My 18 month old nephew LOVES "real things" that are not toys. For older kids in my life, I LOVE buying them things like rock tumblers, microscopes, binoculars, swiss army knives (when they're old enough and with parental permission), digital cameras, or things to support their hobbies (like nice fins for snorkeling). We send them money from foreign countries just for fun (various small bills and lots of coins) and rocks and seashells. I've also had great luck with kids magazines and non-kid magazines (like Science, or National Geographic). I'm also rather good at getting experiences for kids and older teens - museum passes, or concert tickets, or a special fun restaurant where they sing, etc. But I've realized that I'd love to buy the younger set more "real things" because they seem to love them so much more than actual toys! This is roughly for ages 1-5. Would love some additional help of "real things" that toddlers and preschool kids like! [more inside]
I'm petsitting a dog who loves to play in water, and normally when I petsit for her, water play happens and she knows to expect that from me. But drought and weather are making all of that a bad idea. Now what? [more inside]
I'm an uncreative person. I'm seeking some of your imaginative love related word play for two wedding items. [more inside]
Things are returning to normal in the Panda household, and it's time to get out and play! Specifically I'd like a swing that can be installed temporarily on a nearby tree and removed when it's time to go home. Advice from all directions is welcome: swing seats, rope, hardware, knots, or anything else tangentially related. This will primarily be used by a 4 year old, but ideas that would work for an 18 month old are good too. [more inside]
My mum's boisterous siamese The Lola was recently hit by a car, and had to have a broken leg amputated (pinning was deemed unlikely to work). I'm going to be watching her house next week and I'm assuming The Lola's usual physical pastime of climbing on the roof is not going to be very viable anymore. Given she's likely to have recovered from the surgery by then, what are some playthings that might be good to cheer her up/tire her out while she doesn't have full balance back yet? [more inside]
We (parents and 2 boys ages 4 and 16 months), recently relocated from an apartment with no outdoor space to a house with a backyard. A couple of months in, the joys of simply running in circles are finally wearing off. What outdoor toys/equipment can we get for the kids that will maximize everyone's fun? [more inside]
I'm completely stumped and hoping that Ask MeFi can help. There is an amazing play in which two women have a sword fight, making catty comments back and forth. One is a blonde princess type, the other a brunette seductress type. I believe the scene was taken from a larger play, but I mostly recall it from a book about sword fighting. I'm pretty sure the title was Name and Name and that the last name started with a Z. Zoltair? Zanitar? [more inside]
I'm looking for more 'toy' items for my home- pleasingly tactile, not messy, not obviously kidlike (no fluorescent plastic). Something that can be picked up, fiddled with, and is aesthetically attractive enough to display on my coffee table. [more inside]
I am working on a short (4-minute) film that is set at a performance of Shakespeare in the Park. As part of the film one of the characters (an actor) will be on stage, acting out a short portion from a play. I need to choose what passage the actor will be performing. Help? [more inside]
Just came back from a weekend at Big Bear with a bunch of kids and not sure it was fun? [more inside]
From memory it was recorded in Black and White and probably from the 19060s. I saw some of the play on TV about two or three years ago and I didn't catch the name or the writer. At a guess, it was probably originally on BBC TV from the days before there was colour television - which would place it in the 1960s. I don't think it was from the 1950s because there was an air of modernity about the furniture, coats, dresses - I think. It was set in house or modern apartment with modern styling and the whole play may have been silent - as in no spoken words - just gestures and expressions or perhaps the characters mouthed words. We get to see into the psychology of the individuals - jealousy, fear, arrogance, disappointment - all of it under a veneer of civility. The way people moved around in it, it was almost like a ballet - the whole thing was very styled and unnatural - but meant to insightful and realistic about the inner workings of how people interact. [more inside]
I'm looking for the best browser-based toys and/or games that encourage exploration or play without necessarily having a goal or purpose. [more inside]
A trope in our media and culture is that little girls disport themselves by holding mock tea parties with stuffed animals as the party guests. Two questions: ① Do 21st-century children actually do this? ② If so, how do they get the idea for it? Just from popular culture in which the trope is portrayed, or do some adults not in my social circle still actually hold tea parties which they're imitating,† or is it all via parents and siblings and peers communicating the idea to play this way? Or maybe toy manufacturers and advertising of tea-party-related toys and accessories? [more inside]
What is a playdate, anyway? Is it a social occasion where parents hang out together while their kids play together in close proximity? And how did this pattern emerge? do people in other countries do this or is it mainly an American thing? [more inside]
I've been having what I suspect is a quarterlife crisis for several months and luckily I've pretty narrowed it down to three options/priorities. However, that's the snag. I can't decide between the three (work, study, travel and a bit of play). Any thoughts much appreciated. [more inside]
When I was in high school, in 1990, I found a humor collection in my school library. I am trying to remember the name of the collection. It contained a play written entirely in palindromes. I believe, but am not certain, that it contained a story by James Thurber, possibly about a man named Margaret. I'd really like to track down the name of the play and/or the author. Does this ring any bells for anyone?
