THE_BLOG

Games Joyful Parents Play

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Here are a few fun games I like to play with my little people when we need to feel more connected (or less bored!) Feel free to take them and make them your own. I hope you have lots of fun with them!

1. What's your favourite...?
Since their friends and preferences change so quickly I always get different answers, no matter how many times I ask my two boys these questions: What's your favourite book/song/friend to play with/game/way that I show you I love you/food right now?

This is an easy way to find out what your kids like and incorporate more of those things into their day.

Example:
When my oldest told me his favourite food was pizza I got creative and served different kinds of pizza for every snack and meal for a whole day
breakfast pizza = muesli bread for crust, nut butter for sauce and different kinds of cereal for the toppings
snack pizza = flat bread for crust, strawberry cream cheese for sauce and different kinds of fruit as toppings.

And when my youngest told me his favourite colour was orange I made an entirely orange meal for us (raw carrots, orange peppers and orange cauliflower, butternut squash soup, mangoes and cheddar cheese wraps.)

2. Would you rather...?
I have two versions of this game, the opposite game and the super silly game. This one is mostly just for fun, but you can still learn a lot about your kids and have a good laugh too!

Opposite game examples: Would you rather be hot or cold? Would you rather be a cat or a dog? Would you rather be big or little?

Super Silly game examples:
Would you rather be purple or hungry? Would you rather sleep or have stripes? Would you rather be furry or take a bath?

3. After School Game
Instead of asking the standard, How was school? or What happened today? and getting a one word answer, I try to encourage an actual conversation by going through a list of different feelings and asking about other people too.

Examples:
Was anyone at school angry today? Did anyone in class get their feelings hurt? Was anyone acting silly today?

Usually (but not always, because nothing works every time!) this leads to lots of stories about their friends and feelings + I get to learn everyone's name, the routines of the classroom, what they are learning about in school and how their teachers handle difficult situations.

What about you? How do you stay connected with your kids and involved with what's going on in their world?

Christine Marion-Jolicoeur is an Amazon #1 bestselling author, published in Huffington Post and elephant journal and creator of the Joyful Parenting ecourse. Her coaching and ecourses help overwhelmed mums have a healthier relationship with themselves and their kids. Download fee gifts for parents at ChristineMJ.com/freegift