Games to play at the dinner table with 10 year old
October 16, 2020 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Our family is not great at eating at the table. It's something we stopped doing after my eldest with ADHD consistently took 45 minutes to eat her food. But I want to change this. We've been playing Mad Libs at the dinner table and it's fun and makes us all want to be there. What else can we play? I've seen this question, but it's geared a bit older and for a larger group. In our case, there are 2 adults and one 10 year old. She's not great with spelling or math.

Looking for simple games that might involve writing stuff down or reading off of cards. But no traditional board games or card games because we have a two-year old who will want to join in and grab things off of the table.
posted by kitcat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You might check out Table Topics. It's not a game, but cards for conversation starters. Sort of fun for getting things flowing.

I know you said no things that could be grabbed or cards, but you might try story cubes or create a story cards. They provide fun prompts for story telling and are all about just being creative.
posted by brookeb at 8:43 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]

Hedbandz seems like it would work -- nothing in reach of the toddler, but fun to ask questions and guess. There are different versions of the games, but I think you could also easily make your own cards to extend the game.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:48 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]

Is there's a version of Trivial Pursuit that works for the three of you? I think most of the Trivial Pursuit games I've ever played turned into informal "let's just take turns asking and answering questions, forget the board and all that." If you wanted to stick a little closer to the spirit of the actual gameplay, you could keep a tally for each category on paper. Everyone could use paper placemats for score-keeping, even.

Apples to Apples is actually my favorite casual group card game. I'm an adult. (With ADD.) It's cards, but maybe manageable enough since you don't really have to lay things out for gameplay.
posted by desuetude at 9:16 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]

We like to play “I’m thinking of an animal”. It’s something we made up I think? Whoever’s turn it is says “I’m thinking of an animal that ________” and gives a characteristic of that animal and everyone else asks yes or no questions about the animal. Whoever guesses correctly gets to think of the next animal.
posted by fancyoats at 9:31 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]

We would play 'Categories' when I was young. Pick a 4 or 5 letter word, then 4 or 5 categories, and think of an example in each category that begins with a letter from the word.
So for the word PLAN and the category 'mammals', one could have Panther, Leopard, Anteater, na----?. It can be as easy as the choices you make to begin.
posted by TDIpod at 11:25 AM on October 16

We have a “family cruise ship” and we go around the table adding features or rooms. “I’d add a bike park and a bike store where everything is free” “I’d add a store that only sells sour candy and puppies” “I’d put an invisibility shield on it for whale watching” Sometimes we add rooms for other people, it could be the person to your left, or everyone add a room for mom, or your best friend, whatever. It literally never gets old.

We also play telephone once the bulk of the eating is done.

Oh, and we got some awesome educational placemats at Michael’s (periodic table, world map, presidents, etc) and we have fun just talking about the info on everyone’s placemat. We have two copies of the presidents placemat and a popular game is making the face of one of the presidents and having the other people guess which one.
posted by zibra at 12:58 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]

We do knock knock jokes & telephone.
posted by icy_latte at 1:29 PM on October 16

Two truths and a lie.

Telling a story a word at a time can be fun i.e. each person in turn says a single word that builds off of the previous words to hopefully construct coherent sentences.
posted by mmascolino at 2:07 PM on October 16

I play a game called Green Bean on car trips. The "leader" for the round says a common phrase or idiom, but using synonyms for the real words. For example, the leader might say "lime legume" instead of "green bean", or "squirrel intersection" instead of "animal crossing". The rest of the tables tries to guess the correct phrase, and the winner is the next round's leader.

I also like a game called Contact, although it's probably too confusing / spelling heavy for your group. The examples here are pretty good.
posted by copperdrake at 2:50 PM on October 16

Quoting myself here... Sir Douglas Oliver Boliver is a story telling game featuring the title character, a person of immense skills of all types. The first player launches his adventure, making up a story that ends with him in some kind of life-threatening dilemma. The next person invents a way out of that peril, advances the plot and gets him into another pickle, seemingly with no way out. It can be very silly, Bondian, etc. Repeat until all are ready to quit.
posted by carmicha at 9:54 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]

I am sorry because this is not EXACTLY answering your question. But my 8 y.o. we started having reading during meals, from a set of books called "100 facts about..." math, history, animals, etc. Each page is one little self contained section. So it is easy enough to read a snippet quickly, it is engaging, and it then sparks off some good natural conversation. We have found this solves the same sort of problem you are describing.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:07 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]

When my family is at a restaurant, we play hangman on the kids' placemat that they give us. My kid is also 10.
posted by cleverevans at 3:05 PM on October 20

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