The SMART Playbook {Review and Author Q&A}

In today’s fast-paced society, it’s often difficult for parents to effectively teach their children relevant life skills. And with the addition of technology and its related issues, there are certainly many challenges involved with teaching kids how to socialize, mind their manners, and display proper etiquette online {and off}.


This is where The SMART Playbook comes in. I was given an opportunity to use The SMART Playbook with my children, and to also engage the author, Suzanne Wind, in a little Q&A. Keep reading to see what my kids {11-yo daughter and 7-yo son} and I think of the playbook, and to hear about the inspiration and purpose of the playbook directly from Suzanne herself.


Jayden is seen here working on the Social Skills playbook.

The SMART Playbook was founded by a mom of three, to offer families a simple and effective game plan to teach their children relevant life skills in a modern world. The playbook is available in ONE book with five sections or in FIVE books with each individual focus.

The playbook addresses 5 SMART topics; they are:

  • Social Skills Basics
  • Mealtime Manners
  • Art of Conversation
  • Restaurant Behavior
  • Technology Talk

I absolutely adore the SMART reference and also the playbook concept. The style of books made going through the lessons fun. My kids thoroughly enjoyed setting goals and rewards – and learning new things in the process. There were many concepts that weren’t exactly new to them, but the fun process the playbook takes you through made it an exciting experience; even for the topics they were relearning. I also liked that the lessons (within each book) were to the point. As a busy mom, I always appreciate something that we can “fit in” when we have a minute or two.

Overall, The SMART Playbook is an excellent resource for all parents and families. I definitely recommend it for all the moms and dads out there – even if you are already teaching these concepts to your children and think it’s going well, it will still be something fun for the kids to do and to make learning a collaborative process {you will be the coach, and they are the player – too fun!}.

Please visit for more information and to purchase the playbook.


Hear from The SMART Playbook Author Suzzane Wind on the inspiration and purpose of The SMART Playbook. And what she hopes parents and children will take away from their experience with the playbook.

Q&A with Suzanne Wind

What is the core message of The SMART playbook?

I want every child to understand as he/she gets older, social skills and manners are the keys to having great friends, gaining respect from adults and growing self-confidence. Playing it SMART with this simple educational activity book wins you the Golden ticket to being your best in life.

What inspired The SMART Playbook?

As a mom of three kids (ages 11, 9 and 4), it quickly became apparent that my kids were not born with the ability to act politely. The onus is on me (and my husband) as their parents to teach them how to behave in society. But schedules are busy – for myself and my kids. Learning social skills, while vital, is not exactly on my kids’ top list of priorities. I often felt overwhelmed-how do I teach my kids all those unwritten rules that make such a BIG difference in raising happy and confident children?

Over the years, I have searched the library and web for help. I was looking for an educational activity book for kids on the subject of manners and social skills. (There are plenty of workbooks on reading, writing, math but nothing on a subject that I felt really should go hand-in-hand with these core subjects). I wanted to stop yelling at my kids (or at least cut down on the yelling) and find an action plan to bring back the basics. It had to be modern and relevant to today’s generation.

I became a mom on a possibly impossible mission: to create a fun, practical and effective tool for developing manners and social skills –not just for my kids, but for other families to use as well. My challenge was two-fold: 1. Create a modern fun way to teach old-fashioned life skills to a new generation, and 2. Make a plan where your child works independently to learn skills and earn rewards?

As a family, we spent countless hours researching life skills to tackle, developing games and challenges, drawing stick figures, testing out fun jokes–all to find a relevant and effective game plan. It took two years to develop it, but we finally created a book that my kids would use, and that would really have an improvement in their current and future lives.

What is your favorite part of The SMART Playbook?

As a busy parent, I love that my kids can work on the book independently, yet still have well-researched and practical guidance on a very important topic for their development.
I also enjoy watching my kids play the challenges/games and have “Ah ha” moments –those moment when they learn or confirm how to act in a new situation whether it’s meeting a new teacher, realizing how to act on-line, eating out at a fancy restaurant, answering a phone etc. And best of all, they get to learn and apply their new skills through practice activities.

What dreams have your realized?

The dream of providing my kids (and other families) with a fun and engaging game plan to decode the unwritten rules of social grace for a modern world. Ultimately my mission of helping kids gain confidence, character, integrity and empathy in face-to-face situations and technology usage.

I am also honored and humbled to be recognized with multiple awards for The SMART Playbook, including a recipient of the Gold Mom’s Choice Awards, The Toy Man Award for Excellence and The Toy Man Mom Approved “Comme Il Faut” awards.

What do you hope people will take away from The SMART Playbook?

Parents: While parents are responsible for the social development of their children, helping their children develop manners and social skills doesn’t have to be an expensive and daunting task. The SMART Playbook is a fun affordable method to help kids develop integrity, empathy and confidence in a modern world. Kids can use games and challenges to keep them motivated as they develop vital life skills.

Kids: Getting older is awesome, but there’s also more expected of you. If you know the guidelines for interacting with people, growing up is so much easier.

Thank you Suzanne! For sharing your message and for creating such an awesome {and necessary} resource for all of us parents.

Please visit for more information and to purchase the playbook.
Disclosure Statement: I received a complimentary copy of The SMART Playbook for the purposes of this review. However, all opinions are my own. Please view my disclosure policy for more information.

Comments 8

  1. I would love to get this for my grandchildren. In todays society I find that alot of parents aren’t taking the time to teach their young ones these things. Thank you so much for sharing

  2. I have no children but wish I had a hundred of these to give to parents who seem to have no idea how their children should act

  3. What a great idea! I have a 12 & a 10 year old and I am very diligent about them practicing good manners/behavior. I teach in a preschool and a great deal of our instruction is manners – looking someone in the eye when speaking, please and thank you etc. Its amazing how many come to us with no idea on how to act in a group setting.

  4. sometimes parents have to shout louder than others, it is we who teach not others manners , respect and so on

Join the Discussion...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.