API: Tell us, exactly what is the Million Minute Family Challenge?
BETH MUEHLENKAMP: The Million Minute Family Challenge is a grassroots effort across the United States and Canada to encourage families and friends to play non-electronic games together. We know people across the country enjoy playing games; this is a way for them to visually see their efforts and connect with others who share the same interest.
API: What have parents found to be most useful about the Million Minute Family Challenge?
BETH: Most parents tell me that the Million Minute Family Challenge gave them a reason or goal to turn off the TV, computer, or video game and reconnect around a board game. It gave them that little extra push, and when their kids see that other kids across the country are doing this, too, they get excited. The other bonus is that there is no cost to join and it takes as little as 20 minutes, but the benefits can last a lifetime. Plus, we provide you with an organizer kit and all the tools you need just in case you want to plan a larger scale game night or spread the word to your school, church, or any other group you are involved with.
API: How does the Million Minute Family Challenge fit into Attachment Parenting?
BETH: The Million Minute Family Challenge emphasizes the family connection that sitting face-to-face around a table provides. There are not many “fun” activities that replicate the bond that takes place while playing a board game. Families laugh, tell stories, learn to take turns, as well as learn to win and lose and many other life skills. The Million Minute Family Challenge helps fulfill that need for trust, respect, and affection that lead to long lasting, healthy relationships. It shows children an inexpensive way to spend time together and is a tradition that can easily be passed down. Plus, board games are wonderful for creating a neutral environment where children who are not as physically strong or athletic to compete and do well. The games encouraged in the Million Minute Family Challenge also create an environment where grandparents, parents, young adults, teenagers, and young children can all enjoy the same activity!
API: Thank you so much! Tell us where to go for more information?
BETH: To learn more about the Million Minute Family Challenge or to register your family or group, visit www.millionminute.com. Questions can also be directed to Beth Muehlenkamp at 1-800-524-4263, ext 249.
API: Last chance! Anything else you’d like to share?
BETH: I love when the participating families share their game playing stories. They are priceless moments and remind me of my childhood when I looked forward to a storm or time we lost power because it was about the only time my mother took a break from her work to play a game with me by candlelight. Now I have annual game nights with a group of girlfriends I attended high school with. I also get together often with my sisters, nieces, and nephews for a full night of laughter around a board game. It is such a great opportunity to get to know them as their lives change through high school, college, and into adulthood. I hope that for the families joining the Million Minute Family Challenge that it will start similar traditions.