Each card poses a question and every family member gets a turn to answer it. Some of the questions are serious: What do you like best and least about your life? Some are thought-provoking: When are old things better than new things? Some are fun: What's the best birthday party you can imagine? Some are silly: If you could, would you rather live in a boat house or a tree house?
The point, of course, is to encourage conversation amongst the coop, and to help us to continue to know each other as we grow and change with the years. Quite often, I can predict the answers I'll hear, but every now and then, they'll surprise me.
I love when a question invites us to consider something that we might not have before: What personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble? was an especially good one for me and The Storm. Balthazar, too, if I recall.
Is it better for parents to stay together or to separate if they're unhappy? prompted a long family discussion, and broadened everyone's perspective--mine included.
Anyway, communicating, and learning, and growing is all well and good, but nothing beats a good, old-fashioned, fall-out-of-your-chair-holding-your-stomach-to-roll-around-on-the-floor-under-the-table laugh, at the family meal. And this game inspires that, too.
It was in 2010, shortly after its release, that the coop had seen The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Did I mention Balthazar's a nerd, and he loves science fiction and fantasy movies about as much as I can't stand them?) As predicted my husband loved it. And I hated it, which prompted him to go on and on about it for days, partly for my benefit, and partly because he truly is a nerd.
"Just call me Balthazar Blake," he said, repeatedly, and for days--referring to Nicholas Cage's character, a sorcerer in modern-day Manhatten, fighting the forces of evil.
Then we pulled out the Table Topics: Who is one of your heroes?
"Balthazar," said my nerdy husband.
The kids laughed.
Next: What nickname would you like?
If you could rename yourself what name would you choose?
This time the laughs drowned out his answer, which, of course, was Balthazar.
That was two years ago, and we'd all but forgotten about it, until several weeks ago, when I announced that I was going to be Mommy Blogging, and everyone would need a pseudonym.
A grin crept across my sweet nerd's face until he couldn't contain it any longer: "Balthazar."
And we rolled on the floor some more.
Anyway, two points here:
1. If you were thinking of another Balthazar, you are mistaken.
2. I highly recommend Table Topics. Here's a link where you can get yours: http://www.tabletopics.com/questions_cubes/Family-Edition-Cube