What To Do
- Keep a small packet of origami paper (available in craft stores) in your handbag; it’s packaged with instructions that older kids can follow on their own, and adults can entertain younger ones by making the simple folded sculptures for them.
Mind My Manners
- Choose five or so rules for the game, for example:
- Use quiet voices
- Keep your elbows off the table
- No interrupting
- Put your napkin in your lap
- Take small bites, no gulping
- Taste everything and so on, depending on the ages of your children
- Divide into teams (split kids and adults).
- Whichever team has the fewest infractions by the end of the meal wins all the after-dinner mints or picks the next restaurant or movie rental.
Talk It Up
- Isn’t that what mealtime is all about? Pick topics to talk about at the table, for example:
- “Ask me any question about my childhood.”
- “What was the strangest thing you saw today?”
- “If you could change one thing in your school, what would it be?”
- Encourage all the family members to have their say.
- If older kids have had enough family time for the day, opt for two tables (one for each generation) and an evening of peaceful, adult conversation.