The Family Dinner Project

My husband was traveling for work recently, and I found myself at the dinner table with our three little girls, and I Googled “dinner table games”.  I found this website and have been hooked on it: https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/fun/dinner-games/.  Here are my favorites:

abcs of gratitude

ABCs of Gratitude

Go around the table and each take a turn, in alphabetical order, to say something or someone you’re grateful for.  My oldest daughter who is 6 did really well at this game and it was so much fun.

20 Things I Love About…

For this game you pick a person, place, season (really anything) and you say 20 things you love about ________.  We actually did this game a bit differently at my moms (MOPS) group at church – we went around the table and all wrote down something we liked about the person whose name was at the top of the paper, and then we all read them at the end.  It was really encouraging.

Celebrity

Name a celebrity (say, Whitney Houston) and then another person name’s with the first letter of the previous celebrity’s last name (Hudson Taylor)…then repeat (Thomas Jefferson)…(Jennifer Lopez)………..

GREAT GAMES for car rides too!

Lists using chalkboard paint

Each season our family makes a list of activities, family visiting, vacations etc. – this helps the kids realize that there’s something to look forward to in every season.  It’s fun to look back on what we’ve done and I take a picture of each list.  We’ve done three lists so far and I’ll share them here to give you some ideas!

Summer:

Christmas:

Winter:

Spring has already started, so we better get moving on our list!

It was easy to make the chalkboard – I simply bought chalkboard paper and chalkboard paint markers.  I still have paper left on the original roll after covering the door that you see.  I simply erase with water the chalkboard paint and I’ve gotten three uses out of the one placing of paper.

Here’s the chalkboard paper…

…and chalkboard markers that I used:

This has been a lot of fun!

Birthday Presents (for Kids)

Hi to all (the mommas) who cringe about having a birthday party because of all the fuss and all the ‘junk’ (their kids get)!!

To reduce the birthday clutter, I have used the following poem to accompany the Evites for my oldest daughter’s birthday parties the past couple years and it’s been great for reducing birthday presents (which I have termed ‘junk’ after her 4 year old party):

Just wanted to mention – I’d like to spare you the fuss,
(not to mention my house feels just like ‘toys R us’)
I would like to suggest that for her special day,
If you’re feeling generous and to help on her way,
a couple dollars would be simply terrific,
as she wants to save money for something specific.
I hope you don’t mind or think me too rude
But I’d really appreciate the help if you could!

Some of my friends like to say only bring $7 if the child is turning 7, that sort of thing, but I don’t specify.

My daughter last year was able to buy a bicycle with the money from her party last year and it was awesome!

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I have another friend who does experiences (i.e. memberships, tickets, etc.) for Christmas and birthday gifts – she lets others give her kids physical gifts.

What have you done to minimize the birthday ‘clutter’ but still make your kids feel special and not minimize the celebration?

Toy Control

Disclaimer: we still have a play kitchen and some Little People castles, and a wicker basket for stuffed animals, but otherwise here are the bins that I limit the toys to in our sunroom:

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Current categories of bins: Dishes, Food, Little People, Magnetic Blocks, Balls, Figurines, Stackables.

Instead of filling all of the bins that this organizer/shelving unit came with, we decided to eliminate some bins (like more than half of them).  Less to put away.  My husband came up with the categories and labeled them (engineer that he is 🙂 ).  The dishes bin is a bit out of control but most of the time a lot of those items go in the play kitchen so it’s not usually so overflowing.  We have significantly decluttered play food and figurines over the years – really all of the categories.

What do you do to keep the toys ‘under control’? 😉