Dinner Table Game: Good Choice, Bad Choice

yesterday i talked about how we’re trying to make dinner a meaningful point of connection for our family. with little kids that leak everywhere and spill almost everything, it’s easy to find our focus during the entire meal zeroed in on keeping every kid in their seat and every piece of food heading in the right direction.
so how do we make it meaningful?
here’s something we’ve been trying lately that’s been working for us:
kids love games. so we made one up.
(really, it’s just 2 questions that we all ask each other… but since we called it a game, that’s what adelina thinks it is.)
the rules of this “game” are quite simple:
  1. everyone has to answer.
  2. and everyone has to be honest.

when it’s your turn, you have to share one BAD choice you made that day, and then you have to share one GOOD choice you made that day.


shanna has been really great about helping our kids focus on choices as either good or bad. we’ve been trying to avoid referring to people and ourselves as good or bad (the theological component of that will come later when they’re older), but rather, as people who either made a good choice or a bad choice, at a point in time.
on top of that, it’s important for our kids to see that we as parents blow it too from time to time. every day actually. and there is something powerful in the faith development of children and teens when they know they’re being led by people who are real and transparent about their shortcomings.

let’s face it… we all know they know we’re not perfect. and us telling them isn’t giving them license to do it, if it’s framed and explained in the right way.

these 2 simple questions have given us many great in-roads to celebrating and praising good behavior, as well as conversations (without being in the heat of the moment) where we can explain why certain behaviors are bad and not something we want to continue. some nights, apologies are given and moods are turned completely around.
what do you do around your table to make the conversation meaningful? i’d love to hear what’s working for you in the comments!

Tired of Playing the Stupid Ninja Game At Youth Group?

for those of us in student ministry, games are part of the gig. there are messy games, embarrassing games, up front games, crowd-mixing games, and quite frankly – other games that just shouldn’t be played!
here’s a super-fun game that our teens love right now. we actually have to be careful not to play it TOO much… or else they probably won’t love it anymore! i think i originally found it over at youthleaderstash, so head over there for more great ideas!



  • all you need is a ball of some sort (dodgeball, volleyball, etc.) and at least 4 or 5 people. the more the merrier.
  • get everyone in a circle.
  • at first the game is played like volleyball – someone throws the ball into the air and volleys the ball 3 times (between 3 different people).
  • after the ball is bounced around the circle for the third time, someone catches the ball and the game instantly turns into dodgeball. at this point, regular dodgeball rules take over. the person who caught the ball cannot move, but everyone else can run away.
  • the person with the ball quickly throws it at the nearest person – if it hits them, they’re out, and play restarts with everyone else.  but if the person throws the ball and it is caught, the thrower is out.
  • the ball is dead when it hits the ground. keep playing until one player remains!
try it out this week and let me know how it goes!

Jumbo Jenga Game

i just saw a tweet from kurt johnston on a new game of “jumbo jenga” they made using like-sized 2×4’s. looks like a super cheap and easy addition to any youth room that will foster interaction and fun.  just sent a message out to our team for someone to make one for us! thanks for sharing, kurt!