Dinner time is a sacred time around this house. I am a firm believer in dinner around the table every single day. Ok, let me re-phrase that…as many days as we can! Let’s face it, some weekend nights we like to spread a blanket out in the living room and the kids eat on that while watching TV. Sometimes we have meetings or practices that happen smack-dab in the middle of dinner…those wonderful nights when the PTO meeting happened right after football practice…but for the most part, we are a “dinner at the table” family. I thought it would be fun to share some of our conversation starters and games we play during dinner…
First, establish some routines and boundaries…
- No phones at the table…we won’t answer a text or phone call unless you are on fire or Aaron Rogers is on his way over…no phone calls, maybe a picture here or there but then the phone goes away…all the way away…into the bedroom away.
- No TV…our table is pretty open to the living room and the TV is in direct viewing line so we shut that puppy off.
- Everyone has to ask to be excused…No just getting up and leaving. And if you finish before everyone else you sit and are still in the conversation. The fun part of this, even if people finish earlier than the rest, we usually have a fun conversation going so no one hurries off.
- Everyone has a job at the end…I usually do the dishes and load the dishwasher. Brandon puts the food away and cleans the counters. Guy and Maddi scrape the plates, and start packing their lunches. Cleanup is a family affair. Maddi also takes out the garbage and Guy helps load (training him early on how to load the dishwasher the right way) and starts it.
In all honesty, not every night is perfect. Some nights we are eating dinner at 4:00 to make sure we are to the baseball fields at 5…some nights dinner looks like this in the car on the way to practices.
Some nights I come home after a meeting…see above about the PTO meetings…and eat leftover chicken nuggets and french-fries right off the baking sheet, cold. Hahaha! Such is life. But this is something we try for every night.
Moving onto conversation starters (because that is why you are here…)
- Peaks and Pits…Everyone gets to answer what their peak of the day was and what their pit of the day was…the best moment and the worst moment. Sometimes we play this with some exceptions…What was your peak and pit during school? What was your peak and pit during recess? What was your peak and pit when we got home from school?
- 2 Truths and Lie…This game is always so much fun. Each person tells two truths about their day and one lie and we have to vote on the lie. This really gets my kids thinking about their days at school and it is always a fun way to learn about their day and their friends and the funny stuff that happens.
- “Who got in trouble today?” If you are tired of asking “what did you learn in school today” and hearing “nothing” try asking who got in trouble…the kids open up big about that! But it also leads into other conversations about their day.
- Truth or Dare…Oh yeah, sometimes this happens. One time Guy had to eat a spoonful of Siracha sauce because his sister dared him to.
- “What is your favorite…” fill in the blank with something…favorite treat, favorite meal, favorite time of day, favorite color, favorite thing you are learning about right now, favorite dessert, favorite thing about the person your left…
- Survivor…What three things would you take with you on a deserted island or in the woods. Three books, three bathroom products, three survivor tools, three TV shows or movies.
- If you could…be invisible for the day where would you go and what would you see? Go anywhere where would you go and why? Go back in time, what time period would you visit in history? If you could have dinner with anyone who would you pick?
Will you add your own tips and dinnertime conversations in the comments? I would love to get more ideas. Where do you eat the majority of your dinner meals? Thanks for reading today!