Dinner time at my house growing up was always a boisterous event. We played games, debated, shared about our day, teased each other, laughed and reconnected.
When I got married and had children I knew that I wanted to make our suppertime just as memorable. We bought a round table so the six of us could all see each other. No one feels left out this way or is stuck on the end. Typically we begin eating and then linger for a while after dinner playing a game or just chatting.
The focus has never been on the food. I hate cooking which means dinner doesn’t always look or taste very good.
Most of the times conversation is lively and just flows, but sometimes to change it up a little we will play a game. Also, some of our kids are conversation dominators so playing a game allows everyone to have a chance!
Our Favorite Dinner Games
Roses and Thorns: In this game, everyone takes turns going around the table sharing a “rose” or something good that happened to them that day. Then we do the same with the thorns where everyone relates a not so great aspect of their day. This never fails to start fun conversations that wouldn’t have begun otherwise.
The Country Game: We start with the letter A and each person at the table names a country beginning with that letter. We go around the table in order; it’s not a free for all. On the next round, the person sitting next to whoever went first on the last round names a country beginning with the letter B. Everyone else follows suit. This continues on until we have gone through the entire alphabet. Some letters are kind of difficult…O, Q, X (none), Y and Z.
The Harry Potter Game: My daughters are huge Potterheads so competitions determining the biggest fangirl are pretty serious. I usually moderate this one since I haven’t read the books (shame!). Sometimes they take turns naming characters which can go on for a l-o-n-g time. Other times I look up quizzes on my phone and ask them trivia questions and we have a Jeopardy-like competition.
Hats: This is a guessing game where you think of something really random like “calendar” or “Neymar” and write it on a small piece of a paper. Next you tape it to the forehead of the person sitting next to you; they should not know what it says. Everyone takes turns going around the table asking yes and no questions as they try to figure out what is written on their piece of paper. The girls are especially entertained by writing things like “twerking” or “stripper” on their dad’s paper. To make this game easier, create categories for each round such as “Disney Movies” or “Sports Figures.”
The Compliment Game: This is a game where you go around the table and say something specific that you like or admire about each person at the table. When someone needs a boost after a bad day, this is a great way to lift their spirits. I don’t have any sons so I have no idea whether or not boys would buy into this. We like this game a lot because receiving (and giving) compliments is fun!
The Question Game: We can play this one forever without repeating questions. The discussions that spring from our answers often are turbulent, revealing, and entertaining.
- Hunger Games: Would you volunteer for a younger sibling?
- Which reality TV show could you actually win?
- Who would you take with you on the Amazing Race?
- It’s the Zompocalypse! Do you share your supplies or hoard?
- You won Powerball! How would you spend your winnings?
- If you could solve one major world problem, which would it be?