It may not be too late to start a family garden- the 4 X 4 way. it’s easy to put together, care for, and makes for a great family project. Read more about how to build the garden plus two links to helpful growers’ websites:
by donR March 6th 2016
The Family Dinner Project website has “tons of conversation starters” appropriate for any age level and on a variety of topics. These prompts can be written on cards and shared during the family dinner. This is just one of their many strategies for promoting thoughtful conversation and this is the easy part. Yes, I repeat: “Starting a conversation is easy” …compared to “Carrying On A Meaningful Conversation.” Read more about how to keep a conversation going. Continue reading
Playing games is one way to have fun. Creative elementary school teachers use them to fill in time or give kids a break from the regular routine. They are equally useful on long trips in the car and at the family dinner table while food finishes cooking. Visit The Family Dinner Project website and download game ideas categorized by age levels.
Another way to have fun is to challenge your family with riddles, mental tasks and interesting puzzles. Here are three types of challenges I used while teaching at all levels:
Riddles: Browse the internet to find interesting scenarios like the
“Man In Apartment 5C”
“On rainy days a man grabs his umbrella and hat, leaves his fifth-floor apartment at 7:30 AM, rides the elevator to the first floor lobby and walks to work. He returns at 5:00 PM, rides the elevator to the fifth floor and retires to his room.
However, on sunny days he grabs his sunglasses, leaves his fifth-floor apartment at 7:30 AM, rides the elevator to the first floor lobby and walks to work. He returns at 5:00 PM, rides the elevator to the third floor, takes the stairs to the fifth floor and retires to his room.
Challenge: What does the man look like?.
Procedure: One family member can keep asking questions until getting a “no” answer. Then it’s the next member’s turn and so on until they solve the challenge. (The answer is somewhere on page.)
Riddles: ” How far can a puppy walk into the woods?” or
“What do they call a home for several puppies?”
- Find an interesting photo and cut it into six pieces with the most interesting part completely on one of the 6 pieces.
- Number each 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 and save 6 for the interesting piece.
- Place each piece in separate numbered envelopes.
- Procedure. Place part #1 on table and ask your family: “What is the whole picture about?”
- Put #2 with #1. Now what’s the big idea?
- Place #3 on the table and so on.
answers: Man: He’s very short. (needs the umbrella to reach the 5th floor button)
Puppies: A) an apupment or pup tent
B: half way when the middle is reached the puppy is walking “out” of the woods,
Note: It’s often more fun to encourage any answer for a week or two to prolong the discussion and find better answers.
by donR March 2nd 2016
Preparing the meal during a Family Cook-In is fun. However it is just one of several activities planned for the gathering. Prep and cooking needs to unfold in a short amount of time to allow for lots of game activities and meaningful conversations.
There are ways to assemble a nutritious meal without resorting to highly processed foods like Uncle Ben’s Instant Rice or Jello Instant pie filling. Here are 25 ways to cut prep and cooking time: Continue reading
by donR, February 15, 2016
Everyone appreciates a well-planned event. Volunteers can focus on their responsibilities and guests will be thoroughly engaged throughout the event. The plan also needs to lead toward achieving your goal as described in part one: The Goal.
Here is a general plan you may find useful regardless of the type of event. Continue reading
by donR February 15, 2016
Valentine’s Day is over. Well, it’s over for Hallmark as they prepare their shelves for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. But that doesn’t mean the “Spirit of Loving” cannot be expressed every day as we go on with our lives. Wouldn’t it be easy to reflect upon the goodness and love that each member brings to a family meal? Here are some possible rituals that could be incorporated into your family meal, game or conversation. Continue reading
by donR February 14, 2016
Six families from the Loving Tree School gathered for “Food Fun and Meaningful Conversation” around the UCF dinner tables in Ferndale Washington. This event was our first “Community Dinner” (aka locally as “Family Cook-Ins”) and was designed using The Family Dinner Project core ideas. Over the next five days we will share how the FDP Organizers Toolkit helped us plan the “Family Cook-In” and make it such a fun-filled experience for everyone.
Part one: The Goal: Continue reading
by donR February 10, 2016
The Family Meals Project team of volunteers will gather at United church of Ferndale to introduce the idea of having food fun and conversation during meals . The Loving Tree Preschool Children and their parents will be treated to a sit-down meal, play games and engage in meaningful conversation.
The idea of having food fun and conversation during sit-down dinners is not a new idea. Most children of the post-depression era ate with family around the dinner table; at least everyone I ran around with.. However the Whatcom County health Department reported a decline in the number of children sitting around the table for dinner in a 2008 study. (But I’d guess that the decline started when tv dinners, drive-in restaurants and cell phones were popularized.) Continue reading
by donR January 23, 2016
The “4 Weeks To Better Dinners Program” encourages families to call “time-out” and step away from the daily pressures of living in our fast-paced World. Families that choose to “step into” the kitchen to plan and prepare a meal together, play and eat while sitting at the table and share ideas during friendly conversion will discover the many benefits of adopting this routine in their lives. Here are 5 ways your family can benefit by accepting the 4 week challenge. Continue reading