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​​​At the Table Issue12345

Celebrate Your Mealtime Commitment

You did it! Five days of family mealtime! We hope you and family had fun this week, learned a little more about each other, and found the true value in family mealtime. Tonight, let’s have some fun and celebrate. Try these easy, family-friendly games to create a shared experience:

If your children are still young, then a game of What’s Missing? may be in order. Have all but one person close their eyes. The person whose eyes are open should remove one to four items from the table. When everyone else opens their eyes, the first person to identify all the missing items wins. Then, it’s the winner’s turn to remove items and everyone else will guess what’s missing.

Classic games like True or False and Would You Rather are great ice breakers for school-aged children. Both games encourage creative thinking, and chances are, laughter will ensue.

For True or False, go around the table and let each person share three things about themselves. Two are true, and one is false. Let the guessing begin.

Would You Rather is a lighthearted game that tends to slide toward gross quickly. You might start with something like, “Would you rather go to recess or science class?” But before you know it someone is asking, “Would you rather eat a cricket or a grasshopper?”

Games can be fun and educational. Challenge everyone’s vocabulary with the Forbidden Letter Game and the Alphabet Game.

The Forbidden Letter Game is a fun way to share the details of your day. The person to your left selects a letter from the alphabet that is forbidden, so you can tell everyone about your day, but you can’t use any words that begin with the forbidden letter.

For the Alphabet Game, your family selects a category—fruits, vegetables, sports teams, flowers, or cars, for example. The first person lists as many items within that category that begin with the letter A. The next person takes over with the letter B, and so on. You earn a point for each correct word. The person with the most points wins a night off from after-dinner cleanup duty. You can award double points for letters like X, Y, and Z. Have fun!

Dinnertime Activity

Family game time is also a great time to make sure your children know the important social skill of waiting your turn. We all remember the adage, “Patience is a virtue,” and teaching children this virtue can be a challenge. One of the great attributes of young children is their zest and enthusiasm for everything from rocks to stickers. Teach them to remain exuberant while being respectful of others. Here are the steps to teach your child:

  1. Sit or stand quietly.
  2. Keep your arms and legs still. Do not fidget.
  3. Avoid sighing, whining, or begging.
  4. Engage in the activity when directed to do so by an adult.
  5. Thank the person who gives you a turn.

conversation starter

What was your favorite mealtime activity this week?​

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