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10. inspire: Connecting with family - how these 5 parenting experts do it
16. fatherhood: Work-Family Questions for All Dads
20. special needs: Confessions of a Special Needs Parent: I Have Needs Too
19. handmade: it's all about family
24. cook: MUSHROOM STROGANOFF
27. craft: Mini Heart Shaped Book
28. connect: Telling Tales at the Table
32. leadership: “Help I Got The Wrong Kid”
36. play: storytelling games
38. reader's survey
39. reader's offer
Kids Nation is a bi-monthly magazine, dedicated to empowering kids around the world. It is published by MOS Design Creative (www.mosdesign.com.au).
Front Cover: Cheryl Lemon (USA)
Copyright © Kids Nation magazine. All rights reserved. Reproducing without permission is prohibited. Copyright of articles and photos remain with the individual contributors and may not be reproduced without permission.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.kidsnationmag.com
photo: melissa hicks photography
from the editor Dear readers, This edition is all about connecting with family.
Brianne K. DeRosa inspires us with ideas to make storytelling the centrepiece of your next family dinner.
We live in such a fast-paced, tech-driven world. It's so easy to connect with people on the other side of the world, yet it's easy for us to also get disconnected with loved ones.
We also want to show you some familythemed handmade products and offers, great mushroom stroganoff recipe by Desi Trisnawati (Indonesia), heart notebook craft and many more inspiring articles.
In this edition, we hope to inspire you with ways and ideas to connect with your family.
Enjoy and keep connecting with your family!
These five parenting experts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Carey Casey and Rachel M. Stafford (USA), Nikki Bush (South Africa), Dr. Justin Coulson (Australia) and Greg Fleming (New Zealand) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; share practical ways which help them stay connected with their families. Carey Casey has some important workfamily questions that every dad need to think about. 6
xo, Mia check out special offers from handmade shops around the world on page 39!
this edition’s contributors:
MIA SETYAWAN AUSTRALIA EDITOR & FOUNDER of KIDS NATION MAG kidsnationmag.com Mia is a mother of two boys and a business owner from Australia. She owns an award winning graphic design studio and print + stationery online shop. She also writes a lifestyle blog and volunteers at a local children program.
ELLEN STUMBO UNITED STATES WRITER & FOUNDER OF DISABILITY MATTERS ELLENSTUMBO.COM Ellen Stumbo writes and speaks with gritty honesty and openness. Ellen’s writing has appeared on Focus on the Family, LifeWay, MomSense, Not Alone, Mamapedia and the Huffington Post. Ellen blogs at ellenstumbo.com and you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.
CAREY CASEY UNITED STATES CEO OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR FATHERING (NCF) FATHERS.COM Carey Casey is Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City-based National Center for Fathering (NCF), a dynamic communicator and a compassionate ambassador. Carey serves on the White House Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families.
Desi Trisnawati INDONESIA food artist & chef consultant inspirational-chef. com Desi is the winner of Masterchef Indonesia 2012 and the first female Masterchef Indonesia. She is the author of 20 Fun Recipes of Strong Heart and creator of the Indonesia's first culinary board game Cooking with Inspirational Chef Desi.
this editionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contributors:
Rachel Macy Stafford united states author & founder hands free mama handsfreemama.com
dr justin coulson australia speaker, author & researcher happyfamilies.com. au
Rachel Macy Stafford founded www.handsfreemama.com and the NY Times bestselling author of HANDS FREE MAMA. In Rachel's new book, HANDS FREE LIFE, she describes how she started living life, instead of managing, stressing, screaming, and barely getting through life.
Dr Justin Coulson is one of Australia's leading parenting experts and is a highly sought-after international speaker. He is the author of the number one parenting book, 21 days to a happier family. He and his wife are the parents of six daughters. Find him at happyfamilies.com.au.
Greg Fleming New Zealand CEO of The Parenting Place theparentingplace. com
nikki bush south africa creative parenting expert, speaker & author www.nikkibush.com
Greg was raised in rural NZ. He enjoys working in leadership roles in the not-forprofit sector, which reflect his desire to see everyone flourish in their relationships and vocations. Greg is married to Kirsty; they have 5 children.
