Family dinners can promote bonding and foster close relationships. However, keeping kids' attention may be a challenge. To keep your kids at the table, try a family dinner game that is sure to help create laughter and memories for all.
The Letter Game
When kids are learning their letters and translating them into the ability to read, it can be really fun for them to foster their love of everything alphabetical by playing letter games at the table. Not only that, but it helps keep their focus while you share a family meal.
- Choose a letter. You can start with "A" and work your way through the alphabet, or choose one at random.
- Challenge each family member to find something in the room that begins with that letter.
- The winner of each round is the person who finds an answer first.
Try Something New
Kids aren't well-known for eating just anything you place in front of them. If you have picky eaters, this is a fun game to entice them into eating something new or different. They'll love ranking the foods and deciding if they're worth having again. At the same time, they'll get some stickers which young kids never refuse. You'll need an empty chart, a pen and a page of small stickers to play.
- Have each family member choose one item on his plate to try.
- Once it's been eaten, let that person place a sticker on his chart.
- Use the pen to draw a smiley face for a food that was enjoyed or a sad face for the food that was disliked.
- Award your child with a healthy dessert if she tries each thing on her plate.
Best and Worst
There's no doubt that everyone has parts of the day that were good and parts that weren't so great. Because kids love to share, this is a fun game to get everyone talking and sharing. It's also a great way for the entire family to show empathy to the others and it's sure to get you laughing at times too.
- Let each person tell something funny or exciting that happened during the day.
- Have each person talk about something that wasn't good.
- Then go back to the funny stuff. You'll sandwich the bad between the good and have everyone feeling good at the end of the meal.
Finish the Story
Kids are notorious storytellers, so this is a fun way to foster their passion while also entertaining each other at the dinner table. This game is great for kids of all ages because even a toddler can regale you with a tale. There isn't a winner or loser in this game, so it's perfect for kids who haven't quite mastered graceful losing. The rules are simple and come courtesy of the entertainment experts at She Knows.
- One person starts the story and stops when he or she deems appropriate.
- The next person picks up the story and continues with their own thread.
- Play continues until dinner is over or the story reaches an acceptable conclusion.
Things Are Different
This is a fun game for all ages and gives your kids some problem-solving skills, even though they probably won't realize it. It's easier to play if you serve your dinners family style at the table rather than at the counter. Kids love nothing more than putting one over on Mom and Dad, so this is an easy and fun way to let them do just that. There can be a winner for each round of this game.
- Have one person close his eyes.
- All the other players remove something from the table. A napkin, salt shaker, fork or dinner roll are all great ideas.
- The player opens his eyes and must guess what each person removed.
- The winner is the player who removes the items that can't be guessed.
Making Dinner Time Family Time
There's no doubt that these games will get your family laughing and loving dinner time. You have to eat, so you might as well make it beneficial for your entire family. By enjoying some games at the table, you can effectively get your kids to stay nearby and have some fun with you. Don't stop with these games. You can modify them or even let your kids make up new games.