Fortnite: The Video Game Craze You Don’t Need To Worry About

If you have a gamer in the house, chances are you’re familiar with “Fortnite”.  It’s taking gaming households by storm.  Fortnite is the new video game craze capturing excitement of kids, and adults, everywhere.

EPIC Games

Fortnite is a survival game that drops 100 players on to an island. You skydive out of a plane… (err…battle bus…my son just corrected me) and are thrown immediately in to survival mode.  Last man standing is the winner.  Although this is a hunger-game type battle to the death, the cartoonish characters and landscape make the game fun and lively.  This game is rated T for teen due to mild violence, but truly this feels more like a paintball game than a bloody battle scene.

Why is Fortnite so fun?

I don’t fully understand it, but I do know I can’t pry my boys off the xbox without a fight or  desperate plea of “After this round?!?! PLEEEAAAASE?!?! There’s only 10 of us left!”.

<insert eye roll and angry-mom-sigh>

Parenting Tip: Rounds can take up to an hour so don’t let those little rugrats drag you in to approving “just one more round” 20 minutes before bed. Let me tell you, I have been known to pull a power cord here and there.

 

Another piece of the game that gleans giggles from even my toughest teenager: dance moves. So many dance moves. If only my life could garner the same excitement as it did for my children when they discovered the “floss” had been released as a dance option in Fortnite. In fact, a lot of dance moves have been hijacked from our favorite characters and shows. 

 

 

As gamers try to survive they will collect weapons, build structures and even work as a team to survive as long as possible.  All the while a “storm shield” inches closer and closer to the middle of the island, forcing players closer together for a battle. And you don’t want to get stuck outside the safe zone because then… you guessed it, you die.

 

 

There are a lot of explosions and references to real-life guns and weapons, but no blood.  It’s all fun and games.  There is a fair amount of “taunting” from other players via emotes (aka actions of other players such as slow claps) but nothing terrible — just a little bit of playful banter.

Be aware that like any other online game, your gamers can converse in real life with real people.  These individuals can be added to a friends list or online party. Based on settings and the gaming console (or computer) you are on, anyone can join a “party” which allows real time conversation (like being on the phone together). Be sure to check your privacy settings if this is a concern of yours.

 

Epic Games

With constant updates and additions to the game (new dances, outfits, etc) your kids won’t be getting bored of Fortnite any time soon.  All in all, it’s just good fun; a strategy game that makes them think and work as a team to survive. My kids even convinced their Grandma to play online with them. Best. Day. Ever.

 

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‘I Feel Pretty’ Movie Review

For those of you saying “I mean I hear it’s good and seems to have a solid message, but it’s Amy Schumer, would you take your daughter?”

This review is for you. 

 

Here’s the deal — I’d say I have a moderate threshold for inappropriateness, but in years past I’ve had a mixed relationship with Amy Schumer. Sometimes she has me laughing out loud, sometimes she has me contorting my face and saying EW! Like when I was reading “The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo” on a long flight and I’d literally make a disgusted face and then turn and look around the plane as if fellow passengers were reading over my shoulder. And then I’d be laughing again a few minutes later. 

We’ve Netflixed a few Amy Schumer movies that we’ve ultimately turned off (and note to self, I was warned, they were rated R, I’ve got no excuse).  

Having said that — I went into “I Feel Pretty” hoping it was great but expecting that the humor would go a little too far leaving me disappointed (and unable to share what was hopefully an inspiring message with my 14-year-old girl). I was wrong and happily surprised.

To be clear, the movie is PG-13 {you can check out the IMDB parents guide here}. There’s some language, drinking, and the parents guide calls out that the movie makes mention of the word “vagina”.  All things we’ve comfortably talked about at our house.  

 

See More: Common Sense Media Review

 

The overall message shines, and this group {of mostly Mormon moms might I add}  give the movie 2 thumbs up and have gone back with daughters in tow. I’m taking my girl next week and excited for a solid girls night followed by some good conversations. 

 

Here’s what the rest of our crew had to say about ‘I Feel Pretty’:

“My teenagers loved LOVED it! All of my teenage nieces and my daughters went on Friday. They asked for baguette (bagetti) with dinner last night. My daughter Abby loved the body positivity. She keeps talking about how nice it was to see Amy Schumer in a role that wasn’t vulgar.”

