It has been over two weeks now since we launched our newest puzzle adventure game Roterra – Flip the Fairytale to the App Store. This has been quite an adventure for a small indie studio but we could not be more excited about the positive response from puzzle game players. For those of you that have purchased our game, thank you so much for your support.
Nothing says the end of the year like an influx of new movies, holiday-themed and otherwise. We’ve put together a list of highly recommended holiday movies for all members of the family. We’ve put some for adults, some for the kids, and some for the adults who are really kids at heart.
Holiday Movies at the Theater
None of these are holiday-themed, per say, but they should prove to be fun experiences!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Summary: Teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops superhuman powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Pitted against Kingpin, Miles must team up with other Spider heroes sucked into his world from their own to take down the hulking villain and return the other versions of Spider-Man to where they belong
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Summary: Arthur Curry, half-human and half-Atlantian prince, must step up to lead his people as his half-brother Orm begins to seek the unification of the underwater kingdoms for the purpose of rising up against the people on the surface. Along the way, Arthur struggles between his ties to the sea and his ties to the land.
Mary Poppins Returns
Release Date: December 19, 2018
Summary: A sequel to the beloved Disney film, now starring Emily Blunt as the titular nanny alongside Lin Manuel-Miranda and Meryl Streep. Michael and Jane Banks are now grown-up with families of their own. However, when Micheal suffers a personal loss, Mary Poppins returns to their lives.
The Classics to Watch at Home
Here’s where to find all the good holiday content for movie night at home.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Release Date: January 7, 1947
Summary: It’s the story of a man named George Bailey from childhood to adulthood, who finds himself in dire straits one Christmas. After being rescued by a guardian angel, George learns the importance of his life and how much he means to his friends, family, and even acquaintances. It’s generally on TV every year and can be found streaming on Amazon Prime.
Release Date: November 7, 2003
Summary: Buddy, a human, was accidentally transported to the North Pole and was raised into adulthood by elves at Santa’s workshop. He begins to realize how he doesn’t fit and decides to head to New York City in search of his real father. However, he has some trouble fitting in with modern society. Elf can be rented from Amazon, or you can catch it on TV.
Release Date: July 15, 1988
Summary: There’s a debate as to whether Die Hard is really a holiday movie or not, but it’s definitely a fun ride. Definitely for the adults in the family. John McClane, New York City police officer, must save the day on Christmas Eve. Die Hard can be rented on Amazon, accessed via a Cinemax subscription, or found on TV during the holiday season.
What’s your favorite holiday movie? Do you have one that you watch every year? Let us know and add to the list of recommendations.
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Winter break is coming up fast! What can parents do to help their kids stay active over the holiday season? We’ve got a few suggestions for fun and education (and usually both!) that you might add to your plans for the next few weeks.
Entertainment over Winter Holidays
The holiday season is the time for sweets! Make some of your own with your kids. If you want to go above and beyond, make it into a bit of a chemistry lesson too. Check out Cookie Science as a place to start. Changing the recipe really is the same as performing an experiment. Learn how to make the perfect cookie.
Movies come out in droves over the holidays. Next week’s post will be about upcoming holidays movies, focusing on a few in more detail, but it’s a great season for family movies and ones with serious Oscar buzz. Check out the schedule of what’s coming out this month.
End the year with New Year’s Resolutions, of course. Make a list with your kids about goals you want to accomplish and things you want to do in the coming year. Here’s a few ideas for helping your kids come up with resolutions they can accomplish. Make some of your own, too, whether that’s taking more time for yourself or taking more time for work. Get ready!
Education over Winter Holidays
We just put together an entire post of winter-themed STEM activities to do with your kids last week. Take advantage of the weather as you can for fun chemistry experiments and science crafts. If more kids are visiting for the holidays, these can be a great group activity to set up for them.
Of course, if it gets too cold out there, our catalog of educational games are always a great option. Let your kids outside virtually with Excavate! or let them explore outer space with ExoTrex.
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Winter is a great time of year to get hands-on with STEM activities, science experiments, and more! Don’t let the cold keep you from making discoveries and learning about the way our world works with activities for all different weather and climates.
For something easy, think about demonstrating molecular structure through melting ice in different forms. STEAM Powered Family has a great experiment which involves packing ice, snow, and liquid water into jars to see which will end up with the most liquid.