Creative parenting expert, Nikki Bush, is a sought after speaker and is the co-author of three best-selling books, Future-proof Your Child, Easy Answers to Awkward Questions and Tech-Savvy Parenting. She brings perspective, common sense and creativity to parenting.
this edition’s contributors:
Tim Elmore united states founder & president of growing leaders growingleaders. com Tim is an international speaker, founder and president of Growing Leaders, an organization equipping today's young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. He is best-selling author of more than 30 books, including Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future and the Habitudes® series.
andreja vuČajnk slovenia founder of itsy bitsy fun www.itsybitsyfun. com Andreja is the creator of Itsy Bitsy Fun, a website that provides tons of free resources for kids such as educational worksheets, games, activities and craft projects. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Brianne K. DeRosa united states Communications Consultant thefamilydinnerproject.org Brianne is a parent, writer and consultant who blogs at Red, Round, or Green. She works in communications for The Family Dinner Project team and has been featured on HandPicked Nation, Yahoo!, and in Listen to Your Mother: Providence.
cheryl lemon united states dental hygienist instagram: @yucatansea Cheryl teaches dental hygiene, as well as work in a family dental practice. When not working, she loves creative pursuits such as creating faces out of foliage. She volunteered with Global Dental Relief in Guatemala, an NGO dedicated to providing free dental care to children throughout the world.
connecting with family - How these five parenting experts do it COMPILED BY: MIA SETYAWAN 10
“FACE-TO-FACE TIME IS IMPORTANT and is a conscious choice.” — nikki bush
ith families being so busy today is more important than ever to create quality face-to-face time experiences.
Children need a sense of belonging and togetherness, it’s what they crave. We have always made a point of eating dinner together around the dining room table. It is that moment in the day when we honour, celebrate and acknowledge each other.
photo: Paige & Holmes
It’s when we share what has happened during the day. We can take our family’s emotional temperature as well as discussing practical issues such as what needs to happen tomorrow. Connecting face-to-face today is a conscious choice.
nikki bush south africa creative parenting expert, speaker & author www.nikkibush.com 11
“To make a family strong and connected, we must invest time. There is no other way.” — dr justin coulson
dr justin coulson australia speaker, author & researcher happyfamilies.com.au
ith 6 children, a business, and community commitments, staying connected can be tough. But it’s at the heart of making a family strong, close, and happy. We build traditions together – like having special “night-time nurture”. Each evening we have a routine with the children that keeps everyone close, communicating, and connected. We enjoy a weekly “Super Saturday” where we commit to having at least a few hours together doing fun low-cost or no-cost family activities. Each month we have an overnight camping trip. Every quarter we take a week off for a family holiday – even if we don’t go anywhere. To make a family strong and connected, we must invest time. There is no other way.
“sacred pauses are critical for families - daily rituals where time with each other is void of distraction and hurry.” — rachel macy stafford
y family has two daily rituals where time with each other is sacred—meaning void of distraction and hurry. In our house, bedtime and dinnertime is “our time” where we shut out the noise of the outside world and talk to each other. No matter how hurried and distracted the day was, we can always count on those two periods of peace and connection. I believe sacred pauses are critical for families because they allow us to notice inherent needs that are not being fulfilled.
Rachel Macy Stafford united states author & founder hands free mama handsfreemama.com
Without distraction-free pauses, we severely limit our ability to see and feel the emotion in the faces and words of our loved ones. By pausing, we can look into each others eyes and connect in a deep, meaningful way.
“The really nice thing for my wife and I is my kids really seem to value time with each other and with us!” — greg fleming Greg Fleming New Zealand CEO of The Parenting Place theparentingplace. com
t would be worse than ironic if I neglected my own children because I was too busy running an organisation that tells parents to spend more time with their kids!
There are five things I do: I diary their special sport and school events; we usually have meals together at the table (and even strive to have a conversation :-) I schedule in individual time out and trips away with each of my kids. I use technology to message my kids and, whenever possible, I involve them in my work-day world. The really nice thing for my wife and I is my kids really seem to value time with each other and with us!
ne of the great opportunities Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had as a father is to essentially be a head coach. I have had the privilege to be on teams that won championships, and those groups were always about the team and not the individual. We played our positions, stayed in our lanes and did our best with the gifts and talents we had. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a grandfather now, but here are some of the plays I ran with my family and some we still run today: we pray together; we read a Psalm out of the bible each week; we have meals together; we consistently communicate; we are honest with one another; and we are each other's greatest fans. This helps us win championships!
