Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meal-Time Activities: Mystery Centerpiece

by Deborah Rowley
For this activity, set a cake stand in the center of the table before dinner. Choose a family member to put a small mystery item on the cake stand and then cover it with a cloth. During dinner you can make guesses about the mystery item before you unveil it to the “oohs” and “aahs” of the dinner crowd. Once the item has been unveiled, let that family member explain why the item was chosen and what it means to them. You may be able to use the item as a launching off point for discussion with older family members. You can also turn dinner into a comedy show by requiring every sentence to include that item (Try doing that with race car or Barbie for example!)
Last night, I placed a small airplane on the cake stand. When the airplane was unveiled, I told my family that I had recently read an article about Amelia Earhart. I have always been impressed with her courage and groundbreaking efforts for women. And I was fascinated to learn that they have discovered what might be the remains of her plane off an island in the Pacific. There is a theory that she might have crashed onto this island and then survived for several weeks with her copilot waiting to be rescued. I asked my family if they thought it would be better to crash and die instantly or to crash and live for several weeks in the hopes of being rescued but eventually die. We had the most interesting discussion about life and death and the value of hope and dreaming big. It was amazing what bringing a small toy airplane to the table inspired in all of us. I think Amelia would be pleased. 
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  1. What a fantastic idea! I like this better than the list of questions you pull out of a jar. Thanks! You guys are filled with so many ideas. I get burned out on my own, but these are great boosters.

    1. Thanks Becca! We're so glad you are enjoying the ideas! :)


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