Last Updated on April 13, 2022 by Corinne Schmitt
My favorite event every day is our nightly family dinner conversation. It’s one of the few opportunities we have to catch up with one another.
The older my kids get, the faster time seems to be going. The years are whipping by and it seems like mere moments before I’m faced with an empty nest
Between work, school, church, sports, and other family obligations, family together time is pretty limited. For this reason, I cherish our family dinner time because it is the one time of day where we are all together.
Family Dinner Conversation Ideas
A few years ago, we started a dinner ritual of taking turns telling everyone the best and worst parts of our day. Whoever said the dinner prayer would choose the first person and after that person answered, he or she would pick the next person.
I love this tradition because it gives me a peek into each of the kids’ days and personalities (and my husband’s), while providing them an opportunity to unload anything that was troubling them about their day.
Not long after we began this new tradition, one of the kids asked if they could ask a question rather than have the next person list their good and bad parts of their day. The rest of us figured it would be fun to change things up a little so we agreed to give it a try. This twist made everything about our little dinner game even better!
Based on the questions the kids asked, we got a better view of their interests and an appreciation for their creativity. From the kids’ perspective, I think they all enjoy having the spotlight for at least a few minutes each night when everyone listens to their answers.
Family Dinner Conversation Questions
If you aren’t already doing this with your family, here are some suggestions of questions you can use to kick off the dinner conversation:
- What was the best part of your day?
- What was the worst part of your day?
- What was the funniest part of your day?
- What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?
- What is your favorite school memory?
- What is your favorite vacation memory?
- What is your favorite holiday memory?
- What is your favorite dinner?
- What was the best present you’ve ever received and why?
- What do you want to be when you grow up? (For parents: What did you think you would be when you grew up?)
- Tell a story from when you were 4 years old.
- If you could have any super power, what would you choose and why?
- If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
- If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
- What 3 things are you most thankful for?
- If you had one wish, what would you wish for (and it can’t be more wishes)?
- What do you like most about each person in the family?
This is just a list to get you started. I promise you that once you let your kids start choosing the questions, you won’t run the risk of running out of topics.
More Family Dinner Conversation Ideas
After years of doing the questions, we found ourselves doing repeats. That’s when I picked up a box of TABLETOPICS. These are cute little boxes that you keep on the table right next to your salt and pepper. The box is filled with questions to jump start your dinner conversation.
And with over a dozen boxes to choose from, there’s no risk of us running out of questions any time soon!
They even have a wide selection of To Go packs so you can take them with you when you eat out.
Similar to TABLETOPICS, Chat Packs are filled with dinner conversation topic ideas. They also come in a variety of categories so you can choose the ones that are most appropriate for your family.
On a recent trip to Chick-fil-A we got a mini pack of Dinner Games in a kids’ meal. It was full of a variety of game ideas we could play at the dinner table.
There were several cards in the mini pack, but eventually we ran out. I was thrilled when I found out you could buy a full set!
The games are divided into different topics:
- Creative and Critical Thinking
- Expressive Language & Listening
- Just For Fun
- Memory Games
- Phonics & Vocabulary
- Silly Games
- Social Skills
All of the games we’ve played have been fun so we don’t really pay attention to the categories. We just try not to do two in a row from the same category to change up the type of activity from night to night.
FREE Family Dinner Conversation Starters
Don’t worry, if you don’t want to buy dinner conversation starters, there are plenty you can get for FREE!
Vicky from Mess for Less has created 31 Dinner Conversation Starter cards that you can print for free. Want more? Jodie at Growing Book by Book has an entire year’s worth of table topics.
I hope these ideas and resources make your family dinner conversations more rewarding.
28 thoughts on “Family Dinner Conversation Ideas”
Love these, thanks for the excellent ideas!
I would love to re-blog this next week on walk.build.proclaim for a Meal and a Prayer day. I’m not sure how to re-blog…
If you wouldn’t mind sending me a copy of this that I could re-post with links back to your blog that would be aweseom!
