Let's make memories! What if you knew exactly which games to play with your ... read more
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
I don’t remember doing this with my mother, but nowadays, apparently it comes with growing up.
Actually, I like being in the kitchen. And if I’m not too tired and relaxed enough (and with some mental preparation) I really enjoy being in the kitchen with the kids as well.
It’s just that you need the right recipes to cook with kids.
High on the list of summer activities for kids, but hated by my husband: sidewalk chalk.
I don’t know why, but he truly detests the stuff.
Not that this fact always stops me from handing out the stuff anyway, but that’s a different matter.
No, there’s a fun summer activity for kids to do that doesn’t involve any kind of sidewalk chalk or paint at all and it more or less cleans itself up.
To be a happy mom, you don’t follow a list. To live as a happy mom, is to live a happy mommy lifestyle.
The list is handy, yes, but only to pick and choose things from that you can insert into your daily life.
A happy mommy has a secret formula that she lives by every day. A secret formula to be a happy mom always, every day.
Want to know what that is? I’ll tell you…
I remember sitting with my newborn son in my arms. It was the middle of the night; I was feeding him. The world was dark, except for the small circle of light we were sitting in.
I was frazzled. I was tired.
Above all, I was panicked.
How was I responsible for this little new life?
The next few days were not any easier. Was he sleeping enough? Was he sleeping too much? Why wasn’t he emptying his bottle?!
To me, being a new mom was a complete roller coaster. I didn’t feel like I knew what to do. I worried a lot about whether I was doing things right for my son. And I really just wanted someone to explain to me how one raises a child.
Family Friendly Conversation Starters
What is diner time supposed to look like? Besides the food I mean.
Everyone at the table, check.
Good, wholesome meal, mostly check.
Lively conversation, …..
If you have kids (and you are likely to have them if you’re here) you know that asking them how their day at school was doesn’t lead anywhere.
And though some of us like to talk about work, it’s not always a great conversation topic. Especially with kids around.
Enter family friendly conversation starters! An easy and particularly fun way to get conversation flowing at the dinner table. It’s a really good way to get to know your kids better (and keep up with their development, thoughts and feelings)!
My husband and I used to play this game together with friends, back in the day. You know, the pre-kids era?
So I thought this would be cool to do at the dinner table, or just anytime for fun as well. But finding family friendly ones that included cards for toddlers was difficult (or expensive!). So, I decided to make my own 🙂
Family Friendly Conversation Starters – Free Download
To make them versatile and easy to use, I’ve created these conversation cards in four categories, each with a different color:
Toddler friendly – 15 extra questions for Tot, to make sure that they can add something to the conversation as well 🙂
Family friendly – 75 family friendly questions to share with your kids or between you and your partner!
Blank cards to make your own
Mix and match as you see fit and have fun!
Take this game as it comes. Maybe your child still needs to learn about gratitude and doesn’t know how to answer questions about it. That too is part of the game; a chance to talk and learn for everyone.
It is not even obligatory to answer a question if you don’t want to, or can’t. Of course, you can always take a question completely out of the stack, but you can also turn it into a conversation about the topic, without really answering the question.
Toddler friendly questions
- What is your favorite song?
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite car?
- What is your favorite animal?
- What do you like most about school?
- What is your favorite bed-time book to read?
- What do you like doing most with daddy?
- What is the best thing about your big brother?
- What is your favorite game to play?
- What is your favorite food to eat?
- What is your favorite hide and seek spot?
- What’s your favorite outfit? Why?
- Who is your best friend?
- What makes you happy?
- What is the best thing that happened today?
Family friendly Questions
- What do you like to do for fun most?
- Where do you feel safest?
- What makes you different from your friends?
- What are your goals for this school year?
- Which superhero would you like to be?
- What are you most proud of?
- What is the scariest thing you can think of?
- What is your favorite book?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you like to live?
- What is your happiest memory?
- What are you grateful for?
- What did you laugh about today?
- What do you do when you’re stressed out?
- What’s one thing that you would like to learn?
