11 Meal Time Conversation Ideas for Preschoolers

11:59 pm Creativity and Imagination

So Melitsa asked me this question:

We sit around the table for our meals. I have a 5 yr old, a 2 year and soon to be born little one. Can you give any tips for starting points of what to talk to the kids about?

Here are some ideas:

  1. I can’t resist the opportunity to enrich vocabulary at the table – point out new foods that she’s unfamiliar with.
  2. Talk about her day – what she did, where she went, what did she play there?
  3. Introduce a new word to describe foodsdelicious, scrumptious, tasty, yummy, delectable.
  4. Ask her what was the absolute worst thing that happened to her that day and the absolute worst.
  5. Ask questions about foods, cutlery. Is that a blue pudding? Is this a round plate?
  6. Introduce her to taste wordsspicy, sweet, bitter.
  7. Ask questions that encourage creativityif you were an apple, what color would you be?
  8. Fantasize about her dream dish, with all her favorite ingredients – sugar, her favorite fruits, her favorite choice of meat etc. The end result won’t be palatable, but it will make her smile.
  9. Ask her to bring a favorite object to the dinner table – it could be a favorite toy or picture, something from her nature table, a book, anything. Now ask her what’s so important about the object and why it means so much to her.
  10. If you can, choose a theme for dinner. Maybe an upcoming family event or reunion, or a vacation. It’s easy to get kids talking when they feel like they are participating in adult events.
  11. Select a day as Dress Up for Dinner Day and ask your kids to dress to the hilt – tiaras, feather boa, clutch. Help them get ready in all their finery, and include the costume as the central theme at dinner time. Why did she choose that dress? Who is she tonight? What kind of jewelry is she wearing?

So, what do you talk about with your kids at meal times?


9 Responses
  1. Simple Mom :

    Date: May 6, 2008 @ 2:17 am

    What cute ideas! I’ll have to bookmark this.

    Sometimes we ask each other what our favorite thing is. What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite animal? Then we have to say why.

    Sometimes it gets kinda silly – my 3-yr-old will look around the room for ideas – What’s your favorite couch? What’s your favorite door? It cracks her up, for some reason.

  2. PreSchool Mama :

    Date: May 6, 2008 @ 2:28 am

    LOL! Cracks me up too!!

  3. Root & Sprout :

    Date: May 6, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

    I’m a big fan of replacing tired words with ones people don’t often use. Not many toddlers use the word “scrumptious” as often as mine, and it’s hilarious to hear such a big word coming out of such a little mouth!!

  4. Alison :

    Date: May 7, 2008 @ 11:15 am

    These are great conversations! I’m going to try these tonight and see if we can steer away from the usual talk of bodily functions. Charming, we are.

  5. Melitsa :

    Date: May 9, 2008 @ 1:39 am

    Thanks Preschool Mama for answering our question. It’s always good to have new ideas. We especially like no. 7.

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