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Family game night is a really cool thing. Both my husband and I fondly recall evenings spent around the dining room table or sprawled out on the furniture and floor of our childhood homes playing cards and board games. It is a tradition we’ve carried forth into our little family on a weekly basis and our kids love it! Our newest favorite is Q’s Race To The Top Board Game from EQtainment
Q is a monkey who lives with the Wunder family. He has a couple human siblings and he fits somewhere in the middle. The players get a Q monkey playing piece and move Q around the board. The board is made up of red, blue and green squares and each color corresponds to a stack of cards.
The blue cards are YOU cards. They are questions about you that help the player practice manners, creative thinking and communication skills. The green cards are Q cards that allow you advise Q on what he should do in social situations. The red cards are DO cards full of silly actions that let you practice and balance and coordination both individually and as a team. We have had some good conversations as a family with some of the blue and green cards. One of my favorites was when Trevor, our 6 year old, drew a blue YOU card that asked “What is the best thing that could ever happen?”
We let everybody take a turn that wants to and his sister Kaytie said “Cheese, just cheese” in the most matter of fact voice a three year old who eats blue cheese plain could muster. Another was a green Q card that said “Q doesn’t like cleaning up his toys. Can you think of some ways to make cleaning up more fun?”. Maddy spent several minutes explaining the rules of “Clean Up Fairies”. From what I can tell she basically wants to recruit the younger two to do about half her work in exchange for her loaning them fairy bracelets and make-up. She is definitely the oldest child! And everybody loves the red cards!
Pretty cool, right?!? In case you didn’t notice Q’s Race to the Top is educational. Not just in the regular board game ways of counting and reading. Q aims to teach kids Emotional Intelligence. “Emotional intelligence includes: reading social cues, self-motivation, delaying gratification, coping with life’s up and downs, managing relationships, decision making, and problem solving.”
Q is the creation of Sofia Dickens, a momprenuer of three. She learned about Emotional Intelligence at Harvard and she thinks “there’s a perception that teaching EQ (emotional intelligence) is complicated and requires a specialist, which results in only elite schools in wealthy areas exposing kids to EQ training. But the truth is, the fundamental principles of EQ are simple and just require practice and repetition”. Sofia created Q as a way to bring EQ to your house. As your family plays Q’s Race to the Top your kids will be gaining valuable practice role-playing social situations and thinking about behavioral choices. My kids love the game and I love that I get to hear their thoughts on things.
My husband and I really relate to so many of the cards that get the kids to talk about sleep issues, how to deal with bullies and everyday stuff like when its okay to cry. We’ve had some great conversations with our kids that we might have otherwise missed thanks to Q. Allow me to indulge my sappiness for just a moment. These times are totally precious. I am always surprised each time one of our three has a birthday. Another year past… Anything that gets more shared moments and windows into their minds is something I’ll sign up for.
Q is currently in a Kickstarter campaign for the first manufacturing run. Sofia has tons of information about the creation of Q and her various partners including Brandon Jeffords, head of story for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Debbie Sterling, CEO of GoldieBloxx. Her goals don’t just stop with funding the game, she aims to bring Q to life with animated videos, a series of stories and interactive apps. The expected delivery for the Q Kickstarter campaign is December 2014 so you can get your Christmas shopping done early! The entry donor level for the Kickstarter is $5, you can get a discount on the game for $30 or the game shipped to your door for $40 if you are an early backer in Q’s Kickstarter!