I can only talk about princesses and Pokémon for so long before I want to pull my hair out. You too, huh? 

Perhaps this will help...

A few months ago, I started searching for "conversation starters" that would make it easier for my family and I to talk about topics that had nothing to do with mythical creatures. I wrote them on slips of paper, folded them up, and then placed them inside a jar. Each night at dinner, we began pulling them out, one by one.

It's since become something we ALL look forward to. Why? Because we're finally having real conversations about REAL things.

And now you and your family can too! 

Simply click the images below to print out this week's conversation starters. PRO TIP: Keep a notebook next to your conversation jar so you can record everyone's answers. 

Each week, you'll also find a coloring page sharing an inspirational quote about giving and serving. BONUS: Each coloring sheet contains biographical information about the person who said the quote!

Ready to get started? Here you go:

WEEK 3: APRIL 2-8

Here were our answers to the question, "How much do you think tonight's dinner cost?" (which was Cheezy Chorizo Orzotto from Hello FRESH*)

 Harper (7) - "$50"

 Frank (5) - "$500"

 Andy (dad) - "$15"

 Beth (mom) - "$19.99"

(*I'm NOT paid to promote Hello FRESH, I just fell in love with them when my sister-in-law, Emily introduced me:)



I chose this week's coloring quote because helping others always seems to put things into perspective...

WEEK 2: MARCH 19-25, 2017

Here were our answers to the question, "What is the most enjoyable thing our family has done together lately?"

 Harper (7) - "Going on our day dates" (Last weekend, I took her to a "fancy" restaurant for lunch while Andy took Frank to Dave & Busters)

 Frank (5) - "Riding bikes" (Andy's teaching him how to ride without training wheels) 

 Andy (dad) - "Playing board games" (Our current favorites are Sorry! and Quick Cups)

 Beth (mom) - "Eating dinner together as a family" (Because it seems to be getting harder every day)

I chose this week's coloring quote because children often hear messages, like "you're too small to ride that ride" or "you're too young to see that movie," which can lead them to believe there are more things they can't do than things they can. With this quote, Edward Everett Hale tells them otherwise:

WEEK 1: MARCH 12-18, 2017

Here were our answers to, "What's something that's really hard to do, but feels really good once you've finally done it?"

Harper (7) - "Chores, because I like a clean house."

Frank (5) - "Homework, because I hate it."

Andy (dad) - "A shed, because I need somewhere to store all my stuff for the yard."

Me/Beth (mom) - "Taming my tongue, because I'm trying to practice Only Love Today*."

*Only Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less and Choose Love is my new favorite book written by NYT bestselling author, Rachel Macy Stafford. If you have not yet picked up a copy, I highly recommend you do! It's available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook and IndieBound. I was so moved by Only Love Today, I documented my thoughts in a post on my personal blog, titled The Words I Wish All Woman Would Read.

 

I chose this week's coloring quote because my children are extremely observant: every time they see a homeless person standing on the corner they want me to give him/her money or food. While I try my best to help when I can, sometimes it's just not possible...especially when we're driving in the car and the person they spot asking for help is on the other side of the street. This quote has come in handy during times like these, providing a good reminder to help when we can... but it's OK when we can't.

Have a pretty picture or AWESOME answer to share? Please do! Visit us on Facebook or Instagram, scanning for images like the ones below, and then leave us a comment or share your photo, tagging it with @GivingFamilies and #GivingFamilies. We'd LOVE to hear from you!

 

 

Beth Nowak is a former Kindergarten teacher and mother of two who wanted to make memories with her children while making a difference in her community. Helping other parents do the same, she left the classroom to create Giving Families' Good Mail Challenges... fun and easy, family-friendly giveback activities that can be completed anytime, anywhere using materials readily available in most homes. To learn more and join the family, visit GivingFamilies.com.