House of Boundaries Game
Updated: Jan 21
This game was birthed from the need for a way to explain to kids various levels of relationships and appropriate boundaries for each level. I've worked with many kids who will either open up to people completely or are completely closed off. They struggle with finding the middle ground.
I came up with the analogy of a house with many rooms to explain how to set limits with others based on the trust in the relationship. It helps kids conceptualize different aspects to relationships and appropriate boundaries based on how close the person is to them.
About the Game
This game plays similar to the game "Clue." Kids will have to discover who killed the friendship, in which room, and with which weapon. Each player will get a checklist and will use the process of elimination to solve the problem.
To begin, 1 room card, 1 child card, and 1 weapon card will be randomly selected and placed in the "top secret" envelope. The rest of the cards will be passed out to the players. Each player will receive a checklist. Before the game starts, players will mark off their cards on their checklists.
The first player will choose a trivia card and respond to the prompt. He or she will then make an accusation of who they think may have killed the friendship, the room it could have happened in, and a weapon. The other players will then lay down cards to disprove the accusation. Players will take turns answering trivia questions and making accusations until an accusation is unable to be disproved. The "top secret" envelope will then be opened.
A copy of the house is included in the game and is labeled.
The Attic - Represents internet safety, a common problem in today's society.
The Nursery - Represents childhood experiences including trauma
The Bedroom - Represents dreams and hopes for the future. This would be more personal, vulnerable aspects of the heart.
The Bathroom - Represents private topics that generally should not be discussed.
The Garage - Represents hobbies and activities, the living room is everyday life
The Dining Room - Represents family life
The Kitchen - Represents school life.
The Front Porch - Represents encounters with strangers, encouraging friendliness, but safe distance.
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The six children each have different personality styles, character traits, and talents. All have positive and negative aspects. This helps children recognize that everyone they meet will have positive and negative traits, making it necessary to evaluate each person individually. Some people may be trustworthy with secrets, but may not be interested in the same activities. Other kids may be fun to play with, but may not be faithful when times get tough. Expectations must be managed based on character qualities and patterns of behavior.
The "Relationship Killers" are common behaviors we see in kids that cause hurt feelings and distrust. They help kids recognize how their behavior impacts others, but also how to be prepared with how to set boundaries when someone uses a relationship killer on them.
The game also comes with trivia cards. These cards will help define the rooms, help challenge the children to identify appropriate responses to difficult situations, and to find appropriate boundaries. They cover a wide range of topics.
Update: The game now comes with token cards. These cards are used instead of the checklist to make it easier for small children. You use them by setting all the token cards out on the table and then remove them as each card is played. This tends to work better than checklists for elementary-aged children.