kaso tinamad na bumalik kasi umulan na ulit. Hehehe! 

Read: Sanrio Puroland