The One Thing Your Kids Need More of This Year

We want to be close to our family members.

We want our family to be deeply connected.

Yet, we struggle to find the time to be together.

We say we want a close, connected family yet we race around feeding our kids on the run, or we’re too exhausted to gather our people around the table for meals together.

What if I told you one thing that experts say strengthens kids and families the most, is gathering around the table for family dinner? Would that entice you to try and do it more this year?

The one thing our kids need from us, whether they are toddlers or teens, is purposeful time gathered around the family table talking regularly.

I wrote in my book Parent on Purpose, that research links regular family dinners to better academic performance, higher self-esteem and a greater sense of resilience as well as lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression.

So, how can we be more purposeful about gathering our people around the table and get them communicating with one another?

We need to invest in playful products made for intentionally strengthening conversation and communication between family members, such as Togather.

Togather founder Jennifer Zumbiel created her line of conversation starter sticker books because she knew something had to be done to help communication within families and she knew the answer lied at the dinner table because it’s where you have a captive audience.

Reframe Dinnertime as Family Playtime

I am a big fan of conversation starter products and have them on every table in our home, yet Togather is unique that it is a book made up of stickers (105 to be exact) instead of cards. Zumbiel wanted to offer families a solution and get people to talk, but she didn’t want to recreate a conversation card deck like what has been done before. 

“The obvious choice was to make cards; however, my family gets very annoyed playing games where you choose the same card time after time. It’s boring, and it automatically brings with it a sense of defense that you don’t want to play because you’re annoyed that it’s going to be the “same old” thing,” said Zumbiel. 


Our family loved the section titled ‘Home Inspection’. Our youngest had fun reading the book to everyone and then passing out stickers that he chose for each one of us to read. Peeling a sticker sends the direct message that “this is mine, it’s unique, and we haven’t ever asked this question before. Besides, the stickers make the kids want to engage in the fun.


The kids had a good time going around the house together and counting the number of rugs and trash cans to confirm who was closest to the right answer. I can’t say our family has ever done that before!

Togather was purposely designed to be compact so parents can easily bring it with to restaurants or wherever they may go too.  We like to travel with our Left, Center, Right game too!


Two Other Conversation Starter Products Your Family Needs

The Togather stickers were intentionally made as irregular circles representing the uniqueness of each family member at the table. Zumbiel deliberately put a lot of stickers in the book, so that they would last a long time. “I also made each sticker so that it leads to a lot of conversation, and you can use just one round on one meal. So your family of six may go through just six stickers in one meal which leaves 99 more,” she said.


10 replies
  1. Amy
    Amy says:

    We eat supper together every night, even if it is only leftovers or PB&J. There are only three of us, so sometimes it is hard to find something to talk about. This would benefit us and help us with more meaningful conversations. We have a daily calendar with a trivia question and you have to answer “Fact” or “Crap.” It helps us start talking – some of the questions are really interesting!

  2. Charlene Frazier
    Charlene Frazier says:

    I love this! It is so easy to let time get ahead of you and before you know it, you missed the opportunity to make an impact in the moments that matter, and loose connection and relationships with family. One thing I am always so worried about is not knowing who my kids are because I get too busy sometimes and let things other than connection become a priority.

  3. Erin Mulay
    Erin Mulay says:

    I love the idea of keeping a variety of questions and unique for every family member. It’s also great that’s it’s compact and easy to take with.

  4. Monica Archer
    Monica Archer says:

    I have a senior getting ready for college, a sophomore and a 7th grader. I think this would be a great way to connect as a family during dinner. We try to eat dinner together almost every day depending on extra curricular activities.

  5. michelle l
    michelle l says:

    What a neat idea!! We try and eat dinner together most nights and we love board games, but we usually don’t merge the two so this would be a fun twist! Thanks for telling us about it!

  6. Kandice Brown
    Kandice Brown says:

    This would help my family tremendously, because it is so hard to keep them entertained 😔 so this would definitely help us in that area! – 🤞🏾

  7. Mel
    Mel says:

    My son just turned 13 and it’s recently been a struggle to keep him engaged with “fun family time”. This would be a great alternative to our typical game / movie night.

  8. Anna
    Anna says:

    My daughter just turned 18 yrs old. It has just been the two of us all of these years either the love and support of my friends and extended family. Over the past four years we have experienced our fair share of great loss. She has three uncles that passed away, including one to suicide. Shortly after that my aunt and my father both passed away as well as two of my dearest lifelong friends. All of these people truly helped me raise my daughter. They were all very involved in our lives. We just received news that one of my only two remaining closest friends is under Hospice care. We are heart broken. Experiencing so much grief at such a young age greatly impacted her ability to experience life’s every day joy. We do share laughter and wonderful experiences, however, she has built a hard exterior, fearing the worst every day. I am always on the lookout for ways to engage her in a positive, safe environment and have found playing games together gives her a chance to decompress and release some of her tension, stress and anxiety. It always reminds her that she is still a “kid” and it is okay to be happy. If we had this game it will be put to good use!!’ Thank you!!

  9. AmyRyb
    AmyRyb says:

    I find that even though we have dinner together almost every night, our dinners tend to be short. The second someone is done eating, they’re up from the table–and honestly, if they’re not, it probably turns into a fight or distraction anyway. But if we used something like this, there would be a reason for everyone (including my husband, who’s most often first up) to stick around and chat like civil people!

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Congratulations Amy! You are the winner of the Togather Family Game Book! Look in your email inbox for details. Thanks to all who participated. You can view how I chose the winner on my IG story at @amylcarney!


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