It Works For Me: Conversation Starter Sticks

It Works For Me: Conversation Starter Sticks

I recognize this post could easily be received as an “I’ve got it all together so look what I do” kind of thing so I’m going to shoot that one down right outta’ the gate. This idea was birthed out of desperation. Dinner time desperation.

Maybe it’s just boys. Maybe it’s just MY boys. But, dinner time conversation at our house can sometimes make me want to gouge my eyes out be less than enjoyable.

After I’ve taught a 1st grader, 2nd grader, a 5th grader and made sure our 1yr old and 4yr old haven’t burned down the house, sat through a few hours of arabic, prepared breakfast and lunch for a full basketball team, did a load or 7 of laundry and hung it all out to dry, managed to squeeze in a quick workout, washed the dishes by hand for the 3rd time today… because apparently no one on our side of the pond received the breaking news about the revolutionary invention called a dishwasher. Okay, refocus, I should get back on track-just needed to get that all off my chest. Now, back to my original thought process. When we finally sit down together as a family for dinner after a long day, I would like to have a normal conversation, just a normal conversation. That’s not too much to ask.

But, a woman can only say, “No movie quotes at the dinner table, please” or “You know bathroom talk is unacceptable” and “Only original thoughts for the remainder of the meal” with a smile on her face so many times before that vein in her neck starts to pop out and she must resist the urge to sling taco salad across the table. I’m just sayin’.

In an effort to help guide our conversations over dinner I came up with “Conversation Starter Sticks.”

It’s pretty easy.  All you need is a small bucket, a pen and a few popsicle sticks. After you gather those things, simply write several questions on the popsicle sticks and put them in a bucket.  Done. See, very easy.

We take turns passing the bucket around the table, pulling out a stick and answering the question.  It’s simple- but revolutionary for our little tribal diner.


Hearing about a place Braeden would like to visit, or what Brody wants to be when he grows up is much more enjoyable than a complete rendition of the opening scene from Despicable Me 2.


**Please ignore the two day old marker on Breck’s arm. #LoserMom

The older boys are also required to help the younger ones read the sticks. Reading practice….check!


I tried to think of questions that would really get my boys thinking or things I knew they would love to talk about. So we have everything from “What Lego creation did you build this week?” to  “Who’s your favorite soccer team and why?”, all the way down to “If you could have one superhero power, what would it be?” If you are having trouble coming up with questions check here for more ideas.

So, that’s it– Conversation Starter Sticks. It’s not earth shattering, neither is it rocket science- but hey, it works for me.

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