No doubt about it, getting your kid to spill the beans about her day can be a challenge. But, what if there was a fun way to get her to open up and develop emotional intelligence at the same time? Enter A Penny for Your Thoughts: A Survival Kit for Kids & Adults. Read on to discover why this unique set of playing cards is so much more than just a fun game.

What It Is
This creative, interactive communication game comes with 80 hand-drawn cards divided up into a mix of emotions, locations, characters and reactions. Players roll the dice, and then, depending on the color, select cards from each pile and match up an emotion with a location, a character and a response (for example: I felt frustrated/at a friend/at the park/I can take a few deep breaths). Then, each player shares his or her story and talks about the positive responses that can be used the next time the same situation occurs.

Best part? There’s no real right way to play this game because it’s all based on how your kiddo conveys his or her emotions. Your kid wants to collect four emotion cards? Great! She had the same emotion in two locations? Let’s talk about it. Penny for Your Thoughts is about getting your kids to open up, so it’s totally okay to play by your own rules.

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Why Is It Important?
More than ever before, kids are having a hard time building SEL (social and emotional learning) skills. These are the skills that help people express and manage their feelings in a productive way. These are also the skills that help kids set and reach goals, make good decisions and learn empathy towards others. “We created this game to inspire and teach kids to communicate how they feel, what their fears and dreams are, who makes them laugh, and what makes them feel important or small,” says co-creator Janine McGraw.

The Fine Print
A Penny for Your Thoughts hit the market in late Feb. 2017. Order your own set here for $29.99.

How do you get your kids to open up and talk about what’s going on? Share with us in a Comment. 

—Gabby Cullen