When I was growing up (remember my age is currently 62)-dinner was the one meal where you had better be at that table or really sick in bed! It was never a silent meal-I was an only child and granted my parents did most of the talking–but I still remember those dinners fondly–
This is an awesome idea! the other day, my 6 year old daughter asked about plate techtonics, which brought me back to my school years. Imagine what she could come up with at the dinner table! I bet she’ll ask something like “what day do you want to bring me a new puppy?” Great post and thanks for keeping me focused on family values . . .
Hi Corrine, love this post about family dinners at your house. Wondering if we could repost it on our site as a guest blog. URL is www.thefamilydinnerproject.org.
Love your website! Obviously I’m a big advocate for family dinner time. So glad you are helping families make them happen.
That’s a lovely idea! My 1 year old isn’t up for much conversation at the moment, but I look forward to when he’s old enough to try this.
Thanks for sharing, Corrine! You’ve started a great tradition with your family-it really helps everyone to value each other more! Thanks for sharing!
When I was younger we ate dinner together but now we all watch TV while eating. I’d eat with everyone if my husband would, but he never wanted to so we don’t. You have great ideas. I think maybe the fact that I homeschooled my kids never left us lacking in the conversation department! They’ve always been around me so we just talk all the time lol.
Great questions. I hope that when my kids get older we can all eat together, right now, we don’t
Great dinner table questions it is the best part of the day. Every one sits and just relaxes to eat and chat.
We have a hard time eating altogether. I wish that we did because then maybe we would have more of these conversations.
This is what i really missed with my family when i move in USA..although me and hubby and my son talks, i still missed my family all the time when in times like this.
this is a very good family tradition to practice. thanks for all those ideas.
Those are very interesting subjects to talked about!
I love this idea. I used to do “what was your favorite part of today” with my grandkids. It was a wonderful and fun thing to do. Now I don’t see them and I miss it so much.
My kids aren’t in that age that they could converse well yet. but thanks for sharing. this will be of great help in the future,
This is a great way to keep and make family moments! LOVE IT
Getting together at the dining table is a good time to share things about each other’s day. A simple yet meaningful conversation is important to keep healthy communication in the family.
I really like these questions. A lot of families just sit and eat dinner without talking so these are some great pointers.
What a great idea, we do something similar but not the picking the next person. We all have to share about our day and everyone has to be quiet while someone is talking. I love family dinners.
The family life you describe here is as foreign to everything I have ever experienced in my life, both growing up and while raising my own children. That’s not to say, it isn’t something that sounds truly amazing and delightful.
It evokes the feelings and thoughts I had about shows like The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and Eight is Enough, while growing up.
Thank you for taking something that has only ever seemed like a media fantasy and bring it into the realm of tangible possibility.
I have a four year old daughter now, so even though my 19 and 26 year olds are raised and “mostly” gone onto their own lives and families, I am working extremely hard to build something that they and I never got to experience, for my youngest child.
The information and descriptions you offered here will be resource and reference material, a blueprint of sorts, as I find my way this time around as a Wannabe Wondermom.
Kina, just visited your site and I can see that you are no wannabe. You are an inspiration and a wonderful role model for your daughter. It’s clear that you have your priorities in order and I have no doubt you will be successful in all of your goals. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
We always eat at the table and it really is about community. It’s the one time of day that we get together.
I have a great picture in my head of your family time.
I love this post! How wonderful that you created this tradition for your family. When your kids have their own families they will also cherish this dinner time together as being sacred. There are so many gifts that are being nurtured here –
the gift of prayer
the gift of family gathering
the gift of sharing
the gift of food
the gift of time
the gift of unloading
the gift of listening
the gift of appreciation and gratitude
This is a great idea! I love the togetherness of family meals but trying to get my kids to talk sometimes is like pulling teeth. I think I’ll have to try this out tonight! 🙂