It is amazing how these conversation starter cards make it so easy to connect with strangers. It gets things going by brightening up mental acuity through the stimulation of curiosity and sensory activation. Each card has scripture and a positive theme. They are winsome, affirming, upbeat. Inexpensive enough you can leave it behind as your “thank you” for the joy the conversation has brought you. Click to see larger pictures of all six and read the account below.
The big obstacle for many people with regard to visitations is fear: “I won’t know what to say.” In one trial, the authors gave a group of nervous volunteers each a set of Smiles Up cards with some ideas about how to use them to start a conversation.
Why it works. A SmilesUp card, which uses the tried and true Montessori principle of sensory stimulation, enlivens the resident’s cognition and increases the visitor’s confidence–it prepares the way for conversation that can move in any direction that God leads, and it leaves behind affirmation of His continuing love and presence. Newbies no more, each of these volunteers has gone back to visit again.
Each card has verses on the back side that provide a natural transition to Christian topics if the resident is inclined at that time for the conversation to go that way. If not, that’s okay. The first goal is to show friendship and acceptance to residents. The card is left with the resident as a reminder of the fact that God loves them and is available to them, now and forever!
4 cards each of 6 styles (24 cards in total) with suggestions for their use.