No snow in your area? Try making your own to experiment with, even if you can’t make enough to make a snowman or have a snowball fight. Left Brain Craft Brain offers a few different recipes for making snow.
For something a little more decorative, make a snowstorm in a jar or grow some crystals. A Dab of Glue Will Do has all the instructions for the former- it can teach kids how a snowstorm works without bringing them out into one! For crystal making, grab some pipe cleaners or a pine tree branch along with other ingredients listed on Little Bins for Little Hands.
Hot Cocoa and Sweets
Of course, sometimes it gets too cold to do anything with the snow outside. On those days, try out one of these tasty science experiments that help your kids learn and make them feel like they’re getting a treat!
There are a lot of things you can do with hot chocolate, from having a race to making it bubble up in surprise. You can also make hot chocolate themed slime to play around with.
Candy canes are another one to play around with. Test how fast different types dissolve or how fast they dissolve in different temperatures of water. It’s even possible to re-bend candy canes into different shapes through an experiment.
Stay Indoors with STEM Games
Our educational games are always evergreen, making them the perfect STEM activity for cold winter days or any other time of the year! Pick up the ExoTrex series for your kids to explore the galaxy, learning more about the way space works. It’s a great supplement to STEM activities in any season.
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Holiday break is just around the corner, and everyone at school is likely looking forward to having some time at home to relax. Before students can take their well-earned break, however, think about showing your teachers a little appreciation with a holiday gift. Tell them you’re looking forward to the rest fo the year!
This isn’t just for students! Teachers can offer support to other teachers, or parents can pick something up for their children’s instructors. The important thing is that these gifts show support!
Useful Gifts for Teachers
1. A water bottle or travel mug
Hydration and caffeination are essentials for keeping a teacher going through the day. Make it a little easier for them with a fun new thermos or water bottle.
2. Classroom supplies
Have you noticed the classroom running low on tissues, gluesticks, or extra pencils? Bring in a box or a few boxes to help your teacher restock.
3. A donation
Give a gift to a charity that would be important to your teacher, whether that be an education fund or something more specific to the topic they teach. Send them a card to let them know that you made it in their name!
Fun Gifts for Teachers
1. Tea or coffee
We know we already mentioned the travel mug, but it’s also nice to get a selection of great coffee or tea. Think about offering a sample pack or picking out a few flavors that they might love. Parents may need to help with this one.
2. A small plant
A succulent or a cactus make for good decoration. This gift works especially well for science teachers, and then the best for environmental science teachers. If you know your teacher gardens, replace this with seeds.
3. A gift card
Pick somewhere that you know your teacher will appreciate. If they really do love coffee, go for the coffee card. If they’re always very stylish, maybe pick a clothing store. A gift card is a good bet for when you’re not sure what else to do, but still try to put some thought into it!
A Gift That’s Both Useful and Fun!
Think about giving the gift of one of our educational games! Social studies teachers, especially, will love the Excavate! series while STEM teachers may like to try out Exotrex. Convince them to bring game-based learning into the classroom with just one small purchase!
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Our upcoming game Roterra has been getting a lot of attention recently since we released our new trailer; we’re so happy that everyone seems to be getting excited about the puzzling adventure. Here, we wanted to share just a few of the outlets that have picked up the story on our game. We encourage you to check them out!
You can see our mentioned new trailer below as well!
About the Game
Many outlets have given sneak previews into the mechanics, environment, and story of Roterra.
Goto.game covers everything about the game, giving a look at our full press release about Roterra. It covers the features, the release date, and everything else you could need to know!
TouchTapPlay comments on our spinning puzzles and the chance to experience Angelica’s story along with other characters.
Flickering Myth includes our CEO’s quote about the game: “After nearly a decade of building critical thinking puzzles, we’re excited to turn our extensive experience to entertainment-focused mobile games…”
Review Fix took the chance to ask our CEO a few questions about the development of Roterra and the inspirations behind its conception. You can see it in its entirety on their site, but one highlight:
Bottom line, why must someone play this game?
“It’s fun! The core mechanic itself is incredibly fun, and the puzzles are just the right level of challenge: Even when you get frustrated, you know there’s a solution right around the next corner!”
Keep Up With Roterra News
If you’re interested in playing Roterra in 2019, there’s an easy way to make sure you don’t miss anything! Head on over to the game’s page on our site and sign up for the mailing list. That way, you won’t miss a single update for the puzzling fairytale. We’re very excited for more news to come soon!
