When I was a kid we had a tradition of eating formal family meals for Saturday lunch in the dining room. My mother wanted to get the kids to help clear the table after a meal. Her solution, we play a game similar to 20 questions. A person goes to the kitchen with something from the table (a water pitcher for example) and puts it away (or on the counter at least). Before the person returned the people at the table would pick a secret word. When the person returned, he would pick a person to give him a clue or ask someone a question. We would keep going around the table until he (or she) correctly guessed the secret word. This would continue until we cleared the table.
This isn’t the most efficient way to clear a table of course. It took a while to clear of the table while playing but we weren’t really cleaning the table we were having fun playing the game. Often we played even after the table was all clear. This is one of the lasting memories of fun from my childhood.
So how do you get your kids to help? Make it fun. Make it a game.
Now when I want to get my kids to help clear the table (when there is time) and have some fun we also play this game. It works well when they have friends over also.
So how did the game become known as “The Toilet Paper Game”? Let’s just say once the secret word was “toilet paper” and lots of laughs ensued.
It’s appropriate to post this today on my mother’s birthday as she’s always been creative getting us kids to be more productive and having fun. Happy Birthday Mom!