Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fun Educational Tools that Engage Kids - Team Build Staff

November 29, 2011



21st Century Innovation Strengthens Families to Bridge Education Gap

Award winning promising practice provides fun tools to address the timely concern for increased family involvement to support greater student achievement, academic growth, and positive life outcomes. Parents report improved communication with children and strengthened family dynamics.


With the United States falling behind in the educational achievement gap, schools with Family-School partnerships and youth development organizations are actively seeking opportunities to help keep busy families connected and enable parents to become full partners in their children’s education. One solution to improve parent-child communication has received national recognition as well as praise from parents, educators, and importantly, students. From pre-K through college, the twelve activities included in Teamwork and Family Play™ by Creative Concepts & GivaGeta Inc. offer a buoy of hope in connecting families and supporting children’s academic growth and success in life.
The research is overwhelmingly positive. In A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement, Anne T. Henderson and Karen L, Mapp determine, “The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.”
Following testing by a panel of educators, parents and children, The National Parenting Center awarded Teamwork and Family Play™ its 2011 Seal of Approval. The organization noted the test panel “gave great reviews to this very unique and ambitious game. Game may not be the best term for Teamwork and Family Play as what it really did was get families talking and sharing like never before. Families reported learning interesting things about one another that they never knew before. Let’s face it teens and pre-teens aren’t always the most open when it comes to conversations with their parents. These cards found a way to bridge the divide and get real conversations started … This would also be wonderful for group leaders such as Scouts and the like.”
Inspired by a grandmother, Teamwork and Family Play™ is designed to improve family communication with meaningful and culturally relevant character building engagement that develops the whole child with 21st Century skills. Families report success even with children in more challenging stages of development. Deborah Dauphinas’ family was the first to use it in 2009. Initially attracted to the 96 Inspirational Quotes, she found, “The cards are a comfortable way to get a conversation started, and everyone can participate equally. So if your child or teen says everything is ‘fine’ and he or she spent the day doing ‘stuff,’ pull out a card and have a fun conversation.” The cards are easily adaptable to busy family routines to improve the quality of daily interactions.
Consisting of twelve hands-on activities, Teamwork and Family Play™ improves interaction and communication with a game-like style of play. The activities provide a fun and relaxed setting to put children of all ages at ease. Higher order and critical thinking skills are developed at each stage, including the icebreakers, conversation starters and brainteasers. The activities are fun, but also require thoughtful analysis.

“Since its introduction in 2009, Teamwork and Family Play™ is being used at PTAs / PTOs, in camps, workshops, home schools and conventional classrooms, as well as just for quality family time, in the car, and during or after mealtimes,” states Jim Cantoni, GivaGeta Co-Founder. “As one of the nine editions of The World’s Kindest Playing Cards™, this game works as a 21st Century learning aid that helps parents and family workshops. It incorporates concepts such as respect, responsibility, and positive attitude into everyday interactions and opens the dialogue to talk to kids about character before, not just after they encounter challenges.”
Flexible and designed to improve the home-to-school connection, Teamwork and Family Play™ provides an avenue for increased parental and community engagement. The simple and fun activities work to strengthen family connections and bolster communication within organizations. With both structured and unstructured activities, Teamwork and Family Play™ get kids to interact with adults and staff. The product is suitable for home and institutional use and can work as a fundraising platform for PTAs and other organizations looking to foster greater parental involvement in student education and development.
For more information on Teamwork and Family Play™, please visit or contact Creative Concepts & GivaGeta Inc. at 860.657.0770.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.


  1. So important to bring the families into the fold. Teachers can't do it alone; they're up against all kinds of competition, so they need those parents and grandparent involved.

    Thanks for stopping in at the Write Game to comment on Jo Ramsey's wonderful post.

  2. One of the schools I used to work at had a family fun night. It was full of math and literature activities and contests. It was a lot of fun and we saw great participation.


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