I’m sharing how to make dinner time more memorable with a simple and fun conversation starter jar.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Lipton® Tea. I love partnering with brands that I use in my daily life, and the opportunity to share them with you makes this website possible. As always, all thoughts and opinions are a million percent my own.
How do evening go in your house? I’m asking because ours aren’t always pretty.
Lucy’s going to preschool now, which she LOVES, but by the time she comes home and plays for a few hours…or runs errands with me…or goes to gymnastics…she’s DONE. She’s usually cranky and hungry, which is fabulous because Jon David has homework or school projects to discuss, and I’m trying to wrap up laundry and get dinner going.
And by fabulous, I mean not fabulous. The exact OPPOSITE of fabulous. Because the evening is when everything I’ve juggled all day seems to fall right into my lap at once.
I’ve gotten in the habit of creating a few little routines that make this time of the day just a bit brighter for all of us. I stash away some fun little toys, stickers and coloring books from the dollar bin for when Lucy is crabby and bored. Depending on WHAT kind of day it’s been, I pour myself a glass of wine or Lipton Tea®, and I prepare dinner as I sip my drink and listen to a podcast playing in the background.
Through the week we write down questions and put them on little slips of paper — this is PERFECT for those days when kids are asking ALL the things! Tell them, “Let’s write those down for later!” and put them in a jar. Not only do you fill the jar, but you don’t have to answer everything at once!
Jon David sets the table and fills glasses with Lipton® iced tea while I put the finishing touches on dinner. I love that I can buy it already prepared (and in a variety of flavors), which is a major plus for me! Sometimes I’m on top of my game and we have meatloaf and roast chicken and several sides for dinner…and sometimes we have sloppy joes and potato chips.
What do you do. Whatever my culinary failing may be, the important thing is that sitting down together is a non-negotiable in my house. I find comfort in knowing that no matter how hectic things get, we always have that time set aside to connect with one another. And I know that my kids find comfort in that consistency and in knowing that they have our undivided attention.
After many years of “who did you play with at recess?” and “what did you learn today?” we came up with our Conversation Jar as a way to freshen up our dinner routine!
We take turns passing the jar around the table, picking out a question, and asking everyone to answer it. I often find that I am surprised by the answers, and learn things about my kids (and even my husband!) that I normally would have never known. It also helps keep the kids from picking at their food and asking to be excused — we often sit at the table long after we’ve cleaned our plates, talking about whatever odd topic we’ve landed on.
There are a LOT of areas where I fail as a parent, but it is my sincere hope that my children grow up and value dinner time and the good that comes from making time together around the table a priority.
What ways do you keep your family excited about dinner? Is it trying new meals? Cooking together? Fun games around the dinner table? I’d love to hear what works for you!
Be sure to check out Food Network Bright Bites for fun new ways to add creativity to fall meals or flavor your iced tea. Lots of doable, family friendly suggestions!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lipton. The opinions and text are all mine.