A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my goal is to make dinner time fun, rather than stressful.
There are no minimum bite rules and we don’t force our kids to try everything (although we certainly encourage it) or eat a certain amount.
Nobody needs that kind of stress in their life.
I want the end of the day to be a low-stress time for our family to be together, enjoy a nice meal, and feel happy to be part of the family.
One way we do that is with dinner table games.
These aren’t fancy or something we prepare or have a schedule for.
Some nights we do them and other nights, there is just regular conversation about our days or what’s coming up.
For us, these are just a few go-to dinner table games that we can pull out if we need a little more structure to our dinner conversation or to keep kids at the table a little longer so they have time to actually eat their food before they’re back to jumping on the couch or bouncing off the walls.
Bart is for sure the mastermind behind the dinner table games – he’s nearly always the one to get them going and he’s so into them that it makes it fun for the rest of us too.
Here are our three favorites.
3 Favorite Dinner Table Games
- Would You Rather? Bart LOVES “Would you rather?” and he’s passed that love on to the girls who are obsessed with this game. We get into long conversations debating the merits of each option, asking follow-up questions, and debating all the ways a decision could play out. You can google lists of “Would You Rather” questions or even buy a book with hundreds of questions, but we just make up our own. I especially love hearing Tally (who is 4) come up with her own questions.
- 185. Bart learned this improv game during his MBA and we’ve played it hundreds of times since then. Basically you have someone come up with an item (could be anything – cotton balls, lawn mowers, cats) and then everyone takes turns making a pun or joke with it in this format. “185 [items] walk into a bar. The bartender says, we don’t serve your kind here. One of the [items] says [insert pun or joke here]. So, for instance, with the item “trees,” you might say “185 trees walked into a bar. The bartender says ‘We don’t serve your kind here.’ One of the trees shrugs and says ‘I guess we’ll just leaf.'” or “185 trees walked into a bar. The bartender says ‘We don’t serve your kind here.’ One tree turns to the others and says ‘Looks like we’re barking up the wrong tree here.'” It’s really fun to see the creative things your kids will come up with and I love the challenge myself.
- 20 questions. We played this one SO much when I was growing up and it just never loses its appeal. You know the drill – you choose an item (animal, mineral or vegetable) and then the rest of the family tries to guess it with 20 yes or no questions. We’re very lax on the 20 questions limit, though.
Do you play dinner table games? I’d love to hear some of your favorites!
If you liked this post about dinner table games, you might like these posts too:
- Ten Simple Chores for Toddlers
- Our Monthly Meeting with Each of Our Girls
- Our Week Night Family Adventures
Photos by Heather Mildenstein