— Wendy

“I laughed out loud, a lot. It reminded me of the fun rom coms I grew up on!”

— Carina

“I thought it was really funny. I don’t always like Amy Schumer — but I laughed out loud many times. It has a great message and I can’t wait to take my teen!”

— Lindsey

“I laughed hard! A better version of a rom com!”

— Kalli

 

We weren’t the only ones in the theatre laughing, the whole place was cracking up. I might have even shed a tear a time or two. 

Bottom line?  We could all learn a thing or two from “I Feel Pretty”. Time well spent!

{P.S. Check out her recent interview with Oprah on the Super Soul Podcast! It was fantastic!}

 

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Scientific Proof That a Beyoncé Concert Could Literally Change Your Life

concerts are good for your health

Or Eminem. Or Yo-Yo Ma. Or PJ Masks Live.

Or whoever it is that you saw when you were 16 and have seen a million times since.

Because apparently, going to live concerts helps us live our best—and longest—lives.

Some research done in Britain by O2, owner of some of the biggest music venues in the country, has shown that attending live music concerts every couple of weeks could possibly help you live up to 9 years longer. Dude, I’ll wave my hands in the air for that.

Okay, so the study may not have been perfectly scientific or impartial, but it’s not the only study of its kind, and many others have pointed to music in general being able to increase individual positivity and longevity.

Participants in this particular study showed an increase of mental stimulation by 75%, which seems pretty obvious to me. You can’t watch a 90-minute Beyoncé dance party without some serious neurons firing.

But the coolest part was that the participants actually increased in closeness to others and self-worth by an extra 25%, too. I’m not sure why or how, but I can get on board with anything that makes me realize how awesome I am by that large a degree.

And if those feelings of self-worth then translate into almost a decade more of a healthy, satisfied life…well, encore.

 

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3 Must-Do Experiences During Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort

Pixar Fest is the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Parks! Celebrate all things Pixar for a limited time. Pixar Fest begins April 13, 2018 and runs through September 3, 2018.  With the release of “Incredibles 2” in June 2018, even more exciting floats and fun will be added to Pixar Fest. With so much to be enjoyed, we wanted to highlight 3 of our favorite MUST-DO’s while visitng Disneyland Resorts during Pixar Fest.

 

Pixar Play Parade

For the first time ever, the Pixar Play Parade will make its way through Disneyland Park. Just as Pixar began with the cutest lamp ever, the Play Parade will do the same! You’ll enjoy whimsical and laughable favorites from your favorite Pixar films.  Keven, the friendly bird from “Up”, makes an appearance. You won’t be able to miss this 12 foot beauty!

NEW STORY ELEMENTS ADDED TO “PIXAR PLAY PARADE” FOR PIXAR FEST (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – “Pixar Play Parade” returns April 13, 2018, to the Disneyland Resort, this time to Disneyland Park as a part of the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration. The delightful parade will bring even more fan-favorite Pixar stories to life with the addition of three new story elements. Joining the parade are characters from the beloved film, “Up.” As this concept art illustrates, Wilderness Explorer Russell will appear astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin. Carl Fredricksen and Dug will follow behind, amid green foliage and snipe chicks, with Carl’s tethered house floating above. (Disney•Pixar/Disneyland Resort)

 

“Paint the Night” Parade

1 million brilliant lights return after 2 years! This time, experience the dazzling lights in Disney California Adventure. This parade gets an extra boost of awesome in June 2018 when it will add new floats inspired by “The Incredibles” and “The Incredibles 2”.

‘PAINT THE NIGHT’ PARADE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – The popular nighttime parade returns to the Disneyland Resort for Pixar Fest, this time making its way through Disney California Adventure Park. Mack from “Cars” appears in “Paint the Night” parade, along with many beloved Disney and Pixar pals. This after-dark spectacular shimmers with more than 1 million brilliant lights, high-energy music and cutting edge special effects. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

‘PAINT THE NIGHT’ PARADE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – The popular nighttime parade returns to the Disneyland Resort for Pixar Fest, this time making its way through Disney California Adventure Park. Mike Wazowski from the film “Monsters, Inc.” appears in “Paint the Night” parade, along with many beloved Disney and Pixar pals. This after-dark spectacular shimmers with more than 1 million brilliant lights, high-energy music and cutting edge special effects. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

 

“Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” Fireworks Show and More!

