Simple and fun conversation games for kids to get them talking and interacting with the family during dinner or a family gathering.
Conversation games for kids can help children open up and talk to parents which helps open those lines of effective communication which can be so difficult to open up sometimes. You can gain insight into your children’s heart through the power of play, and have some family fun while you’re at it too.
It is really important to converse with your child and know them well, especially during those teenage years in high school where they tend to keep to themselves and hide information from parents simply because they don’t think it’s relevant for you to know about or they fear of getting in trouble about it.
It can be eye opening to find out what broke you children’s heart, even if it seems silly to you, it’s a big deal to them. Having that conversation opens up the opportunity to really connect and be there for your child in their times of sorrow, no matter how ridiculous you might believe the problem is.
Building a solid foundation with kids when they are younger will help parents connect with children as they get older, and the kids will be more inclined to share all the things that their world is made up of without being shy, or scared. Not to mention is helps build up their emotional intelligence as well as promote children’s communication skills.
We all want what’s best for our children, and it starts at home, through a simple social skills game and fun conversations that don’t involve screen time.
Here are the best dinnertime conversation starters and games to get your chirpy little chatterbox to open up and start chatting.
See also: How To Spend Quality Time With Kids
How To Use Conversation Games For Kids to Get Them Communicating
Conversation games for kids can be played anywhere you like, however mealtimes and bedtime are my personal favorite times to play, but you can also use them on road trips or when you’re in a lineup and you want to play a fun game.
During family meals, we always sit as a family around the dinner table and talk about our day. With my husband being away at work, my children being at school, and me staying home with the baby, we all have different parts of our lives that no one else knows about, so this is the perfect time to discuss.
We love to talk about things that were great about the day, things that could be made us sad or upset, and things that we are really proud of as well.
Because this daily tradition was started while the kids were still in high chairs, they are very used to the discussion part of dinner time and are always happy to chime in with their crazy stories.
Sometimes I get an earful about Minecraft and the adventures that were had on the computer the hour I was preparing dinner, and sometimes I find out that there is a child that isn’t so nice to one of my kids in their classroom. Wherever the conversations take us, I am always so grateful for them because I really get to know what is in my children’s heart that day and that makes me feel connected with my babies.
If you want to start conversations during meal times with your little ones, this set of table topics is a really easy and fun way to get started. You can discuss anything from the five senses to gratitude topics.
The great thing about these table topics is that some of the cards encourage kids to fill in the blanks and come up with some of their own variety of topics, with a simple prompt to make things easy of course. These question cards are excellent for little kids, and older kids too. Don’t think you can’t use them if you have other adults visit your dinner table either, they are totally fun for creating conversations with anyone and everyone.
Bedtime on the other hand is one of my other favorite times of the day to start conversations to really help me connect with the children. They are sleepy, cuddly and very very chatty at bedtime. While the chattiness may bother you at this time because you really want them to go to sleep, you can use this opportunity to connect and play with your little ones.
We have a great bedtime routine, and we started it when the kids were toddlers and still use them to this day as they are older. A good bedtime routine is very important and it can help children be cheerful, happy and healthy individuals.
If you make conversation games a part of your bedtime routine, it can become a simple habit and your children will get used to sharing and playing as you tuck your little ones in at night.
In the evening’s children tend to dive deep into topics that you may have never known were on their minds. It’s a good idea to be open and sensitive to the things they share with you, especially if it involves children being picked on at school or if your little one is having a hard time with a certain school subject.
If you know that there is a possibility of a half an hour conversation during bedtime, adjust your bedtime routine to accommodate this. Don’t rush bedtime, or make bedtime run too late because of these meaningful conversations.
Let Your Child Be The Leader And Discuss What They Love
Remember that just because you could be using a conversation card pack to get the discussions rolling that your little ones can’t be the leader in the conversation. Let your little one with their huge kids’ imagination lead the conversation, even if things get a little bit off-topic.
Letting your child lead the conversation can lead to some really interesting discoveries about your children’s heart, things you never knew were even on their minds.
