Dinner Conversations

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One of the best ways to get your family talking is to have purposeful dinner conversations with kids. This list will kickstart your family dinner conversations!

kids doing an art project

“Let’s do my heart!” Brody demands. His fingers tinged in shades of blue and green and purple. His arms and cheeks and even his belly mirror the feeling.

“No, mine!” Chloe interrupts. Her eyebrows furrowed, her mouth set.

“We’ll get to everyone.” Jason steadies. He passes The Question Box to Kayli.

While the rest of us cut and chop and pass and season our dinners, she looks through the box.

Handling each shape ever so gently, reading each word until she finds the one she is looking for.

She grasps the painted heart in slender fingers. “What is special about Kayli?” She reads, a smile playing on her lips.

We go around the table, taking turns answering her Important Question.

positive parenting ideas

She is my sister.

She reads me books.

She gives good hugs.

She is a good leader.

I’m good at rock climbing.

Her eyes meet each of our’s, their cocoa sweetening our view.

art projects that make a difference

We pass the box hand to hand. Choosing carefully, reading slowly.

Our voices lilt questions and answers, I’m sharings and I’m listenings.

And when our circle is complete, we tuck the questions back into the box for another day.

Their scrape roughing our ears, their purpose softening our day.

This is what happens when you have dinner conversations with kids. 

what to ask your kids

:: Question Box Ideas (from other Mamas, where all clever ideas are found) ::

What is special about (every member of the family)?

What is the hardest thing about being a kid? An adult?

What makes you feel loved?

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

What makes you feel proud?

What is your favorite family activity? Why?

What or who makes you giggle? Why?

Something I wish I could change about my home/school/work is…because…

What is your favorite food? Why?

What makes you afraid? Why?

Where is your quiet place?

What is something that bugs you?

Tell us about an adventure that you would like to have this year.

Who is your biggest hero? Why?

What is special about our family?

Describe what you like about your school/house/job.

Do you think you are a good friend? Why?

What is something you would like to learn how to do this year?

Does our family seem too busy? Why?

If you had a lot of money to spend, what would you buy?

If one of your friends started saying mean things about another friend, what would you say?

What do you like to do when you are feeling happy? Sad?

What is your favorite season? Why?

Something I wish my family would do more of is…

What is good about a snowy day?

When is the last time that you did something nice for a friend?

If you could have one magical power, what would you pick?

What would you do if a friend asked you to do something that you know is wrong?

What was the best part of your day? The worst part?

What things make you happy? What people?

Something really important to me is…

What would you like to be when you grow up? Why?

Tell about something nice someone has done for you.

What is the best thing about being the oldest/middle/youngest in the family? The worst thing?

What is the most difficult thing you ever had to do?

Would you like to change anything about yourself? What? Why?

How do you know when you can trust another person?

What is good about a sunny day?

What is good about a rainy day?

What makes someone a good leader? Do you know someone who is a good leader?

What is the best thing about being your age? The worst thing?

What are you thankful for?

How can adults show respect to children? How can children show respect to adults?

What would you do if you knew someone who was being teased?

What makes someone a bully? Do you know a bully?

Why do you think people get angry at each other?

What is your favorite thing to do inside? Outside?

What is the hardest thing about being a girl? A boy?

What makes you angry? How do you show people you are angry?

Who loves you?

I made this list downloadable + printable for you! Enjoy!

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dinner conversations with kids

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Comments

  1. Oh, I love this idea!

  2. Life As Wife says:

    This paints the picture of a perfect family dinner! Can’t wait for my little man to be old enough for us to creat memories like this!

  3. I love this. I was at a restaurant with the husband (yes, a dinner out sans child!) and we saw a deck of cards on the table, while waiting for our food.

    They were questions:
    – What is something very few people know about you?
    – What was your favorite childhood board game?
    – What would you change about the human body if you could?

    And many more fun, thought provoking questions, that we both enjoyed answering, and realized how much more you can find out about someone you’ve been with for over 7 years.

    So this? This is perfect for the family.

  4. That is just awesome! I’m totally stealing this idea! Totally!!!

  5. This is such a cute idea! And great way to share and know each other better. I grew up in a family where we didn’t talk about our feelings much. So this is wonderful!

  6. Dang, you are GOOD! What a beautiful idea!

  7. Love, love, love!

    And definitely planning to do, do, do!

    Oh, I love my tiny children but I so look forward to them growing so that we can do cool stuff like this.

  8. I love this idea, love it. You have such an amazing way with your kids Galit.

  9. Fun idea! I don’t know how this would go over in my Dude house though. They are KINGS of one word answers. I need at least 8 follow-up questions just to find out if they finished their school lunch every day!

  10. What a beautiful idea.xo

  11. Oh my goodness, the love between those sisters…makes my heart melt.
    This idea is wonderful! And that painted mess on the yellow cloth is PERFECTLY beautiful! LOVE it!!
    XO

  12. I love this idea SO much!!!

  13. Oh I just love this! This is so sweet, and looks like so much fun. I must do this with my two!!

  14. I absolutely love this idea!

  15. Oooooh! I first heard this idea from a course in peaceful parenting a few years ago (it was called Redirecting Children’s Behavior) and it’s SUCH a good idea!

  16. What a brilliant, BRILLIANT idea! My daughter will love that it starts with a crafting process. :)

  17. What a great idea! I love that the kids got to paint the hearts too. I bet they loved that!

  18. I LOVE this idea!!! You’re brilliant! lol
    I especially love the fact that this helps draw their awareness to what they have, and what they should appreciate; not just about themselves, but also about their siblings, parents and others.

