When it comes to his favorite computer games or shows he likes, Jacob talks endlessly. However, when it comes to how his day was, what he learned at school, and whether something is bothering him, he clams up and gives me the whole “I don’t know” shrug. Consider he has a lot going on in his life, especially for a 7-year-old, I really needed to find a way to get him to engage more often with me about other topics.
Coming up with ideas was a little challenging, because he just wasn’t into talking about his day, especially when he got home from school. I started a nightly ritual in which I ask him about his favorite and least favorite part of the day, and at first that worked, but he’s already bored with it. He does, however, want me to ask him other questions. I was at a loss, though, trying to come up with interesting new topics to talk to him about that would get him to open up. Enter Super Duper Publications, and their astonishingly massive selection of educational products.
After browsing through their incredible selection for a good hour, I decided on two different products that looked like they would be a great way to get Jacob to talk to me about different things: Topic Talk and All About You, All About Me Fun Deck.
Topic Talk Conversation Card Game
Topic Talk Conversation Card Game is a great way to engage your child (or children, since it’s even better with more people) in a variety of conversations by making a fun game out of it. It comes in a great, sturdy tin and includes a timer and 205 different cards divided into Topic Cards and Conversation Cards.
Each player gets seven conversation cards, and the goal is to be the first to get rid of all your cards. Play begins by putting a topic card in the middle. The first player looks through their cards and decides which to use. They can either use Talk to contribute a comment, Question to ask a question related to the topic, Double Talk to make two comments, or Wild to do any of the above.
The Conversation Cards (75 in all) feature a variety of different types of questions, ranging from “Talk about your favorite song” to “talk about an action hero you really like.”
The thing I like best about the topics, aside from the variety, is the way they are phrased. “Talk about…” opens up the flow of conversation much better than “what is your favorite…?” I never realized how phrasing it that way could be so beneficial. When I ask Jake “who is your favorite action hero,” I get a one-word response: Spiderman. When asked to talk about his favorite action hero, though, it opens up a whole new world. He can tell me about Spiderman, about what he loves and how he wishes he could have superpowers like web-slinging from building to building. Changing that one word- what- to two words- talk about-made a huge difference.
All About You, All About Me Fun Deck
While the Topic Talk Conversation Card Game is great when there is more than one person to engage in conversation, the All About You, All About Me cards allow for a little bit more of a free-flow conversation. Now, in this case, the 56 cards are phrased in a “what” format, but the questions are engaging on their own.
One of the questions asked about a recent mistake that you may have made, and I discovered that Jacob was a little upset over an art project that he thought he goofed up. Had I not asked that question, I would never have known because he didn’t tell me about it during out daily “how was school” conversation.
A fun way to use the cards is to do an interview with your child using them. You can even do a video and look back a their answers ten years from now!
Both the Topic Talk game and the All About You, All About Me Fun Deck offer unique and fun ways to get your child to move beyond the typical “I don’t know” response and really open up about their thoughts on a variety of topics.
About Super Duper Publications
Super Duper Publications has such an enormous selection of games and educational tools to help your child in so many ways. Whether you’re trying to get your child to open up more like I am, working on motor skills, trying to increase their reading abilities, or just about anything else you can think of, you’ll find something helpful in their huge catalog. You can connect with Super Duper by liking the company on Facebook, following them on Twitter, subscribing on Youtube and checking out their Pinterest boards.