- What would you like to be able to do?
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
- What’s your favorite movie?
- If you could paint over your room, what color would it be?
- If you were an animal, which animal would you be?
- What is your favorite sport?
More questions to come – but let’s take a break here
This is one of those games that don’t really have the purpose to win. The main purpose of the conversation starters game is to have fun and enjoy and bond with your loved ones.
Which is why playing this with grandparents is always a hit as well. Inevitably they begin to shine when they hear the answers of the little ones.
- What is your least favorite chore?
- If you could pick your own name, what would it be?
- What would you like to be when you grow up?
- What is your favorite meal?
- Mom or day, share a story from when you were young
- What is your oldest memory?
- How do you think your parents met? Then the parents tell the story.
- If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
- What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
- Describe the person sitting next to you in 3 words. Only loving things!
- If you won a huge amount of money, what would you do with it?
- If you planned our next family vacation, where would we go to and what would we do?
- What makes you feel loved?
- What is your favorite dessert?
- Would you ever get a tattoo? If yes, what would it be? If not, why not?
- What is your favorite number? Why?
- Which do you like best, summer or winter?
- Would you rather live at the beach, or in the mountains?
- What is the best dream you have ever had?
- Have you ever cried of happiness?
Deep and Moving Questions
You see that some questions are pure fun and some may be very moving or deep. Such as whether you’ve ever cried of happiness.
Some questions are about learning too. Toddlers, for instance, but pre-schoolers also, might not yet have a solid notion of grattitude. You can use the deeper and more moving questions to teach them about these concepts as well.
On a similar note, if there are questions you’d rather not discuss at the dinner table, then don’t! It’s meant to be fun, right? This game is free and flexible and should be played in a way that fits your family and needs.
- Tell a joke
- Tell us about a time when you had to be brave
- If you could be any age right now, how old would you be?
- What is your favorite memory of your grandparents
- What would you do if you were queen or king for a day?
- If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
- What hobby would you do if you could pick anything at all?
- What would your perfect room look like?
- What place from a book or movie would you like to go to most?
- What job would you be absolutely terrible at?
- When was the last time you climbed into a tree?
- What is the most annoying habit that other people have?
- What job do you think you’d be really good at?
- If you could build the house of your dreams, then what would it look like?
- What would your ideal day look like?
- What is your favorite day of the year?
- What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
- What is the most annoying question people ask you?
- What is the best thing that ever happened to your?
- What game do you play most often on the computer or iPad/Tablet
Family Friendly Conversation Starters – DIY Cards
Some final advice before I let you go onto the last leg of questions.
The easiest and probably fastest way of getting these cards made (as in under 5 minutes, because which parent has more than 5 minutes to spare? I sure don’t.) is to print them and then cut them into rectangular pieces with a cutter or a metal ruler and a crafting knife.
Easy does it 🙂
- How old would you like to get?
- What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
- If you were the only person left on the planet, what would you do?
- What is your favorite smell?
- What can you not stop doing?
- What food can you not resist ever?
- What would be the scariest monster you can imagine?
- Would you rather always be 10 minutes late, or 20 minutes early
- Would you rather be completely invisible for one day, or be able to fly for one day?
- What was the worst thing you ate lately?
- What is something nobody knows about you?
- What do you think mom and dad should do on our next date
- What do you like best about our family
- What is your favorite time of the day
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Don’t forget to download these!
Have fun and let me know if your kids came up with some hilarious, or particularly surprising answers!
Mommy play with me
Some kids just naturally play by themselves.
Just as some moms seem to have this natural ability to play with their kids all day.
My kid is not one of those kids.
I’m not one of those moms.
String Lacing Activities & Fine Motor Skills
Lacing activities are a great way to improve fine motor skills and stays fun for quite some time. Really, the love of making things never quite leaves us!
A while ago, we also laces candy to a string, but we really can’t keep doing that if I have any hope of teaching the kids to eat healthily
So this is a different variation you can try and uses things that are probably lying about the house.
