This was a fun little game we played after dinner one evening! Making mealtime a place of connection is one of my passions – and I want to share the ideas with you. I came up with the acronym TIME: The Intentional Mealtime Experience and will from time to time share dinner table activities and devotionals on dinnerandafamily.com.
Our kitchen tables have been high-jacked! Homework, mail, projects, dirty breakfast dishes – that’s what’s usually on my kitchen table! Making a meal and sitting down together is a great way to reclaim the family table. And we all need more connection these days, right? I know, I know. We are all super connected with cell phones, tablets, and computers. But there’s something about that human interaction over a meal that is priceless.
All you need is a deck of cards for this one. Tailor the game for each family member.
Directions: With a parent being the dealer, lay out two cards next to each other and have the player either add, subtract or multiply the two numbers. Toddlers could even say the number or letter found on each card. Be creative and think of ways each child could play successfully. Before the game starts, determine what the face cards will be. Start the game with them being worth 10 and then change it from there (10 is easy, then use 5, etc.). Go around in a circle and play until the deck is gone. Play again as time permits, changing up the face card value and, if desired, the dealer.
Notes: The kids balked at first – especially my 15 year-old. But she soon got into it and even Brian played. Don’t we all need a refresher on multiplication? 8×7=…….anyone?
Gibson got frustrated and embarrassed one round. Palmer sort of laughter at him, but we gently corrected Palmer, saying, “Let’s try and encourage each other!” Palmer has a kind heart, so he changed his tune and ended up helping Gibson from then on.
Allow a child to keep it easy so there is success – in other words, don’t make a player do subtraction if he/she is only comfortable with addition (that challenge could be taken on later, when it’s just parent and child). This was an easy, yet educational and fun dinner time connection. I encourage you to try it this week!
Another note: Go Heels! 🙂