Would you like to start the New Year by increasing the closeness of family members?
 Increasing your interaction and communication with family members is as easy as
asking a simple question.
The  activity below will be as popular with your teenager as it will be with your preschool aged child.
I have participated in this activity successfully with my preschool classes as well as when I taught High School.  It always amazed me how the student who was failing, refused to do their homework or participate in class, and who faithfully tried to sleep, would visibly sit up straight, become animated, make eye contact and brighten up when it was their turn to answer the daily question.  And before I got to their name I would have sworn they were not paying attention.  Kids love it when you take interest in who they are and you show respect for their opinions. 
It was a use of time whose value could not be measured.  It was wonderful!
Remember:  Start chatting about just “stuff” with your children when they are very young.
It is so easy to fall into the bad habit of only talking at our children, instead
of talking with our children. 
Talking about the little things when children are young, 
makes talking about the big things a lot easier when they get older!

Here’s how to begin:

· Create a daily question for family members each day. 
      It won’t be long until “What is today’s question?” will be everyone’s favorite time of the day.
· You and your children will have lots of fun with this activity.  You will learn many things about each other.  It won’t be long before kids will be “hounding” you for the day’s question.  Everyone has a  turn to answer the question and everyone else needs to respectfully listen to each person’s answer.  During each child’s answer they must have your  undivided attention for that moment.  When you answer they must respectfully listen to you.  Everyone involved in this is a winner as you learn to share, communicate, and respect other people’s opinions and viewpoints. 

· Below are some ideas to get you going.  When you run out of questions, ask your children to help you generate more.  Their creativity will be impressive and will tell you what is important to them, in addition to what they would like to share and talk about with you.  Active listening  will be a huge asset during this time.
Sample Question ideas: 

1.  What is your favorite?:  color, snack food, ice cream, candy, TV show, song, cookie, singer, sport, birthday cake, breakfast food, pie, sports team, subject to learn about  (not a class in school), winter activity, summer activity, board game, card game, video game, pastime, cartoon, type of book, type of movie, vegetable, etc. 

2.  Where is someplace you would like to visit? 

3.  What is something you would NEVER do?


4.   What is your favorite hobby?  If you don’t have a hobby, what is something that you are     
       interested in learning about?
5.   What is the vegetable you HATE the most?
6. How do you like your potatoes prepared, mashed, scalloped, au gratin, boiled, baked , French
 7.   What was your favorite Halloween costume?
 8.   What was your favorite Christmas present?
 9.   What was your most embarrassing moment?
 10.  What scares you the most?
 11.  What was a time you were really frightened?
 12.  What is a dream of  yours?
 13.  If you could bring one person back to life to visit with, who would it be?
 14.  What is one thing you would like to do (a goal) in life?
 15.  What do you love to do the most?
16.  What is something you would like to learn how to do?
17.  Who would you like to meet in person some day?
This Blog Post was inspired from the book:

Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:

Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share

by Becky B. Baxa

If you would like more fun ideas to share with your children

(that do not require batteries or electronics )

you can purchase this 180 page book,

full of color photos,

for $21.95

Kindle Edition $9.99

from Amazon.com

from the gift shop at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO,
Silver Dollar City General Store in Branson, MO.

This book can also be checked out from the following libraries:

Scenic Regional Library – Pacific, MO
First Christian Church – Washington, MO
Hawaii State Library – Honolulu, HI
Story City Public Library – Story City, IA

Ellsworth Public Library – Ellsworth, ME
Ludington Public Library – Ludington, MI
Denver Public Library – Denver, CO
Pikes Peak Library District – Colorado Springs, CO
Dallas Public Library – Dallas, Texas



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