CAREY CASEY UNITED STATES CEO OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR FATHERING (NCF) FATHERS.COM
photo: Karolina Grabowska
Work-Family Questions for All Dads by: carey casey
How should you define “success?” As fathers, it isn’t an easy answer.
have a good friend who’s a very successful businessman. I’ll call him “Alan.” Recently he was asking a ton of questions about his life and his family’s routine. It started when his stomach started complaining. He found himself eating leftovers or grabbing fast food most evenings, and he wished he could have more home-cooked meals. But it was actually more than just tummy troubles. His wife is very successful in her career too, so they had all the money they needed. And she loved her job, but that also meant they were all very busy. They ate very few meals together as a family, and that was what Alan really felt they were missing — that regular family interaction. He also wondered about the true state of their marriage. He felt disconnected with his wife. They almost never gave each other focused attention. It felt more like trying to squeeze a marriage here and there between other commitments. Plus, the well-being of their children was at the top of his mind. With Alan and his wife busy at work, who was really raising their children? They knew their kids were safe and healthy, but did that really line up with their top priorities? Is that really what they wanted out of life?
photo: M NOTA
The questions Alan was asking are good ones for all of us to consider.
“What’s really important?” “Are we taking care of our marriage?” “Are we working hard but going in the wrong direction?” “Who’s raising our kids?” “What is success?” Dad, have you gradually settled into a lifestyle that’s more about work routines and obligations and a never-ending calendar of kids’ activities, and less about what’s best for your marriage and your children?
We are in families for good reasons. When families are together and well-connected, it solves all kinds of potential problems. And too many people are thinking that money, ambition, technology, or reaching a certain level of achievement can fill that void. If you have a deep longing, like Alan does, to be more connected as a family, I hope you’ll also take a deep look at what you’re doing and whether you need to make a change. Alan’s story is still being written. I’m praying for a happy ending for his story. And yours.
Here’s another great question I heard Alan asking:
"How much is enough, and how much do we really need?"
Dad, is life all about work obligations & a busy kids’ calendar? What’s best for your family?
The National Center for Fathering (www.fathers.com) is a national nonprofit organization that offers innovative tools and resources that inspire and equip fathers to be more involved with their children in order to give each child a better future and to create a positive fathering legacy.
it's all about family compiled BY: mia setyawan
SEE OFFERS on PAGE 39 napkin: Jennifer Helene Home (usa) | custom dolls: simpli jessi (uk) necklace: burnish (usa) | jenga: Your Wedding Project (usa) wood sign: Love Built Shop (usa) | print: mossyjojo (Australia)
Confessions of a Special Needs Parent: I Have Needs Too BY: ellen stumbo
All parents have needs, but for some of us who parent children with disabilities, those needs might be harder to meet. Some of our kids require extra medical attention, or extra supervision, or extra appointments to see different specialists and therapists. It is easier to neglect ourselves than to meet our needs. our needs.
here are studies that suggest we are more likely to have mental health issues or post traumatic stress symptoms, and I wonder if those are a result of unsuccessfully meeting some of our needs. So here are 10 needs of special needs parents (okay there are eleven, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because the last one is a need that I suspect usually does get met).
1. TIME FOR OURSELVES AND FINDING SOMETHING THAT GIVES US LIFE We need time to recharge and sometimes finding time for ourselves is hard, but we need it. Quiet time. Relaxing in a hot bath without kids knocking on the door or using the potty. Having a meal, alone, and not having to worry about feeding the little (or not so little) people we care for. Reading a book, uninterrupted. Crafting. Taking a drive alone, in silence, or blasting the music and singing as loud as we want without worries of sensory overloads. We need to have something to look forward to, something that recharges us. A Zumba class, a fun trip, time with friends. 21
2. SAFE FRIENDS
5. TIME WITH SPOUSE
They do not have to be friends who have children with special needs, but we need friends who understand. Friends that make it safe to be really mad, or really sad, or who understand when we shake our fist at God. Friends that get it when we feel like we are barely holding on. Friends that pray with us and for us and walk with us when we need it.
It is so easy to make kids the priority and putting the marriage to the side, especially when there are kids with high needs. Yet in order to stay connected, it is vital to spend time together, dream together, laugh together.
3. TAKING CARE OF OUR BODY AND MIND
Yes, we need to laugh! There are many sayings about laughter being the best medicine and therapy, those sayings are out there for a reason. Some of us carry so much stress that laughter is just what we need.
