There's no doubting the benefit of family mealtimes. Taking time as a family to eat together and enjoy conversation around the table helps your child develop positive communication and social skills, including the ability to initiate and maintain conversations. These conversations provide a great context for language and vocabulary development, and they help children develop a greater sense of self as they learn more about their parents and the values shared by family members.
That's why today, I'm sharing a printable fortune teller that provides a super-fun way to kick-start conversation during your next family dinner — after all who doesn’t love to play with a fortune teller?! This particular fortune teller includes a series of questions that explore the themes of family and home, and your child’s responses are sure to provide interesting insight into what she thinks, feels, and believes (while your responses will provide valuable feedback to your child as well).
How to Play
- Print a copy of the fortune teller printable and follow the directions for folding.
- Family members can take turns being the "fortune teller," or the person responsible for using the paper fortune teller to determine which question to ask, and the question "chooser." You can start with the eldest and youngest family members and then move the positions around the table clockwise so that each person has a turn in each role.
- To begin, the person with the fortune teller holds it in a closed position. The ‘chooser’ chooses a color from the four named on the outside of the fortune teller.
- The fortune teller is opened and closed (by moving the flaps in and out and side to side with thumbs and pointer fingers) once for each letter in the color name. Once the last letter of the color name is reached, the fortune teller is left open so that the numbers inside can be seen. The "chooser" then selects a number from the four numbers shown. The fortune teller is again opened and closed as the number chosen is counted out. The "chooser" again chooses a number from the four now shown. The person controlling the fortune teller lifts this numbered flap and reads the question shown below.
- The "chooser" must answer the question.
- Play then proceeds around the table so that each person has the opportunity to ask and answer questions.
For more useful tools for helping your child to develop her conversation skills, check out these "Bully or Buddy?" conversation prompts and these 12 creative ways to ask your child, "How was your day?"