The Art of Conversation - Conversation Coasters


 As our daughters have grown up, they have become more and more interested in hanging around at the dinner table beyond meal times to hear and join in with the adult conversations!

Since they have begun to show such an interest, I thought I would make up some 'conversation coasters' to help make dinner time a bit more fun and also to help develop their conversation skills.

We always have asked them questions at meal times, for example about what they have done that day; but now they are in school, we often get the response 'nothing', (which I understand is quite common amongst school age kids!)  So by putting the questions into a different form, and making it more like a game, we've found our kids actually want to tell us things!

Conversation skills are a difficult thing to teach your kids. Thinking of topics to talk about, knowing when to interject to make a comment, how to change topics etc. 

These coasters have proved to be a big hit with our girls.  Each night they are happy to set the table for dinner - as they then get to choose who gets which question - or sometimes they do it randomly - placing them upside-down so nobody knows which question we all have until they have been turned over.

We then choose somebody else to ask that question of, and usually it sparks more of a discussion, and sometimes others want to answer the same question too.

Here are the questions I made up on this first set.

I do plan to make more conversation coasters now and again, to add to the selection.  As the girls grow older, I'm sure the type of questions we have will grow with them.
 I have also made a set of ones for dinner parties, which are more 'grown up', with 'big questions' like 'Is there likely to be another World War?'!  Well, why shouldn't we join in on the fun too!



Do you have any different ways of starting conversations with your kids, or teaching them conversation skills?  What do you think of this idea?  Do you think it's too artificial? or do you think it is a valid method to encourage dinner time talk? What other questions do you think might be good to add to our selection?



If you're interested in how to make these fabric conversation coasters - and maybe would like to make some for yourself - click here to go to the post on my other blog 'Creating my way to Success' where I've posted a tutorial for them.


4 comments:

  1. Jill, hisashiburi! Thanks for following my blog. Now following you back. I love Kamakura, in fact that is where my husband and I got engaged. And I must say that I also like uni, although I know many Japanese who don't eat it ;-). CC Lemon is still around too.

    Hugs from Japan,
    Sonia

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  2. Hi Jill. Thanks for the comment on my blog.

    I love the theme of your blog and am sure to be back often.

    Similar to your coaster idea (which I love!), my sister's family used to have a dinnertime ritual called "best thing, worst thing" (or something) where each person would take their turn to say what was the worst part of their day followed by the best part of their day. Everyone played along and everyone respected each person's opinions about their day. I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough to play this game because it really makes you see the things that leave an impression on kids.

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  3. I love this idea! Thanks so much for following my blog, I'm your newest follower now too!

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  4. What a great way to get your kids to be more open with you :) i'm not a mom but i like to read stuff like this, just to keep in mind what I could do if a similar situation occurs in the future. It is so important to create an environment that encourages kids to talk to you as they get older.
    Perhaps you could add questions on the lines of 'Did you help someone today?' encouraging them to be altruistic and share stories of them assisting their peers and classmates.
    Just a suggestion :)

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