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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

E-mail Cheryl Bac

About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Finish what we started?

Uploaded: Mar 31, 2016
Earlier this year we started playing Safeway's monopoly game. I thought it could be a fun activity for our son. It ended up not being as little kid-friendly as I had hoped.

After a big grocery shopping trip we can easily end up with 20+ game tickets, each with 4 game markers. While our son could separate these pieces on his own, it gets very repetitive and frustrating when they rip.

We've now filled up most of our board so we are currently getting a lot of repeat pieces. It's not very enjoyable to go through a pile of game markers only to end up throwing them all away. Sometimes I can get our son to play a matching game or other quick activity that I come up with on the spot, but it rarely seems worth the time and effort.

At the moment I'm phasing out the monopoly game from our shopping experience (one easy way is to just shop elsewhere).

Is your family playing the monopoly game? If so, are you going to finish what you started?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by LJ, a resident of another community,
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:38 pm

I don't know the Safeway monopoly game but when I was a child we had green stamps from the grocery store. I think I remember two times that we tried to make a project of putting the stamps on the cards. Mom had collected boxes and boxes of green stamps. Fill enough cards and you could redeem the stamps for stuff. Maybe even useful stuff like flatware or a toaster. Back then you had to lick the stamps or push them onto a wet sponge; they weren't self-adhesive. I was probably only three and did not enjoy the stamp activity. Much more fun was blowing bubbles using dishwashing soap, water and a bubble pipe. Good luck with your projects and thank you for blogging!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

LJ - Thanks for sharing! We actually just made our own bubble solution with dish soap. I haven't found the perfect recipe yet, but it's still a great spring activity. And extra fun when you have lots and lots of bubble solution to enjoy.

Posted by PR, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Thank you for writing this lovely blog, Cheryl! Good for you for making your own bubble stuff! What fun!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 2, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Thanks PR!

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Apr 3, 2016 at 10:57 pm

This story is a good example of a large corporation's marketing tactics. The Safeway Monopoly game is an obvious ploy to get shoppers to spend more money.

I only shop at Safeway about once or twice a month and at some point several months ago became aware of the game's existence as I was standing in a checkout line. When it came my turn to pay, I politely declined the offer to participate.

Later, a family member asked me to help her with her newly acquired Safeway Monopoly game card and chits. After placing the game pieces on the card, it was pretty clear that Safeway just prints massive amounts of certain chits to get people interested in the game, but almost no chits for the big ticket jackpot items.

In this case, I think the author would be better off not relying on a big corporation to entertain her son and to take more responsibility in her offspring's recreation.

Strange that someone who claims to have a Ph.D. in Social Psychology can't see Safeway's motives here.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 4, 2016 at 9:30 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Reader - Yes, grocery stores use many clever tactics to try to get customers to spend money. Some of these are fun to point out to kids, even young ones.

Posted by Why?, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Apr 5, 2016 at 10:42 am


Once again you had an opportunity to give perspectives based on your education / experience. I wonder why you don't share this with the audience? It would make for a much better conversation than simply asking if we play Safeway Monopoly?

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Why? - Which tactics have you pointed out to your kids?

Posted by Why?, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Apr 6, 2016 at 11:33 am


Can you answer the question I asked? As a psychologist you should know that answering a question with a question is a form of deflection. And you asked a question that had nothing to do with mine?

Why are you deflecting? I think my question is reasonable?

Posted by Bubbles, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Apr 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm

A huge bottle of bubble solution is actually cheaper than dish soap.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Bubbles - It can be fun to experiment with different amounts of dish soap, water and glycerin to see what happens to the bubble solution. Might not save money, but that wasn't our goal.

Why? - To answer your earlier question, I post about things that interest me and relate to parenting. I asked what marketing tactics you've pointed out to your kids because it sounded like you thought a specific marketing technique related to my original post.

Posted by Why? , a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Apr 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Cheryl, to answer your question. None. My kid is 2, we are not yet discussing marketing tactics.

So now maybe you can give me a real answer to my question. I asked why you don't use any of your experience in psychology when writing?

if you only want to write about things you find interesting, then why put in your bio that you have a pHd?
Seems irrelevant if you won't incorporate that knowledge into your writing.

This post barely even relates to parenting and has nothing to do with "starting what you finish". In fact, there is no insight at all. You tell a short story and then ask a question to try an tie it to some point that you never made. You do this repeatedly.

Honestly, adding some insight would make your posts way more interesting to the reader.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Why? - Thanks for sharing your opinions. I'll keep them in mind for future posts. I hope to write a little bit about kids and science at some point. And how we can help them stay curious about the world around them.

Posted by Why? , a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Apr 8, 2016 at 11:16 am


Thank you!

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