I spent a week on vacation recently with a dozen family
members of all ages — children, teenagers, adults, and seniors — and along
the way we discovered a fun, easy activity to spark conversation and get to
know each other better.
The exercise is
simple: Someone thinks of a topic requiring them to identify “one of
their favorite things” that fits their chosen category. For example:
is one of your favorite movies, and why?” “What
is one of your favorite fast-food restaurants, and why?” “What
is one of your favorite animals, and why?” “What
is one of your favorite types of food, and why?”
They answer first and explain why
it’s one of their favorites. Follow-up discussion is
encouraged. Then the question moves around the circle to the next
Once each person in the circle has
shared one of their favorite things of that category and told why they
picked that, it’s the next person’s turn to initiate a round. They
think up the next “favorite thing” topic, they give the answer first, and
then around the circle it goes again.
This turned out to be a delightful
way to pass long hours on the road with my wife and three teenage
granddaughters. Our granddaughters live far away from us and we seldom
get to spend much time with them. This activity allowed all of us to
get to know each other better, and made the miles go faster.
We revisited this game on the last
evening of our week together. Our entire group gathered in a large
circle and we used three “favorite thing” questions to recall and appreciate
a wonderful vacation:
“What was one of your favorite activities or places we visited this
week, and why?" “What was one of your favorite foods we ate this week, and why?” “What was one of your favorite things you learned this week, and why?"
Of course, we all thought of
different things during our turns, and there were a lot of “Oh, yeah, that
was one of mine too,” or “You’re right, I forgot about that.” Whether
young, old, or in between, we had no trouble sharing wonderful
memories. We found this closing round of favorite things was a sweet
and reassuring way to bring our time together to an uplifting close, a
delightful reminder of good times shared.
* * * * *
How about you and your family or
friends? Is there an upcoming occasion when you could use this simple
activity to share memories, learn more about each other, or put a capstone
on a great time spent together? What about Mother’s Day or Memorial
Day or a summer afternoon picnic? Here are a few suggestions to get
“What is one of your favorite memories of Mother (or Grandmother), and why?" “What
is something you really appreciate about our country, and why?” “What
is one of your favorite picnic foods, and why?”
Try it; I’m sure you’ll like it as
much as we did.