We have hit a point where our oldest do more playing than eating at the table, no matter what we say or bribe! We like being silly in our house and we often have sit down dinners so that we can sit and talk as a family, but it has hit a point where my husband and I feel like we are saying, "Take a bite!" or "Please eat first!" instead of any general conversation. We don't have any strict "rules" at our house. In general our kids know what is acceptable and what is not. But... the table for sure has numbered rules you must follow. The little idea that follows was the result of one of our rules!
When we had our "Meet Your Teacher" activity in Primary I printed of these conversation cards to use in various games. (I just went to get the link and noticed that the creator actually used the for the dinner table! I don't remember reading that at all, but I know I must have!!!!!) Anyways... we often take very long road trips to see our family, so I lamented them for future use. My daughter has a fetish for tiny things in tiny boxes, so she pulls these out to play with them ALL the time! Of course she ended up with them at the table and we were about to tell her to put them away! IT'S EATING TIME!!!!! Anyways, we decided that we could have this one thing at the table, but there was a catch!
First, print of the pretty cards she created (I plan on making some of my own later. This incident sparked all kinds of ideas in my head!).
Next, laminate them so they don't get food on them!
To play we all had to take a bite of food! Then one person would pick a card and all would answer it and take a big bite after your answer! Just keep going until all the food is gone!
It worked miracles at our meal!
STAY TUNED FOR MORE MEAL TIME IDEAS!!!! YEAH!!!!!!