Mommy Mondays: More Dinner Table Conversations

Monday, February 17, 2020
Family dinners are completely different in each house. The "picture perfect" scenario, as often depicted on television, is everyone home by 6:00pm with a freshly prepared, healthy meal ready to be served. Smiling faces around the table. Everyone sharing highlights of their day. But in today's reality, the typical family is so busy. We are rushing to make dinner (or pick something up) so we can quickly get the kids to soccer practice or a PTA meeting. The close togetherness of a family dinner has gotten lost in the shuffle. I am guilty of neglecting the special time at the dinner table. My husband doesn't get home til about 8:00 each night, so I typically feed the kids much earlier. I used to sit with them as they chatted, but instead of engaging with them I took those 20 minutes to answer emails or sneak a peek at the news. The end result was Kenzie asking to use the iPad at the table or requesting a show to watch as she ate dinner.  I didn't realize how much quality time we were missing out on as I was trying to multitask!

As hard as it is with busy lives, try to schedule in some time each day or even a few times a week to have some serious quality time with your kids. It doesn't have to be at the dinner table. It can be the few minutes before bed or in the car on the way to soccer practice. Turn off the radio and just talk. Ask them questions, play games, be silly! Trust me, these are the memories they will always remember.

This is also a fantastic way to spend some extra time working on language skills.  Start talking about books you read, asking & answering questions about their day (and yours!), labeling things we see. These are all great opportunities to enhance everyday language skills!

To help with this, I created some cards with questions, little games, and conversation starters to get you started. Some of these are really silly so I think your kids will enjoy this! I printed them off, cut them up, and added them to a ring for storage. Keep one copy at the dinner table, maybe one in the car, or even in your child's night stand to use a few minutes before bed. Of course, don't read these while driving but they are perfect while waiting in car circle or if you have an older child that can read them aloud while you are heading off to dance class.

There are 4 pages of questions included in the deck. The first page includes 12 "Would You Rather?" questions. Take turns asking your children which scenario they would rather have happen and have them explain why they chose that answer.  You answer, too! Kids love hearing our responses to silly questions. If you're on Instagram, I have a highlight reel called "Car Line Would You Rather?" My son loves posting 'Would You Rather" videos and having you all vote with your answer. We started this last year when he would sit in carline with me each day waiting to pick Kenzie up. So silly and so dang fun. 

Next are 12 conversation starters. I love learning what my little guys are thinking. What do they want to be when they grow up? What would they wish for if they had 3 wishes? Their answers will probably surprise you! And the fun part is that these answers may very well change by next week,  so keep asking!

On the third page is 12 social skills scenarios. Read them aloud and have your kids answer if the person was using good or bad table manners. If it was bad table manners, have your child respond with what he/she would have done differently in that situation.

Last but not least 12 more cards for a little extra fun! These cards include some quick little games, challenges or silly things to do. After all, we all just want to have fun.

Engage and embrace these moments before they are too old and don't want to hang out with us anymore. The Family Dinner Game Cards are free in my TpT store. Click the image below to download your copy!

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