If you have young kids (or kids at all), you may have experienced some less than stellar meals around the table. Sometimes there are arguments about what is being served for dinner or sometimes the conversation may be sparse, either way I want to share what makes our dinners engaging and enjoyable!
Family Dinner with Educational Games
Memories are made around the table but, if we are being honest, it isn’t always easy. It takes practice if this is new or irregular for your family. When you add little kids, toddlers, or even moody teenagers it can sometimes be challenging, so we have added some fun family games to our dinner table.
We have a few favorite games and activities, which your family may enjoy too!
One of our favorite games that can be tied to whatever curriculum we are studying is Guess in 10.
There are several available topics:
Cities Around the World
Countries Around the World
World of Sports
Things that Go
Countries of the World
States of America
All Around the Town
There are a few junior versions too. The game requires listening, critical thinking, and taking turns. Things even adults need to practice sometimes but most definitely life skills for children of all ages.
The junior version has card topics that are a little broader for children to guess. There are also guide cards to assist young children in asking questions.
The regular version of the game includes cards with many more details and the topics are more narrow. How To Play
The goal of the game is to have either two teams or two people who play against each other. Your team can ask up to 10 questions about the card the other team has. There are buzzwords which give initial clues. Your team can also turn in a clue card to learn a more in-depth fact. If you guess the card correctly you can earn additional points by answering the bonus question.
How WE Sometimes Play
Now, I do like the original rules but sometimes we play a different way. We have one person (normally an adult but not always) who holds on the topic cards. Then we go around the table asking questions. You cannot ask a question that has already been asked. You may ask
open ended questions and yes/no questions. For example: how many legs does it have? Can it be domesticated?
After you ask your question, you may guess what it is. If you are correct you may keep the card. Whoever has the most cards at the end of dinner gets to choose dessert!
One reason we sometimes play the game in this alternative style is because it allows for taking turns between all dinner table guests, allows for stellar modeling, and requires listening skills to be heightened. We do feed questions to the youngest members of the toddlers but after awhile they no longer need us to.
Here is a look at Countries of the World. This is a topic we are studying a great deal this year, so I was excited to see this as an option! We use our Globe and our continents placemats while we play!
Professor Noggin card games are another favorite! These can be tricky for little ones but you will be blown away by how much they pick up!
There are TONS of topics to choose from. Rainbow Resources has a great selection and the price is more than reasonable (you can find some on Amazon but they tend to mark up the price significantly).
Some topics offered:
Presidents of the United States
Reptiles and Amphibians
Life in the Ocean
and SO many more!
The cards feature real photographs, which is a huge selling point for this teacher mom!
There are two levels to the game: student and scholar.
The student level is for younger players or players who are just starting to learn about a topic. So I always start with the student level based on my kids ages if you have teenagers then you may want to start with a scholar level as those questions are harder and they’re meant for older and more knowledgeable players.
How to Play
Place all the cards in a pile with a picture side up. One player takes a card and shows the table the picture. The player to the left of the player holding the card rolls the dice. Whatever number the dice lands on (1, 2, or 3) is the question asked by the person holding the card. The person who rolls the dice then answers the question. If they answer correctly then they get to keep the card. If not, it goes to the bottom of the pile and a new card is chosen by the next player. You keep going around the table in a circle.
We really like this game because we are learning (or reviewing) facts about topics we are studying throughout our homeschool day. Not only is it a great opportunity for review but it’s also a terrific opportunity for rabbit trails. I allow us to dig deeper if there’s a topic that interest us or if there’s a new fact that even one of the adults may learn at the table.
There are also cards with broader answers, as pictured above.
Table Topics are a fun and easy way for dinner guests of ALL ages to stay engaged.
We have the Kids Conversation Pack (I bought ours in Zulily but you can find it on Amazon as well). There are three packs in my particular set:
Check out a few example questions below.
The questions are appropriate for all ages! It is not only a win during our small family dinners, but also on holidays and special occasions when we have others visiting. The cards allow for your family to get to know fun things about each other and allows for laughs and memories to be made. We are huge fans in this house. My kids ask to do questions at every meal!
These are just a few games you can play as a family at dinner. I promise you’ll see so many benefits from playing games at dinner..
More consumption of food (yep- believe it)
Critical thinking skills expanding
Listening skills improving
Learning to take turns
Rabbit trails and learning together
Opening conversational doors you may not otherwise
Laughter and love 💕
Try out a family game dinner and let me know how it goes!