I Can Relate Game

“The I Can Relate game is fun to play and learning the process comes naturally.”

Playing the I Can Relate game teaches:

  • the skills necessary to better understand ourselves
  • a larger vocabulary with which to communicate our emotions and needs
  • how to empathize with the perspectives of others

How the I Can Relate Game is played

There are a variety of ways the game can be used to teach social-emotional learning, empathy, and relationship skills. The basic rules for Elementary, Middle-School and Adult versions include:

  • Each participant is dealt a designated number of “Relate” cards. Each Relate card describes a unique “feeling” and a unique “need.”
  • The dealer reads a “Situation” card.
  • Participants first select a Relate card from their hands that they sense best matches how the person in the situation “feels.”
  • Participants then select a Relate card from their hands that they sense best matches what the person in the situation might “need.”
  • As participants use the game and method in various ways, they are learning relationship and empathy skills that promote healthy relating
Choose the age-appropriate version:

Young Children 3 – 9

The I Can Relate Games (Level 1 and Level 2) for 3-9 year old children introduces the same 4-step process used with older children and adults. These “kid-friendly” versions include: Level 1) a game board, Smiley Die, four Markers, and 20 Magic Cards. Level 2) 32 Story Cards, four soft foam dice, and Progress Chart. Both versions encourage interactive play.

Children ages 9-12

Game includes 42 Elementary School age-appropriate Situation Cards for 9-12 year old children (4th-6th grade) and 105 Relate Cards (105 Feelings and 105 Needs are printed on the cards). A Guide for Teachers or Parents is downloadable.

Students ages 12-16 

Game includes 42 Middle School/High School age-appropriate Situation Cards for 12-16 year olds (6th-9th grade) and 105 Relate Cards (105 Feelings and 105 Needs are printed on the cards). A Guide for Teachers or Parents is downloadable.

Adults 16+

Game includes 63 Situation Cards for adults and 105 Relate Cards (105 Feelings and 105 Needs are printed on the cards). A Leader’s Guide that can be used as a learning or teaching resource is downloadable.

Who should buy the I Can Relate Game:

Families:

  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • “Favorite” Aunts and Uncles

Schools:

  • Counselors
  • Teachers
  • Social Workers

Churches:

  • Pastors
  • Youth Leaders
  • Small Group Leaders

Therapists:

  • Psychologists
  • Family & Marriage Counselors
  • Life Coaches

Purchase the I Can Relate Game

What people are saying about the I Can Relate Game:

“Using the I Can Relate Game and method helped me work through situations in my congregation involving relationships. Dr. Bev’s insights about anxiety and self-awareness were particularly helpful for understanding how to respond in a variety of situations. Her method, combined with using the game, offered a tangible and fun way to explore feelings connected with needs in a non-threatening manner. Developing the skill of empathy guessing provides a solid technique that is relatively easy to learn.”

Ann Fenlason
Pastor, Bone Lake Lutheran Church
Luck, Wisconsin

“The I Can Relate Game was used as a small group option during Peer Ministry training. The specific topic was ‘understanding a friend.’ Everyone who tried the game loved it! Children and youth often have a hard time finding words to describe their feelings much less needs. This game gave them an opportunity to voice feelings and needs using situations that are relevant and applicable to their lives. It not only taught youth listening skills, but also encouraged them to tap into their emotions in order to name what they thought others would feel in a specific situation.

Abby Matter
Director of Middle School Ministry, Roseville Lutheran Church
Roseville, Minnesota

“I invited Dr. Bev to teach her process using the I Can Relate Game with 40 doctoral students at Bethel University. I saw first-hand how much they learned and were engaged in conversations as they played the game. A few months later, I used the I Can Relate game with nine of my graduate students at Western Theological Seminary. My students LOVED the game. They had a lot of fun with it and felt encouraged to keep practicing NVC, Mindfulness and empathy guessing skills.”

Dynna Castillo Portugal, PhD
Professor, Western Theological Seminary
Holland, Michigan

“The I Can Relate Game is great! It has been used in my room with a variety of students. It is especially important that my students learn about and practice a wide range of social situations. I used many different applications of the I Can Relate Game depending upon the needs of my students. It opened the door for lots of conversations about social situations, feelings and the concept of needs. I am working with a few students to monitor their expected and unexpected behaviors – what my students really need from their actions and how others feel in response. Using the game in a variety of ways helped students figure out social situations which was awesome!”

Ellen Mundt
Edina Public Schools