Monday Muse [tbc]

What affects people’s happiness most are things like quality of sleep, little ups and downs at work and relationships with our friends and family. In other words: it’s the little things that make us happy.

When you’re down or worried about something, people often say: “hey, try not to think about it; just put it out of your mind!”

This is very bad advice. Trying to suppress your thoughts is counter-productive. Like trying as hard as you can not to think about pink elephants or white bears. What people experience when they try to suppress their thoughts is an ironic rebound effect: the thought comes back stronger than before. Looking for distractions is a much better strategy.

One of the weirdest and most unsettling findings in psychology is the idea that we find it hard to hold two contradictory beliefs, so we unconsciously adjust one to make it fit with the other.

The gap between people with mental illness and the ‘sane’ is a lot smaller than we’d like to think.

Fantasies also fail to flag up the problems we’re likely to face on the way to our goals.

Please feel free to add your thoughts xx

http://www.angelfaces.net @Angel Faces UK

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Tip of The Day: Children’s Party Games

Listed below are a few of the simple children’s party games I have picked up over the years. I supply this free of charge as part of the service we offer at Angel Faces UK, in the knowledge that a successful party is based on parental interaction.

BAG in a BASKET

You will need:  3 bean bags or 3 soft foam balls; Three buckets/baskets; Pencil & Paper

The baskets should be placed at varying heights (Table, stool; coffee table) and points awarded for landing within one. In the garden, you can play this game with hoola hoops (one inside the other) or a drawn Bullseye which lays on the ground and the children throw the bags/balls and score points where they land. (For bean bags, I have used split peas in small plastic food bags!)

BEAN TOSS

You will need: Dried beans; Three bowls; Paper & Pencil

Similar to the above  but place the bowls in ‘a nest’ at one end of a table. Players stand at the other end and take turn to toss beans into the bowls. The smallest bowl counts three points, the middle size bowl counts as two and the biggest counts as one point. You are not allowed to touch the table.

FILL THE BUCKET

You will need: Two buckets; One saucer (for each team)

Have five or six people in each team. There will be water spilling everywhere so play this outside!

For each team, one bucket should be filled with water and the other left empty about 20 metres away. The first member of each team fills the saucer with water from the full bucket, runs to the empty one trying not to spill any and pours the water in, runs back to the start and passes the saucer to the next person who does the same. The first team to finish gets a point per person but if the other team has lots more water, make it a draw!

UNDER OVER BALL

You will need:  A ball

Make up two teams of about six players in each. Line up behind each other with spaces between you. Stand with legs apart. The first person in each team bends down and tosses the ball backwards between his legs to the next player. She catches it and tosses it over her head to the player behind her. He tosses it over until it reaches the last player. who catches the ball and runs with it to the front of the line. They carry on doing this until the original first player reaches the front again and holds the ball up.

POTATO RACE

You will need:  Some potatoes; Spoons; Handkerchiefs (for blindfolds); A bucket

Divide the players into two teams. Put the potatoes in a line about 15 metres away and place the bucket nearby. Blindfold one team and give them spoons. They have two minutes to spoon potatoes into the bucket while the other team watches. A very funny sight. After two minutes, count the potatoes in the bucket then it is the other team’s turn. The team with the most potatoes collected wins.

PENNY DROP

You will need:   A milk bottle or narrow neck jar; Bag of pennies; Chair (with back)

Place the bottle on the floor at the back of the chair. The object of the game is to kneel backwards on the chair, and each child tries to drop, say, 5 pennies into the bottle. This is harder than it sounds!

STICKY TOFFEE

This is a tag game with a difference. One child is IT. Everybody runs off and the IT chases them. As soon as she touches one of them, that player has to join hands with the IT. They now both try to catch the other players. Anyone touched by either of them has to join on until you have a long chain of IT’s. The last player becomes the new IT.

Well that is just a selection of games that do not need complicated props, and these can be provided if necessary. I would welcome any of your ideas to add to this list. You never know, it could turn into a book with your name amongst the credits.

For your child’s added enjoyment we can provide juggling balls, diablo’s , etc for a “Circus Workshop” theme plus “Make-a-Badge” colouring for the younger reveller!  We supply ready printed pictures, and washable felt tip pens.  This makes a novel party bag item in addition to our Balloon Animals.

http://www.angelfaces.net  @Angel Faces UK