It is so easy to put the needs of our children first and forgetting our own. I have talked to many special needs parents who feel their health is beginning to show the signs of neglect. It is hard to make yourself a priority when you feel like you are barely surviving day to day. Planning meals? Eating a healthy diet? Exercising? Doctor appointments? It’s hard to do, but so important in order to take care of our families. And for those parents caring for children with physical disabilities, maybe consider seeing a chiropractor regularly, or getting a massage, going to the gym to stay strong and learn how to lift weights (and a person) in ways that will not deteriorate your back. And if you are struggling with anxiety or depression, don’t be a afraid to pick up the phone and see a counselor or a doctor. Sometimes mama needs help.
4. RESPITE Nobody can give, give, give without taking a break. 22
Laugh friends, laugh! Life can be hard, but life is to be enjoyed, and laughter reminds us that this life is good, and there is joy. What a sad life it would be if there was no laughter, it’s good for the heart to laugh.
7. FACE-TO-FACE WITH OTHER FAMILIES LIKE MINE There is nothing like being around other families impacted by disability. Being around people that get what it is like to walk in our shoes (or at least have a pretty good idea). It is not only good for us parents, it is also good for the kids, for them to see other kids with disabilities like theirs. And it’s good for the typical siblings to feel validated, to connect with other typical sibs, to know that there are other kids out there with lives similar to theirs. We need community, and a reminder that we are not alone.
photo: ANDREW LLOYD GORDON
"Nobody can give, give, give without taking a break." 8. SLEEP Enough said: SLEEP! We all need sleep, we are human. We need sleep to function, for clarity of mind, for healthy bodies, for awareness, for rest, for…life!
9. TIME WITH MY TYPICALLY DEVELOPING CHILDREN Our typical kids are not so typical, and they grow up with a different experience of family, responsibilities, and sometimes sacrificing time with parents. They needs us, we need them. We need time with our typical kids, we crave it, we dream about it, and sometimes it is a challenge to make it happen.
10. PROFESSIONALS WHO UNDERSTAND AND CARE Not all providers are the same, we need professionals who understand, who care about our kids. Providers who are on our team and fight with us for our kids. Professionals who show care, compassion, and a relentless spirit to help our kids.
11. COFFEE We need lots and lots of coffee.
Ellen Stumbo is passionate about sharing the real – sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly – aspects of faith, parenting, special needs, and adoption. 23
photo:DESI DESITRISNAWATI TRISNAWATI photo:
MUSHROOM STROGANOFF BY: desi trisnawati
INGREDIENTS: 5 large champignon mushroom, quartered 5 large shiitake mushroom, quartered 1/2 onion, sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped ½ - 1tsp yellow mustard ½ tsp ground paprika ¾ cup cooking cream Salt and pepper
METHOD: 1. Cook garlic until it is fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender. 2. Add onion, mustard and all the dry ingredients. Cook, stirring until onion is soft. 3. Lastly, stir in cooking cream. 4. Mix well and ready to serve.
For more recipes, follow Desi on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
photo: andreja vuÄ&#x152;ajnk
Mini Heart Shaped book BY: andreja vuÄ&#x152;ajnk I love it when a craft is passed on through generations!
What you will need:
This was something my grandmother did with her daughter (aka my mother) and my mother did with me and I really, really loved it!
Thicker paper or cardboard (in red or any other color)
Plain white paper
Scissors and glue String Coloring pens and decorations (e.g.: sequin, glitter, etc)
click here to read the how-to
PHOTO: Karrie Zhu
Telling Tales at the Table How and why to make storytelling the centerpiece of your next family dinner BY: Brianne K. DeRosa 28
“Tell me again about Great-Grampa and the meatloaf!” It’s dinnertime at our house, and as always, our whole family — me, my husband, and our two boys — are gathered around the small dining table, with an eager dog at our feet. My first-grader wants to hear the hundredth re-telling of a favored family story, starring a great-grandfather he never met.
hen I tell this story and so many others, it’s a way of keeping my grandfather alive for my sons. As it turns out, that’s not the only likely benefit to telling tales at our dinner table. Research has shown that regular family dinners like ours are good for the whole family, increasing our well-being in a number of ways including better eating habits, higher grades, greater literacy skills and lower anxiety. But studies have also shown that what we do at the table plays a big role in whether or not we get all those benefits from our dinners together. Having positive interactions and enjoyable conversations is key. Happily, telling stories may be one of the better ways to spend our family time: storytelling not only improves literacy skills and sequencing in kids, but kids who are familiar with their family history tend to be more resilient and have a lower risk of depression and anxiety than their peers. There’s another benefit to bringing storytelling to our table that has nothing to do with research.
