Manners. I confess right now, table manners are definitely not my forte. I am horrible at not talking with my mouth full or keeping my elbows off the table. So my girls, naturally, are even worse than I am (much to the chagrin of my husband). Last week I decided we had had enough of “the talk.” You know, the “Sit in your chair right!” and “Stop playing with your food!” exclamations. I decided there had to be a better way.
That is when we started to play Table Taboo. Table Taboo is a game with only one rule. You disobey the rule and you could lose your rewards! There are 18 rule cards so a different rule could be used for 18 different meals.
For example, if the card chosen for the night was finger free…
The players (whoever is at the table) may sit however they want or chew however they want, but they MUST use only their utensils to eat. If they eat with their fingers or their toes or some other crazy gadget (yes, we have even had a plastic horse be a fork at one point), then the first person to catch another player using another device to eat with gets one of that person’s rewards. When the meal is over, each player gets to keep whatever rewards are left.
The first time we played this game, the card selected was Alpine Posture. You would have thought we were in a world class competition. The table was so quiet because everyone was focusing so much on catching someone else not using the correct posture that they automatically started using other correct manners as well. The girls loved it and couldn’t wait to play it again. Besides, the reward for the game was a few Smarties and who doesn’t want that?!
Speaking of rewards–I include LOTS of ideas in the card set so don’t think you have to come up with your own reward ideas. And no, you don’t have to use candy. You can use whatever you like. There are a lot of different choices here depending on what might best motivate your children.
Table Taboo Variation
Also, although I didn’t include this in the instructions of Table Taboo, you can also play this game by using only one object. Instead of the object being a reward, it could be a consequence (like having to do all the dishes after supper). To play this variation, have one player begin with the object (let’s say it is a wooden spoon). It is this player’s job to find someone else disobeying the one rule. When they find someone disobeying the rule of the meal, they give the wooden spoon to that person. The game continues until the meal is over. Whoever is left with the wooden spoon at the end of the game gets the “joy” of doing the dishes that night (or whatever the consequence is that you choose).
Grab Table Taboo Now!
Ready to teach your child(ren) a few table manners and have some fun at the same time? Feel free to grab a copy of our Table Taboo Game for yourself and get ready to have fun and develop a few table manners at the same time!
Recommendation: Print the cards on cardstock, cut out, and laminate for long use. Don’t have an laminator? I can’t say enough about this one. It’s cheap and has already lasted us years.