This brand new multimedia show immerses guests into the story of friendship feature your favorite Pixar characters.  Your eyes will light up as you watch the shops on Main Street, USA and Sleeping Beauty Castle dance with colors and designs. (Make sure you keep your eye near the tip top of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle…you may just see Buzz Lightyear!)

TOGETHER FOREVER FIREWORKS – Debuting with Pixar Fest on April 13, 2018, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland Park. Along with dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)


TOGETHER FOREVER FIREWORKS – Debuting with Pixar Fest on April 13, 2018, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland Park. Along with dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

 

Be sure to check out Pixar Fest’s yummiest NEW foods. Only available through September 3, 2018!

8 NEW Pixar Fest Foods at Disneyland You Can’t Miss!

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THIS Is The Only Bracket That Matters This March {And It’s Tearing Us Apart}

Did you know there is a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of filling out the perfect bracket?

Well I don’t want to brag—okay, I totally do—but you’re looking at it.

Okay, so the stat is actually about a perfect March Madness bracket, but, if anything, the Disney + Pixar challenge is a million times harder and probably far more damaging to human productivity and relationships. I know my husband got a step or seven closer to sleeping on the couch when we got down to brass tacks over several key matchups.

Take The Little Mermaid vs. The Lion King: Sure, Simba’s got sway in the realm of heart-warming family narrative (maniacal uncle aside), but how do you compete with a movie that has an entire song set to the scene of a twisted French chef chasing a beleaguered crab with a cleaver? I submit that you cannot.

Well, Up tried. Using a powerful lineup of heart-wrenching love story and avian absurdity. But when your competitor can double team you with oh-so-relatable underwater angst and music that you can never forget the words to, you don’t really stand a chance.

And just like that, Little Mermaid unquestionably takes the championship.

But for you crazies who dare to disagree, feel free to fill out your own brackets…just make sure you don’t share the results unless you’re ready to really reevaluate your friendships.

Blank Pixar Disney March Madness Bracket

 

Post Script!

OKAY but wait! Here’s where I, Rachael Herrscher, take over Kara’s post because MY BRACKET is the only true and accurate bracket! Behold:

Finding Nemo. The End.

Looking For A Blank Disney Pixar March Madness Bracket?

Want to fill one out for yourself? You can find a blank one HERE >> (Just click on the image, save the file to your desktop and then use a service like PicMonkey to fill out your bracket online OR just hit print and get nuts)

March is almost over — so hurry and fills yours out and let us know who won! (cough . . . cough . . . it’s FINDING NEMO . . . NOT The Little Mermaid . . . KARA!)

 Hi, I'm Bruce! Finding Nemo

 

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10 Best Broadway Shows for Kids this Spring in NYC

From Disney musicals to shows involving social issues, there has never been a better time to catch a show on Broadway with your child. Whether it’s their first experience or not, Broadway has something special to offer everyone, every single night of the week. With its spectacular sets and costumes, first-rate performers, and a chance to wait at the stage door after a show, Broadway is where it’s at.

So do what you can – clear your schedule, book tickets in advance or look for discounts, and use this handy list of ten Broadway shows we think your kids will love this spring.

 

Frozen

Frozen at the St. James Theatre is the newest and brightest play for kids on Broadway. This movie turned Broadway production is widely anticipated by many and, thankfully, the play is worth the wait and ticket price. It’s the beloved story of a kingdom that gets trapped in perpetual winter due to a spell cast by the Snow Queen and the journey of her sister to save the day. The play faithfully brings Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and the evil Prince to the stage, along with a few new songs, a grand set and, naturally, “Let it Go.” Recommended for kids ages 6 and up – make sure your daughters or granddaughters don their favorite princess costume. They’ll be far from the only ones!

source

 

Come From Away

Come From Away at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is a musical about the incredible true story of 7,000 plane passengers who landed in Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11 and stayed for a few days, getting to know the natives. The cast of 12 lays a multitude of characters who lived through the experience, and the result is heroic and memorable, along with some completely memorable tunes.. It’s the kind of play that will restore faith in mankind and make you wonder how you never heard about Gander. This show is recommended for kids ages 12 and up….after all, it’s 9/11 and there are dark tragedies that transpired on that dark, dark day.

