Category Archives: Play

Key to Happiness, Play Time

This week, we got to attend a toy show. What is a toy show? It is a place where toy vendors display their goods for buyers, toy store owners. They display and show off their new products, newly imagined offerings and in some cases inventions for play time. It is super fun! We spend 2 to 3 days playing with lots of cool stuff and trying out new board games. We've made some great friends with other like-minded silly folks.

Play time is essential for kids, which is one reason we have a Toy Store - to promote healthy imaginations, fun and games.  But, play time is also essential for adults.  It helps with stress and is a great connector to other people.  It enhances learning and improves productivity.

This year we got to take Riley and Rachel, our teens. Usually kids are not allowed, but they recently let older kids go. We consider our kids to be our expert advisers in the toy industry, so we were super excited to have them along and they felt important to be along with their name badges as buyers.

I asked them what they thought about the toy show. Both exclaimed they had a great time and that it was a lot of fun.

This was Riley's comment about the toy show:

"It was great, all the adults were playing with the toys and games and having fun and being creative. There was so much creativity, people laughing, having fun and sharing with each other."

I guess outside of our life, he doesn't see adults playing and having fun.

Hmmmm, got me thinking. Perhaps the adults of the world need to let go and play and laugh and have fun with each other. As a kid I remember my parents getting together with other parents and playing games. The world was happier then, is that why? World peace through laughter, fun and games. Don't be so serious.

I should point out; this wasn't about video games, no video games there at the toy show.

My daughter Angela has been going to toy shows with or for us. She finds them so fun. In fact she just went to the New York Toy show to work at a booth for free, just to be able to go because it is fun. The last toy show we were at with her, she started a snow ball fight with many vendors in the aisles.

This year's shenanigans involved an air swimming shark, an air rocket, a wooden bow and arrow and a sewing needle. Rachel our daughter was asked to shoot down the air swimming shark. She knocked off a fin sending it to the ceiling. So we loaded an air rocket with a sewing needle and blasted away getting the shark down with one shot. Everyone had a good time.



Check out the video:

 

We learned a new game called Happy Salmon, a fast paced game involving lots of high 5's, pounding it and trading places.

One of the many hot items are toys that people can fidget with. Studies show certain people actually can focus better and do better on tests when they can fidget. As a youth I doodled while talking and often chewed on pencils. One of our kids turned to origami, folding complex designs while listening to lectures. Rocks, thinking putty, fabrics, knobs and small toys are favorites.

While we are on the topic of improving test scores, recess is so important for kids and outside play does do much for kids. Restricting recess should never be used as punishment, it doesn't work.

A Texas school quadrupled their play time and has seen amazing results in focus and behavior issues. Schools are even using meditation with fantastic results.

The simple truth is we ALL need play time. For children it is essential to developing normally and developing the brain. Kids that are encouraged to pretend and use their imaginations are healthier and more creative as adults. Play time helps connect the family and bonds form.

Make sure your kids have time to play - creative, unstructured time to play.  And spend time playing with your kids every day.  If you don't have kids, get together with other adults or help a busy family out but borrowing the kids.  Even time playing with a pet is valuable.  

The benefits of playing are real and can affect people in positive ways.  Think about the benefits:  reduced stress, improved health, learning improvement, problem solving skills enhanced, improved productivity, improved relationships, cooperation, emotional healing,  and helps you feel young.  If everyone had regular playtime it seems logical to me that we'd create more peace in our world with a bunch of people reaping the benefits of play time.  Basically more play time reduces "feistyness" of people.

How do you get your play time in?  What are your favorite games?


Have a great week!                 Kally and Mark

Laughter is The Best Medicine

Debra laughingDebra Norwood, AKA The Laughter Lawyer, had the opportunity to meet the real Patch Adams, founder of the Gesundheit! Institute.

Robin Williams played the role in a movie entitle Patch Adams based on Patch's life.  Patch Adams is a medical doctor and a clown, and feels medicine should be free and available to everyone.  His work and his life reflect the idea that 'Laughter is the best medicine'.

You can read more about Laughter Therapy in this article on alternative therapies.

patch-adams

At one point in his life he felt very suicidal and then entered a mental hospital that changed him.  He wanted to become a medical doctor and help people.

Patch went on to start making his one dream into a reality. He believed that the medical system was twisted and that it cheated poor people. So, he decided that he wanted to build a hospital.  His Gesundheit Institute is not completely perfected, but it is up and running.

 

patch_adams_1One person said of the Institute: "There, amongst beautiful mountains, hardwood forests and waterfalls, Gesundheit advocates are constructing a holistic rural hospital and healthcare community based on the vision of what healthcare should be like. That means patient care where laughter, joy and creativity will be an integral part of the healing process. Healthcare will be provided without cost and allopathic doctors and practitioners of alternative medicine will work side by side."