The truth is that in our house — as in many others — by the time dinner is ready, our family may not be. Ready to talk, that is. When we’re tired and hungry at the end of a long day, sometimes it’s easy to slip into silence or to start giving one-word answers. “How was your day?” “Fine.” “What did you do?” “I forget.” That’s okay sometimes, but dinnertime is our moment to gather everyone together and connect to each other. Having stories at the ready, or asking fun and unexpected questions that can get the ball rolling, makes it more likely that we’ll relax, open up and enjoy one another’s company. So when I talk about GreatGrampa and the meatloaf, or when my 9-year-old retells the story of meeting his baby brother for the first time, we’re building something that will last beyond the washing of the dishes.
Try using these family interview questions to get the stories flowing at your next family dinner!
1 2 3
Tell me something about yourself that you think I might not know.
4 5 6
Talk about a time when you tried something new. What happened?
What was (or is) your favorite family tradition as a child? Do you know which person in our family … (fill in the blank with a fun tidbit, such as “Was born in Ireland” or “Had their pilot’s license”)?
What was the best year of your life so far?
Find hundreds of great dinner table conversation starters, games and resources at thefamilydinnerproject.org.
What’s one experience you’ve had that you’ll never forget?
For the love of children, home and celebrations
for the love of children, home & celebrations
photo: nihan güzel daştan
“Help I Got The Wrong Kid” 32
by: Tim Elmore
I recently met with a twenty-three year old who told me he’s seeing a counselor. What stopped me in my tracks was his reason for seeking psychological help: “I think I got the wrong parents.”
es, he actually said that. While those were his own words, not his therapist’s description, it was his conclusion after eight counseling sessions. Somehow, even though he wasn’t adopted, he felt his personal temperament — his hardwiring — just didn’t match those of his mom and dad. Their personalities didn’t mesh with his. Now, he was attempting to overcome it. For many of us, this just seems wrong. It appears even sacrilegious. Is this even possible? Some young people would say so. While similar DNA exists inside parents and children, we live in an imperfect world of disease, insecurities, deformities and brokenness — and sometimes, the personalities of mom or dad and their daughter or son just clash. Parents can give birth to a child with a temperament that doesn’t fit their leadership style. It causes mom or dad to feel guilty, to over-compensate or to give up. Sadly, both children and adults become victims. At a loss for what to do, both can assume the guilt for being wrong. Usually, both the parent and offspring feel it, but neither knows how to talk about it.
Case in Point I write this because I’ve had three conversations recently, where this topic has surfaced. Kylie told me of constant clashes with her father, starting as a pre-teen. She concluded, “It all boiled down to this — my parents didn’t know how to talk to me.” As a young man, Jarrod, said to me, “I love my dad, but I wish he was more intentional with me. He never pursued me, and never prepared me for manhood. It hurt because I saw him spend time with other guys my age.” Derin summarized it briefly, saying, “I don’t think my parents even ‘get me’.” From a biological perspective, it begs the question: “How could a child with the same genes as her parents seem so foreign in her ways?” From a sociological perspective, it begs the question: “How can kids growing up in the same environment turn out so differently?”
photo: roberto riberio
We’re to simply create a healthy environment. Healthy things naturally grow. We are a gardener — not a god. We can’t control our child’s attitudes or as young adults, their actions.
What’s Missing? As you know, this may describe not only a parent/child relationship, but any leader and follower. This can be a teacher and a student; a supervisor and a team member. In the end, we play favorites because this mismatch of personalities bullies us to avoid contrary people. Sometimes, we can send negative, even hurtful signals to a young person. Our struggle, in essence, is simply this: we don’t know how to impart to them. We feel fake, as if we’re forcing a conversation when we talk. So we avoid them. But this isn’t the answer. What are some principles, then, we can practice in this situation? Let me offer three of our Habitudes® as suggested habits and attitudes to adopt:
1. Play Chess Not Checkers I look back at my own childhood and believe I had the perfect parents for my personality, but my father has wondered if he failed to 34
notice realities in my sisters’ lives as adolescents. He regrets not pursuing them in their teen years — investing in them emotionally and imparting to them relationally. The lesson for all of us? Kids are like chess pieces, not checkers pieces. The game of checkers is simple, because all the pieces look and move alike. In chess, however, to have any hope of winning the game, we must know what each piece can do and how it moves. So it is with leading kids. Growing up in the same home, the children are not all alike, and they must be led differently — based on their personality and strengths. When you’re in a strained relationship with a student, try listening first. Learn to read your kid before you lead your kid.
