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Games to Play Around the Holiday Dinner Table

When you bring the whole family together, remember to put a bit of fun on the menu.

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Sure, holiday food memories are made from Mom’s mashed potatoes and Uncle Danny’s deviled eggs and the cranberry sauce your kid made by herself, but the laughter, conversation, and connections that come with dinnertime chat can inspire just as many sweet recollections. Whether your kids sit at their own table or dine with the grownups during the holidays, long stretches of feasting can be a challenge for small stomachs (and restless minds), and the inevitable adult topics are a trial for small attention spans. Bring everyone together and pass the time until dessert with these games that will get the whole clan playing along.

Gamify gratitude: Think beyond the “What are you thankful for?” roundtable and get a little more creative with your good vibes. If you’ve got a big group with some time to spare, play Gratitude Alphabet! The first player shares something that makes them grateful which starts with A (e.g. “all the animals”), the next player shouts out for something gratitude-worthy that starts with B (Grandma’s banoffee pie), and so on, all the way to Z.

Eat the rainbow: Challenge your kiddos to take bites from the holiday spread in ROY G. BIV order (if you need a refresher, that’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). While blue and purple might give you some trouble, the whole family is likely to be on the lookout for ways to complete the challenge. (Stash some blueberries or purple grapes out of sight to be the hero of the game.)

The surprise chair questionnaire: Hosting family for the holidays? Before everyone gathers, tape a simple, printed questionnaire to the underside of all your dining room chairs—with questions like “What was your nickname growing up?”, “What were your chores as a kid?”, and “What did you want Santa to bring when you were five?”. During the meal, surprise everyone by asking them to reach under their chairs and grab the questions, then go around answering them one by one. Kids (and grownups) can learn new things about their family members and the element of surprise will have everyone playing along.

Get help from the pros—and some dice: One of our favorite games to play with older kids, Quixx is a deceptively simple game of colored dice and numbers that’s sure to become a regular at the dinner table. It doesn’t take up much room (leaving plenty of space for dinner plates, salad plates, and pie plates) and is a sneaky way to boost mental math skills.

Did you know? Little Sous offers a monthly themed kids cooking box that will help your family connect in the kitchen. Check out our subscription options!