Tune in and find out why Memphis City Lawyer, Debra Norwood became a Certified Laughter Therapist, and why she has a deep respect for Patch Adams.  She had the opportunity to spend a week with Patch learning from him and be challenged by him.

You can follow Debra Norwood, The Laughter Lawyer on Facebook.  Catch the show on Patch Adams at Blogtalk radio.

IMAG1482Does laughter improve your health?  I know it always makes me feel better.  Get out with the girls, spend time with your spouse and enjoy some laughter.  Go have a tickle session with your kids.  Laughter is free and there are so many benefits.

Mark and Kally on Your True Colours Image Radio Network

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Indigo Mountain:  Wellness, Toys & Gift

Please note:  we are not diagnosing or prescribing, please consult your medical expert.

Catch Up With Our Latest Radio Shows Travel to Wellness

castleGreat Places to Visit - America's Castles

You don't have to go to Europe to see great castles, America is dotted with castles and extravagant homes.

Join us for some travel ideas and stories about some very interesting people and the castles they built.

Mark is a travel expert.  He loves to explore the world.  He amazes us with his ability to discover interesting details that the averages tourist may miss.

Human Digestive System by dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe Key to Good Health is in Your Gut

One of the keys for good health is a healthy digestive system.  Digestive complaints cost Americans $50 billion each year in medical bills and absence from work.  It is fairly easy to correct.  Tune in and find out how.  Most people, including doctors, don't know that digestive problems can lead to allergies, autoimmune diseases, depression, fatigue, and even ADHD.  Your digestive tract is THE KEY to whole body health.  It is the first place I start when working with people.

You'll learn why one of the top OTC and prescription medication is interferring with your bodies ability to digest and absorb nutrients and doesn't really solve the problem your taking it for in the first place.

 

General Wellness and Feeling Good

Laughter is the best medicine.  We had planned to interview Debra Norwood, also known as The Laughter Lawyer.  She was going to tell us all about her amazing oppertunity to meet Patch Adams, the amazing medical doctor and clown.  Due to technical difficulties - she was not available.

But check out our show - we have great tips on Gernal wellness.  The average person spends $8,000 to $9,000 per person each on medical expences.  That is a huge amount.  Patch Adams had a view that medical care should be free.

Listen in for some general wellness tips.

Remember this is not medical advise.  We are not diagnosing or prescribing.  Please consult with you medical provider.

 

Children In The Park by photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.netKids and Summer, Play and Stimulate Brain Cells

Summer is the perfect time to play and stimulate new brain cells.  You can learn a new skill, get involved in a hobby, do art projects that take a few days, and explore the world around you.  Tune in for some tips and ideas that will not only entertain your kids, but give them options to build their brain and distract them from too much electronic time.

Studies show that the more time children spend in structured, parent-guided activities, the worse their ability to work productively towards self-directed goals. They need time to challenge themselves and figure out what they want and how to do it.  We were always slow to completely direct our children's activites.  We saw more growth with them having more control over their free time.

 

Coming up on the Get Real! Show:

June 17, 2015 Our Outdoor and Camping 1st Aid Kit

Find out what natural remedies we stock our 1st Aid kits with and why.  I have things like charcoal capsules and cayenne to regular band aids and of course essential oils.

June 24, 2015 Great Places to Visit, The Pacific Coast Highway

One of our favorite highways in the country to drive is Highway 1, The Pacific Coast Highway.  There is amazing views and we usually find dolphins, sea lions, star fish and more along the way including great meals.

Join us on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 am AZ/Pacific Time and 11:00 am Central.  Share and tell your friends.  We'd love to hear from you as well.  What do you love about our show?  What would like us to talk about?

Kally and Mark compressedKeep up with us on Facebook with our own Get Real Radio Group.

Mark and Kally
Indigo Mountain:  Wellness, Toys & Gifts
Get Real! with Mark and Kally on Your True Colours Image Network Radio

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Your True Colours magazine and radio for real people. True fashion, True lifestyle, True people.

 

Photo credits:  dream designs, photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Picking the Best Toys – Gifts for Children

Puppet Theater
With an infinite list, it seems, of choices to choose from; how do you pick the right gifts for children?  Today we'll discuss the pros and cons of electronics verses more traditional toys and gifts.  Check it out.

Play is very important in all aspects of your child's growth, and toys are really part of developmental learning.  It is rumored that Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, didn't let his kids play with iPads.   So tune in for an interesting discussion and learn about some ideal gifts for children.

When selecting from the overwhelming choices of toys in today's marketplace, we have some great tips. Look for toys that:

1. Foster learning and open-ended play. Toys that come with all the bells and whistles often fill in the blanks that your children's mind could be filling in and imagining.

2. Provide endless play.  Studies show that when a toy has particular functions, they will not be creative with it. Quality toys will grow with the child.