2. Be a Sun, Not a Moon
3. Be a Gardener, Not a God
We all know the sun and moon both give us light, one during the day and one at night. The difference, of course, is this: the moon only reflects the light of the sun. The sun is the source of light.
We all know what a good gardener does. He or she prioritizes growing the plants in the garden. They water them, fertilize them, pull weeds and expose them to sunshine.
I believe this is our responsibility as adult leaders and parents. We are to act, not react. We must be the source of light and leadership for young people. They will reflect the demeanor and environment you initiate. Far too often, parents have led their children as if they were adults, giving them choices and options when they’re too young to make wise decisions. In addition, we often tend to react or reflect their demeanor, as if we’re a “moon” not a “sun.” We must assume responsibility for the health and development of the relationship, even if it’s hard. Too many parents are children living in grown-up bodies, mimicking adult lives. We must set the example. We must model the way.
That’s a job description for us as parents and leaders. We’re to emotionally nourish our students, remove harmful distractions, and expose them to mentors who are more in tune with them. We’re to simply create a healthy environment. Healthy things naturally grow. We are a gardener — not a god. We can’t control our child’s attitudes or as young adults, their actions. The “control myth” leads only to parental guilt and shame. It’s a dance. Metaphorically speaking, you and your kids are dancing, and in a dance, both people must take steps to stay aligned. For the dance to work, both parties must choose to dance collaboratively. One person, however, must take the lead. This is your role.
storytelling games BY: Brianne K. DeRosa Playing games is a great way to strengthen storytelling skills and foster connections between family members. From sequencing to phonetic recognition, imagination to narrative skills, the following games can build literacy — and fun — for all ages!
Salad Bowl Game Before dinner each family member writes down the names of five people they admire, on five separate pieces of paper. These people can be fictional characters, historical figures, people you know personally, or people you have never met. Mix up all the pieces of paper in a bowl and place this bowl on the table during dinner. Each family member takes a turn drawing a name from the bowl and describes this person to the rest of the family. The only rule is that the “describer” can not say the person’s name or any part of the name. 36
Once the person is identified, try to guess who put this name in the bowl, and then talk about why the person plucked from the salad bowl is admirable.
Who’s Coming to Dinner? Everyone at the table gets to pick a person they would invite to dinner and explain why. The dinner guest can be anyone from any period in time, famous or not. What would you make for this person? What games might you play? A variation: jot down all of the choices and imagine these folks all at your table at the same time. What would they have in common? How would they get along?
Story By Sentence
One family member begins a story and talks for no more than a minute. The story then moves on to the next family member, who continues the story.
One person thinks of a rhyming pair of words, like Funny Bunny. Then the person gives clues which are synonyms for the two words– hilarious furry mammal.
Some ground rules: Story themes must be about the choices people make, everyone participates, no one goes on for too long. (Don’t completely change events during your turn if someone’s feelings will get hurt.)
Additionally, the person clues everyone in to how many syllables each word is by using the phrases “higglety pigglety” (for 3 syllable words), “higgy piggy” (for 2 syllable words), or “hig pig” (for 1 syllable words).
If suggestions are needed to get started, brainstorm together before beginning about a few things that should be included in the story: a city, a type of terrain (mountains, seashore, woods), some animals, an event (sports event, historical event, entertainment), a color, a food.
For example, Funny Bunny is a “higgy piggy,” but Old Mold is a “hig pig.” Everyone tries to guess. Whoever gets it first thinks of the next one.
Story Starters Write several words on slips of paper and put them in a box. Have each person at the table choose a word from the box. These words are now your “Story Starters”Everyone at the table has to help make up a story using all the words that were chosen!
Guess the Title Each person lists a bunch of items, tangible or abstract and the rest of the family has to guess what the title of the list might be. For example: Sleeping late, sand in my sheets, no TV, outdoor shower, losing my sunglasses, riding waves. The title is “My Beach Vacation.”
Alphabet Game As a group, choose a category such as animals, countries, singers, or “people our family knows.” One family member starts the game by naming a person/thing from that category that starts with the letter “A.” Then the next person names a person/thing that starts with the letter “B,” the next person finds something for the letter “C,” and so on.
I’m going on a picnic “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…” The first person to go completes the sentence with a word that starts with “A.” The next person repeats what the first person said and adds a word that starts with “B.” Continue through the alphabet until you can’t think of any more things to bring on your picnic!
See more at thefamilydinnerproject.org/fun/dinner-games/ 37
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