Suddenly Play Books only works on computers that are not mine. [more inside]
Anyone know any indoor play spaces for toddlers in the Honolulu area? [more inside]
How do I play Deus Ex on an Intel Mac running OS 10.6.8? [more inside]
My cat doesn't play with toys anymore. How to keep her playful? [more inside]
We are moving out of our little rental house in about 6 months but until then our kids desperately need a play area. The best options are either the concrete patio or the wooden deck. It shouldn't rain much here in the next 6 months, but there will be plenty of falling leaves. Any ideas for how to convert either of these spaces into usable play areas? The patio would need some sort of kid-fencing, whereas the deck would just need that plastic side netting. But the floors of either would require something - but what? Astroturf? Those interlocking foam mats? Some third thing I don't know about? Ideally the solution is economical enough to make sense for six months (or it's something we can keep when we move), and it doesn't destroy our rental.
How do I buy a copy of a Broadway libretto? [more inside]
We've got a decent selection of toys, but I'd like to enrich kitty's days a little more. [more inside]
I am looking for something like these for our backyard. They need to be designed for outdoor use and rain. You can find similar ones online, but since these are really heavy, the shipping costs are as much as the mats. Are there any local retailers in the bay area that will sell small quantities to an individual? I have Amazon Prime but have not found anything Prime-eligible that looks decent.
My soon-to-be 3-year-old daughter is pretty timid, physically. It's nothing crippling or even worrisome, but still…c'mon kid, geez, just jump! You'll be fine! [more inside]
I have an idea for a sculpture that would have a button on it. When the button is pressed, a sound recording would play. There'd be about 10-20 recordings, each about 2-4 minutes long. I know it's possible to do this -- I just don't know how, exactly. What should I be googling? [more inside]
I lost my voice completely! Any good kid activity suggestions that involve complete quiet from the adult?
I will be DMing a D&D campaign for the first time ever and I'm looking for some help/guidance on making this as enjoyable as possible for my players, mostly in terms of creating scenarios and encounters that are best resolved without combat. [more inside]
I want to play head-to-head Doom/Doom II over the internet with a friend. I have a PC, she has a Mac. What's the easiest way? [more inside]
My dog is an aggressive chewer or she has OCD - the jury is still out. Even the "aggressive" chewer toys are ripped to shreds within minutes to hours because of her chewing styles. Help me with toys please! [more inside]
I'm looking for examples, ideally with pictures, of public spaces that foster a sense of play, whimsy, imagination, etc. [more inside]
I'm looking for suggestions for games that fit well for short breaks in between getting stuff done. See inside for more info on the kind of properties that I think would be good. [more inside]
I need to e-mail a small audio file to my office in such a way that it automatically plays as soon as the e-mail is opened by the recipient. Can this be done and, if so, how? I can embed the audio into a graphic if necessary or create it in any format. The file wouldn't be larger than maybe 1MB. My office uses Lotus Notes v8.5 mostly on PCs but also a few Macs. Thanks in advance.
