gmc9-2Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is getting a lot of attention these days with parents and teachers looking for fun ways to get kids talking about their feelings, and how to act in different situations with empathy and compassion. Peaceable Kingdom has already been contributing to kids’ EQ by providing great games that are played cooperatively. Kids have to read other player’s reactions and feelings at times throughout the game to cooperate and make decisions together. Their new game, “Friends and Neighbors” nourishes EQ head on with game boards filled with typical kids’ situations illustrated which depict different emotions–sad, frustrated, hurt, disappointed, or afraid, with matching solutions in rhyme. A tiny book is included naming the emotion and illustrating the problem and solution. “A sad little girl (who dropped her ice cream) gets a raspberry swirl.” “A cat with a frown (stuck in the tree) needs help getting down (ladder).” We adapted the game since we were playing with a family of varied ages. Younger kids matched the solution to the problem, having older kids read the second half of the rhyme. Mom suggested that we withhold the answer tile with the older kids and have them guess a completion of the rhyme. We got some great answers that were different from the ones provided. “The balloon floats away….now she’ll get one another day,” instead of  “here’s a new one to stay.” Parents loved the rhymes adding to the learning. The game provided extra moments to explore feelings as Mom said, “How did she feel?” after her daughter read the problem. What a great vehicle to encourage talking about acts of empathy and compassion, as we tried to help our neighbors and friends.

Available at Peaceable Kingdom. Click here