Are you making the most of the little moments where you can connect with your children? We think the best time to do this regularly is around the table at family dinnertime, so we have collated a practical list of little to no preparation games that can be played to encourage open conversation and make dinner time fun for all!
For children under age eight
- Rose and Thorn
This game works for all age groups and allows the family to connect and talk about their day. Each family member is required to describe something positive (the rose of the day) and something difficult or negative (the thorn). This game removes any concerns about being able to openly speak to your family about your day and gives everyone a chance to talk.
- Guess that emotion
This is a fun one for the younger kids at the table with the added benefit of allowing them to identify feelings and understand empathy. The game works by one family member removing themselves from the room whilst the other family members decide on an emotion to enact. The family member enters the room and must guess what emotion has been chosen. For example, if the emotion decided is ‘worried’, a family member might say “I have so much work to do tonight, I don’t think I will be able to get it done!”. Each family member takes turns to leave the room, so everyone is included. To play with older children, the difficulty level can be increased by only allowing body language or facial expression to convey the emotion.
- Would you rather
This is a classic and a family favourite. Each family member takes turns in asking “Would you rather…” questions. Examples include, ‘Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?’ or ‘Would you rather live in the past or the future?’. You could be surprised at the answers you receive and ask them to elaborate. This game allows you to find out things about your family that you probably would not have known before!
For children eight and older
- How well do you know me?
This is a game that allows you to delve into the minds of your children and find out how they think! You pass out blank pieces of paper to each family member and allocate one leader per round. The leader comes up with 3 questions, the quirkier the question, the more fun the response. Examples include – “If you were an animal would you be and why?”, “What celebrity would you take to dinner?”, “If your house was burning down what is one thing you would take with you?”. Once each participant writes down an answer to each question the leader collects them and puts it into a bowl. The leader then takes out each paper, reads the responses and must guess which family member wrote each response. It is a fun way to find out about your family.
- Name that tune
Each family member takes turns to hum a few bars of a popular tune and see who can guess the tune first! Keep a score chart to make it a little bit competitive! You can use holiday songs, ad jingles, radio songs etc.
- Two truths and a tall tale
This game can be humorous and enjoyable for the adults at the table. Each person is required to come up with two factual statements and one that is fiction. The three statements are then presented to the family and they must guess which one has been made up. The aim to try and make all statements believable so that it is harder to identify the false one.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
Last but certainly not least, pull out your Around the Table Activity cards!!
Over 100 unique cards in a handy re-usable pouch. Contains a mixture of games and questions designed to help drive conversation, connection, and enjoyment during mealtimes, making dinner time easier and more enjoyable for everyone!