My Favorite Way to Bring Conversation Back to the Table

042120-Family Dinner

For some of us, this is the first time we’ve had family dinner every night for weeks in a row, and while the togetherness is amazing, sometimes the elbows start to bump over the fruit bowl and the fact that we’ve all been in the same house for literally weeks can start to show.


A few weeks ago, my first grader started bringing her joke book to the dinner table, regaling us with the same puns over and over, so I knew something had to be done. I rounded up my favorite conversation cards (remember the ones Chick-fil-A put in kids meals in 2013? Of course you do) to share not because we don’t know how to talk to each other, but because it has truly been fun to hear what law they would enact as President. (Hey! Let’s also learn about Presidents!) Or whether they would like to have no siblings at all or ten. (Turns out, they DO like each other). Or even where they would go if they could wake up there tomorrow. (Get on board, kids, we’re headed to Fiji).

Sound like fun? Here are a few sets that might work for you:

Table Topics, Uncommon Goods ($25 for 135 cards)

This is my favorite set. You can order the original, one for families, the Inspiring Women cube, or a number of other question options, letting you pick what you’re getting. This is particularly helpful as the teen one offers questions like, “What will be the best thing about leaving home?” which would horrify my five year old. This one is begging for an easy family meal, like Taco Night or the favorite chicken casserole.

The School of Life 100 Question Cards, Anthropolgie ($35 for 100 cards)

Keep these for older kids, even the ones home from college. They offer the opportunity for deeper insight and introspection, best served along a nice fettuccine Alfredo, and maybe a chianti for mama.

Classroom Conversation Cubes, Oriental Trading ($11.09 for six cubes)

These vibrant cubes show the questions right on the sides, making it fun for kids to toss around the table to see what question gets the next turn. My favorite, “What are the top 3 ways I can stay calm?” is also basically guided meditation while at dinner with three children under seven. Breakfast-for-dinner is the obvious pairing here, as we’re going for fun above all else.

Conversation Starters for Kids, Etsy ($6 for a 100-card printable)

If the number of times delivery drivers have showed up at your house is starting to weigh on you (I’ve had three such stops since I started writing this piece, so I’m particularly convicted), then this is the set for you. Support a seller by purchasing on Etsy then print at home. This set has some fun options for kids ten and under, like what’s the silliest face you can make, and who’s smarter: Mom, Alexa, or Siri. (The answer to that last one may vary, but only one can scoop ice cream, I promise you that.) Since one of you will be practicing scissors skills with this one, go ahead and keep dinner simple. Pizza night always wins, and will ensure that you’re deemed smarter than Alexa and Siri combined. 

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