What you have here are some great ideas for coming together as a family, having real conversations, especially if that seems awkward (when you have teenagers, talking together as a group can often feel awkward).
Who would have guessed that this little box of simple questions could become such a fire conversation starter. The only reason I mention fire, is not due to incendiary topics, but because it was when our family started to intentionally increase our communication levels we gathered around our firepit.
The deceptively unassuming appearance of a little round box with the picture of a homey lattice topped pie belies the power of asking the the right questions.
When it comes to helping people share their thoughts, particularly when we aren't used to it, many of us are at a loss. With these little round boxes of questions, that o longer needs to be the case.
Filled to the brim with small round cards that are printed with questions, these starters help immensely when you are sitting down and trying to talk.
You know, it's a little like trying to relax: you overthink it.
But with some coaxing from ready made topics, you are bound to strike upon a few that really get the communication going.
Don't Let These Cards Just SitHaving received my original Melissa And Doug Conversation Starters as a gift, I had no idea what a golden opportunity was given to me. So we just let them sit, ignored.
Don't Do What We DidThat is what we did after I first used them in a homeschool activity; for awhile they just sat on the shelf.
At the time I didn't realize the components that help communication take place:
- The setting
- Playfulness, allowing something to be a game
- Inclusion of refreshments
- Cozying up together around a table or fireplace, etc.
Above all, I think it was the intentionality of it all. It wasn't a once in a blue moon, "let's try this" activity. We gathered together to talk, to get to know each other better, to increase understanding, on a regular basis through out the week.
And we used Melissa and Doug's Family Dinner Box Of Questions.
Why These Questions?You could probably make up your own set of questions, but here are why I liked these:
- They were non-threatening questions
- The topics were often light-hearted
- Using someone else's ideas brought an element of a different perspective
- It made asking questions and talking easy
"What special talent do you wish you possessed?"
"What qualities do you look for in a friend?"
"Have you ever gotten into trouble for something you did not do?"
"Would you want your own family to have a reality TV show?" "Why or why not?"
Perfect Times For Asking ( And Answering ) QuestionsAround a bonfire, or a firepit, was an ideal conversation time for us. Another great time is the one suggested in the title of the "Box of Questions: around the dinner table. Or you could make it part of family pizza night, before settling down to watch a favorite movie. Or before a session of board games.
What Could This Do?
I don't really know the answer to that, but in our family I have noticed that conversation is a lot like the discipline of writing; the more you do it, the better you are at it.
I think it is the fact that as we spend more time talking together we become more comfortable with it and as we experience pleasant interactions it primes the pump for us to want to engage more, it builds trust. The kind of questions in this little game also help us see each other in a more approachable way.
It is a small box, a small investment, and all it will really require of you is a little of your time. Maybe like our family, you will find it grows a bumper crop of good times.
This is one edition I would most like to own. Just right for after the holiday feast.
Another Conversation Starter Idea
Family Game NightThere is some great research behind the idea of building relationships through have a family game night. Conversation starters might be just one of a number of games you would like to include in a group of activities that bring more fun to the table!
5 Reasons For Family Game Night
Start having fun as a family, begin holding a game night and see how much better it is for the family to play together instead of complaints and going off in separate directions.
Christmas Eve With the Family
Melissa & Doug Christmas Box Of Questions We like jigsaw to put together puzzles, but wouldn't it be fun to use some of these questions to mellow out during the busy Christmas season?
Melissa & Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions - Faith Edition Find out what everyone thinks about some of the most important questions.
What About Your Family?
Do You Have A Family Game Night Set Up?
- We get together regularly to play games
- We occasionally pull out the games and have a go
- I am sad to say, that we don't play games together
- We do, but our family plays more physical games like touch football
- Not since the kids were little, but I think we might try it again
A Family Game Night Is Fun And Brings Your Family Closer Together How our family makes time for a family game night and how we choose various games and activities to do.