This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla, but opinions are my own.
When I was pregnant with Alea I remember one of the things I was most excited for was family meals. I was so excited to sit around the table as a family and enjoy a meal that I prepared (whether homemade or not) and just talk about our day. That little dream of mine has proved to be a little more difficult than expected, but it’s definitely a work in progress. You see, Cory isn’t even home for dinner on Wednesday and Thursday nights. He goes into work late and therefore isn’t home until after Alea’s bed time. However, after reading some of the family meal time statistics, I’ve made it a goal of mine to make Monday and Tuesday night dinners more family-oriented as of late. Did you know that kids who share meal times with their family get better grades, describe themselves as respectful, are happier, healthier, more confident and follow the rules more often? Can’t argue with that!
If I’ve worked that day, I’ll admit that the last thing I feel like doing is standing over the stove to prepare a meal for my family. I hate to admit that, but it’s true. After 8 hours at work not including commute time, I’m just spent. However, family dinners are one of my fondest memories from my childhood and I really want Alea to have that experience as well– despite our hectic schedules and my exhaustion after work.
It makes things a little harder and a little more difficult having such a picky little eater, too. She rarely wants what I’m making, but when it comes to pasta she’s all over it– especially “pasta with white sauce”! To make meal times a little more fun for our picky eater, I thought it would be fun to create meal time conversation cards. On each of the cards, will be a question and they’ll hopefully start some fun family conversations around the dinner table!
Dinner Conversation Cards:
There’s a bout a million ways you can put these cards together, but I’ll share with you exactly how I made mine. They went together pretty quickly and since they’re laminated they’ll hold up to the spills and messes that come with family dinners.
1. Construction paper
2. White card stock paper
3. Laminater machine (mine is Scotch brand– I found it for $20 at Walmart!)
4. Thermal laminating sleeves
6. Hole punch
7. Binder ring
1. Trace the outline of your laminating sleeves onto different colors of construction paper. This will ensure that you have the proper size paper to insert in your sleeves.
2. Trace the outline of an index card on white card stock paper. This will be placed on top of your construction paper.
3. Cut out each rectangle you traced on the construction paper and card stock paper.
4. Write out your conversation topics and questions on the white card stock paper.
5. Place the construction paper into a thermal laminating sleeve and place the card stock paper on top and ensure that it’s evenly aligned.
6. Put the laminating sleeve into the laminator closed side first. Remember to heat up your laminator prior for the hotter setting for thicker paper. (Or follow your laminator’s specific instructions for this process).
7. Use the hole punch to punch out the corner of each of your now laminated cards.
8. Place all of your cards on a binder ring and they’re set to go!
Here are the questions we used:
1. If you could be any animal– what would you be? Why?
2. What was the best part of your day?
3. Which holiday is your favorite? Why?
4. What do you want to be when you grow up?
5. If you could stay up all night long, what would you do?
6. What is something you would like to learn how to do? Why?
7. What are you most thankful for today?
8. Which book is your favorite?
9. How have you helped another person today?
10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
11. What do you like most about yourself?
12. If you could be any character from any book or movie who would you be? Why?
13. What’s your favorite thing to do outside?
14. What’s the best part about being __ years old?
15. Who is your best friend?
16. What is something that makes you happy?
17. How are you like daddy?
18. How are you like mommy?
Feel free to us some of the ones I used for our conversation cards or get creative and make up your own! Be sure to include some questions that your kids can ask you, as well. They’ll enjoy being the interviewer, as well!
We whipped up a delicious pasta dinner just the other night to take our dinner conversation cards for a test-run and I have to say, I think these things are going to be so much fun for many dinners to come. I can’t wait to add more questions to our little booklet (which is so easy to do with the little ring by the way) and see the conversation that develops between my family of three. Alea was so eager to answer each of the questions on each card and ate right through her dinner while we chatted away about each question. It was just too cute and too fun. And she immediately started asking Cory the questions as well (after I whispered them in her ear of course) when he got home from work a little late.
Dinner time in our house has honestly never been so fun! Hooray for a little something to help get my picky eater to the table and hooray for encouraging some wonderful conversation at the dinner table. It’s a win-win in my book!
What does a family dinner look like in your house?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla. For every post using #ShareTheTable from now until 4/30/14, Barilla will donate a monetary equivalent of ten meals ($1.11) to Feeding America®, up to 1 million meals. Barilla will donate a maximum of $110,000. One dollar helps provide 9 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.