Dinner time as a family is so important. It can be a time of connection, making memories, laughter and deep conversation. It can also be a time of bickering, whining, and speed eating in order to get back to…whatever. Over the years we have found ways to have dinner be a structured time together. Sometimes, we’ll put on a funny podcast to listen to as a family (Prairie Home Companion or Welcome to Night Vale ). Other times we’ll do a devotion and discussion, but our kids’ favorite thing is to play games. Here are the top 5 most requested dinner games in our home.
- The Alphabet Game
One person picks a letter of the alphabet. Everyone takes a turn saying a word that begins with that letter; ending with the person who originally chose the letter. Then, the next person picks a letter and everyone takes their turn saying a word, etc. This was a great game for learning the alphabet and phonetics when the children were young. As they’ve grown older, they still like this game only now they try to find the most creative word or the longest word.
- Group Story
Make up a story by each person taking a turn coming up with a word. The story can be as long or as short as you want. For example: My…Mom…Ate…Saturn’s…Elephant…And…Asked…For…Seconds. I’m sure your kids would never have this problem, but we found we had to have rules about potty humor. (No bathroom words. The word “fart” can only be used once per story. If you continually break the potty rules, the game ends.)
We usually start our meal with each person taking a turn talking about “What made me HAPPY, today,” and “What made me SAD, today.” This is a great way to reconnect and find out the highs and lows in a person’s day. It has helped our Autistic son have a larger emotional vocabulary and it helps our kids to be supportive and encouraging of each other. I admit…this game is one of my favorites!
- Conversation Roulette/Conversation Cups
This game takes a little bit of prep, but is lots of fun. Write down different questions on strips of paper (If you could go anywhere, where would you go? What animal would you love to be? What is one word that describes you? Who was your favorite teacher and why?). Place strips in a basket and take turns drawing a question. Each person takes a turn answering the question. It’s a fun way to get to know each other on a deeper level and to get conversation flowing. This is a great one for when company comes over. If you don’t want to take the time to make your own questions up, you can now buy a set of four Conversation Cups and all the work is done for you…plus, they’re cute!
- Slightly Useless Superpowers
As the kids have gotten older, we’ve had to come up with new games to keep things fresh. This one was an instant hit! You simply take turns going around the table and saying what your slightly useless superpower would be. Some examples would be: The ability to run 5% faster. The ability to turn invisible…but only from the waist down. Speed blinking! Able to fly, but not to land! The list can go on and on and is only limited by your imagination.
There you have it; the top 5 most requested dinner games in our home! Not only are these games fun, but they foster relationship, promote education and are the catalysts for wonderful family memories. What are your dinner traditions? Do you have a “go-to game” in your home? Let me know in the comments!
Wishing You Lots of Family Fun,