3. Will last forever (or at least one childhood). Flimsy plastic toys break. Kids can be rough and should be. Solid wood toys can last for decades.

4. Ditch the batteries and cords. Electronics have their place in our world, but it's not on the toy row. Quit ignoring all the studies and do your kids a favor, limit or completely eliminate electronics.

5. Don't worry about the gender. The giant wooden kitchen and dollhouse in our retail store are popular with both boys and girls. Boys eat in kitchens and live in houses, too. Girls like to construct and have a good sword fight occasionally.

6. Pick age appropriate. Don't rely on the government approved age stamped on the packaging, those are for safety, not playing.Art Easel

Here's some ideas for age appropriate toys:

Infants - safe stuffed toys, things they can reach for, shake, make noise, and stick in their mouth, unbreakable mirrors.

Toddlers - things to pretend with (dolls, telephones, puppets), things to create with (non-toxic washable crayons and markers), picture books.

Pre-School - things for problem solving, building, dress-up, musical instruments.

girl recieving gift Stuart Miles by freedigitalphotos.netMost importantly, parents need to spend time playing with their children. You can't sit down and bury your face in email or Facebook and expect your children to remain content playing with themselves without an electronic babysitter.

We opened our toy store and wellness center with a goal in mind, to help individuals and families life a more joy-filled passionate life with good health and vitality. We are toy experts and can help you find real toys that inspire creativity and imagination and are really quite fun.

Feel free to contact us for toy ideas, that is what we do. Our store is a virtual laboratory to observe children playing every day.

Kally and Mark for webWhat was or still is your favorite toy?

Do you have tips for getting your children off technology and playing with toys?

Let us know - we want to hear from you!

Have a wonderful holiday season.

Mark and Kally

Our latest episode on the Get Real! with Mark and Kally:  Picking the Right Toy for Your Children

Color Code Focus “Life as a Yellow” an Interview with Angela Efros

Piechart Color Code yellowListen in to our interview with a live hard core yellow, Angela Efros.  Explore what it is like to be a yellow personality and how to relate to the yellow people in your life.

The Color Code is an amazing system that looks at what a persons key motivation is.  We'll be looking at the yellows which are motivated by FUN.  Many people get frustrated with the yellows in their lives as they appear unfocused and superficial.

Truth is, we need the yellows in our lives and society to lighten things up and cheer us on.  Happy is as happy does.  Yellow people love themselves because they know exactly what they love to do and always find time to do it.  Their core motive is all about fun.  But they bring to us their natural gifts of enthusiasm and optimism.

 

We have raised 2 yellow children and we are Expert Certified Color Code Trainers.   If you missed our episode on the Color Code, you can catch it here.  It is a good overview and will help you understand why we do what we do.

Follow the link for your free personality assessment or pay the small fee and get the full update and analysis including your secondary colors.free-test

If you try to squeeze a yellow into a box of conformity, you will not succeed.  They might do it but they will be unhappy.  The yellows thrive on freedom and are spontaneous, fun-loving, happy and very sociable in general.  But they can be uncommitted, self-centered, disorganized and unfocused.

yellow giftsThe needs of a yellow are often misinterpreted as selfish or self-centered.  They really are not, and they really do NEED these needs met which are:  they need to look good socially, to be noticed, to be praised, and to receive approval from the masses.  Not getting these needs met, really is starving them.  So if you have yellows in your life, compliment them and tell them how great they look.  Give them opportunities to shine to the world.  Encourage their natural desire to 'be on stage'.  If you are a yellow, it is okay to really appreciate praise.  When a yellows needs are met, they are amazing at looking after others as they tend to be very inclusive.  You may find yourself drawn to a yellow with their natural charisma.  But don't expect a lot of hands on touchy feely responses back.

When Angela was growing up, she was always on stage - we happily encouraged her need and desire to perform.  Now in her adult life, she is a performer and if feeds her.  At the same time as a child, she was the center of attention.  But you couldn't ask for a happier child, except from our other yellow child.  In order to teach her to work, we made it fun.  In fact this was so successful that one time when she was home visiting, she decided it would be "fun" to clean out a kitchen cupboard.

When talking with Yellows remember to take a positive, upbeat approach.  Offer them praise and appreciation.  Do no ignore them and do not expect them to dwell on problems.  They don't like even facing their problems.  With practice they can learn.  You'll soon recognize that Yellows tend to joke around a lot.  And they really are more sensitive than they appear. Many people confuse the Yellow personality with symptoms of ADHD because Yellows can have short attention spans and seem to bounce around from subject to subject.  This is just the nature of their personality.

Yellows need to learn to focus on important tasks and give it the attention it deserves.   Set specific goals each day.  Focus on what is necessary.  Reward yourself for sticking to the task at hand.  Learn to listen to others.  And finally - look at the big picture and break it down to small tasks and activities so that it wont overwhelm you.

