Let’s face it, we all live busy lives. With work, errands, cooking, cleaning, school, after-school clubs, homework, we can all feel pretty drained at the end of the hectic day routines. By the time we sit down to eat dinner (hopefully together) we are all tired and not everyone is ready to chat about their day.
But we want to know how our children’s days were. We want to know if they are happy. What’s going on at school. Which friend is still their friend this week and all the other nuances of a child’s life outside of home.
I have 3 young boys at home. Middle will tell me all about his day without me asking. Baby will tell me about his day if I ask the right questions. And Oldest would rather go to the dentist than tell me anything, no matter what questions I ask him. So I’ve come up with some dinner table games to get the conversation flowing.
We always start our dinner table talk with a game of Hi-Low. The kids actually look forward to this game.
The game is pretty simple: one person starts off by telling everyone what his or her “high” of the day is… this is the best part of the day or the best thing that happened. And next is the “low” or the not-so-good part of the day. *If you have more than one child, always set the ground rule that lows cannot be about their siblings. Otherwise you’ll get “My low was when my brother slapped his butt in my direction” – True story.
And then you take turns, going around the table until the last person has shared their hi-low.
2) The ABC game
This game is great for starting conversations and generate some fun debate. Start by choosing a topic: animals, fruits and vegetables. For older kids: sports teams, states, capitals, etc. Any topic works with this game. The first person starts by naming an animal (or whatever topic you picked) that starts with the letter A. The next person, B, and so on.
It becomes fun when someone names an animal (or whatever) that no one has ever heard of and someone has to prove that their choice is actually an animal (or whatever). I had no idea there was a such thing as an Umbrella Bird until I played this game.
1) Dora Time
This game was named Dora Story in my house but you can name yours whatever you want. The idea is to have an object and whoever is holding the object should say one nice thing about everyone else at the table. The catch is: ONLY the person holding the object can speak.
We named it Dora Time because the first object we had available was a Dora the Explorer doll. But you can just as easily name yours Coffee Cup time or whatever random object you choose.