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Beginner Dinner Games / Original Dinner Games Review by Courtney Larson

Family Time Fun

Beginner Dinner Games and Original Dinner Games are packaged in colorful metal boxes that are full of fun. Beginner Dinner Games is for families with kids ages 3-6, while Original Dinner Games is for families with kids ages 6-12. Each box contains 51 cards: 50 games to play during dinner and one wild card. The cards are spill-proof, durable, and color-coded by skill. Skills worked on in Beginner Dinner Games include The Five Senses, Social Skills, Creative and Critical Thinking, Expressive Language and Listening, and Memory (also included are Just For Fun games). The skills included in Original Dinner Games are Numbers and Math, Social Skills, Phonics and Vocabulary, Creative and Critical Thinking, and Memory (Silly Games are included as well). In addition to working on various skill areas in a fun way, many of these games also encourage participants to eat their vegetables and drink their milk.

I was a little worried when these showed up in my mailbox. I have five sons, ages 10, 9, 7, 6, and 4. We eat dinner as a family as often as possible, and we love to laugh. While I enjoy having dinner together, things can quickly spiral out of control, leaving me saying things like "Stay in your chair" or "Keep your head above your feet" or "That's enough silliness, now eat your dinner." I was nervous that these games would encourage the childish behavior that we've been working on eliminating. I was wrong. Instead, these games helped to direct our conversation and fun. We enjoyed playing "Counting Moo" (go around the table counting, but instead of saying even numbers, players must say the word "moo"), "What's Missing" (players close their eyes while one person removes an object from the table; then they open their eyes and try to guess what has been removed), "Telephone Line" (the first person whispers a sentence to the person next to them, then that person whispers it to the person next to them, until it gets to the last person and they say it out loud--it's rarely the same sentence), and many others. Each game takes only minutes but produces a lot of laughter, discussion, and enjoyment. I would highly recommend Beginner Dinner Games and Original Dinner Games to any family looking to add fun and direction to their dinnertime.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2010