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Thanksgiving is next week, and we’re looking forward to stuffing our faces full of turkey and mashed potatoes. What else can you do during the Thanksgiving holiday?
Spend Time With Family
This one is a no-brainer. If your family is already together for the Thanksgiving meal and Thanksgiving break, see what else you can do together. Sign up to volunteer as a group, brave the cold for some outdoor time, or catch a new movie. For families with kids, Ralph Breaks the Internet is a great option or the Fantastic Beast sequel. For older families, Creed 2 and Widows offer some exciting action-drama.
Offer a few options and figure out what would work for everyone! What’s most important is that everyone has fun.
All About Football
Watch three full games of football on Thanksgiving! But, if you’re getting bored of just watching, pick up a ball yourself and make it a casual game with the family. It’s particularly good to do if you’ve got some kids who need to get their energy out! After that’s done, you can return to the couch to keep watching the games.
Of course, you’ve got to practice your tackle anyway for Black Friday sales. Just kidding. Please be safe and polite during shopping on Black Friday. Tackling is a foul for sure in that case.
Set Up the Tree
Finally, it’s socially acceptable to put up that tree! Thanksgiving break, get your tree early and put on your decorations. It’s a nice way to transition from one holiday to the other. You might consider setting up outside decorations too, before it gets too cold to do so! Just pace yourself on holiday songs. Don’t burn yourself out too early on those.
If you don’t celebrate a holiday with a tree, it’s still a good time for decorating or cleaning! Rope your family into helping while you’ve got them there.
Learn Some History!
Of course, it’s important to know the context of Thanksgiving and be aware of our history as we celebrate. Make a small lesson for your kids about the First Thanksgiving or do some research for yourself.
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History of Veteran’s Day
Veteran’s Day was first called Armistice Day. It started on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I, hence the name. It became an annual observance in 1926 and a national holiday in 1938. Under Eisenhower in 1954, Armistice Day finally became Veteran’s Day. We in the United States now celebrate this every year on November 11 (although, as is the case this year, we sometimes observe it on different days).
Unlike Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day mostly focuses on honoring our living former soldiers who serve the United States in war or peace. Other countries observe similar holidays on November 11: Canada, for instance, has Remembrance Day for the soliders of World War I and World War II.
The long weekend offers the perfect opportunity to serve and celebrate our veterans. We’ve come up with a few ideas to help you celebrate the holiday!
Ways to Celebrate Veteran’s Day
There are many ways to give back on Veteran’s Day. Operation Shoebox offers many suggestions for giving back to veterans and soldiers on their website. This includes care packages, donating, or even making crafts.
If you’d like to help out more directly, the United States Office of Veteran’s Affairs has an easy way to find a VA service office as well as a form you can fill out to find a placement. Just being there to talk to residents and make conversation can help out a lot.
Finally, if you don’t have the time, it’s possible to simply write a letter of appreciation. Operation Gratitude accepts letters year round which they include in care packages of their own. Take a few small moments to let servicemen know you appreciate them.
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November 2: First Long Duration Stay on ISS Begins
Expedition 1 was the first long duration stay upon the International Space Station. The 3-person crew lived in space from November 2000 to March 2001, a total of 136 days. The crew consisted of American commander Bill Shepard and two Russians named Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev. To this day, the ISS remains an important part of space research.
November 4: King Tut Day
On King Tut Day, we celebrate the discovery of King Tut’s tomb by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. King Tut became ruler of Egypt at the age of ten and died in his teens. Before the discovery of the tomb, nobody knew much about the boy pharaoh as there weren’t many records. Therefore, the discovery was a monumental event in Egyptian history.
November 8: Theodosius Buried
In 395, the Romans bury Emperor Theodosius in Constantinope. During his tenure, he officially declared Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire, Unfortunately, he was not particularly tolerant of those practicing other religions. While he was first only emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, he conquered the other half to become sole ruler for the last few years of his reign. He died of disease.
November 12: First Selfie in Space
In 1966, Buzz Aldrin takes the first space selfie in history. This was, of course, before selfie was a commonly used word. He used the camera using EVA (extra-vehicular activity) equipment to take a picture of himself. While Buzz Aldrin may be known for his trip to the moon, he took many more expeditions into space than that.
Learn More History!
To get into more history, check out our catalog of educational games! There’s stuff there for STEM and social studies, so, no matter your interest, we’ve got a game for you to try!