What is the parental etiquette for when someone's kid comes to your door trying play with your kid, you tell them no, we're having dinner, and kid essentially won't take no for an answer and tries to continue to get into your house? What is the best way to redirect said kiddo from this behavior again if I can't say anything to her parents? [more inside]
Help! My new job involves making sure that little kids are entertained. [more inside]
In 1997 Jude Kelly directed a production of Othello starring Patrick Stewart in the title role. Is a recording available? [more inside]
What are video games in which your decisions rob you of resources or options, leaving you with fewer and fewer possibilities as the game goes on? [more inside]
I recently landed the role of Lennox in a local production of Macbeth—uh, "The Scottish Play"—despite very little experience in acting. I enjoy roles with fewer lines, so I was pleased at first. Now that we're well into rehearsals, however, I'm struggling with my personality and the character's. Lennox is a thane, a soldier, and I'm a weedy introvert. I need some help. [more inside]
My son (11) has expressed an interest in playing Dungeons and Dragons. I would like to help him but I know nothing about the game and Amazon reviews of the basic starter set confuse things even further. What exactly does he need in order to start playing? [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a line from a play I saw performed years ago, and sadly I can't remember the title or the playwright. A woman tells her guy (boyfriend? husband? ex?) that there has to be some point of his life where she doesn't matter, otherwise their relationship is no good. Does that sound familiar to anyone at all? [more inside]
I'm going through some boxes of old books I had in storage and came across this one, which isn't what it seems. I suspect it was created as a prop fro a play, but I can't think of a play I worked on, or have read that features this book. What play might have used this book prop?
This is Pico, a wonderful cat with an incredible mustache. Pico is quite large and really needs to slim down. Help us help our 17 lb cat live happy and healthy and as forever as possible. Gratuituous cat pictures inside. [more inside]
My 3-year-old daughter's birthday is coming up and once again (looking through archives, I've asked this every year) I need toy recommendations. Grandma gave us $50 to get something for her and we are well, well under budget with our gifts too. bilibo [more inside]
I have in mind two (fiction) classics on the subject: An Enemy of the People (Ibsen) and The Winter of Our Discontent (Steinbeck). I would appreciate it if you could guide me to other valuable works on this issue.
Florida to New England road trip, [more inside]
I have three English questions. All are from a movie. 1) About a verb"play". "You could play Holiday Inn." I understand this sentence. But a bit confused about.. "You've played a lot of tough houses.When they didn't listen,did you quit and go home?Or keep playing?" I guess that "houses" means the audience.So what does this "play" mean here? To deal or to handle? 2) "They just sit there staring up at me. There's no there there." What is this " there"?? A noun? And what does it mean actually? 3) "It's Monday.It's turkey spam surprise. You could mortar walls with it. Word of advice. Always bring a bag lunch." My question is, what is this "surprise"? Could you explain it and give me more examples to use this "surprise"?Thank you.
I used to play a lot of PC games, but in the past 10 years moved towards console gaming. I realise I've missed a whole era of games that only really work with a mouse and keyboard. My absolute favourites were creative, engaging, long play games, such as Rollercoaster Tycoon and Civilization. I never really played to win. I played for creative ends. The best times I had playing Rollercoaster Tycoon was in sandbox mode the only limits being my imagination. Those were the days. What (PC) games offer the equivalent of this now? [more inside]
I let my four-year-old niece get the best of me in a lot of our play. How can I teach her when she needs to listen? [more inside]
I've written a radio play, and I'm meeting the cast tomorrow for a rehearsal. This is the first play I've written (let alone a radio play) and I've never acted in anything either, so any hints and tips about how to run a rehearsal smoothly would be greatly appreciated, especially anything that relates especially to radio drama. [more inside]
Can I access my music in the Google Play Music cloud with something other than the Google Play Music app? [more inside]