What on earth is “Table Talk” anyway? As I write articles for this topic I have wondered that same question sometime. Your table is where you gather. Where you eat. Where you end and start a day. It is where your body is re-energized with good food. Usually you gather around your table with people you care a great deal about. Families. Friends. Couples. Your table may be surrounded by a unique group, a group that consists of individuals that think, feel and experience each day differently. So, “Table Talk” to me is something very important. It is something that makes the table in a home more than just a place to snarf up some food.
Growing up my mother was always making sure we tried to have a yummy and special meal each evening as a family. Not many families do that, especially now days. I remember always trying to eat together as a family in the evening. Sometimes they were quick, snarf you food cause we are going out the door meals. Other times it was casual, buffet style where we would hang out and have fun together. Then holiday meals the table was set beautifully, the meal was planned out carefully and guests were usually always invited. Guests who either had no family around, who we were close to or who might have been in need. I loved these meals growing up. Making family dinner and gathering together at the end of the day is so important. It is a time to get to know each other more and to talk about your days together as well.
But sometimes different stages of our lives, or just in general, it can be hard to get everyone excited to be at the table to talk. Or you don’t know what to ask each other to get a good conversation going with each other. So, I have brainstormed and researched and gathered a little list of ideas for you to maybe make your “Table Talk” be a little more meaningful and memorable. Here you go.
A well-worded question is the quickest way to connect after a long day. And they can literally be about anything. Maybe make a little box or tin the designated question spot and each meal take it out and pick a question and chat away. They are great starters because most often they will spark a deeper conversation about the things that matter to you.
Depending on the age of the folks sitting around your table your questions will definitely vary, but really even a two year old question could be fun for a fifty year old. Here are some examples:
What is your favorite silly fave to make? Silly sound?
Name three things that are fun for you?
What’s the funniest or strangest thing that happened to you today?
If you could create a school dedicated to one subject what would it be?
What is your most unusual talent? Demonstrate it!
Making the table a fun place to be is the best strategy for getting kids to dinner and keeping them there. Laughter is a needed ingredient at any table, so make them fun and silly if you can. Games sharpen the mind, make life fun and can strengthen the bonds of the whole family. Here are a few fun examples, but go crazy and make some up on your own.
“ABC’s of Gratitude”. You’ve got it…go through the whole alphabet with those around your table and see how much you have to be thankful for even on the worst of days.
“20 Things I Love About…” is a game that gets you thinking. Have a jar or just come up with a topic at random, season, person, place, anything really. Have everyone name something serious or silly they love about that thing you've chosen till you reach 20 items. It’ll be fun to learn what people come up with.
“Name that Tune”. Sing or hum popular tunes (without the words) and see who can guess the tune first. You can use cartoon theme songs, popular music from the radio, classics, or any other ear-worm you’ve got stuck in your head!
Who doesn't want to sit down to a feast of their favorite foods? Good food is a must to keep your family at the table and keep their attention. A happy tummy is a happy soul. Find what recipes your family loves and what foods make them excited. Get them in on family meal planning so they can’t wait for that day of the week when they get to eat their favorites. One idea is to have themed meals like waffle Wednesday or pizza night Fridays. Another is to have a country for each week, like Italian food or Spanish food. Make eating fun and make food special.
I hope that you have found some helpful things to make your “Table Talk” a bit more exciting and eager to be at in your home. Make that table one of the favorite spots to be. No empty seats. No empty stomaches.
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