These types of conversations are so precious, and they won’t be like this forever so enjoy these moments and let your little one ramble on about whatever it is they want to discuss with you.
You can also prompt your child to talk about what they enjoy, be it their favorite toy, a video game they play or about their favorite subject at school.
Even if the subject drives you crazy, like Pokemon or Minecraft, you should make an effort and listen to it because they won’t be into this stuff forever and if you don’t listen to the “nonsense” now, they may not share with you the important stuff later.
Talking about things they love gets them pretty chatty and quickly too, so there’s nothing wrong with starting a conversation about their favorite things. Don’t be afraid to ask interesting questions about their favorite subjects which can get your child deeper and more interested in the conversation you are having.
Simple Best Conversation Games For Kids
Free Game: Would You Rather
Have you heard of this game? It’s been around forever and it is a great one to add to the dinner table and can improve children’s conversation.
It’s very simple to play. One family member asks another “Would you rather” and then completes the sentence with 2 choices such as “play hockey on a team or meet a famous hockey player like Wayne Gretsky?”
The great thing about this game is that there is no right or wrong answer and whichever choice they make can hit a conversation. For example, why would you rather meet Wayne Gretsky and miss out playing on a hockey team? Wouldn’t it be more fun to learn how to play hockey so you can be as good as Wayne Gretsky one day and people will want to meet YOU?
You can also get super funny and ask “would you rather have a unicorn horn or the tail of a monkey?
Perhaps that example is for the younger crowd but hey, it starts those conversations and gives kids a good laugh.
Just an example that gets the wheels rolling, you know?
Free Game: The Famous Person Game
Have you played the Famous Person Game? I used to play this game at summer camp to break the ice and start conversations.
How it works is you write on a piece of paper the name of well-known people (people that your children know as well like paw patrol characters or Blippi) and put those pieces of paper on all of the foreheads.
Your children need to ask questions about the name on their forehead and see if they can figure out who they are. The other family members are not supposed to simply reveal who they are either. It has to be challenging and fun.
The game is over when the last person can guess who they are correct.
This kind of game really gets the family laughing, engaging and having a blast. This kind of quality fun can open up conversations later on in the evening because it tends to break any tension (that you may not have even known was there) between you and your kids ( or other family members with different perspectives) and your children are more likely to come over and start a conversation.
Free Game: Speed Speak
This is a really fun one, especially if the kids are younger! How it works is each family member needs to talk for 30 seconds about a topic another family member suggested.
The trick is to talk for that 30 seconds without saying the words “um” “like” or use long pauses to think about the topic. You can use a timer to time that 30 seconds and literally talk about anything and everything you can think of.
Our most funny ones have been about “toes” and “rubber boots”
This is a really classic way to break any tension during supper time and a great way to make some memories while you’re at it.
Free Game: Telephone
Telephone is a classic game that I learned how to play while in school. You can play this game by coming up with a sentence and then whispering this sentence into your children’s ear, then having your child repeat the sentence into the next children’s ear until you’ve reached the last person in your family.
The last person says the sentence out loud and then the first person who came up with the sentence also says the sentence out loud.
You’ll find a lot of the time, the sentence has been modified as it went through the “telephone line” and sometimes it turns out really funny.
You can always talk about how talking about others behind their backs and gossip goes through schools and how this kind of information can be very hurtful to other children, and how it’s hard to trust this kind of information because of how many sources the gossip goes through before it actually reaches you.
These are all excellent lessons that children can learn while still in elementary school.
Game To Buy: Rory’s Story Cubes
Rory’s Story Cubes simple game, that takes up very little storage space in your family game cubby. It encourages children to tell stories and stretch their imagination.
Game To Buy: The Art Of Children’s Conversation
The Art Of Children’s Conversation is the talking game that everyone’s talking about. It helps develop listening and talking skills and can be used starting Kindergarten kids ages.
Game To Buy: This is Me – Sentence Completion Game
This Is Me is a sentence completion game that helps with social skills, learning self-regulation and is a great tool for teaching about feelings. This is a really good pack of conversation cards that helps kids with anger management too.
Thoughts And Feelings is a great game that is also a tool for parents designed to engage children of all ages to help identify, work through and process many issues such as trauma, grief, depression, anxiety and anger.
Conversation Games For Kids Benefits And Outcomes
There are great benefits to playing conversation games with kids, it shows that you are interested in their interests, opens lines of communication, makes conversation flow easy, creates family traditions and memories.
Shows Your Interest In Them: Having conversations around your children’s interests shows your child that you really do care about their interests, even if it’s difficult to listen to. You’re showing them that you care about their likes and dislikes and you’re showing them that they are seen and heard by you.
Conversation games for kids feed into the human need that everyone has for being seen and heard which helps children feel a large sense of belonging and comfort. When you engage in conversations they truly believe that parents have a good understanding of the child which helps with brain development, emotional regulation which is an important life skill.
Opens Up Communication Lines: When you start a conversation with your little one, you’re likely not going to stay on the subject you started out on. Starting a conversation about favorite animals and even another favorite thing can lead to fears they could be having or successes they haven’t yet shared with you.
The dinner conversation starter is just the starter, the momentum happens through engaging and continuing the talk. Positive parents like you and me, want our children to grow up to be kind and successful, and we will do anything we can to teach our kids important conversation skills.
The reality is, children will not come out and tell you about their problems, or they rarely will if they do come out with it. This is where conversation games for kids create an opening for the portal of conversation.
Makes Conversation Flow Easy: Because conversation games for kids open up the lines of conversation, they do in turn make the flow of conversing nice and easy too with easy conversation topic ideas.
Creates Family Traditions And Memories: My kids seem to remember anything and everything that is even the silliest thing and some of the conversations that come out of these conversations games are hilarious and ridiculous, which is FUN and exciting!
How fun would it be knowing that one day when your kids are older, they will want to play conversation games with their own kids simply because of the memories and traditions that were created with your family when they were younger.
Kids remember the silliest, and most fun things from their childhood, and very rarely remember the negative aspects, which makes your job as a parent pretty simple, as long as you try and raise children who are happy, well balanced and having fun while using positive discipline to teach important lessons.
The Value Of Talking Games
We all want is best for our children and creating strong and healthy relationships is at the top of the list of important things to keep in mind and focus on. These simple conversation games for kids and word play are powerful and simple ways to accomplish the strong relationship you are longing for and they promote critical thinking skills as well.
When your younger children are in need of emotional support, it is important they know they can come to you for help, but even if you have a very strong relationship, they may not come right out and admit they need your ear and advice. This is where these conversation games provide a valuable opportunity. They encourage the conversations in your child’s life that otherwise may not have ever happened.
When your child feels the safety and security of their home environment they will trust your feelings and emotions more which in turn helps them to take your advice seriously which in turn creates a strong family dynamic.
Remember to always think before you speak when your child says something that could be shocking, as saying the wrong thing could make the child shy away from saying anything like that ever again, and that in turn creates a ruined dynamic that will take longer to repair then if you hold your tongue and discuss it later.
The goal of conversation games is to get the child talking and to get you to listen to what they are truly saying.
More Tips For Getting Kids To Open Up And Talk To You (Beyond Conversation Games For Kids)
Creating bonds with your children starts from the first moment you become a parent. The more you practice these tips that I’ve outlined below, the more your children will want to be open with you.
It is important to create a home environment that promotes positive conversation which in turn creates good communication.
Don’t React, Respond
When you are faced with some news or an event that has you wanting to boil over, practice some self-control and try responding instead of reacting.
This is one of the hardest things to do.
Because children will often mimic your actions, it is important to be a proper role model if you want to see the same behavior from them.
Even though in the toughest moments you may feel explosive and reactive, it is so important to remain calm, warm and gentle so that you can meet the psychologically demands that children require to feel safe and sound.
Listen And Allow Room For Them To Talk More Than You
Giving children room to speak without interrupting them with their own thoughts and opinions will help create that trust for future conversations where they need to feel safe speaking about something important.
The thing about conversation is that listening is just as important as talking. You’ll want to be sure to have great listening skills so that your children feel comfortable starting conversations with you.
Sometimes listening to children talk can be a chore, I get that. They can go on and on about what may seem like the silliest thing…but to them, this is important so be sure to create a positive, open and warm environment so that your children feel comfortable talking to you about anything and everything.
Of course, feedback and conversations are encouraged. You don’t want your child to feel like they are talking to a brick wall, but you can provide feedback when your child has finished talking and is ready to listen.
Listen Without Distractions
If your child is wanting to have an important conversation with you, it is best to eliminate distractions in your environment.
Sometimes that could mean turning off the television or putting down your cell phone, whatever the distraction is, it is a good idea to ditch it so you can provide your full attention to your child
If there are distractions in the room in which you are trying to have this conversation, it is less likely that you will be able to provide an active response.
Active listening is a conversational technique. When parents are active listeners they provide empathy and understanding to the conversation being presented to them. Being able to respond with a solution or a little bit of advice is how you can be an active listener.
When your children are having a conversation with you, it is important to let them speak with interruption. Sometimes that means getting rid of distractions, but it also means letting them finish their thought before chiming in with your thoughts.
It can be difficult to refrain from speaking when your child presents you with information that you could believe has a simple solution for, but create a positive space and let your kiddo finish their thought.
Interrupting children can make it seem like you are starting to nag them. Nagging is one of those things that really puts up conversation barriers that will later be pretty difficult to breakthrough.
The best thing you can do let your child speak and when they are finished speaking, speak your two cents.
One word of advice when giving your two cents: try not to go on and on and on about the same thing. Your children WILL tune you out and the whole conversation that they just started to share with you can end in disappointment. Keep your responses short and sweet.
Use Encouraging Words
Children of all ages need to be encouraged. They need to discover their own solutions to problems so they can find their path through life on their own. Remind them that they are blooming into their best selves with some encouraging words of wisdom.
Be careful to use encouraging words and avoiding words of praise. Praise is not always a bad thing, but some words of praise can cause more harm than good.
When using encouraging words to have conversations with our children, be sure to be honest and focus on effort instead of ability. Be very specific and avoid the need to compare your child, goodness knows they have enough comparison at school.
Word of encouragement you can use:
- Thank you for your kindness
- Your thoughtfulness is one of your greatest strengths
- You just showed what it means to be a critical thinker
- I appreciate what a good listener you are
- You showed a lot of strength handling this challenge
- Your optimism is contagious!
- None of us is perfect; learning integrity takes practice.
- You achieved your goal with a lot of hard work.
- Your imagination is awesome!
Creating Memories With Family Games
Conversation games for kids create a lot of excellent family memories.
Hearing my children laugh and use their imaginations during family supper or during the precious bedtime routine is my all-time favorite thing. The great memories that are created during these fun meals get brought up continuously in the “remember that time we said “___” at the dinner table and Mom said “___”. HAHAHAHAHAH
Keeping an open line of communication should be one of the most important things on the parenthood list. If only parenting came with a manual, I am positive that this would be number 1 – aside from keeping them alive and fed of course.
Remember to respond and not react when hearing news from your child and allow room for them to speak to you without distraction and interruption.
Allow room for encouragement within your conversation so that your child can improve their own belief in themselves, and you will have an amazing relationship with an open line of conversation so you can be sure to build strong relationships as time goes on.
Need more? Here is another pack of christmas-themed conversation questions and trivia fun you can play with a group of people or with your kids.
Frequently Asked Questions On Conversation Games For Kids
What games can we play verbally?
Family games which can be played verbally include would you rather, the famous person game, speed speak, telephone.
What is a verbal game?
A verbal game is a game played with just words and doesn’t need props of any kind. Examples of verbal games are “would you rather” “telephone” and “speed speak”.
Free Resource For You
I’ve created a free pdf just for you! If you are struggling with gentle parenting with your kids this PDF will help you find one that will work for your family.
This free pdf can show you:
- The pillars of gentle parenting
- Example conversations you can have with kids
- Example consequences you can use
- Family activity ideas for connection