I’m the mother of three boys. I won’t speak for all boys, but family gatherings with my husband’s family (my husband is also one of three boys) are often replete with scatalogical humor and fart jokes. Indeed, I’ve had to send a child to the bathroom during meals on more than one occasion for their ‘bathroom talk.’ My boys even have their own poop song (I can say poop whenever I want/’cuz I’m in the bath-room). Perfect audience for the card game, Not Parent Approved.
And yet, the very child who had authored that song grew tired of the game’s reliance on crass humor. I’ve raised my kids not to swear, not because it’s inappropriate and ‘wrong’ (as long as it’s used grammatically correctly and they’re not corrupting others, it really doesn’t bother me), but because frankly, it’s unimaginative.
So I expected not to love this game—its very name beckoned my non-approval—but really, I was more interested in how my kids would take to it.
You see, I’m always on the lookout for games for my kids to play. Or for us all to play together. Now that they’re older (15, 12, 10), we’ve outgrown plenty of activities. Even picking movies to watch as a family can be difficult with divergent interests. So I jumped at the chance to try out Not Parent Approved, which was described, on their website, as “Inspired by Cards for Humanity…minus the Rated R content.”
Not Parent Approved is recommended for ages eight and up, and I figured this would be a fun activity for the whole family to play together. I packed it in our travel bag over Spring Break, and while it didn’t come out on the plane, we did pull it out on vacation.
Confession: I’ve never played Cards for Humanity. I think I’ve played Apples to Apples a couple times, or maybe I’ve just heard my kids tell me about it enough that I pretty much understand it and feel like I’ve played it. In any case, Not Parent Approved is played just like both these games.
455 cards, divided into Fill-in-the-Blank Question Cards and Blank-Filler Answer Cards.
How to Play
The game starts with a burp-off. As in, whoever burps the loudest is the burp master and is the first Reader.
The first time we played, in India, with my husband’s relatives, we did not have 100% participation. Honestly, I’m happy to forego the honor of being the first Reader if winning means I have to belch in front of my in-laws. So yeah, I didn’t win. That honor went to my 10-year-old, who took great pleasure in competing (as he generally does anyhow, to the point that even his birthday parties are competitive events).
Everyone gets seven answer cards. The Reader picks up a question card and reads it aloud. Then everyone else picks an answer to that question and gives it, face down, to the Reader. The Reader then shuffles the answers, reads out the question and each answer (reads the entire sentence each time), then picks the best one. Whoever wins…