No, this isn't a post about menu planning. Although I have big plans for organizing that aspect of my life very soon too! Rather I wanted to share some ideas for how to sit down and enjoy a meal together as a family. I have a few things we use...and actually keep right on our kitchen table as part of the centerpiece. It's decorative and useful, all at the same time! Here is the centerpiece on our table. Doesn't really change unless it's a special occasion or holiday. But other than that, I always keep the same several items in the middle of our kitchen table.
So, what do I keep here in the center of our family meal time? Let's take a peek! First of all, I have found that keeping the napkins on the table and easily accessible is a life saver with three little ones. I don't have to run to a drawer to grab a few more and I don't have to hop out of my chair to pick them up off a shelf. They are in the middle of our eating area and even the kiddos can grab one when they need it. The salt and pepper shaker are here also...just because it makes the most sense! I love having flowers where we eat. And while fresh flowers are beautiful, the silk ones work just fine also. Aren't these pretty? Yellow just makes me smile!
Another item you might notice is our "prayer popsicle sticks." This is my newest item that I have added to the bunch. My two oldest kiddos love to pray before we eat. And these popsicle sticks add a little variety to the prayers. They can each grab one and see what it says to pray for. Then while praying they can make sure to include a prayer for that person, or that need, or that praise! Ideas for your "prayer popsicle sticks" might include: pray for our neighbors, pray for your teachers, thank God for something good today, pray for the child we sponsor in Honduras, etc. Choosing a stick adds a bit of fun to the dinner prayer time!
And last but not least, one of favorite items in our meal time centerpiece is the "table talk" jar. I added a few sweet words and cute touches to the jar with some mod podge and then printed out a bunch of questions on strips of paper. I just looked up some ideas for family time questions around the dinner table and found lots of them! I chose my favorites. The kiddos each get to pick a question from the jar and we all take turns answering their question during dinner time. You can decide if you want to take the question out of the jar, until all of them have been chosen or maybe it's okay with you if they get reapeated throughout the week. The questions range from thoughts like "What's your favorite book? Let's read it together tonight!" to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" to "What was something that made you happy today?" The questions act like a spring board to talk about your day and have fun sharing together. This is a family favorite!
Hope you enjoyed some ideas on how to organize your family meal time with some fun! And of course, I would love to hear if you have any other ideas you use or would like to share with me. Enjoy your dinner together tonight!
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