Collecting Memories Around the Dinner Table

Because family dinners are about so much more than eating, one of the things we’ve been doing lately is jotting down a little note or doodle from the day while we’re sitting together at the table. During the rush of the week it’s one of the only times when we’re all together and have the chance to talk and catch up.

This is sort of a lazy person’s journal, but in this case one for the whole family. Our version is simple, a bowl (an excuse to use one of the fancy Waterford crystal bowls we got many moons ago as a wedding gift) filled with index cards and pens. It’s a permanent fixture on our dining room table and as we eat and talk we pass around a blank card and write a little something about what we ate, our favorite part of the day, things we want to do, a piece of trivia, or just a silly story or doodle. Luca makes sure we never forget to “do our card” and he loves to ask us to pull one out at random and read what we wrote during previous dinners.

Life seems to move at the speed of light most of the time so it’s nice to capture some of those tiny minuscule moments. Even if we’re stressed and the food is less than great, it also reminds me that this is my favorite part of the day.

17 thoughts on “Collecting Memories Around the Dinner Table

  1. What a great! idea. I think something like this would really get my boys excited about meal times. Thank you for this.

    • This helps my son sit still and stay focused on dinner which was a nice surprise. The other night we talked and wrote about what vegetable everyone would be and why. Quite interesting to get into the mind of a preschooler on questions like these!

    • Life is so jam packed that we have to keep things simple & this is as simple as it gets…. I was wondering if it would be a flash in the pan idea, but it has really stuck and feels like it’s becoming a real-deal family tradition. Hoping to do something fun with these cards eventually. Maybe compile our favorites into a memory book or something. Glad you liked the idea!

    • It’s a lot of fun. My 3 year old loves it and it’s making him want to practice “writing”. Will be especially fun to read these cards in a few years to see how much our everyday lives change (or don’t).

  2. What a great idea! I love it!
    the only problem is that my son takes forever to eat as it is… it would be more of a distraction. But I know he would also love it. He loves writing and drawing. Maybe we will try it as a “special” thing and see what happens. 🙂

  3. I absolutely love this idea! My oldest daughter will be three in a couple weeks and as it has been her daddy’s work schedule has never really allowed for sitting down to eat together. It’s been her and I most nights watching one of her shows while we eat (I know, bad mommy teaching bad habits). We are making an effort to have dinners together now and I really think this will be an amazing help to transition. Although, depending on how it goes, I may have to change his so we wait until food is eaten and THEN we do this. Thanks so much for the idea. Just found your site tonight and am looking forward to perusing when my one month old daughter allows it.

    • Hi Jess! This has turned out to be a fun addition to our family dinners and we’re still going strong. My 3 year old looks forward to it and never fails to remind us if we forget. We have a three month old and so it’s also been a good way to keep track of all the little milestones that I never get around to writing down otherwise. It’s such a simple thing, but just having the materials at hand and keeping it simple makes it something we can keep up. Good luck with your bambina, hope you’re getting some sleep now and then! 🙂

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