 

Anastasia

Anastasia at the Broadhurst Theatre is based on the 1997 Disney animated film of the same name. Through music and an intoxicating story, the show is about a brave woman, as we follow her from Russia to Paris, with a huge desire to find out who after losing her family as a young girl. Her journey involves discovering the truth about her royal family’s tragic history. Along the way, she not only encounters danger but also a bit of romance, which ultimately leads her to a new life. The play a grand theatrical experience that will stand out in any child’s memory. It features a book by playwright Terrence McNally. This show is recommended for kids ages 6 and up.

 

The Play that Goes

The Play that Goes Wrong at the Lyceum Theatre comes to NYC after a successful West End run in London. The show is about an accident-prone university drama society performing a play about a murder mystery. As the characters melt down, so does the set, and it ends in total chaos. It’s complete slapstick and the cast incorporates the audience into the show. If you’re looking for a good night out on Broadway that is full of laughter, this show is for you and your kids. This show is recommended for kids ages 10 and up.

source

 

Wicked

Wicked the Musical has been gracing the Broadway stage since 2003, and it’s still popular with audiences. It’s the untold musical story, based on the book by Gregory Maguire, of The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, before Dorothy dropped in. It’s quite a magical journey for any theater goer with its grand set, costumes, and a musical score straight from heaven, and if you make this your child’s first Broadway show, you won’t go wrong. The recommended minimum age is 8 for this show as it is long in length and has a storyline that is a tad complex.

 

Aladdin

Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre is an ideal show for any Disney-obsessed child, of which there are many. Based on the musical film, with music by Alan Menken, it’s the story of a poor man granted three wishes by a genie in a lamp and his affection for Princess Jasmine. Little girls love putting on their best Princess gear for this grand show, and special needs parents should keep an eye out for autism-friendly performances. This show is recommended for kids ages 6 and up.

 

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box Theatre is a show for older kids, preferably teenagers, and it’s sure to blow anyone’s minds with its dazzling songs, relatable plot, and powerful storytelling. It’s a socially conscious show revolving around technology, social media, and bullying. As timely and current as the show is, the actors are equally as compelling. The score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also happened to write the lyrics for “The Greatest Showman,” as well as musical direction by Alex Lacamoire from “Hamilton,” will also floor you. This show is recommended for kids ages 13 and up.

source

 

School of Rock

School of Rock at the Winter Garden Theatre is a play for fans of the film it was based on, as well as

music lovers. Based on the Richard Linklater film starring Jack Black and adapted by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes. the show is a faithful adaptation with songs composed by the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber. It offers up a lot of great lessons, including fostering independence, doing what you love, and being accepted for who you are.  Another wonderful possibility is that your special needs child will embrace the play’s sense of familiarity, strong music, and sit through a show for the first time. Our recommendation is that this show is for kids ages 8 and up.

 

Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre will make any kid think about what is most important to them with its credo of “You change the world when you change your mind” mantra. Based on a book by Harvey Fierstein, with songs written by Cyndi Lauper, it won six Tony Awards. It’s the true story of English shoe factory owner Charlie Price, who saves his family business by manufacturing shoes for a niche market: Drag queens. The songs are so catchy that kids will go dancing right out of the theater. This show is recommended for kids ages 8 and up.

 

 

Hello Dolly

Hello Dolly at the Shubert Theater is an adaptation of the famous film about Dolly Levi, a New York matchmaker who falls in love with Yonkers merchant Horace Vandergelder. It takes place in the 1880’s and is based on Thornton Wilder’s play The Matchmaker, which debuted on Broadway in 1964. The play features some famous songs, such as ‘Put On Your Sunday Clothes’ and ‘It Only Takes A Moment’ and it’s a classic theater experience for any child. Bette Midler debuted in the role as Dolly in this version; then the role went to Donna Murphy; and now the legendary and amazing Bernadette Peters has stepped into the role. You can’t go wrong with any of these phenomenal women. This show is recommended for kids ages 10 and up.

 

 

About the Author

Holly Rosen Fink is a full-time marketer and part-time writer living in Larchmont, NY with her husband and two children.

 

 

 

 

 

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New Grinch Movie Starring Benedict Cumberbatch!

