Q's Race to the Top
Q is a loveable little monkey who lives with the Wunder family. He is one of the smartest monkeys in the world, but he has a lot to learn about life! Q reads books with long words and solves tough math equations; however, Q struggles with sharing and thinking of others. That is why Q the monkey has to work on his emotional intelligence, or his EQ (emotional quotient.) A child's EQ involves social skills, listening comprehension, social awareness, impulse control, regulating his/her own behavior, kindness, being a good brother/sister, patience, personal responsibility, attitude, safety, feelings, honesty, imagination, manners, teamwork, humor and a general consideration for others.
The Race to the Top board game is the main teaching tool. It includes the game board showing Q's amazing tree house, 4 monkey game pieces (in 4 colors), 1 large green die and 3 sets of cards (you cards, Q cards & do cards.) YOU cards ask the player questions about themselves such as When you want to say something to your mom or dad but they are speaking with another grown up, how can you politely get their attention? These are designed for practicing manners, positive behavior, creative thinking, feeling identification/verbalization, communication skills and self-awareness. Q cards have the player advising Q the monkey in different scenarios like Q is sometimes grouchy when he wakes up from his nap or when he doesn't get his way. What are some ways to stop being a grouch? These questions are crafted to practice social awareness & skills, managing emotions, manners & positive behavior, coping skills and a positive attitude. DO cards may look like they are just a silly action, but studies show that in order to develop emotional control, a child has to first have control of their arms & legs through balance & coordination. An example of a Do card would be Can you throw the dice a few inches in the air and catch it? Game includes 50 of each type of card (150 cards total.) The colorful, foldable board is 16x16".
Race to the Top - On the Go Pack is a cute green, square tin (3x3x1.75") of 90 fun question & action cards from the board game relating to behavior, social skills and physical coordination.
Q's Coloring & Activity Book (37pp, 7.75x10.75") reinforces the EQ concepts of identifying feelings, behavior, communication & social skills and creative thinking. Pages are one-sided, perforated, and show Q's family: the parents, older brother Redmond, big sister Mila and baby sister Nugget. The illustrations are simple and bold lined. Some pages have a question; other pages tell you about the family members; some are dot to dots and other puzzles to do.
Q's Wild Ride Read-Along Storybook & CD (20pp, 8.5x10.75") is a darling story where Q learns an important lesson. He thinks he has a creative solution to a family dilemma, but his actions were not helpful to anyone. Q's heart is in the right place, but his behavior needs a little work. Author Sofia Dickens reads the story on the audio CD, which is accompanied by some fun sound effects. The colorful illustrations are by artist Brandon Jeffords. (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, the Looney Tunes Show, and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness). This paperback story promotes social awareness, executive skills such as impulse control & regulating behavior, reading skills and listening comprehension.
I think there are a lot of families who can relate to Q and his loveable manner, but occasional poor behavior choices. I tested out the board game with the owner's grandchildren here in the office. We had a 4, 5, and 6 year old playing the game and they each had an older child (ages 8, 9, 10) as their helper. The directions are so simple that we jumped right in, and the different activities & questions on the cards were a big hit! I loved hearing their discussions after one child answered the card. When it was something to do, they all did it. It was surprising how seemingly simple actions were difficult for the 4 year old (but he did try them.) I asked a few questions to further personalize the card scenarios. For example, the 5 year old had been to the library earlier in the day for story-time and her question card was about throwing a fit when you don't get your way. I asked her if her mom said it was time to leave the library and she was not ready to go yet, what would she do? The little angel said, "I would say ok." So we talked about how some children may react in that situation. They were all very engaged in the conversations, taking turns, and seeing what cards everyone got! You move spaces by rolling the die and the first player to the top of the tree house is the winner.
We get calls and emails from parents all the time wanting help with a child who may have a special needs issue and they want a program for these learners. Self-awareness goes a long way to help children deal with others and overflows into their schoolwork later on. The valuable conversations as you play the game are just priceless. It can help parents to know what your child is thinking by asking the right questions. There is a lot of research behind how the questions are worded and I love the open-endedness in many of them, very insightful. Q the monkey takes the attention off the child, freeing them to express themselves. - Sara