These creative conversation tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington.
Make everyday activities an adventure! -Zina
Kick off great conversations tonight to cement a family tradition of spending time with each other, and establish family habits of communicating face to face–instead of via high-tech gadgets. Try it now, when your kids actually want to share with you! There may be a time in the not so distant future when they are more interested in electronics than one-on-one conversations, so it’s worth the effort to ensure that you are setting the right foundation of openness and communications.
Below are 5 types of meaningful conversations the Melissa & Doug’s Family Dinner Box of Questions can help you start with your kids today.
There are two ways to play with the Family Dinner Box of Questions. You can hand out a different card to each member of the family. Or you can pick one question and have each family member answer. This is the approach we take at our house.
1. Discuss Family Values & Experiences. A section of the questions help facilitate conversations about family values and experiences. A few example questions include:
-Is it OK to tell a lie to protect someone’s feelings?
-What qualities do you look for in a friend?
2. Learn More About Yourself. Many of the questions help your little one reflect and learn more about themselves. A few example questions include:
-Where do your first and last name come from?
-Is there a food or dish that you disliked when you were younger, but you like now?
3. Set Family Goals. There are a variety of goal-oriented questions. They help your child and family discuss both long and short term goals. A few example questions include:
-What’s one thing you want to do before the year ends?
-If you could go on a family vacation anywhere in the world where would you go?
4. Plain Old-Fashioned Silliness. The box includes a variety of simple and child-friendly questions too. It is a great way to keep things lighthearted and entertaining. A few examples include:
-Would you rather spend the day with Cupid, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy?
-If you could have a wild animal from anywhere in the world as a pet, which animal would you choose?
5. Learn About Parents & Grandparents. We love doing the Family Dinner Box of Questions when we are eating dinner with Nana & Papa. These questions are a great way to bridge generations. A few example questions include:
-Which teacher or coach has had the most impact on you and why?
-What is your fondest memory of a family summer vacation?
As we get closer to the holidays I am excited to add the Thanksgiving and Christmas Box of Questions to our annual traditions. Pop over and check out the entire collection of The Box Girls Party & Family Games, there are over 20 different options.
Note: Don’t be fooled by the Box Girl title. While some of the boxes cater specifically to girls, in my opinion, the general sets are perfect for boys as well. There is nothing on the Family Dinner Box of Questions that designates it as “girls only.”
Do you have any additional suggestions for keeping the lines of conversation open with your children as they grow older? Let’s chat in the comments.
Zina Harrington is the author of Let’s Lasso the Moon, where she inspires parents and children to interact creatively and enjoy the beauty of everyday moments.