Kids 'n Kinship
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Save the Date(s)

Annual Bowlathon

Our 19th Annual Bowlathon is Sunday April 22nd, 2018 at Cedarvale Lanes in Eagan. There will 2 bowling times, from 11-12:30 and 1-2:30. Kids 'n Kinship participants AND Community groups are both invited. Start practicing and forming your teams!
Community teams sign up here.
Kids 'n Kinship participants sign up here.
Can't bowl? You can donate or do a sponsorship here. 

Rick's Annual Bike Sale

Rick's 10th Annual Bike Sale is Saturday May 12th, 2018 from 9 am to 1 pm at Superior Service in Apple Valley If that decent-condition kiddie bike, cruiser, or mountain bike is collecting dust in the corner of the garage, consider donating it to a great cause.

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Kids 'n Kinship
14870 Granada Avenue #127
Apple Valley MN, 55124
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Proud user of Innovative Mentoring for managing our program data.
Medical Monkeys
Funds received from the purchase of the Medical Monkeys goes towards finding mentors for our waiting youth.

Bowlathon 2018 is Coming!!

Save the Date: April 22nd

More details coming soon - if you have any questions or wish to be a sponsor or added to our email list please email Melynda at:


Media Relations

Kids 'n Kinship would like to acknowledge the significant contributions of Media Relations for their ongoing support in promotion and publicity of our program.

Thank you donors!

This Quarter's Donors

Match highlight Winter 2018 Deena and Talia

It is 5 year anniversary time for this wonderful match! "Over the years, I have watched her grow from a silly, fun loving young girl into a caring, responsible teenager." Says Deena

The match began in January 2013 through our school based mentor program. Deena visited Talia in her third grade classroom every Friday. They would occasionally read, work on a journal, play a game or visit the media center. Now that Talia is older, they get together outside of school and enjoy games and watching movies and in warmer weather, they do outdoor activities like bike riding, going to parks, and having water balloon fights. One of the things Deena says she enjoyed the most was making gifts with Talia for Talia's friends and family for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas.

"The match is going great after all these years. The ladies still get together on Fridays during the school year and on summer break. They cook/bake and do crafts together...among other things. Talia is excited to get to know Deena’s grandchildren." Says Talia's mom

Talia has become part of Deena's family, spending time with Deena and her husband, their children and grandchildren and helping with garage sales. And speaking of sales: Last summer Deena and Talia started collecting grocery store receipts. The receipts are from any Spartan Nash store through a program called Direct Your Dollars. Local Spartan Nash stores include Family Fresh in Farmington and Econofoods in Northfield. People mail their receipts in; Deena and Talia collect and organize them. They just accumulated $150,000 in receipts earning $1000 to support mentor matches in Kids 'n Kinship! Way to go ladies!!!


Thursday, March 29, 2018

What was your favorite game to play as a kid? For me, it was Monopoly and Sorry. My family and I played these games all the time!  My grandma taught me to play Gin Rummy and we would sit at her kitchen table and play for hours!  Are you looking for a game to play with your mentee?  Here are some fabulous ideas!


Janine Halloran says “Part of why I wanted to be a therapist who works with kids is that it meant I got to play games for a living. It’s a great way to connect and learn about everyone who is playing. Plus it creates natural teachable moments to work on social skills.

You pick a card, put it in your headband, and then ask the other people playing with you yes or no questions to try and figure out what you are. You have to think of the kinds of questions you need to ask to get you closer to your answer. This is a wonderful game to work on perspective taking and communicating. Plus it can be hilarious!

A Penny for Your Thoughts
If you're looking for something a little bit more focused on social-emotional strengths and helping kids cope with challenges, then try A Penny for Your Thoughts. This is a great way to generate conversations about different situations that make kids have big feelings. It's also a great way to talk about coping skills and how to manage emotions in a safe and healthy way.

Q's Race to The Top
This is a great game to not only to start conversations but also to get kids moving as well. I love the interactive physical activities in this game because it can help those kids who can't sit still for too long want to continue to play the game. I wrote a whole review on this game here.

If you're looking for something that's more focused on mindfulness and helping kids learn about themselves, then PeaceMakers is a good game for you. The prompts on the cards can help kids become aware of what's going on inside of them and what's going on around them in the world.  It can also generate some interesting conversations. I've pulled out just one card and started a conversation with my kids that was fascinating and helped me learn more about them. What a great way to connect with others!

A fun game where you are creating patterns out of colors or different shapes. We've made some massive boards with this game, and it was a lot of fun. It helps kids practice thinking flexibly because you can either match based on color or pattern - which one you choose can change with each turn.

I got this game from Peaceable Kingdom, and it has been one of my go-to games since that time. It’s a cooperative game where you work together and have fun. My family and I played it for two weeks straight at every meal time. There are so many questions that will make you laugh or groan or chuckle. Plus it’s easy to learn, and you can play anywhere. There’s no board, just cards that give you directions for how to play.

 It’s super simple but lots of fun and perfect for a game to bring on the go.
Cauldron Quest
Another Peaceable Kingdom game that is a favorite of mine. You work together to get all the ingredients in The Cauldron before you get caught by spells. It's pretty easy to figure out the rules, and you work together to win the game as a whole group.

Story Cubes
This game encourages creativity, flexible thinking and working together to create a story using nine cubes with different images. This game is excellent for small groups!

Apples to Apples Junior
This is another game that is so much fun but also works on taking someone else’s perspective.  The winning card will change depending on who is judging, so players have to adjust their thinking. 

Bubble Talk
This game is similar to Apples to Apples but uses pictures and captions instead. Everyone can take a turn being the judge, and the judge picks the caption that they think fits the image best. You have to think about things from the perspective of the judge, so it's another game to help children work on taking another person's perspective.

As with everything in life, game play doesn’t always go smoothly. People may not play by the rules or may get upset when they lose or when someone else is celebrating their win. That’s OK and expected! Nothing in life is perfect, including playing games. Use those teachable moments to reinforce expected behaviors, give feedback and model positive interactions. Start playing today!  


Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota

Kids 'n Kinship has achieved Expert Partner status through Mentoring Partnership Minnesota's Quality Mentoring Assesment Path (QMAP) and has a 100% overall implementation rating on an extensive list of best practices and quality standards for mentoring programs. We are 1 of only 9 other programs to earn this distinguished rating under these rigorous guidelines.