3 Fun Activities to Discover More About Your Foster or Adoptive Family


Activities for the Whole Family

What Is Your Family Good At?

People inside a family want to help each other succeed. They stick together. No matter if you’re in a foster family, adoptive family or birth family, everyone inside your family is going to be different, and not everyone is going to be good at the same things. When people tell you that you’re talented at something and you know that you’re talented, a few things start to happen.

  1. You feel good about yourself.
  2. You know that you’re important.
  3. You’re braver and more courageous because you have confidence.

Hopefully, as you get to know your foster or adoptive family, your parents can tell you what you’re talented at and you can notice the talents of other people in the family.

Also, as you learn more about each other, you can have more compassion for one another. You know what makes each other excited or angry. You know better how to help each other, or you know how to upset each other. Let’s play some games and find out a little bit about your family.


The M&M Activity

For this activity you’ll need a bag of M&M’s.

  • No one is allowed to eat the candy.
  • Put a handful of candy in front of each person.
  • No one is allowed to eat the candy…YET! 🙂
  • Set a timer for two minutes.
  • During the two minutes, no one can talk to each other, BUT everyone can interact (or play) with the candy.
  • No one is allowed to eat the candy…UNTIL AFTER YOU TALK! 😀

What happened during the two minutes? Usually, two things happen.

  1. Some people will make pictures or designs or create stories with their M&Ms.
  2. Some people will put the candy in groupings by color or make other groups.

The first type of people in your family are the ones who usually like to be creative. They might be the ones who are good at art or writing stories. The second type of people are those who might be good at logic. These people in your family might be the people who will enjoy math, science and history.


Tell Us About Yourself Activity

  • Have a volunteer leave the room or out of earshot for one minute.
  • While the volunteer is gone, choose another volunteer.
  • Give the 2nd volunteer one minute to stand in the middle of your family and talk about themselves.
  • After the minute is up, the first volunteer comes back and talk about themselves for one minute.

How did everyone do? If members of your family had trouble talking and filling up the minute, then you know those are probably the introverts in your family. In other words, they are the people who are most energized by being alone or in small groups. These are the family members in OUR house who beg to go home and play the Wii instead of going to the zoo.

On the other hand, family members who seemed to like being in front of everyone and talked over their minute are your extroverts. They are more energized when they are out in public or getting a lot of sensory input. In our house I, Darren, would rather read a book at a busy coffee shop while one of my kiddos would like to read a book in their bedroom.

It is important to understand each other in a family, to know that you will occasionally need to sacrifice your own comfort for that of family members. Extroverts need to learn to see when someone may need space or quiet and to give it to them. Introverts need to understand that others in the family need to spend time out of the house and compromise on activities away from home.


Listen to the Story Activity

  • Listen to this story.
  • Everyone chooses one of the two options at the end.

A humane shelter worker is giving your family a dog. Before they bring the dog to the house though, the worker wants you to know some things about the dog. The dog’s name is Buddy. Buddy is a beagle. He is a very playful puppy. Unfortunately his old owner didn’t like to play with Buddy. In fact the owner would yell at Buddy when he wanted to play until Buddy got so scared that he would accidentally pee on the carpet. The owner would then take all the dog’s food and water away for two whole days. This happened at least one time every week. The owner brought Buddy to the humane shelter because he was a bad dog. The humane shelter worker wants to be sure that your family will play with Buddy and give him plenty of food. Your family agrees to let Buddy come into your home. However, when one of the kids fills Buddy’s bowl with food, Buddy is afraid the child is taking the food away. Buddy gets angry and bites the kid’s leg. Unfortunately, a vet and the humane shelter worker both agree that Buddy will always try to bite someone in this situation. The vet tells your family that there is no chance of changing Buddy’s behavior.

What should your family do? Keep Buddy or send him back to the shelter? Why?

People who chose to keep Buddy because of his past will be the members of your family who make decisions by listening to their feelings. These are the members in my family who allow others to have dessert without finishing their dinner if they’ve had a hard day at work or school.

Members of your family who chose to get Buddy out of the house more than likely make decisions by looking at the facts. I like to play board games with these family members because they play by the rules. They also come up with a fair way to see who should go first in a game.

What did you find out about your family?

Different personalities are not good or bad. It’s what makes us all unique, or special. It makes life fun and interesting. By understanding each other, families work better together and get along better. What do you know about others in your family that helps you get along better?

*The staff of Transfiguring Adoption are not professional counselors. The activities used in this blogged are meant to be fun ways for families to start conversations and should in no way be used for professional therapy.*


Written by
Margie Fink: Development Director [email protected] Margie received her degree in psychology and has worked in various social work capacities. Margie has been chosen in the past to speak on Capitol Hill about the Refundable Adoption Tax Credit. She is a witty foster/adoptive mom who is able to give kids from hard places loving structure while providing unbelievable homemade cooking. Margie co-founded Community Kids, a resource and networking 501(c)3 created to assist foster, adoptive, and relative caregiver families. Check Out: Thoughts From A Foster-Adoptive Mom

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