Like the box of straws that I bought for a birthday party recently, and won’t be needing in the coming year…
A quick wee sideline: Because I know how hard it can be to come up with fun games each time, I’ve created a 7-day challenge for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. This is a great way to get started if you’ve fallen out of the habit of playing with your kids, or to learn about fresh ideas and activities.
Each day for 1 week, you will receive an e-mail with an activity that you can do with your kids. Join the newsletter and start your 7 days of play today!
What you’ll need:
- Some scissors;
- A piece of string;
- Colored straws;
- Some tape, preferably hobby or washi tape;
Well, not really…at least, if you trust your kid with a pair of scissors. This really is a great excersice for kids to improve their skills with a pair of scissors as well, as the pieces of straw don’t need very exact cutting.
However, if you are wary of your child cutting, then cut up the pieces of straw yourself beforehand.
Necklace String Lacing Activity
Let your child cut a couple of straws into pieces. Most kids love cutting, so this should keep them busy for a while.
C absolutely loves to cut things up and will often request to do it quite at random.
In the meantime, cut off a piece of string yourself, that is long enough to be a necklace.
Tape one end of the string to the table, so that the pieces of straw can’t fall off the end during the activity.
Once that is done and the pieces of straw are cut up, invite your child to string the pieces of straw onto the string.
When the string is full, gently remove the tape. Be careful not to loose any pieces of straw! And knot the two ends together to make a necklace.
And voila, a beautiful self-made necklace for the kids, or mommy
Some of the couples we’re friends with appear to bicker all the time. Every time we see them, there’s some fighting in their marriage.
My husband and I will exchange a mildly confused look whenever we see such couples, because we can’t imagine it being a lot of fun. We argue as well, I guess a vast majority of couples do, but it’s usually limited to only a handful times a year (if that). And more often than not, it could be qualified as a heated debate, rather than an actual argument.
Monsters are such fascinating creatures.
I know I’m not the only one who thinks so, testimony to all the monster printables on Pinterest!
My kids agree with me as well and we play plenty of monster games – must remember to write a post about that as well!
Puzzels for Toddlers
Similarly, both of my boys love puzzels, the toddler included. C absolutely loves doing jigsaw puzzels and is forever toting boxes of jigsaws out of the play cabinet.
In and of themselves puzzels are great play for kids. They help learning and conquering fine motor skills (handling all of those little pieces) and help the visual parts of the brain develop (translating parts of an image to a larger whole) as well as training problem solving skills.
Phew! That’s a lot for one game!
There’s another way that puzzels can help your child grow in a playful manner, though, and that is by turning learning into play.
Monster Numbers Puzzel
I decided to test a numbers puzzel on my toddler. My older son joined in as well.
I notice they do that a lot. As long as kids ages aren’t too far apart and the game isn’t too simple or too complex, both will join in on the fun and learn and grow in the process
I took a cute monster image and divided it into 10 pieces.
Add numbers underneath.
Print and cut. And there’s your puzzle.
Monster Number Puzzels Success
This was pretty predictable, but as expected both kids loved this little puzzel. Experiment succeeded!
I’m going to have to print this on thicker paper, though, so I can save it and use it again without the pieces getting all fumbled and torn.
If you happen to have a laminator (I do not) it might be wise to laminate the pieces.
FREE 7-day challenge
Because I know how hard it can be to come up with fun games each time, I’ve created a 7-day challenge for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. This is a great way to get started if you’ve fallen out of the habit of playing with your kids, or to learn about fresh ideas and activities.
Each day for 1 week, you will receive an e-mail with an activity that you can do with your kids, including this Monster Puzzel. Join the newsletter and start your 7 days of play today!
My kids absolutely adore play dough.
I’m not sure why. Both my husband and I don’t fancy the stuff at all.
Unfortunately (or, fortunately, in my husbands views) the stuff never lasts long. Colors get mixed together and the stuff dries out like nothing else.
My kids are good at making a mess, but cleaning their play dough up…
Buying new jars each time tends to get expensive quickly, so we make our own and this is one of our favorite recipes!