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I did not sit down to write this blog post. It just kind of wrote itself as I was trying to keep our family entertained during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. But, we certainly did enjoy these simple dinner-time games. We got pretty silly with them and they brightened all of our days. I hope you make these simple, no-prep activities your own and enjoy them as much as we did.
You do not have to have young children at home to play these games. Families with college-age “kids” and couples can enjoy these games too. If you live alone, Skype or FaceTime to have dinner with a friend or family member.
An Activity for Every Day of the Week
I like calendars that start the week on Sunday. But you will see why I put Sunday last in this post. You can start these activities any day of the week. We started with just the Wednesday activity. We enjoyed it so much it just blossomed into an activity for each day. Enjoy, friends!
Monday at the Mic
You might have thought this was a singing game, but it is not. This is a Round Robin storytelling activity. First, find something to use as a microphone. We have a tall salt/pepper shaker that we used for our mic. Person number 1 starts with a short story prompt and then hands the mic off to person 2. Person number 2 adds a little more to the story and passes the mic on to the next person. Continue as long and you can stretch the story out. Make sure everyone gets at least two turns, preferably more, before ending the story. These stories can get really wacky and wild.
Are you stuck for a story starter? Try the old standard, “It was a dark and stormy night . . . .” Or, if you want to set a more positive tone try starting with “Once upon a time there was a family who . . . . .”
Tonight’s simple dinner-time game is a simple version of “Name that Tune!” The first player hums or sings a short snippet of a melody on a neutral syllable (doo). The rest of the family tries to Name that Tune! Consider providing a soft accompaniment by clicking silverware together and it’s a FAMILY BAND! If your family likes to sing, then everyone can sing a verse of the chosen song complete with “dinner table accompaniment.”
This was our original silly dinner-time game that started this whole series. When I was listening to the radio that morning, I heard some really silly and unusual animal “news.” So, at lunch, I told everyone that they would need to have two unusual or wacky things to share at dinner that evening. They had to be able to substantiate their “facts” by citing their sources. (If you have young children, you can forgo this requirement.)
Applaud for each wacky fact. Whoever gets the most applause on the “applause-o-meter” is the winner.
I haven’t seen many throwback Thursday posts lately, but we are bringing it back. For Thursday’s simple dinner-time game, everyone has to come up with two “remember when . . . . ” things from your family. After each person states their memory, everyone else can join in. This is meant to be more of a “story starter” for family discussion. Even young children can participate in this activity. I love it when young children around the ages of 3-5 start by saying, “Remember when I was little?”
“Yes, I remember.” 🙂
Fun Fact Friday
Friday’s game is very similar to Wacky Wednesday. On Friday, each family member should find two interesting, little-known nature or scientific facts. If you want to get specific, you could choose a category like animals, plants, bugs, weather, etc. Depending upon the age and interests of family members, you could really drill down and say ocean creatures, birds, mammals, etc.
Depending on everyone’s ages, you may want to require family members to cite their sources. The boys at our house can stretch the truth a bit. Instead of using the applause-o-meter for this activity, family members should respond with an inquisitive, “oo, ah, or oh.” There is no one winner in this game. We are all winners for learning such unusual and interesting facts.
Saturday Stand Up
Tonight at dinner, everyone has to tell two family-friendly jokes. And, YES, they have to STAND UP. It is called Saturday Stand Up after all. Once again applaud for each joke and the “applause-o-meter” will choose the winner.
Tonight at supper every person should say at least two things they are grateful for. Depending upon the age of your family members, you may want to ask everyone to choose two things they are thankful for while you have been staying home.
This is an extraordinary time that has brought unusual stress and hardship. But we still have much for which to be thankful.
Please eat dinner at the table with your family every night. Turn the TV off. There are many benefits to eating together around the table as a family. It can, and should be FUN too. Use these simple dinner-time games to strengthen your family during this stay-at-home time.
Do you have some budding musicians at your house? Do you need some fun and FREE music activities to keep them busy? Click to read about FREE Online Music Activities. They were designed for the elementary music classroom and/or homeschool students, but my mom likes using them too.
Do you need a fun way to practice spelling? Check out these Drag & Drop Spelling Blocks that may be used for any word list and any grade.
Meet the Author
Terri Lloyd is a former elementary music teacher with over 25 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Music, a Master of Science in Education, and a Technology Certificate in Instructional Design.
She is currently active in music education through blogging, workshops, and curriculum development. She serves on the music staff at her church and volunteers for an after-school children’s program. Terri is an active musician in the community, performing in a local Big Band, pit orchestras, and various events.