I didn’t think I needed another Grinch . . . until NOW!  Movie magic has just married our favorite holiday creature with our favorite man on the planet . . . Benedict Cumberbatch. 

 

Check out the trailer!

 

ILLUMINATION PRESENTS DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH – In Theaters November 9

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #TheGrinch

For their eighth fully animated feature, Illumination and Universal Pictures present The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved holiday classic.  The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit.  Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, it’s a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism.

Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the infamous Grinch, who lives a solitary life inside a cave on Mt. Crumpet with only his loyal dog, Max, for company.  With a cave rigged with inventions and contraptions for his day-to-day needs, the Grinch only sees his neighbors in Who-ville when he runs out of food.

Each year at Christmas they disrupt his tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations.  When the Whos declare they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch realizes there is only one way for him to gain some peace and quiet: he must steal Christmas.  To do so, he decides he will pose as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, even going so far as to trap a lackadaisical misfit reindeer to pull his sleigh.

Meanwhile, down in Who-ville, Cindy-Lou Who—a young girl overflowing with holiday cheer—plots with her gang of friends to trap Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve rounds so that she can thank him for help for her overworked single mother.  As Christmas approaches, however, her good-natured scheme threatens to collide with the Grinch’s more nefarious one.  Will Cindy-Lou achieve her goal of finally meeting Santa Claus?  Will the Grinch succeed in silencing the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all?

 

Find out, Christmas season 2018.

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Charlize Theron Parenting is All Of Us

My favorite kind of parent are those who don’t pretend life is glitter and butterflies all the time. Let’s be honest: if your kid has never been in timeout or had that mean-fast-parent-walk head towards them, you should get some sort of medal.

I’m pretty real when it comes to my kids, their attitudes, my attitude and why sometimes the kids aren’t my favorite little people in the world. I know I may have taken it too far when family members start reminding me, “They’re good kids.” This is true. But today they need to be “good kids” in their room. With the door closed.

It’s this kind of real talk that made me fall in love with Charlize Theron just a little bit more.  Let’s all take a moment and relish in her parenting honesty:

Yeeessss!!! Kids will be kids. Sometimes their insanity and endless giggling makes me laugh and smile, but after the 15th time out of bed when “I just want to watch my grown-up show!!” things get real.

Parenting is hard. Being a kid is hard, too. When your kid acts up, he’s not the devil or the worst kid in the world. He’s normal! When you get mad because said kid acts up, you’re normal!  If we can’t laugh at our reality, then what on earth are we doing? I’ll tell you what we’re doing–slowly dying inside because of the guilt, stress and anxiety we’re causing ourselves.

So the next time you want to post on social media about what a blessing and joy your kids are–go for it. Just don’t forget to add in those posts where you’re over it. Trust me when I tell you the parental troops will rally because you. are. not. alone.

And just in case you don’t believe me, here are some my favorite Instagram parents you should be following.
 

@SimonCHolland

 

A post shared by Simon Holland (@simoncholland) on

 

@mommycusses

 

@kidsaretheworst

 

@howtobeadad

 

Kids, man. Dang.

A post shared by HowToBeADad.com (@howtobeadad) on

 

@fatherofdaughters

 

Monday’s are always difficult, and not just because it’s the start of the working week. @mother_of_daughters heads offbat 4.45am to have a break from us to work, leaving me in charge of coordinating both the am & pm routines which can be more challenging than starting a fire with a tray of ice cubes. As the sun rose, everything was fine, but I can only assume that Ottie urinated in delilah’s imaginary tea in the home corner at nursery, as upon arriving at home this evening, world war 3. Delilah silently decided to use Ottie as a budget floor mop & dragged her by the hair through her own dinner like a plough, forcing me to reluctantly dust off my invisible referees outfit once again & quite literally keep them at arm’s length from eachother until bedtime. Who else out there just loves Mondays? #thatgirlcanholdagrudge #dadreferee #catfight #twins #comehomeclemmie #toddlerhairtransplantrequired #fatherofdaughters #dadlofe #fod #instadad

A post shared by Simon, also known as FOD (@father_of_daughters) on


 So when you feel like you are sucking it up at this parenting gig, I suggest you find yourself a nice, dark closet. Bring your favorite treat and/or drink and hide away for 10 minutes. Maybe 20. Or at least until it gets eerily quiet and you have no choice but to find out what depths of hell have quietly awoken. Best of luck. Just know I fully support you and whatever choices you make today. I especially support you if it means you ignoring the laundry to giggle with someone who needed extra love (even if that someone is you).

