Dinnertime Fun :: Games That Foster Connection


Disclaimer :: This article contains affiliate links. Denton County Moms may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. Thanks for supporting our small business!

Dinner at our house is usually chaotic. Between two elementary-aged boys and managing the high needs of our son with autism, I often leave the table feeling overwhelmed. We were giving more Simpsons and less Full House. And I wanted to change that.

The guilt of not feeling equipped as a mom to create magical dinnertime experiences weighed heavy. Not because I consider “magic maker” a requirement for moms, but because I believe in the research that talks about why family dinners are important. Sitting at the table and eating isn’t what makes a family strong, it’s the ability to connect with each other that makes the difference. No matter how I phrase the questions about school or their day, their responses were limited and repetitive.

For a couple of years now, we’ve ditched dinnertime conversations for dinnertime fun. Instead of my kids feeling interrogated by our questions, we pick a game that fosters conversation around the table. If you’re feeling like your dinnertime routine needs a little bit of spice, check out these games.

>> LISTEN :: The Wild World of Sports :: Episode 93 :: Momfessions Podcast <<

For the Family with Littles

If you’re in the preschool phase of parenting, check out Connection Cards for Kids by Create Fun. This deck of cards consist of questions designed to get to know each other better and also include some “Would You Rather” prompts. This game is marketed as suitable for ages three and older.

Black, multi-generational family eating dinner togetherFor the Competitive Family

The Do You Really Know Your Family game is a fun blend of trivia questions and challenges. Instead of conversation questions, this game challenges other family members to do their best in answering trivia questions about each other. The challenges are usually easy and light hearted. They have helped foster a playfulness that didn’t always exist at dinnertime. If you choose to play this competitively, there is an option to keep points to declare an official winner at the end. This game is marketed for ages eight and older.

>> SIGN UP :: Get Denton County Moms News and Events in Your Inbox <<

For the Family Looking to Build Conversation Skills

A twist on the traditional question-answer model, Chat Chains — The Game That Connects Us encourages conversations to keep going through conversation skills practice cards. Marketed for ages eight and older, there are three levels of cards in the deck: Fun and Light, Serious, and Big Feelings. Players are prompted to ask questions and respond to answers allowing our kids to get some social skills practice at home.

For the Family Wanting Some Variety

Check out Family Connect by Gartana Games. This deck of cards covers a range of topics unlike some of the others previously listed, such as family memories, silly questions, knowing each other, thought provoking and scenario questions. Developed by a licensed marriage and family therapist the goal of this game is to strengthen the family bond. This game is marketed for ages five and older.

>> RECOMMENDED RESOURCE :: Community Calendar of Local Events <<

For the Family on the Go

Maybe dinnertime isn’t always around the table at home. If this season of parenting includes drive-thru meals on the way to practice, I get it. Consider grabbing the TableTopics Kids to Go — 40 Conversation Starter Cards. I love keeping this small deck of cards in my car for some fun and easy conversation for dinners in transit when life is super busy. This game is marketed for ages six and older.

Family laughs together at the kitchen table

Being a mom is already a hard job. I appreciate how something as simple as these games have created some big shifts in our family dynamic. I’m constantly surprised by how much one of my sons pays attention to the things that I do not really notice. We joke now about some of the silly stories we’ve shared during dinnertime. And the best part about it, my kids find it pretty fun.

Previous articleJoin Denton County Moms :: Writing Team!
Next articleNavigating Motherhood with a Disability
Kathy Riojas
Kathy is a native Texan who has lived in Carrollton since she was four. She holds a master's degree in counseling from SMU. After 13 years in public education, Kathy traded middle-school hallways for a small office in a private practice. She and her husband, Juan, are raising three children whose ages span from 21 to four years old. Following an autism diagnosis of their youngest son, Kathy has prioritized mental and physical health. Nothing prepares you for this news as a parent. Kathy credits her friends, family, faith, Trader Joe's, Orangetheory, and the occasional weekend getaway for keeping her fulfilled and sane.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here