    I’m sharing this for SURE! :)

    Oh – and I’ll be making it too.

  19. I love this idea! That’s so cool they painted the hearts. I don’t even want to know what my house would look like if I let my kids loose with paint.

  20. I love this idea! Great for families with little children and for families with tweens and teens! You don’t know how many parents I saw (when I was teaching) who told me they felt like they didn’t know their kids. I think something like this would be perfect for a true family dinner!

  21. So cool and clever Galit. We do a “what was the worst thing about your day” and “what was the best thing” every night at the dinner table. Adding this and many more questions would really open up some great conversation. Thanks for sharing.

  22. We do something similar at our dinner table. I just wrote about it last week. I think it is a great way to open the lines of communications as a family. We’ve been doing this since the girls could answer the simplest of questions and now that they ate almost 10 & 8, they still ask to play. I love how you listed all of the questions. Gave me some more ideas for us. Enjoy your dinner conversation, friend! xo!

  23. I needed a reason to smile today. Thank you for giving it to me. This is a beautiful thing to do. While we do talk at dinner, this just seems so much more intimate and specific to each person.

  24. I really really love this idea! I am going to pin it.

  25. Tweeted, Liked, and Shared. . .Great Idea and beautiful photos!

  26. What a cute idea!!!!!!!

  27. I LOVE this. What a great project and a great lesson.

  28. This?
    Perfect.
    I love this idea!!!
    And even the messy part is so worth it.

  29. I love this idea.
    Next rainy day, we’ll be copying you!

  30. What a beautiful way to promote dinner conversations and family togetherness. I love this! This will have to become part of our dinner time, especially as the girls get older.

    You seem like such an amazing mom! Thanks for sharing.

  31. I. Love. This. This is exactly what I picture when I think of our weekly dinners as my son grows older. As always, beautifully written.

  32. What a fun family activity that helps to make the kids feel good about themselves. Love it.

  33. What a great idea, a great way to share your *hearts* with each other as a family! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  34. Pinning. I love this :)

  35. What a ca-ute idea! I absolutely love it!

  36. Excellent. We are instituting family breakfasts due to conflicting sport schedules right now at dinner. We have dinner all together 3 nights a week, but an hour long breakfast 7 days a week. It’s working really well. We also have a box of cards called TableTopics Family edition with similar questions and the kids love, love them.
    Thanks so much for sharing this. It just warms my heart to see your kids responding to one another. So healthy and beautiful.

  37. This is such an awesome idea, Galit. I used to have a “Book of Questions” that was a similar vein for adults… great conversation starters!

    So often our dinner conversations go like, “what did you learn at school today?” Followed by, “Nothing,” or “I can’t remember.” I never would have thought about having them asking the questions to each of us in turn. And the box idea? So cute.

  38. AMAZING IDEA!!
    Love it times a million

  39. This is SO much better than “what did you do at school today?” They never can answer that! What a good idea.

    And your kids? So stinkin cute!

  40. You don’t actually have to write a book … just print out your blog as a parenting bestseller – seriously.
    You are amazing.

  41. That’s a great idea. My kids are a bit old for that now, but I wish I’d thought of it when they were younger. Thanks for visiting my blog today.

  42. Sweet Galit, this idea is amazing!!! Your ideas on how spend quality time with your family, starting from the traditions you’ve shown your children, to the simple but meaningful activities you all can play together, never failed to impress me. What a blessing you are to your family!

  43. That my dear is an awesome idea to do! Sounds like you all enjoyed it!

  44. This is one of the most wonderful ideas ever! I’m going to do this with my grandkids that I don’t have but will some day! I LOVE it!

  45. This is an awesome idea. I just adore it.

  46. Love love LOVE!!!

  47. really cute idea!! one day when i have children i want to do this!!
    http://www.thehunsblog.com/

  48. What a fabulous idea!!! My girls are teenagers and there are times that their fighting gets so vicious, I’m afraid they’ll never recover from the awful words they hurl at each other. Granted, I remember being the same exact way with my 3 sisters, so I know this, unfortunately, tends to be the way it is. And for the most part, they have a sister kinship that is loving and close. But I think we might instill this at our house. What a great way to calm hormonal rages, to actually make them think about each other in a positive way.

    Thanks so much for your kind words over at Just Be Enough, yesterday. They were very much appreciated.

  49. What an amazing idea! And such an explosion of color and smiles. Beautiful.

  50. Love, love, love this idea!! Tucking this one away for a rainy day.

  51. Okay, I’m late to the party to tell you how wonderful I think this is.

    And my favorite part (among many) is that they made these hearts themselves.

    How meaningful. What a way to share.

    Just perfect.

  52. –The table w/ multi-coloured paints and hearts is my all-time-fave.

    How FUN this must have been. How beautifully Messy.

    xx

  53. I LOVE this. We do “Best and Worst” at dinner where we go around the table youngest to oldest and say the best thing and the worst thing that happened in their day. I like this more though. Mind if I “borrow your genius idea?

  54. Pinned it! Love love love this idea!

  55. Such a wonderful idea, Galit. Love love love love love.

  56. This is such an awesome list of questions! Thank you for sharing it. We gave it a try and LOVE the conversation it brings to our table.

Trackbacks

  1. […] part of the day was.  To mix it up a little bit in the month of February, I printed these Dinner Question Ideas from These Little Waves.  I cut them into strips and put them into a container. We pick one […]

  2. […] I’ve written before about our question box, you can see how we made it in, Dinner Conversations. […]