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I will confess that our 4 year old eats very frequently in front of the TV, which is not something I'm proud of at all.<br><br>
So we're putting the TV away for the summer, and as a byproduct we're eating at the table more. Good.<br><br>
Unfortunately DH and I tend to start talking our adult talk, and I can't blame DD for being bored and wanting the TV.<br><br>
But on the other hand, if we switch our focus on DD she will insist on dominating the conversation entirely.<br><br>
I'm thinking a little conversation game might be fun for all of us, would include DD and interest her while also keeping US interested. Something like "what was the best part of your day?" or something - any other similar ideas?
 

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I learned "best/worst/funniest" on a law school class trip through Europe (where we had some long bus/train rides) but it works well for little kids, too. You go around the table, and each share the best thing that happened all day, the worst thing that happened, and the funniest thing that happened. You can have everyone name all three things in succession, or do a "best" round, then a "worst" round, then a "funniest" round.<br><br>
This seems to help focus kids who tend to answer "nothing" when you ask them what they did all day, or what they learned in school (if they go to care/school). True, at 4, you may end up with "the best thing was the brownies, the worst thing was, um...no TV, and the funniest was when the dog farted," but it's a starter.
 

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Magic Cabin Dolls has this cool collection of "<a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/product.asp?section_id=0&department=0&search_type=normal&search_value=dinner%20games&cur_index=&pcode=1109" target="_blank">Dinner Games</a>". We are the kind of family that eats 6 nights a week at home together around the dinner table. We use these dinner games occasionally (maybe once a week) to depart from the usual dinner conversation which, yes, is usually dominated by our chatty dd. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> They have a collection for younger kids and older kids. HTH!
 

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one of my kids' favorite dinner time activities is telling stories. Our only problem is reminding them to eat when we are engrossed in our turn! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> We all just go around the table making up a short story.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>velochic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15419369"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Magic Cabin Dolls has this cool collection of "<a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/product.asp?section_id=0&department=0&search_type=normal&search_value=dinner%20games&cur_index=&pcode=1109" target="_blank">Dinner Games</a>". We are the kind of family that eats 6 nights a week at home together around the dinner table. We use these dinner games occasionally (maybe once a week) to depart from the usual dinner conversation which, yes, is usually dominated by our chatty dd. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> They have a collection for younger kids and older kids. HTH!</div>
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I love this!!
 

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Family dinners can be fun, but in our house it's all about keeping the youngest involved in conversation. We take turns asking each other, "How was your day?" and "What was the best part of your day?" but now I think we'll add the worst and the funniest, too. Those are great suggestions! DD fades fast when DH starts talking about work stuff, so right now our focus is on teaching the children to be conversational and to take turns talking. I don't think DH and I should stop talking about our days, but we need to also consider the interest level of the children.
 

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One conversation starter I suggested to my dd is "What's your favourite season?". It began one day when dinner chat had deteriorated into potty talk and Grandma was scheduled to visit soon. She learned how to start a conversation with a grown up and to keep the conversation going by asking follow up questions and sharing her own ideas. It was pretty contrived but it helped her learn the "art" of grown up chit chat.
 

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we eat around the table as a family almost every night. In our family we start with grace and then we thank the person/people who made the meal (usually my dh and my dd) and we highlight what role my dd (age 28 mo) played in the meal preparation. Then we take turns talking about our day. We prompt my dd with questions to help her when it is her turn and encourage her to say "excuse me" if it is not her turn, another person is talking, and she wants to interject something. When she does, we stop talking and give her our full attention and positive affirmations of what she is adding to the conversation. We end up chatting the entire meal in most cases and my dd can hold her own in the conversation.
 

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"What was the funniest thing that happened today" is asked often here. As ProtoLawyer wrote, it's a better conversation opener than "What did you do today".<br><br>
We also have placemats with a map of the world, or maps of one of the countries we lived in. We used to play some geography games, or planned vacations, or talked about something interesting from that day's world news, using the maps as inspiration.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15422571"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I love this!!</div>
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We like ours! And the cards also spark some ideas for new games that are not in the box.
 

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I like the ideas. I like the placemat idea too.<br><br>
We don't usually do the "what did you do today" thing because, well, we spend all day with each other, every day (lol). Yes, all of us (DH and I WAH). All the same, we do still try to discuss the highlights of the day, especially if there were cooler events than just the grocery store or something. But best/worst/funniest fits in that just fine even if we were all there for it - now we're not talking about events but perceptions and feelings and opinions and so on. Of course, with DD her idea of the best part of the day can make me groan - we can have the most awesome day at a sheep festival and learning tons of things and being out in the beautiful day, and DD will say the best part was the lollipop she got when we drove through the bank teller window on the way home <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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We start the meal with our own alternative to grace which we call '"I'm thankful." We all hold hands around the table and take turns sharing one thing we are thankful for before we eat. Sometimes it kicks off conversation. Sometimes it doesn't.
 

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We eat dinner together about 95% of the time. With dd (23 mos) and ds (6 years), it can be a challenge.<br><br>
We do: best/worst/funniest parts of our day and sometimes add "what one part of your day would you change/if you could have a do-over", "what are you most grateful for today", "what kind thing did you do for someone else", "what kind thing did someone do for you"? Sometimes we play 20 questions or guessing games where the mc gives clues. Ds really likes to do animal guessing games. He's learned a lot about what mammals, reptiles, etc. are through this game. We used to play two truths and a trick where you tell two things that actually happened and one that didn't. The others have to guess your false occurrence.<br><br>
A new game we've started is "Quiz Master". We each take turns asking the other people 2-3 questions. We usually ask ds math, spelling, or science questions - he's even excited about learning multiplication when we play this. DH often asks us questions in German because he's trying to teach us. For dd, we ask really simple questions about what color or shape something is or what something in the room is called.<br><br>
As you can tell, we switch things around a lot to keep it fresh. I'm subbing to get some more ideas!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Thought of another. It's something we always did when we ate in a restaurant, not at home. To keep the kids occupied while we waited to order or for the food to arrive, we played a story-telling version of "I Spy".<br><br>
The story-teller looks around the room to find objects in the decor to include in the story. Once the story is over, the others have to identify all of the objects that were included in the story. For example, in an Italian restaurant, the story-teller might say "Once I went on a long sea journey (map of the Mediterranean) and over land to Rome (pictures of the city), where I met a mysterious man (statuette on the piano)....etc. etc."<br><br>
It's a lot of fun and you can make it as easy or as complicated as you like.
 
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