FamilyTalkSpending quality conversation time with our kids is usually high on many parents’ to-do lists but with the endless to do list, it’s not as easy to come by as we’d like.

That’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to this new family game I received during a recent Traveling Mom writer’s retreat: Family Talk by Around the Table Games. We were asked our thoughts on the game and, at first, the game sat in our travel bag because I didn’t have time to check it out. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, when I finally had to unpack the entire suitcase to prepare for another trip, I pulled out the game.

Connecting with your family

The concept is simple: talk to your family. Engage them in conversation. Share. To get you started, the game includes 100 cards in the deck held together by a metal ring to make it easy and portable. I have to admit, this is key because now the deck comes with me in my handbag, gets tossed around in the car, and is small enough for little hands. While the game’s intention is to bring people together around the dinner table or other family gatherings and ask questions from the deck, I love it in the car when my little ones like to get especially nutty (especially right before the door opens for my son’s pre-school class and it’s too cold to wait outside the door).

Unexpected Answers

This morning was no different than any other and with 10 minutes to spare before that door opened, I opened my glove compartment and pulled out the deck. My son climbed out from the back and joined me in the front seat so we could play the game. I let him choose the question and he came to one he liked (he can’t really read yet so it didn’t really matter what he chose, as long it was age-appropriate) and the question was: Where do you feel most frightened? Where do you feel most safe? Why? My son paused and thought about his question…and we had just a few minutes left before the door would open but I patiently waited. Finally, just before he opened the door to head to class he says to me: “When I get a shot.” (meaning he’s most frightened when he has to get a shot at the doctor’s office). I was impressed with his answer because he clearly thought about it so I pressed him to answer the second part of the question – where does he feel most safe. He answered, “At home, in my room”.

This answer really surprised me and made me wonder how kids translate feeling safe. I was happy to learn my kids feel safe in the comfort of our home and questions like these allow us to get past the “what shall we eat tonight” daily routine and get richer responses (or questions) from our kids. It may even open the door to talking about how other kids in developing countries may respond to some of these questions. If nothing else, it gets us talking.

PROS

The game is:

  • Easy to understand
  • Portable
  • Engaging
  • Under $10
  • I can use it in the car, on an airplane, in a restaurant or at home.
  • And, like the packaging says, it would make a great gift for families, teachers, coaches and friends. I highly recommend it.
  • It’s also available in Spanish.
  • You can follow the company on Facebook and Twitter, too.

There really aren’t any CONS to this game. In my opinion, anything that engages families and friends in conversation is a great thing!

How do you engage your family in conversation? Would this be something you’d use?

-Megy

Megy Karydes is founder of World Shoppe, a fair trade importing company that works directly with artisans in South Africa and Pakistan. Follow World Shoppe on Facebook and Twitter.