Angela Sept 2012 for a show in SeptemberThis is a great show for anyone with a 'yellow' in their life and to help spark some yellow character traits in your own life.  It was a lot of fun interview our own daughter, who happens to be  a core yellow with no strong secondary color.  I am so grateful for The Color Code System as it really did help me be a better mother and focus on fun in this child's life.  And along the way, she taught me to connect to my inner fun.  It was a win win all the way around.  She is an amazing success and living her life of her dreams.  You can check out Angela's Web page by clicking on her name to keep up with her.

Thanks for tuning in.  Do you have questions or comments about the Yellow personality?  If you enjoyed this show, please let us know and share with your friends.

Check out the REDS here.  Check out the BLUES here.  Coming soon, the whites.

Mark and Kally

On the Get Real! with Mark Kally show on Your True Colours Image Radio

Playtime is as Important as Academics

Mark and I got to go play with bunches of new toys at the Las Vegas Toy Show.   It is fun to see the old classics and the new things coming out.   It was just a great three days playing – we all need that.  We can get too busy at times.  We learn a lot during playtime and playing relieves stress.  Many poor health conditions are directly related to high levels of stress.  A quote from Caroline Petvin's article, "Play is nature's answer to stress."  Check out her fantastic article here. 

Kids are very busy these days and then the parents are even busier.  We keep kids busy doing many good and wonderful things.  Being too busy with good things often distracts from the importance and the value of “playtime”.  

When kids play even with something as simple as a cardboard box, they are learning about the world around them and how to influence their environment.  This is as important as what they learn in school.  Playtime enables kids to express themselves and resolve issues.  They get to practice adult roles and gain confidence.   Check out this great article on the importance of playtime.  

Playtime is so important to the healthy development of children that the United Nations considers it a basic human right.  They have some great tips in this article

When I was a kid, I had a few toys, but not that many.  I lived for the outdoors and whatever we could find out there to PRETEND WITH, then I had my three foot tall doll that both my friend and I had, and some games.  I could turn carpet into an ocean that had to be carefully navigated.  I turned a pile of cut down trees into a fort, a tunnel of love, a boat ride, a castle, a mansion, a pirate adventure, and much more.  Sometimes we played by ourselves with only our imagination, other times we played with friends or siblings.  I loved climbing trees, it was one of my favorite activities and I would climb and sit in the trees and listen to the world around me – the sound of the birds.  To this day I can hear a certain bird and recognize it from my childhood days. 

When my oldest son and my daughter were born 25 and 23 years ago, the world was much different than it is today.  He would take a hair brush (turned it into a snorkel) and swim goggles and ‘snorkle’ across the kitchen floor. For him, anything could be made into an airplane.  My daughter would take any object and it somehow became a microphone.  They could go on and on creating games with each other and simple objects. 

Now my youngest children ages 9 and 11 are easily distracted by everything around them.  I never had to ask the kids to play like I do now.  In fact it is an assignment to go play to use their imaginations.  Like most children, they like to watch TV, play video games, search the internet and then as they get older… text.  

I call most activity today like video games ‘Reactionary Play’.  It puts us in a reactionary mode of thought.

The play I used to do I call ‘Intentional Play’.  You used your imagination and created, then reacted to that environment. 

Both can be beneficial, but we need more ‘Intentional Play’ time.  As kids create intentional play time, they are learning an important skill and that is to live with intention and create their life. 

Stuart Brown a psychiatrist has interviewed and studied many people over several decades.  His data suggests that a lack of opportunities for unstructured, imaginative play can keep children from growing into happy, well-adjusted adults. “Free play,” as scientists call it, is critical for becoming socially adept, coping with stress and building cognitive skills such as problem solving.

One of the reasons we love the classic toys like blocks is that it encourages creativity.  We saw a lot of classic toys coming back at the Toy Show. 

One great game we saw was about the outdoors and camping.  One great feature in that game was that the cards used in the game had four levels of questions for four different age groups so that all ages can play together – awesome opportunity where ages are challenged are able to interact together. 

Another game was about life on a farm – similar to Monopoly.  You earn money with your cattle.  The inventor of this game grew up on a farm.  Playtime learning about real life on a farm earning money. 

There were even more puppets and marionettes than I’ve seen before.  I love puppets – it really encourages imagination and storytelling.

Next time you need a gift for your child, think about something that will help them with creative and imaginative playtime – ‘intentional playtime’.  And give them an empty box occasionally to play with.  Don’t forget how important it is to play with your kids. Don’t keep them so busy with other activities that they can’t play.   They need that empty, unstructured, electronics-free time to learn about themselves and the world around them.   Get some real quality playtime in everyday.

If you need some more suggestions or have some good ideas that work for you, please post them below. Let’s keep the conversation going.  

Kally & Mark

Indigo Mountain:  Wellness, Toys, and Gifts