 

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Leslie Jones Olympic Coverage Is Everything We Need Right Now

Look, we are over a week into the PyeongChang Olympics and if you’re not already following Leslie Jones Olympic coverage than you need to GET ON BOARD because it’s halfway over, I care about you, and I don’t want you to miss out on the gem that is Leslie Jones at the Olympics. 

If you’ll remember, Leslie literally hyped her way into an invite to the Brazil Summer Olympic. You cannot argue with her level of commitment and passion for the games so it made absolute sense that NBC would recognize and reward that passion and bring her on board for us to reap the rewards.

 
Leslie is the most HYPE Olympic commentator in existence and her coverage is literally everything we need in America right now. 

Be warned, some of these are mos def NSFW…

I LOVE HER SO MUCH!

 

A post shared by Leslie Jones (@lesdogggg) on

 

 

@nbcolympics @olympics

A post shared by Leslie Jones (@lesdogggg) on

 
Leslie is literally all of us, and she brings me so much joy. You definitely need to be following her through the rest of these PyeongChang games. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @lesdoggg, and in my heart too, okay?

 

SLAY ALL DAY, USA!

 

Fun Ways to Enjoy the Winter Olympics As a Family

By Frannie Ucciferri, Common Sense Media

This year it’s easier than ever for kids and families to follow along with the Winter Olympics, all without traveling to Pyeongchang. Fans can use apps like SnapchatYouTube, and Facebook to skate, ski, sled, and even sweep (you’re welcome, curling buffs) alongside their favorite athletes. The Olympics are also a great way to talk to kids about sportsmanship, perseverance, and teamwork — as well as social media benefits and boundaries. The Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, begin Feb. 9 with the Opening Ceremony and go until the Closing Ceremony on Feb. 25. There’s a lot going on, so we’ve rounded up some of our favorite digital ways to experience the action and turn the Winter Games into a fun learning experience for the whole family.

The Official Olympics Hubs
A great place to start is with the official Olympics website and app. There you’ll find a mountain of resources, including news, results, Olympic history, and descriptions of all the sports. That way you’ll never be confused about the difference between figure skating and ice dancing again.

Meet the Mascots
Every Olympics, the host nation comes up with a cute animated character to represent the spirit and location of that year’s games. This year, Korea introduced us to Soohorang and Bandabi, an adorable white tiger and Asiatic black bear.

Subscribe to the ShibSibs
Sibling ice-dancing duo Alex and Maia Shibutani are not only national champions, they’re also active vloggers on YouTube. The “ShibSibs,” as they’re known online, give a playful, approachable look behind the scenes of what it’s really like to be an Olympic athlete.

View It in VR 
For the first time ever, NBC Olympics is offering more than 50 hours of live Olympics coverage in virtual reality. Although you’ll need a VR headset for the full experience, you can download the app for 360-degree videos on your smartphone or Google Cardboard capabilities.

Up-to-the-Minute Snapchat Updates
NBC Olympics and BuzzFeed have teamed up to offer exclusive clips and coverage of athletes, events, and more as one of the “Publisher Stories” on the Snapchat Discover page. Snapchat will also be offering its usual user-submitted “Our Stories” feature for the Pyeongchang Games on the Discover page, which is made up of curated posts from Snapchatters who are attending the events live, as well as the athletes themselves.

  • Visit Snapchat Discover (reach it by swiping left from the camera screen in the Snapchat app).

Follow the Fashion
If your kids are more into clothes than sports, there are still plenty of ways to engage with the Winter Games. From high-tech heating to sequined costumes to wild curling pants, there’s plenty to talk about — and maybe inspire young designers to get creative.

Listen and Learn
If you love podcasts, we’ve found some great options that will give you answers to questions you didn’t even know you had about the Olympics, such as, “When did snowboarding become a sport?” or “Who are the athletes to watch?” or “What do former figure skaters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir talk about when they’re not commentating?” (Learn how to get into podcasts.)

Interact with the Athletes
Many of the athletes competing in the games are active on social media. Following your favorite athletes can be a fun way to get to know them. Make sure to establish rules around social media use. Some of our faves: