Starting Dinner Chats: Conversation Plates

by Allison McDonald | March 5, 2013 at 9:00 am | comments

Me: “How was your day?”

Them: “Fine.”

Me: “How was school?”

Them: “Fine.”

Getting your kids to talk at dinner is not always the easiest, but once they get going, the floodgates are open and the family connections are strengthened. The difficulty is figuring out how you get started. The solution – making conversation plates! This is really easy to do and the payback is a fun dinner time filled with conversation. It’s a great way to put the ideals of the Together CountsTM program into place and enjoy more family time together!

Creating Conversation Plates

Step 1. Buy inexpensive porcelain plates at the dollar store or a local thrift store, and swing by a craft store for a porcelain marker. You may have seen craft projects with people using sharpies to write on plates and mugs, but they don’t last and will often wash off. Make sure to get a porcelain marker.

Step 2. Make a list of fun questions to ask. Make some open ended like, “Who did you spend the most time with today?” These questions give you a little insight into their day without giving them an opportunity to say “Fine.” I also included questions about favorite things. Kids love giving their opinions and asking about favorite things can really open the conversation floodgates.

Step 3. Make a practice plate using a plain paper plate a pen. This will help you plan out how many questions and the other design elements on your plate.

Step 4. Write on your plate. Be creative and include doodles along with your questions to make them more personal and creative!

Step 5. Set your oven to 300 degrees and place your plate in for about 30 minutes. Be careful not to touch the writing with your oven mitts or the words will smudge. I recommend baking for 25 minutes then turn the oven off and let the plates cool in the oven.

* Although the instructions on the porcelain pen says that the plates are dishwasher safe now, I don’t believe it. Hand wash your conversation plates if you want them to keep sparking great family discussions at dinner time.

Do you love this idea? What questions would you add to your conversation plate?

Allison has been teaching various audiences since 1993. After having her first son she decided to share her love of teaching through the world of blogging and started the site No Time for Flash Cards. Her site is meant to inspire parents with creative ideas to bring the classroom into their own home. 

For more craft and dinnertime ideas, check out more of the Together Counts program resources here: