Friday, June 24, 2016

Connect with your kids or students with conversation starter cards

Conversation Starter Cards for Families and Teachers
Lately, we've been talking a lot about connecting with our children and partners and ways that we work on nurturing those relationships. 

If you are like most of the parents, you are short on time, perpetually running late, a little frazzled even on the good days and can maybe squeeze in a few minutes of alone time every once in awhile. 

Oh wait, you are also juggling laundry, dinners, errands, homework, and happy/sad/tired/cranky/sassy/excited children at the same time!

Am I right?

We've been working hard at Mom2MomEd to develop tools and ideas to help you to connect and engage with your children in a fun and unique way, maybe with a little education slipped in along the way. Regardless of how busy you are, we know you want to make time for your kids and to feel connected to them. 

With that in mind...

We're excited to introduce conversation cards! These are printable cards with a discussion prompt and an image to be colored by your kids (or by you!). Each page in your conversation starters card pack contains four cards to print and cut out and used whenever or wherever you want! 

Your conversation starter cards set includes SIX pages (20 pre-printed prompts and 4 fill-in-your-own). Print as many copies as you would like!
Conversation starter cards for families and educators
So, what exactly do you do with these cards?

These cards are really versatile and can be used in a variety of ways--and they are great for families, teachers, therapists, or anyone else needing to break the ice with a child.

In my household, meal prep tends to be a busy time and I hear a lot of "What's for dinner" or "I'm bored" comments. These cards are great solution to this problem. As a parent, you can be preparing dinner (or any meal) while your children select a card to discuss and color--if you have more than one child, you can easily make copies of the cards so everyone is working on the same prompt, or you can give everyone a different topic for a longer conversation.

The prompts are designed to spark conversation by being silly, serious, funny and thought provoking. Ideally, let your children think out loud and ask open ended questions to get them to explore the topics and their answers further.

For example, if your child selects a card that says, "If you could have any pet in the world what would you choose?" the conversation might go something like this:

Child:  Zebra.
You: Wow! A Zebra? Why did you choose that? 
Child: Because they are cool and striped! 
You: What else makes them unique? Do you know if they would be a good pet? 
Child: They have look like horses kind of but, they aren't horses and I think that they are calm and nice. I bet I could keep a zebra in my bedroom. It could sleep with me and our dog can sleep on the floor. 
You:  Let's remember to look up more information on zebras next time we are at the library. Do you know if they like living in hot or cold weather? 
Child: I don't know, but if my zebra sleeps in my bed it won't matter. Can we feed our zebra cake? 
You: I don't know if zebras like cake, but we can find out. What would you name your zebra? 
Child: Um, Bob! 

And, you keep the conversation going with everyone present taking a turn answering the prompt and discussing their answers.

These cards can be used while you are prepping a meal or a snack, folding laundry,  or pretty much anytime. The important thing is that parents are using them while actively engaging their children in the conversation. Of course, ideally, it would be great to carve out time (like at a meal) where you can sit down with your children and have distraction free, focused time together to build bonds and memories.

These cards may also be used for a variety of ages. For pre-readers, parents can read the prompt aloud and the child can draw their answer on the cards or color in the pictures while talking about the prompt. For children who are writing they can write and draw their answers or any combination of both. But, don't forget to use these for your tweens and teens too! You may be surprised how much fun they will have. Sometimes moments of being silly bring out the best in all of us and you may be surprised how much your older children love to chat with you, even if they don't always at like it! 

Conversation starters for families and educators
We also all have those days where we are feeling uninspired, not very talkative, and just don’t even know where to start when engaging our kids. We've all been-there-done-that, right? These can be used with minimal effort on your part and still provide quality time with your kids. 

And, if you have an older child and have something pressing or serious that you need to discuss, but you aren't ready to just dive into the conversation, you might use these as a way to at least start talking so that you can transition to the important topic later in the conversation. And, in our technology driven world, these are also a good way to get the flow of conversation started and build conversation skills with your child--skills they can use as they get older and start making their own way in the world.

But, these aren't ONLY for parents and families. Other ideas for using these conversation cards include: 

  • Kids can use them with their friends as a way to get to know each other better. They could be a fun party activity. 
  • Teachers and day care providers can use these as ice breakers or a group activity for the first day of school.
  • Mental health professionals and other healthcare providers can use the cards to introduce their younger patients to talking in the therapeutic setting.
  • Adults can even use the cards at staff trainings or retreats to break the ice and get to know each other better. 

Immediately, your conversation starter cards are available through our brand new Etsy shop HERE.

In the near future, you will also be able to find us at Teachers Pay Teachers, or simply follow us here or on Facebook for regular updates!

Once you start using your cards, be sure to share your experience with us. Come back and post a comment, drop us a note on Facebook, or share on social media with the hashtag #mom2momed. We'd love to see your child's artwork and hear about how you utilized these cards throughout your day. 

Do you have any unique ways that you engage your children in conversation? If you were to use these cards when do you think they would be most useful? Dinner time or another time? Please share your answers in the comments. We look forward to hearing from you!

1 comment:

  1. love these we used to have cards for writing ideas
    come see us at